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At Startup Weekend, we’re proud of the success that we’ve seen from our existing event model, but we also strive to find areas of improvement — and we always seek the direction and feedback of our community when we implement any changes. In order to keep the lines of communication open and address the needs of everyone involved in making our events a success, we’d like to invite you to take a look at our new judging criteria and send your thoughts our way.

One of our primary goals is to ensure that we not only draw a dynamic range of participants  (Developers, Designers, and Business), but also to make sure that they are supported and encouraged throughout the weekend, regardless of their skill set or background.  We believe that a more balanced judging criteria will also highlight the technical, non-tech, and design aspects that are critical to a successful, dynamic team.  After testing the new criteria out at several events this year, we’re confident it will boost the overall impact of events and help to better guide teams as they consider the different areas they should be focusing on in the hectic 54-hour time frame.

The new criteria is split into four parts:

  1. Business Model
    Can this idea make money? Is there positive customer growth or revenue? Is there a customer acquisition / rollout strategy? Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic? Is the idea/team ready for capital and execution? Would you invest in this company at this point?
  2. Customer Validation
    Did the team identify customers (demographic, location etc)? Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers? What channels of communication are used? Product/Market fit?
  3. Technical – Execution
    Is there a functional product (e.g.in the case of an app, did they build one)? Were architecture diagrams and API signatures included? Which services did they integrate with? How much of the product is running on a real server with non-sample data?
  4. Design – Execution
    Does it have a professional look and feel? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Is it memorable? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in this creative direction?

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please feel free to leave us a comment or email us at support@startupweekend.org with any feedback, questions, or concerns.

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