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American Idol Judges

We know the judges will love all of you and your ideas. But we also want you to be prepared and know what your product will be judged on, so we’ve broken it down for you in this post.

The Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 4 criteria (weighed equally):

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?


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Amy Huffman



  • Debbie Henton

    Thank you for this. You answered my questions perfectly.