Make your move. Sign up for Startup Weekend Evansville! Stop sitting around and start making things happen. Here are ten reasons why it is worth your while to spend the weekend with us, here at Startup Weekend Evansville.
- It’s all about connections: Entrepreneurs. Developers. Designers. Marketers. Product managers. Startup enthusiasts. Tech guys. Ideators. They’ll be there, and they want to meet you. Startup Weekend is more than just a place to give your idea wings—it’s a place to plug into a community of talent. Startup Weekend attracts the best makers and doers . By spending 54 hours working to build scalable companies that solve real world problems, you will build long lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.
- Actually launch a Startup Company: Think, conceive and deliver a product/service over a weekend. It’s just the energy in the Startup Weekend environment that makes you super-productive. Make your dreams a reality. It is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology. According to the data collected by official organizers, roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
- Get face time with thought leaders: Get one-on–one time with the movers and shakers in your community. Local educators, tech, entrepreneurs, and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as mentors and judges. Our judging panel and mentor board is made of CEOs, COOs, Developers, Angels, Directors, Entrepreneurs, and others. Get some time with the startup leaders in the community, explore your opportunities and learn the game from the best players.
- Join a global community: Startup Weekend alumni span across several continents and scores of cities. Join a global network of over 275,000 alumni, all having the haunting entrepreneurial mindset. Step outside of your comfort zone, because Startup Weekends are your perfect opportunity to explore yourself.
- Co-founder dating: Startups are about more than just an idea -it’s about the team behind it. Startup Weekend is the best way to find someone that you can actually launch a startup with. The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups. Create relationships that last long past the weekend. If you have a prospective co-founder, bring ‘em to the event and give the working relationship a test drive. It might save you years of heartache.
- As we live, so we learn: Startup Weekends are all about learning through the art of creating. You do not need to stay in ages-long and boring lecture sessions or to read dozens of outdated theories. Build your own strategy and test it as you go. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or give marketing a try.
- Get access to Startup Resources and Save Money: By participating in Startup Weekend you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed! Moreover, Startup Weekends are affordable. Your ticket includes all meals, snacks and access to an awesome set of mentors. Join us for the Startup Weekend that is fully loaded with facilities and chase your dreams to reality in a 54 hour long frenzy.
- Less talk, more action: Startup Weekend is fast. The weekend is not some long, drawn-out business plan that will bore your team to sleep. This is fast paced, get ideas on the table, get them in production, see if they stick, and move on to the next task. Find out what you excel at in 54 hours. Spend the weekend perfecting your networking, pitching, brainstorming ideas and experience energy like never before.
- Solve local problems with your ideas: Do you think that one of your ideas can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.
- Have tons of fun: So register now and book your ticket to ensure an awesome weekend at Startup Weekend Evansville.
March 31 – April 2, 2017, in Marion IN, therefinerycenter.com will host Startup Weekend, a worldwide group of events to bring people together to make ideas become reality and start business up.
Have you ever thought, “That would be a good business idea.” Have you ever wanted to start a company and work with other people to do something new? Do you want to see and experience what it looks like to go from Idea to Business? If so, Startup Weekend is for you.
Congratulations! You’ve just completed Startup Weekend Bloomington. To keep the momentum going on your project after the event or to help you pursue your future entrepreneurial endeavors in Bloomington, here’s a list of local resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses:
The Switchboard – An online, interactive directory of Bloomington’s resources for entrepreneurs. The site includes profiles of local organization willing to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as local entrepreneurs bloomingtonswitchboard.com.
Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association – If you live or have a business located in the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Zone, you may be eligible for certain grants or professional development scholarships. For more information check out bloomington.in.gov/buea.
Cowork Btown – A local coworking space with a variety of membership options. More info at coworkbtown.com.
Blue Burro Workspace – A new coworking space in downtown Bloomington with flexible pricing options. More information at http://www.bburro.com/workspace/.
Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship – Provides free consulting to entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as entrepreneurship classes at Ivy Tech. More information at ivytech.edu/entrepreneurship.
Small Business Development Center – Provides free consulting to entrepreneurs and small businesses, gives clients access to market research tools, presents quarterly workshops, and assists businesses with Quickbooks. Sign up for an appointment at http://www.isbdc.org/services/.
Bloomington Economic Development Corp – Houses the B-Start Pre-Accelerator program for student startup companies and provides assistance to business owners. More information at bloomingtonedc.com.
Bloomington Technology Partnership – Partnership for Bloomington’s tech businesses. Provides programs like Code School, job listings in the tech sector, and business assistance bloomingtontech.com.
City of Bloomington, Department of Economic and Sustainable Development – Assists business owners in navigating local business regulations and provides resources like business academy online courses bloomington.in.gov/economiccivility.
IU Intellectual Property Clinic – The clinic provides a range of IP counseling services to clients judged to be in need of pro bono services. The clinic is certified for both patents and trademarks under the USPTO’s Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Project. They also provide PatentConnect for Hoosiers. The project will link Indiana entrepreneurs with patent lawyers who have volunteered to provide pro bono patent prosecution services ip.indiana.edu.
VisionTech Angel Network – A statewide angel network with a Bloomington chapter. More information at visiontech-partners.com.
Hanapin Marketing – Hanapin Marketing is an industry-leading digital marketing agency that specializes in just one thing: pay-per-click advertising (PPC). And it’s our objective to make everyone better at it: ourselves, our clients, our peers—the entire industry www.hanapinmarketing.com.
Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation – Headquartered at the Kelley School of Business, JCEI has nationally-ranked academic programs provide you with a wide range of real-world entrepreneurial experiences through cross-campus initiatives with other university departments and involvement with the business community. More information at kelley.iu.edu/JCEI.
Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization – Principal undergraduate student organization for entrepreneurship at IU kelly.iu.edu/ceo.
Questions? Email the Startup Weekend Bloomington Organizing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about Startup Weekend Bloomington? We have answers! Check out the frequently asked questions below or send our team an email at email@example.com. Get your tickets at bit.ly/swbtown16.
Why should I attend Startup Weekend Bloomington?
There are tons of reasons! To get your startup started, to meet people who have a different skill sets than your own, to find a co-founder, to learn about the resources Bloomington has to offer startup companies, to meet a mentor, to get expert advice, to network, to be energized by innovative ideas, to gain experience building companies in a low risk environment, to practice your pitching skills, to win great prizes, to get the 7 free meals included in the price of your ticket, and to have productive weekend!
Do I have to pitch an idea?
No, but we encourage you to! You can pitch an idea you’ve been thinking about for years, or something last minute you think of during the event. It’s a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.
Can I pitch more than one idea?
Depending on the number of ideas pitched and the schedule, you may or may not be able to pitch multiple ideas. Prioritize your ideas: pitch your best idea (and the one you have most prepared for) first.
What should I bring?
- Power cord
- Business cards
- Camera – take pictures and video!
- Optional: A second monitor, keyboard, etc…. set yourself up to be productive!
- Lots of creative energy!
What if I can’t be there for a couple hours? Do I have to participate all three days?
Apart from Organizers, selected Coaches, Speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate all three days. This is important not only to preserve the ‘vibe’ of the weekend (“no talk, all action”) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for working teams. However, if you can’t be there for just a couple hours on one of the days because of a commitment it is fine – as long as you warn your team at the beginning of the event.
Can I pay at the door?
No, you cannot pay at the door of the event – you need to purchase the ticket online. If you are physically unable to pay online, reach out to the local organizers to arrange payment.
Do I need a team?
Everyone who attends the event as an attendee is expected to participate on a team (teams will form around the top 8-10 ideas pitched by the end of Friday night, you can choose which team you’d like to work on). This is important not only to preserve the mission of Startup Weekend (teamwork!) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for all working teams.
Can I pitch my existing business?
No. Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. A key facet of the weekend – and a central value for participants – is the spirit of complete collaboration, buy-in, and ownership. We’ve found that having existing businesses in the mix undermines this spirit, in addition to creating an imbalance between those ideas that are truly ground-level.
What if my idea doesn’t get selected?
The purpose of the Friday voting and crowdsourcing isn’t to exclude certain ideas, but simply to highlight the most popular and high-potential pitches and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds and skills. If your idea isn’t selected but you’ve formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend. If you decide to do so, however, please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.
What are we supposed to have accomplished by the end of the weekend?
While there are no specific requirements in terms of what teams should have accomplished by Sunday, it’s in your best interest to plan your execution around what you’ll be judged for on Sunday:
- Customer Validation (did you vet your business?)
- Execution and Design (what did you build? Do you have a minimally viable product?)
- Business Model (do you have a plan for the future?)
As far as presenting goes, some of the most common presentations include any combination of the following (in no particular order):
- Wireframes or fully developed website;
- Mobile Apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully functional)
- Slide decks (Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
- Videos (i.e. product demonstrations, etc.)
- Live product demos
Why is it a competition?
Competition is not a central theme of Startup Weekend, and this is often reflected in the broad, horizontal allocation of prizes and general flexibility/leniency of the event ‘rules.’ If and when the competitive aspect comes into conflict with the positive atmosphere we try to cultivate, we consistently choose the latter. We do believe, however, that friendly competition is beneficial to all parties and, most importantly, more accurately reflects the realities of startup life. Just as it’s important to gather ‘real-world’ feedback over the weekend, it’s also important to have real-world pressures and obstacles.
Are teams expected to continue after the event?
Whether or not you continue to work on the idea with some or all of your team is completely up to you. Approximately 25% of Startup Weekend participants continue working on their idea with all of their team.
If you have any other questions visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Startup Weekend Terre Haute
We’re excited to have such a dynamic speaker for our Startup Weekend event! Just look at the recent news story done on Mr. Kevin West, artist and entrepreneur.
His workshops are unbelievably incredible. One by one, everyday people with no artistic backgrounds, hold up masterpieces that they seem to have magically created on their own. The portraits, comprised of all different colors and faces, have one thing in common: each image represents a person the participant of the workshop loves. Whether the finished product reveals a spouse, child or best friend, the art produced illustrates the very core of the art instructor’s philosophy: paint what you love. Full of warmth, creative energy, encouragement and passion, 34 year old artist Kevin Nance-West not only inspires future generations of artists, but he encourages adults to channel their artistry as well. Whether running a workshop, painting abstract designs for a neighbor’s’ home, collaborating with schools or simply painting a portrait of his daughter, West is for the people.
Despite being a professional artist with over 15 years of experience, this Indiana based painter never graduated from college (though he did attend Danville Area Community College). In fact, his journey is as unique as his approach to art. In many ways, his artistry started as a kind of therapy. Diagnosed with stage three cancer, West was forced to reevaluate what was most important in his life. That of course, was his family, comprised of his wife Roshawn Scott West and their daughter Brooklyn. But in lieu of cancer bringing his spirits down, West channeled the little energy he had into his art, by painting what he loved. As if his works of art were tangible expressions of his prayers, West won his battle with cancer. Years later, he’s still painting portraits of people.
West’s artistry embodies a modern style. Colorful and realistic, his portraits carry the essence of the person he’s painted. He has a particular fondness for creating acrylic paintings of celebrities and pop icons. His abstract work, often custom designed, is generally vibrant and illuminating, adding light to almost any room in a home or corporate office. One of his most memorable paintings, “Deception,” demonstrates the vast range of West’s ability. The painting shows the back of a woman’s body. Her bare skin is covered by red streaks tossed onto the canvas. Her hands are wrapped around her body. In a similar fashion, West’s art is tightly wrapped around and involved in his local community. His latest venture, Gifted Custom Art, is one of the many ways West is an artist for the community.
Following his surgery to remove a football sized tumor, West found himself in the garage painting. After printing out a photo for his daughter to paint, he converted the photo into a simplified paint by number image. Within an hour’s time, Kevin envisioned expanding this technique. Today, Gifted Custom Art is the first fully automated paint by number organization. Based in Indiana, the company has branches in Michigan, Illinois and Missouri and is expected to have a location in every state by the beginning of 2016. With every new location, West is inviting people to paint what they love and people are doing just that. Jake, one of West’s younger students painted a picture of his 4th grade teacher. Shocked and amazed, his teacher received the gift with great joy. It’s moments like this that put West’s heart on display. Though talented, he’s not selfish. Instead, he wants to share the gift of art with the world.
Kevin Nance West is the kind of artist that holds the capacity to change the world, one community at a time. Whether hosting date nights, workshops, school or community events, his artistry has always been about connecting people to other people. A family man at his core, cancer, though terrible, has given this artist a new outlook on life. Every day counts and every person embodies talent. Likewise, when people are granted the opportunity to paint what they love, they are bound together by humanity- the same humanity that allows us to express ourselves and understand each other much more than before
The Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighted equally):
- Business Model
- How does the team plan on making this a successful business? Have they thought about (either solved or identified problems) competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, their revenue model etc?
- Customer Validation
- Are teams building something that people actually want? How well does the team understand their customer and their customer’s needs. Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers?
- Execution & Design
- Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (software, hardware, etc.)? *Note: an MVP is the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data. Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Were they able to demo something functional?
Startup Weekend Evansville 5.0 February 19, 2015
We had a huge turnout for SWEVV5.0. Over 90 tickets sold. Mayor LLoyd Winnecke kicked off the evening, giving the participants a sincere thank you for their courage. He also told them to “Never, never give up on your dreams. We need you. Evansville needs you and your ideas.”
We had 28 pitches, and 11 teams making the cut. After team formation, we have 10 ideas proceeding in this competition.
- Alex Godwin
- Angela Lankford
- Jennifer Williams
- Jenna Citrus
- Joe Vessell
Finance Video Games
- Johnathon Marvell
- Ben Peyronnin
- David Sullivan
- Max Smith
- Larry Robinson
- Sam Stevens
- Casey McCoy
- Eduardo Pzixoto
- Charles Kelly
- Parag C.
- Mike Boren
- Austin Craig
- Ryan Loehilen
- Eric Nelson
- Jesac Sulivan
- Candance Fairer
Night Vision Goggle Gloves
- Josh Hazelwood
- Neil Kassinger
- Elyse Goonan
- John Curtis
Interns with no Experience
- Shifan Zhang
- Nader Jomaa
- Thu Pham
- Zhujun Li
- Peggy Forbes
- Candace Fairer
- Zac Parsons
- Nathan Templeton
- Peter Doster
- Randy Russelburg
- Benjamin Sermersheim
- Mark Davis
- Mark Trunkhouser
- Joe & Tracy Klencewski
- Zack Mathis
- Thu Pham
- Mark Davis
Pick Ups Delivery
- Mike Harvey
- Jezi Martinez
- Sean Effron
Any additions or corrections to teams or team names need to be sent to Dana. (You have this info in your name badges.)
More photos can be found on our Facebook Page!
We want to see your idea taken to the next level. Thanks to our sponsors and generous supporters of entrepreneurship we have put a prize package together to help you launch your business faster.
- 1-year membership to Launch co-working space
- 5 Solid Works Licenses
- Rose Hulman Ventures Design & Development Services
- Custom Logo created ISU Business Engagement Center
- ISBDC Business Plan and Proforma Financial Software
The prize package is still developing so check back often!
From a recent article in Forbes by the Muse, I was inspired to share their four ways to know it’s time to pursue your idea because they run parallel with the desired goals and outcomes of Startup Weekend Evansville.
“Ideas…They’re fantastically fun to throw out and thrash around, but making them happen is a daunting prospect. Especially when you’re looking for an idea that can bloom into a business.
So how do you know if your idea is strong enough to plough ahead? Or invest? Or quit your day job? There’s certainly no science to it, but there are some things that help make the decision easier—so that when you do take the plunge, it feels less like a plunge and more like a shallow dive.
In an attempt to make this a more interesting read, let’s check out some signature moves from famous old prodigies and see what they can teach us.
1. The Darwin: Share Your Idea
Darwin didn’t hide away in a black box and magically resurface with his theory of evolution. He wrote stacks of letters to other scientists, journalists, and friends to pressure test and develop his theory before he was ready to share it with the world.
I find it deeply infuriating when people say “I have an idea” and follow it quickly with “but I can’t tell you about it.” The notion that people are idea-goblins, waiting to steal your genius and launch it before you do is, on the whole, quite absurd. Having ideas is the easy bit. Making them happen is where the real hard slog starts.
So set aside the conspiracy theories and get sharing. It really is critical. By circulating an idea, you strengthen, build, and evolve it into a more robust thing. In short, you’re upping its chance of survival by allowing it to adapt to feedback and input. As a bonus, sharing also gets you in the habit of pitching (and defending) your idea; and the sooner you can practice conversing like an entrepreneur, the better.
2. The Alexander: Have a Cunning Plan
If planning battles was as sexy as fighting them, perhaps we would have celebrated Alexander the Great’s strategic chops as well as his swordsmanship. Whether invading Thessaly or Thebes, he knew exactly what had to be done and how to do it.
The same diligence must be applied to start-ups; and creating a business model is a great place to start. It forces you to address your shortcomings and decide whether or not you can overcome them. No idea is perfect, but deciding early on where your weaknesses are and how to conquer them is a big time and energy saver in the long run.
Creating a business model will also give you a taste for the hard work involved with starting a business. There’s a Hollywood-style myth currently doing the rounds about the start-up that gets acquired for a billion dollars after a year or so of what looks like very fun work. Start-ups are indeed fun, but it’s important to not gloss over the intense hours, sweat, and work—and the planning—they require.
3. The Galileo: Trust Your Gut
This isn’t the “are you willing to be incarcerated for your idea” test, but there is something to be said about trusting your gut. Only a lunatic would have rocked the boat as much as Galileo did without dogmatic belief in his idea.
My own “trust your gut” moment came eight months in. I’d been trying relentlessly to find partners to help me build my site. It had been fruitless and laborious and I had pretty much given up. But then I noticed a pattern. When I went out on the town, I’d find myself talking about my idea heatedly, and repeatedly. I realized pretty quickly that I couldn’t abandon it. I believed in it too much to let it slide.
4. The JFK: Up the Ante
Once JFK announced to the world that America would be the first nation to put a man on the moon, there was no turning back. An ambition had been declared and now it had to happen.
As an entrepreneur, start looking for ways to up your own ante and terrify yourself (just a little). Yes, start-ups are lean and should operate with prudence, but until you take a bold action to transport your idea from your head to the real world, it really is just an idea. Actively pursuing ways to make it real will force you to commit with new tenacity. For me, this moment came when I wrote my first check. I felt the stakes rise and my commitment triple once I paid for logo design. Until then, my idea was just an idea.
If you have a business idea of your own, these are all things you can do, and should be doing, now. They’re more than just best practices, they’re tricks to help you build confidence. And confidence counts. Having conviction in your idea and conviction that you can deliver on it is what will make “taking the plunge” feel less like a risk and more like an inevitability”. – The Muse
If you are at this point of thinking and thinking about your idea, realize you are not the only one pondering the same market problems and solutions. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, ideas are commodities. It’s only a matter of time from when someone steps forward and brings their idea into the “light” that the reality of validation can begin. Life is too short to wonder what if. Take an easy step at Startup Weekend Evansville.
The Startup Weekend Evansville judging criteria is broken up into four sections. Teams are judged according to the following criteria (weighed equally):
- Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (be it software, hardware, etc.)? *Note: an MVP is the minimal feature set to be able to start collecting data.
- How many iterations of the product have the done throughout the weekend? Successful product execution should be able to show you a roadmap of where they started and how they have collected data to evolve their product. A great SW team should be able to make it through many cycles of data collection throughout the weekend.
- Were they able to demo something functional?
Business Model Validation:
- Can you identify a clear customer segment?
- Can you identify a clear value proposition to that customer?
- How many customers did you talk to in the weekend?
- How have you validated your solution with the customers?
- How will you acquire customers?
- What differentiates your model from competitors?
- What are your users core needs?
- How many users have you engaged with?
- What feedback have you gotten to inspire your user feature set?
- Tell me based off your user insights why your product looks this way?
- Tell me based off your user insights why your product feels this way?
- Who is your team made up of?
- Why can this team take your idea to the next level?
- What has your team done this weekend to show you can go above and beyond all other startups to become successful?