Day 2 of Startup Weekend

day 2

The second day of Startup weekend was an open space for the participants to work within their teams to validate their ideas and create a business concept out of it, it also consisted of one workshop, which was delivered by Ahmed Alrawi, the CEO of Malaeb App, about creating your wining pitch presentation.

The participants also had the chance to meet the mentors and benefit from their experiences in startups, the mentors were Srusti Ranjan the Co-Founder of 4Spots, Gamal Magdy the Technical Evangelist – Microsoft Bahrain and Oman, Shijaz Abdulla the Principle Solution Specialist – Microsoft Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, Murali Kamath the Marketing Director – Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Bahrain, Mohammed Toraif the Chief Executive Officer –, Ali Mahmood the Founder of Vibe Media.

Alongside the previously mentioned, there were three additional mentors who were also interviewed, Hassan Hamad the founder and lead creative of Vibe Media, Yonis Attiya the Creative Director of Limefish Design, and Shahd AlZaki, the Founder & Creative Director of Mievento Creative Hub.

When interviewed, Hassan Hamad was asked about the reason why he chose to mentor this year again, was because it is something important for both startup community and tech community, and the difference that he saw this year is that it is a bit more quiet as the participants are more focused on their teams and their work, and when asked about his experience as a mentor so far he said it was nice and it makes him feel older than he actually is because of the way people talk to him.

Yonis Attiya, the creative director of Limefish Design, who is also a returning mentor from last year, chose to mentor this year because he loves learning and teaching in the same time and he can do both by mentoring, even though he is not participating he is getting a lot of inspiration and ideas, also, he can share his experience and expertise with the teams and help them develop themselves, especially when he sees the members who were participating last year caming back this year, and he can see the level of development they went through and it makes him happy to see the impact he can bring to different individuals, he is happy to see that the ideas are better and stronger every year and people are aware of how innovation works and they have more insight on what is going on around and they came ready for the next challenge.

As for Shahd AlZaki, the Founder & Creative Director of Mievento Creative Hub, who is mentoring in Startup Weekend for the first time, and that was the reason why she chose to mentor this year, as it is a very new experience for her and she loves being around startup entrepreneurs and startup businesses, and give them a little bit of her experience as a startup and try to help them avoid making the same mistakes she did when she started so they start on the right path, they also motivate her and have her go back to the basics, regarding the ideas, she mentioned that some ideas are very creative and needed in the market at this time, not necessarily Bahrain but the GCC which means they have higher potential to scale which is good.

When the mentors were asked to provide an advise for the participants, Hassan advised: “Focus on the pitch,  whatever that you do, whatever that you create, validation is one of the most important things, getting something that looks like an app but not necessarily is the app is just good enough, you need to show people the possibilities, it shouldn’t be an entire app that you created over a weekend, it is technically impossible in this day and age, considering the complexity of these things, do not waste your time trying to fulfill things that are not on the list, the main thing that you need to focus on is your priorities, you build your priority list in the beginning of your project and it all needs to tie down to the end result which is a successful pitch that will help you win.”

When Yonis was asked about his advice, he said: “You have to focus on the presentation as it is the most important thing in how you look like and how you present, and as a designer this is what I would care about and be careful of, because people in this region really care about how you look like, so your brand, name, how you look like, and the colors you use in your website, they have a psychological effect on persuading the public if your idea is working or not, a lot, other than the actual numbers you have and the information you are communicating.”

As for Shahad, her advice to the participants is: “Take the words of the judges out of your head and do not let them get to you, to a level where you forget your ideas and why you are here, just focus on why are you doing this and your passion and your idea, develop it in the right way, be very organized, manage your time carefully because you have a very limited time, and focus on your presentation because it is all about how you can sell it, you can sell the air to the judges if you believe you can make it happen.”

So what is the key to winning Startup Weekend? It is all about an amazing pitch that explains your business concept, validate it and convince the judges with it!

Day 1 of Startup Weekend

day 1

The 54 hours of startup weekend started on December 8th, 2016 at 6 PM, with more than 50 participants attending and 19 pitches presented, each pitch had 60 seconds to sell their ideas to the audience, some of the pitches are Aqar call, Almoalem, Buy for me and Mulakhas. The participants voted their top 10 pitches that had the chance to create teams and start turning their ideas into a winning business concept that is scheduled to be presented on Saturday 7 PM.
Continue reading “Day 1 of Startup Weekend”

Six fashion tech ideas developed in 54 hours: Startup Weekend Fashion Santa Cruz 2016

Startup Weekend Fashion Santa Cruz 2016 (#swfashionscz), held on December 2-4, 2016 on Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia at the Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (UPSA) and the Fundación Trabajo Empresa (FTE).

26 participants, who presented 23 ideas, formed 6 teams: Fashow, Coco, Imagoguru, Bijoumaker, Makipage, Manilla SOS.

This event is part of the Global Fashion Battle 2017 (, a global competition and incubation program for the fashion and technology sector, where 11 cities worldwide participate this year. Startup Weekend Fashion Santa Cruz 2016 was the local event here in Bolivia that seeks the startup team to participate in the GFB2017 (#gfb2017) Final to be held in New York in April 2017.

These teams worked for 54 hours this weekend, and supported by mentors and coaches, developed business models, validated with the market and created technological products. On Sunday they made their final appearances before a select group of juries, who declared as winners the following teams:

Continue reading “Six fashion tech ideas developed in 54 hours: Startup Weekend Fashion Santa Cruz 2016”

What the hell is a Startup Weekend?

A few members of the Derby startup community are putting on the first ever Startup Weekend Derby but not everyone has heard of this type of event called a “Startup Weekend”. Sounds interesting but aren’t entirely sure what it is, allow me to change your life!

What is a Startup Weekend ?

A Startup Weekend is a get together of people who want to work together and build something. They may have an idea, a dream or just a desire to help build something new. Over the weekend ideas are pitched, selected, validated, prototyped and presented. All with the help of each other and some battle hardened industry experts acting as mentors for the weekend. Finally on Sunday evening people present their business to a panel of Judges, a winner is selected and everyone celebrates a great weekend.

No Talk, All Action

Startup Weekends are different to conferences and talks, this is a practical event where participants learn through action, with help and guidance of our coaches. You don’t get to sit down and listen, you have to participate and be involved.

Does it have to be an online business ?

NO! Lots of people do online sites etc but teams work on physical products such as food and drinks or even services. I’ve even seen a cheap water filtration system for the 3rd world being built as a social enterprise business.

Sounds interesting right! So how does the weekend actually work?

Friday: Everyone gets together for some food and networking. A wise entrepreneur will tell a tales of toil and plight that ends in ultimate triumph. This leads onto a fun idea pitching warm up that prepares people for the main event the “Pitchfire”. If you have an idea this is your chance to pitch the room and hopefully get selected to form a team. You only 60 seconds per pitch so keep it concise and let people know what you need help with.

Once everyone who wants to pitch has had their 60 seconds worth its time to network, talk and cast votes on your favourite ideas. Then the topmost ideas get to form teams where ideally you want a selection of skills such as a designer, developer, marketer to help bring the idea to life. Even if you idea did not get through you can still form a team if you can get at least three people to agree to join forces.

With a team formed its time to go home and try and calm your over excited brain down and to try and coax it to sleep ready for Saturday.

Team forming, can I go with a pre existing team? Yes, you can but the rule is you must not have worked on the idea before. Most people go as an individual though or with friends but without a set idea.

Saturday : You have and idea and a team now what. The mantra for the weekend is ”No talk, all action” so its time to get out and validate your idea. Although you do need to talk we want to make sure your idea solves a problem that people have, so you need to know what problem is that your idea solves. Who is it that experiences this problem and where would you come across them on the weekend? Its time to get out and speak to the public about the problem NOT the solution. Note down the stories and then get back together as a team to share your research.

Do people have this problem your idea solves? If not maybe the research highlights something similar that you can “PIVOT” to? If they do its time to start doing some prototyping, research on possible rivals, research, etc.

Sunday : Time to carry on where you left off, if you have some product prototypes show them off. If you have no prototypes now is the time to build them. Try and find some people from your target market again and get some feedback. Would people actually hand over some hard earned cash for this? You get some Google Adwords credits and a free domain in your pack for the weekend, use them to create a marketing site and see what kind of engagement you get.

Remember you have a presentation looming at the end of the day so you also need to start laying down some slides about the problem, your solution, the market research and how the business would work.

Try and rehearse your presentation and get some feedback before you do it for real.

Sunday evening : time for everyone to get together and marvel at what each other has achieved. Each team puts on a short presentation followed by a Q&A session with the judges. After every teams presented, the judges go off to confer and you get to eat and wait. The winners are announced and its time to relax, chat and celebrate an amazing weekend with your new friends.

Did I mention that Derby is having its first ever startup weekend this March? If all of this sounds like something you’d like to be part of, tickets are now available to secure your spot at the event.

Get your tickets here!

5 Startups Who Used Startup Weekend as a Launchpad for Success

Over the years we’ve seen hundreds of startups launched at Startup Weekend, covering an overwhelming number of different industries and verticals.

I’ve personally seen social enterprises helping the less fortunate both at home and abroad, the birth of innovative new platforms for crowdfunding local live-music and even new brands of food and drink, all of whom managed the seemingly impossible – launching a successful company in just three days.

But this is what Startup Weekend is all about.

It’s about empowering individuals like you, dear reader, to take the leap, to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, to bring your ideas to life. To start something that has the potential to not only survive beyond our sterile testing area at Startup Weekend Derby, but to thrive out in the real world and become a great business.

And this is actually very possible! Over the years, many of the companies launched at Startup Weekend events worldwide have continued their work after the weekends festivities, hiring new employees, raising investment rounds and increasing revenues tenfold in the following weeks and months after launch.

In fact, somewhere around 11% of Startup Weekend startups go on to achieve ‘success’ (a very broad definition, but nonetheless…), and just for you I’ve curated a few of the best examples from both overseas events, and some who started a little closer to home.


If you’ve ever worked with a multitude of different web apps, you’ll probably have come across Zapier before. Zapier allows you to connect different web applications together to create cross-functionality that previously would only have been possible with highly technical knowledge.

The cool thing is, Zapier was actually started as a project at Startup Weekend Columbia way back in 2011 and the founding team are still together, albeit bolstered by a team of 54 remote workers living all across the globe.

Not bad for a weekend project, right?


OK, confession on my part – I’m a bit of a nerd and video games have been my jam since I was a wee lad (I even built 3D environments for games for a while), so LootCrate are an essential on our list of successful Startup Weekend alumni.

Founded at Startup Weekend Los Angeles in 2012, LootCrate offer a monthly subscription box service which delivers awesome gamer, geek and tech swag straight to your door. The key component which sets them apart? Unlike other subscription-box services who focus on providing samples in each box, LootCrate sends full products like figurines, t-shirts, food and more, providing amazing value to their customers.

Since launching, the team have been crazy successful, increasing their subscriber base tenfold in the few months after Startup Weekend LA and now servicing millions of fan worldwide. Kick-ass.


OK, time to feature some homegrown talent on our list. Founded in 2014 after a successful run at Startup Weekend Sheffield, Airstoc are building the first dedicated marketplace for professional aerial-drone footage.

As a fast-growing and controversial new area of technology, the team behind Airstoc are making good use of their first-mover advantage by going on to raise multiple funding rounds and begin hiring to expand their team.

Just goes to show, you don’t have to be a well connected tech bod from California to achieve great things after Startup Weekend!

Spare Change

Another more recent alumnus of Startup Weekend Sheffield, Spare Change are a social enterprise on a mission to help solve the problems faced by homeless people in the UK. Founded in June 2016, Spare Change received mentorship by DotForge Accelerator after winning Startup Weekend to help them develop their business.

They’ve now become deeply involved with many communities and charitable organisations in their region to continue learning, start growing the company and carry on building out a solution that truly helps homeless individuals.


Finishing off our micro-list of awesome Startup Weekend alumni are Launchrock. These guys began their journey at Startup Weekend Philadelphia in 2011 taking 2nd place at the event with a platform to build landing pages and hype around pre-launch companies – very meta at a Startup Weekend!

Since that weekend, Launchrock have helped thousands of people launch their businesses, raising a solid round of seed funding and eventually being acquired only three years later.

With Startup Weekend Derby looming ever closer, now’s the time to start thinking about your ideas, practicing your 60-second pitch and thinking about who you’ll need on your team to have a successful weekend.

Even if you idea isn’t picked, find something you like the sound of and don’t stop once the weekend is over! Keep going, keep working and become one of our 11% who go on to achieve great things!

Not bought your ticket yet? Hurry over to our ticketing page and pick one up, Early Bird discounts are still running until early January!

Gaming wars: Augmented reality vs. virtual reality

Technology is growing and dynamically changing rapidly; particularly in the gaming industry, more things are possible today in contrast to during the 90s no matter how best we tried to make it happen. Flash forward today, some of the most creative inventions are emerging to the frontline of the technology industry through Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Even though my interest lies in B2B solutions, we really can’t ignore the gaming industry and what the future holds for gaming consumers.

Augmented and virtual reality both have one thing in common. They both have the unimaginable ability to alter our perception of the physical world. Where they differ, however, is the perception of our presence. What I mean by that is, when it comes to gaming, Virtual Reality overrules Augmented Reality. Even though the latter is more successful than the former in the commercial industry.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite game was Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines. Remember the game? Let us discuss a simple scenario based on that game in a AR/VR setting. You’re a soldier and you are required to make it across a military designated island base, further into enemy lines to retrieve some information. The developer can not only create the entire island to a specification but also add hindrances and obstacles along the way, for examples, exploding barrels, vehicles that are subject to bullet damage and explode, anything you can basically think of.

However, in augmented reality all that level of control is gone, poof! Take that game developed for instance, and immerse it in AR, as you play you constantly have to be mindful not to knock thongs down or hit actual walls of your rooms. This without a doubt is a bummer, one would have to design a real physical world, maybe outside for them to incorporate a game like this one, but then you will need huge amounts of space to play role playing games and military campaign games. That‘ll probably suck!

AR is good for plenty, but just not traditional games

That fact that control of the environment had been removed, puts augmented reality in a disadvantage. Sure you can talk to people on social media while taking a walk in the mornings or evenings down the street, that’s 100% okay, innovative and super but in gaming, AR just got a zero score. Games and stories pretty much require control and AR cannot afford it (yet). No one like revolving about the same spot 10-15 times in different games – unless you are a Pokemon fan who like to stay in one place all day long.

In games where you require a lot of creativity like strategy games then AR would cruise through without much value added, just not the traditional story based games. Another example of a great use of augmented reality: a visual task that doesn’t really need to progress or change as you use it.

Remember all the startup ideas you heard about skill sharing? Maybe it’s time to step up the game. One case could be people building PCs, AR provides the opportunity for tutors and tech-savvy individuals to share info about where which piece will go into a certain slot, or plumbing services how to fix the sink pipes. To add another example, you could teach someone how to play piano better by projecting onto the keys how to make that wonderful note like the famous Beethoven. In many fields, except gaming that is, this tech could quite literally transform everything.


To whoever will win this argument in the future, the answer could probably be based on one’s perception. But in the near future, VR will probably become the most dominant form of gaming, because simply the technology developing it is highly advanced than AR. However, as AR mechanics are improved, remember they are much younger than VR, in the coming years, we will likely see more successes. Indeed there could be room for both in the near future.

This blog post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

¿Qué es una Startup o negocio emergente?

Seguramente has escuchado la palabra “startup” más de una vez y te has preguntado… ¿qué es eso?

Pues déjame decirte que no eres el único que se hace esta pregunta. Hace un par de semanas, con unos amigos, hicimos unas giras en diferentes universidades y centros educativos para invitar a estudiantes y docentes a un evento de emprendimiento que se llama Startup Weekend en San Pedro Sula. Para nuestra sorpresa, muchos de ellos nos quedaban viendo como si no tuvieran idea de lo que estábamos hablando.

Es allí cuando se me ocurrió preguntarles si sabían ¿qué es una Startup? La mayoría no tenía ni idea de lo que significaba. Pero cuando les pregunté que si conocían empresas como Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb… todos levantaron su mano y les expliqué que todas esas empresas iniciaron siendo startups antes de convertirse en compañías multimillonarias.

Podría decirse que este desconocimiento es algo normal, ya que el término “startup” es relativamente nuevo en nuestro país. A pesar de que en los países desarrollados y en varios países de Latinoamérica ya se ha forjado un sólido ecosistema de startups o “negocios emergentes”, en Honduras ha comenzado un poco tarde pero con gran fuerza.


Ahora bien, definamos claramente lo que es una startup o negocio emergente. Las startups están fuertemente asociadas con temas como la innovación y la tecnología, ya que esto es lo que las hace crecer rápidamente y les da la posibilidad de escalar; es decir, de replicarse en varias regiones o globalmente a un costo muy bajo, pero pudiendo obtener grandes ganancias.


Además, son empresas que tienen mucha flexibilidad en cuanto a la propuesta de valor que hacen a sus clientes; ya que están haciendo validaciones de su producto o servicio constantemente para buscar maneras de lograr generar una mayor demanda y satisfacer los requerimientos del mercado de la mejor manera. Esto resulta en que su diseño, funcionalidad y comercialización están totalmente orientados al cliente, para ayudarle a resolver un problema del cual tal vez ni él mismo se haya percatado aún.

Otra importante característica de las startups, es que generalmente comienzan con un equipo pequeño pero multidisciplinario; es decir, que desempeñan diferentes roles en su empresa de acuerdo a sus habilidades y aptitudes; pero en un ambiente de equidad y colaboración, enfocándose en una sola misión. Entre los roles clave con los cuales debe contar una startup para echar a andar, están: desarrollador o programador, diseñador, loco soñador, financiero o de negocios y alguien de marketing.

Roles Startups

Ya que estas empresas comienzan con un presupuesto limitado o prácticamente inexistente, buscan lugares de trabajo que requieran una mínima inversión, como: su propio hogar, incubadoras o aceleradoras de negocios como es el caso de StartupSPS, espacios de cotrabajo (o coworking) como Urban Office, oficinas compartidas con otras empresas emergentes y la opción más tradicional, en centros de negocios. Estos espacios pueden ser ya sea de iniciativa privada o pública. En Honduras, el gobierno está apoyando cada vez más este tipo de iniciativas; ya que se ha dado cuenta que este es un motor de desarrollo y empleo sostenible para impulsar la economía del país por medio de la innovación tecnológica.

Así mismo, las universidades también están buscando la manera de fomentar este tipo de empresas emergentes en nuestra ciudad. Tal es el caso de UNITEC, la cual ha abierto un HUB de Emprendimiento en su Campus de San Pedro Sula. Josué Reyes, quien es el Coordinador de Emprendimiento de esta universidad, comenta “Este HUB tiene como objetivo brindar un espacio para la creación y desarrollo de ideas permitiendo a los estudiantes ser parte de un proceso de incubación, coworking y networking.”

Equipos Multidiciplinarios

Finalmente, me gustaría resaltar algunas características del los emprendedores de negocios emergentes o startups:

  • A pesar de que pueden ser de cualquier edad, en nuestro país lo vemos principalmente en la generación de los millenials; ya que al día de hoy, han sido los más expuestos a las herramientas tecnológicas y que se encuentran en edad productiva.
  • Estos emprendedores tecnológicos se adaptan fácilmente a los cambios y son muy curiosos, están constantemente buscando tutoriales y contenido en línea.
  • Son inquietos y tenaces; generalmente, no se conforman con facilidad.
  • Siempre están buscando la manera de aprender, ya sea de forma autodidacta o en comunidad, asistiendo a eventos de emprendimiento y haciendo networking.
  • Se enfocan en innovar de alguna u otra forma, y en buscar la mejor solución posible a problemas que muchos ni saben que existen o de los cuales no se han percatado aún.
  • Son adictos al fracaso, no les da miedo fracasar, saben que a través de los errores es como mejor se aprende y que cada fracaso representa una nueva oportunidad; una nueva forma de ver las cosas y de hacer las cosas mejor, con más sabiduría.
  • Les gustan los retos y se enfocan en sus clientes; tienen un alto nivel de energía y un fuerte liderazgo.

Y tú… ¿te sientes identificado con algunas de estas características?

Características de los emprendedores


En conclusión, el desarrollo de startups o negocios emergentes es una tendencia que recientemente ha tomado mucha importancia en nuestro país. Y a pesar de que enfrenta muchas limitantes como la falta de inversionistas ángel, y un débil pero emergente ecosistema emprendedor, está abriendo camino a la revolución digital y al desarrollo de Honduras; brindando provechosos conocimientos y facilitando valiosas herramientas a una comunidad emprendedora cada vez más grande, fuerte e interconectada.

Negocios Emergentes

FAQ Startup Weekend Bratislava 7

Before the Weekend

If you want make a picture how SW looks like, visit our gallery here 

Is this event for me?

If you are interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most likely yes. Startup Weekend attendee backgrounds are roughly 30% technical (developers, coders) and 30 % business (marketing, finance, law) and 30% design (UX, designers)  Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas you’ll fit right in.

Do I have to participate all three days?

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.

How do I register?

Please, visit or

Can I pay at the door?

You cannot pay at the door of the event. Organizers need to order the food, T-shirts and supplies in advance to meet the needs of the weekend. If you are unable to pay online, reach out to the local organizers to arrange payment at

Do I need a team?

You can come with your own team, or form your own team there. Or you can just join another team with a project you like.

What ticket type should I purchase to pitch an idea?

Pitching is open to every attendee!

What are the accommodations for the event?

Startup Weekend is 54 hours long hackathon. The venue will open 24 hours, but there is no dedicated sleeping area. If you are not from Bratislava we suggest you to arrange some accommodation.

Do I have to pitch an idea to attend?

No. But 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.

Where can I find a schedule for the event?

Schedule is on the website

What should I bring?


Power cord

Optional: A second monitor, keyboard, etc…. set yourself up to be productive!

Lots of creative energy!

How do I prepare?

Do some research. Market research and background information will give you a better understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve.

Practice your pitch. You’ll have 60 seconds to persuade other attendees to join your team. Make it clear, concise, and convincing!

Get familiar with our tools for the weekend, head over to

Get some rest.

Bring a friend! Events are better with good company.

What is the refund policy?

The short answer is we do not refund tickets the week before the event so that organizers can order and plan for food and supplies. See our Refund Policy for full details.

During the Weekend

Is there a food during all weekend?

Yes. We are starting with dinner on Friday. During Saturday and Sunday, there is breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also vegetarian version.

We also provide free beers, coffee, and energy drinks during all weekend.   

What happens on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday?


Participants arrive between 5-7 PM, begin networking, and eat dinner.

After an ice-breaking game and a short introduction by the Facilitator, there will typically be 1 short speaker talk on practical topics ranging from Pitching Best Practices to Lean Startup Methodology and more. Then the “Pitchfire” will commence: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch. No presentations or props needed for Friday, it will just be you and a mic. After pitches are finished, all attendees will vote on their favorites and using these votes the top ideas will be selected to be worked on over the weekend. Teams will form organically, consolidate, and begin working.


Teams will work all day, with the occasional breaks to eat or listen to 1-2 short talks. Coaches will be circulating to provide advice in the field of their expertise for those teams that want it.


Teams will work uninterrupted from morning until mid-afternoon. They’ll begin wrapping up their product/prototype and presentation around 4 PM to do tech-checks and practice their demonstration. After all Judges have arrived presentations will begin. Each team typically has 4 minutes plus 3 minutes Q&A from the judges (this varies occasionally.) The judges will select the top teams, give out prizes, and the event ends (and after party begins!)

What types of ideas can I pitch?

Any business ideas are eligible (whether for profit, ‘social’ businesses, nonprofit organizations, etc.), however the event is strongly tech-oriented. Approximately 80% of all ideas are mobile or web focused, and given the short time-frame, we strongly recommend that even non-tech ideas focus on a tech-related deliverable (i.e., website) by Sunday.

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.

Can I pitch my existing business?

No. But you can pitch some spin-off or new project related to your business.

How do I protect against people stealing my idea?

The short answer is that you can’t. If you’re very concerned, you can limit your pitch to the rough outline of the idea without giving away key information.The longer answer is that this is not something worth worrying about. Unless you are confident your idea is a ‘key-in-hand’, easy-to-implement innovation that hasn’t been thought of yet, the advantages gained from getting broad-based feedback and a strong team motivated by collective ownership far outweigh the remote risks of someone stealing and executing on your idea. The truth is that over 90% of ideas pitched at any given Startup Weekend have already been pitched – probably many times – in the past. This doesn’t imply that the idea isn’t a good one, but rather that what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea. “One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion”

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.

Am I expected to work for 54 hours?

No, but you can. We provide free coffee and energy drinks 🙂

What resources/assistance is provided over the weekend?

A key part of every Startup Weekend is the valuable advice and assistance provided by the event’s Speakers and Coaches. In the spirit of “No Talk, All Action” we try to keep talks short and sweet, focusing on practical issues that can actually help you and your team better achieve your weekend goals. Mentors – community experts in various fields ranging from entrepreneurship, software development, marketing, finance, law, and more – dedicate their time to providing advice and actually rolling up their sleeves and working with teams.In addition to the most valuable resources at the weekend (the people), we’ve also put together a list of some of the most useful resources in all startup-related fields, for both before, during, and after the weekend. Check out We also provide free .CO domain and web hosting for every team.

How do teams address the issue of Intellectual Property/ownership?

As with any startup, the team decides. Startup Weekend doesn’t support or take part in the signing of any legal documents at the events themselves, and while Mentors with legal backgrounds are often present and able to give general advice, they are not permitted to give specific legal counsel. While it doesn’t hurt to be clear about your individual expectations from the start, we’ve found that teams who don’t spend time addressing this issue until it actually matters (i.e., there is a tangible product to have ownership of) are much more productive and successful than those who do.

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?)

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.

Prices for winners?

We have cash price for the winner 1000 euro.

Some other prices are:

– team coworking space for 3 months

– cloud web hosting

– law services

– UX services

– books and merchandise from our partners

– free taxi vouchers

– promo from our media partners

After the Weekend

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.

Life after Startup Weekend: 2015 First Finalist


Pick a Dive, consisting of co-founders Moayyed Mugabi and Mahdi Algasab, were 2015’s Startup Weekend second prize winner. An interview was conducted with Mr. Moayyed Mugabi, the co-founder of Pick a Dive to know more about the team’s journey and what happened so far.



Who are Pick a Dive?

Pick a dive is an online platform that allows divers to book diving lessons and trips, and match divers with other diviners and diving centers.

How did you come up with the winning concept?

It was not just a winning concept for co-founder, Mahdi Algasab, and I, however a Billion Dollar dream. We came up with the idea few months prior to Startup Weekend, and it seemed like a good opportunity to get things started and let the journey begin.

The winning concept of Startup Weekend is simple, although every effort counts, it is not about how good your app looks or how promising an idea could be, it is about proving your idea works and that is what we did in spite of having the worst presentation and the lack of design. All we had was a form showing our process in a simple way and that was our MVP (Minimum viable product). We proved our idea works and we won second place cash prize that weekend!

How has your journey been with your business since startup weekend?

Our journey to be a Billion Dollar company has just begun, it has been a year and we had our fair share of ups and downs, accompanied with a lot of disappointments. The past year has felt like an eternity, however, we have a vision to dominate the diving industry and become the “” of diving and we are determined to make it happen. Things have been going very well lately, especially the past couple of months, and we are on the right track hopefully.

Where are they today?

Today, we are very well known within the diving industry internationally and everyone is looking forward to see what we have in store for them.

What would you have done differently?

I believe that what has been done, has been done, therefore we have no regrets at all.  However, next time the difference would be winning the first prize I guess! What we have done in Startup Weekend was considered “EPIC” with our idea being a bit out of the box and targeting a market unknown to most participants and most of them were hesitant to join us, ending up with one developer who left us the next day to join another team. We had to resort to calling one of our friends, Hussain Aldurazi, who was of great help.

I would say, that what I would do differently next time is to form the whole team during Startup Weekend and choose my team members carefully. Yes, I will be participating in the next Startup Weekend with another great idea!

Thank You to Our Amazing Sponsors!

Experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. 
Meet the very best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started.
The hardest part of starting up is starting out. At Startup Weekend, you’ll be immersed in the ideal environment for startup magic to happen!

Startup Weekend Vancouver is a volunteer-run event, and we couldn’t have done it with the support of all our amazing sponsors:

Launch Academy is  Western Canada’s leading tech startup hub and early-stage incubator where you Launch your amazing idea off the ground, accelerate your startup to success, connect with Vancouver’s largest community of mentors, investors and thriving entrepreneurs, and Get Sh!t Done!

Since 2012 Launch Academy has helped 1000+ entrepreneurs, incubated 420+ early-stage startups, that collectively raised $80+ million and added 700+ jobs to the economy.

Lighthouse Labs was created as an experiment in 2013 by a group of software developers with a passion for code, mentorship, and education. Their mission: to continuously find the best ways to train the next generation of developers and to transform the way tech education is delivered. 

Square is one service for your entire business, from secure credit card processing – including EMV – to point of sale solutions.

Wantoo is a simple, powerful cloud-based platform that makes it easy to listen, analyze, and act on feedback from your team, your customers or anyone else.

MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP (MLT) is an expertise-based, full-service law firm of approximately 145 lawyers serving clients across Western Canada from offices in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. MLT has been practicing in the west since 1920 and has in-depth knowledge of the region’s business, legal and political landscapes.

Small Business BC (SBBC) is British Columbia’s premiere resource center for knowledge-based business products and services. SBBC’s core activities are supported by funds from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Ministry of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch. 

Dayboard is a web app that helps teams and individuals build self-awareness and encourage attention management at work. It replaces your browser’s new tab page with a minimalist to do list, blocks distracting sites, and provides a team dashboard for accountability and visibility. Dayboard currently serves over 30,000 users worldwide.

iQmetrix we are passionate about retail. Our purpose is to create great experiences for retailers, their employees and the end consumer. Our products bridge the gap between physical and virtual retail channels, offering the latest in retail management and customer experience technology.Spring is the startup school that teaches entrepreneurs how. Whether you are just beginning your journey or looking to grow, Spring provides the tools to build a successful business.

New Ventures BC’s annual business competition – awarding $300,000 of cash and prizes – launches next March. In the meantime, check out their new accelerator programs, which are designed for early stage ventures. 

Draper University, based in San Mateo, is an institution backed by some of the most established names in the industry including Tim Draper, Mark Andreesen and Mark Benioff as well as boasting students from over 53 different countries with $24,000,000 raised in funding by alumni.

Foodee is a corporate meal delivery service. We make it easy for companies to order from top local restaurants for meetings and work events by providing a large variety of carefully curated menus through our online ordering platform.

Spring is the startup school that teaches entrepreneurs how. Whether you are just beginning your journey or looking to grow, Spring provides the tools to build a successful business.

Creative Tim offers Bootstrap based design elements that speed up your development work. From plugins to complex kits, we have everything you need.

Blinkist is an app that gives you key ideas from bestselling nonfiction books distilled into powerful short reads or listens for your mobile device.

Daily Hive is a leading digital publication with a hyper-local focus, dedicated to connecting you to your city.

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