The Roles at Startup Weekend

Taking a page out of Alisha from Lancaster, PA’s books for this post. Reposted with permission, original here.

So. Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event where you can get a crash-course on being an entrepreneur. But how are you going to participate in Startup Weekend? There are a variety of ways anyone can participate. I had an interesting experience where I signed up to be a designer but had reservations on designing when I arrived. It was fine – I still played a part as a Project Manager and assisted with some design decisions. In other words – whatever ticket you choose, while it is very important, there are so many more ways to participate in Startup Weekend.

But that doesn’t necessarily help you decide which way you’ll sign up to participate, does it? Never fear. I’ve pulled together a little guidance on each role at Startup Weekend: Developer, Designer, and Non-technical! Also, remember, if you’re a student select “STUDENT” and pay just $50. You will be required to show Student ID at the door.

This ticket type applies to software engineers/coders/developers – in short, anybody who can and will write code.
Honestly – that description is pretty perfect. What can you expect to do at Startup Weekend, though, if you sign up as a Developer? You might start witha pitch. And then you might work with the non-technical and designer to ensure your concept is effective for completion in 54-hours and then start to code. Or maybe you don’t have an idea to pitch. Or you might pitch an idea that doesn’t make the cut Friday night. You can still join another team and work with that team to complete the idea and code during the weekend either alone or with another developer (or two)!

This ticket type applies to anybody with a background in design (graphics, UX/UI, etc.)
Again, the ticket definition hits it spot-on. Know anything about design? Great! This ticket is for you. You might spend your time creating a logo or elements of an online-tool (like buttons, etc) or even laying out pages on a site. Or creating the many graphics needed for a site. If you have some coding knowledge for design, that’s great! If you know a bit about UX/UI but can’t complete everything for it – this is the ticket for you, too! And your time to learn more about creating the best experience online. If you’d like to read more about this unique way to participate. A fellow Startup Weekend Organizer, (she’s worked on PHLSW and HEALTHPHL),Melissa Morris Ivone, wrote a great blog post on The Role of Design in Startup Weekend.

This ticket type applies to business, marketing & PR, and anyone with a non-technical background.
I love this ticket type description. It really can serve so many purposes because there are so many things to be done at Startup Weekend. It takes a great team to pull off creating a business in 54 hours. Are you a great marketer? This ticket type is for you. Do you know a lot about running a business? Or starting one, at least? This ticket type is for you. Are you a great writer? You might also make a great blogger or copywriter for a website or tool. This ticket type can also be for you! Also – don’t forget – you can pitch an idea Friday night, too. Maybe that’s what you think you’re coming with  – just an idea for a business. And that’s fine. You can watch your idea unfold in 54 hours and learn the many different things you need to get that started with a great team while helping each developer, designer, marketer to get this accomplished.

Whichever ticket type you choose, there are so many ways to participate at Startup Weekend. From Friday Night through Sunday evening. It can be as much or as little as you like – but you’ll get the experience of watching a business start faster than any other situation.

Still have questions about what ticket to buy? Or just want to say hi? Just email us at pei (at) startupweekend (dot) org (or you can click the contact button on our home page).

Stay Connected:
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Follow @PEIstartup on Twitter.

What you need to know.

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Today is a big day so we want to make sure that you have everything you need and know exactly where to get it.

1. Sponsor Tools & Resources

  • .CO:
    • SW15051274
    • Go to this link:
    • Click “I just Want A .CO”
    • Fill out basic information
    • Submit code: SW15051274
    • Good to go
    • This code is only applicable once per participant, and will only be active until the first Thursday following your event. A list of FAQ’s associated with the .CO offer can be found here:

For more information to help explain the .CO offer at your event, go to

Attendee Guide

Attendee Resources (where you can find useful tools like the Business Model Canvas)

If you’d like to know more about our sponsors, please visit this page:

2. Coaches

Coaches will be in today from 11-9pm. There will be sign-up sheets for your team to choose when you want to work with specific mentors. We’ll go over more about this around lunch time. Quick tip: sign up for mentors fast!

3. Judging Criteria: (this is the exact criteria I go over with the judges)

  1. Validation:
    1. Did the team get out and talk to customers?
    2. Are they actually solving a problem?
    3. What’s their clear value proposition to that customer?
    4. Have they identified a specific target market?
  1. Execution and Design:

.              Did they work well as a team?

  1. Did they have an MVP or prototype (paper is ok) to present?
  2. How functional was the demo?
  3. Was the usability of the product easy and friendly? Design Matters!
  1. Business Model:

.              Does their solution solve a core need/problem?

  1. Did they present a value proposition
  2. Is it unique?
  3. How will they differentiate themselves from their competition (did they identify competition)?
  4. What is the go-to-market/launch strategy?
  5. How will they make money?
  6. What is the user acquisition model?

4. Team Survey

Your project manager is responsible for filling out the Team Survey, aim to do this after dinner but be sure to complete it before 9pm. This will sign you up for Demo Presentations on Sunday. If you do not fill out the Survey, your team will not present on Sunday night.  Go to to enter your Team information.

5. Keynote Speaker & Pitch 101 & Organizers Info Session

John Rowe, President of Island Abbey Foods Ltd., is our keynote speaker and will be sharing his experiences with entrepreneurship over dinner.

Sally will offer pitch 101 following our guest speaker.

If you’re interested in helping to organize PEI’s next Startup Weekend, Sally will be giving an overview of what it takes and how to get involved!

If you have questions about anything, don’t hesitate to ask! Otherwise have a fantastic weekend, and remember NO TALK ALL ACTION!

Good luck! 


Event FAQ

Before The Weekend…

  • Is this event for me?
    Startup Weekend attendees’ backgrounds are roughly 50% technical (developers, coders, designers) and 50% business (marketing, finance, law). What unites all attendees is a common interest in entrepreneurship: whether a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, every attendee is interested in working with a like-minded, motivated and skilled team to develop a product or business in one weekend. If this sounds like you, this is the event for you!
  • Can I attend without participating on a team?
    At most Startup Weekends, a “Sunday Presentations Only” registration option is available for those wishing to view the teams’ final presentations. (Please check the registration page of your city’s website for availability.)However, apart from Organizers, selected Coaches, Speakers, and press, everyone who attends the event is expected to participate on a team. 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.
    • How do I register?
      Every Startup Weekend event has a corresponding website (typically with the URL “[city]”) with a registration page. Please see our events page at for a complete list of upcoming events.If registration is not open, ticketing has either not yet opened or is already sold out. Please respect the different event ticket types: if Business tickets are sold out and you fall into the Business category, you’ll have to wait for the next event (which won’t be far off!). This is an important part of our efforts to maintain a balance between attendees’ backgrounds/skill-sets in order to maximize the event’s value for each participant
        • Why do I pay?
          The majority of your ticket price goes towards paying the 7 meals, snacks, and drinks that we provide over the weekend. In fact, ticket sales rarely cover even such basic bottom-line costs! We rely on local sponsorships to help keep ticket prices low while keeping the value of the event high.
          • What do the multiple ticket types mean?
            As Organizers, we strive to maintain an event ratio of ‘Technical’ (i.e., those whose skill-sets include software development or coding, graphic design, etc.) and ‘Non-technical’ (i.e. those with backgrounds in business, marketing, finance, etc.) participants. One of our most consistent pieces of feedback is that this ratio is of the utmost importance to ensuring a high-quality event for everyone.Therefore, we ask that you only purchase tickets in the category which describes your background.
            • What should I bring?
              • Laptop
              • Power cord
              • Business cards
              • Camera – take pictures and video!
              • A second monitor, keyboard, etc…. set yourself up to be productive!
              • Lots of creative energy
          • How do I prepare?Do some research into startup tools and best practices to get ready to rock the weekend – start with our database of resources at Make sure you get lots of rest prior to the event, and finally – tell your friends!If you plan on pitching an idea:
            • Do as much research/preparation around your idea as you feel is necessary to give a persuasive pitch and attract a team.
            • Boil the idea down to the basics: with 60 seconds, you only really have time for a hook, so pull out the most attractive key points of the idea and forget the rest.
            • Practice your pitch using a timer!


More questions?  Check out:

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