Organizer FAQ

Event management

Q: How long do I have to wait to hear back after applying to become an organizer?

A: We aim to respond to every applicant within 72 business hours, excluding major regional public holidays. If you’ve not heard anything back from our team within 72 hours, please feel free to reach out to us at help@techstars.com.

Q: I want to organize an event, but I have some questions before I apply.

A: We’d love to talk with you more about what you have in mind and answer any questions you might have. Please contact us at help@techstars.com, give us a little background about your questions, and tell us how we can help. The Techstars community support contact for your region will get in touch with you and schedule a call if need be. 

Q: How do I apply?

A: Before you apply, please review the Startup Week organizer requirements and make sure that you qualify to become an organizer. If you qualify, and you agree to our organizer rules, please fill out our application form

Q: Can I organize this by myself? 

A: Regardless of how capable you are, we will not approve anyone to run a Startup Week by themselves. It takes around six months for 8 to 10 core team members to plan a Startup Week. This doesn’t include all the additional volunteer roles that will need to be filled. You’ll need a team that can help coordinate all the moving parts of organizing the event. Learn more about forming a team and the recommended roles and responsibilities the team need to cover. 

Q: What if someone in the team quits? 

A: It’s hard work to organize a Startup Week. Form a team with those who you trust will see the event through to the end. We recognize that unexpected things happen that lead to team members needing to drop out. We expect those who need to decommit from their roles to communicate this with their teams as soon as they can, so that teams can find someone else who can help support. Set these expectations with team members from the start. 

Q: Can Techstars help me with a visa to organize a Startup Week in another country?

A: No. Organizers are expected to be connected to and want to support their local community. We also do not provide visa assistance to those who want to attend a Startup Week in another country. 

Q: What tools does Techstars provide to help us organize our Startup Week?

A: Techstars provides the event platform that you will use for ticket registration and event information, a primary planning guide, organizer checklist, email templates, a brand kit, sponsorship outreach, a quick reference guide, sponsorship deck and more. See our list of available tools and resources.

Q: Can we charge for tickets?

A: Unless otherwise agreed upon with your Techstars community support contact, all Startup Weeks must be free to all attendees. This is the most effective way to be inclusive and really help grow networks and stimulate innovation within the community.

Q: How do I create my event website? 

A: We provide you with the platform to create your own event website. You’ll be able to set up your ticket registration and host event information and schedule on the same platform. See our step-by-step guide on how to set up your event website. 

Q: How many attendees should we aim for? 

A: Startup Week can be anywhere from 500 to 5000 attendees depending on the size of your city, how developed the ecosystem is, and the number of times you’ve held a Startup Week in your city. First time organizers (for first time Startup Weeks in a city) should consider the event a success if you have 500 attendees. Next time will be bigger!

Q: Can I see an example event schedule? 

A: Yes. You can see an example event schedule in your Primary Planning Guide. Remember, you should create your event schedule in your event management platform so that you’re able to publish this to your participants when ready.

Q: Can I change the number of days that my Startup Week will run?

A: We’ve found that five days is the perfect length of time for a community to come together to celebrate their entrepreneurial ecosystem. You may extend the five days to seven days if you’re planning activities over a weekend to allow for those that cannot attend during the week to be a part of the event. Any longer, and you might not be able to source enough tracks and events, and there’s the chance of ‘event fatigue’ among attendees. Any shorter, and you might lose the value of running a five-day event, not giving everyone in the community an opportunity to participate and attend. Please reach out to your Techstars community support contact to discuss if you have questions. 

Q: I need to cancel my event. How do I do this? 

A: Please contact your Techstars community support contact as soon as you find out that you need to cancel your event. We’ll first discuss options to see how we can help get the team back on track. If necessary, we can help you cancel or postpone your event and discuss possible future dates to hold your event instead. 

Q: How do I recruit attendees to attend my event? 

A: You encourage people to attend by generating excitement and educating potential attendees on the impact and value of attending a Startup Week. We provide promotional materials and strategies to help you with this.  

Q: Can I build my own event website? 

A: As part of your licencing agreement, you have to agree to use our event management platform. Part of participating in a Startup Week is that participants receive a tailored experience that they don’t find anywhere else. The event platform is customizable so that you can bring your own authentic content to the site, while adhering to our branding rules and guidelines.

Q: Can you provide clear messaging around what Techstars and Techstars Startup Week is? 

A: Yes. It’s extremely important to communicate a consistent message to potential participants, sponsors, mentors, judges, your speaker, and everyone else who you are asking to be a part of your event. See our messaging guidelines

Q: I’ve never had to raise sponsorship before. How do I do this?

A: Organizing a Startup Week is a great educational experience to learn how to raise sponsorship. We provide sponsorship outreach email templates, outreach strategies, as well as a sponsorship deck with pre-filled information about the mission, values, and impact of Techstars Startup Week, and the value of sponsoring a Startup Week. Read all about our recommended best practices for raising sponsorship

Q: How does one set up a legal entity?

A: You may need to establish a separate legal entity for business operations if you’re unable to use an existing entity. If need be, consult a legal advisor who can donate their time to help guide your business operations, but there should be plenty of information available relevant to your country and region. You can reach out to your Techstars community support contact for more information and guidance. Please note that Techstars Startup Week cannot provide financial or legal advice to organizing teams.

Q: What happens in case of an emergency?

A: No two events are the same, and therefore it is impossible to control every detail.  The key to dealing with emergencies is to be flexible and resilient. Prepare for what you can, and calmly and efficiently deal with what you can’t. Emergencies can take many forms, like someone falling ill, an electrical storm cutting the power to your venue, or an act of violence. Having an event emergency plan should lead to better outcomes and a safer environment for everyone. We recommend that you reach out to the venue and review their emergency plan. The plan should include the location of emergency exits, how to contact emergency personnel, and what to do in case of a medical emergency, fire, etc. Please read our complete guidelines on emergencies

Q: How do I find out if my event was a success?

A: To determine event success you will need to define what success looks like to you. From the get-go, you should identify the metrics that you’ll use to evaluate the success of your event. We help you with this by providing a KPI tracker in your organizer checklist and primary planning guide. It’s important to report your event success to your sponsors in your wrap-up email to them. Techstars will send a participant survey about a week after your event which we will share with you

Q: How can I get more involved in the Techstars network?

A: There are many ways of getting more involved in the Techstars network. 

Join a Techstars portfolio company

Join our talent network, where you can join one of our Techstars portfolio companies to gain more experience working in a startup, before you take the plunge to start your company.

Become a Startup Digest curator

Techstars Startup Digest works with local curators to deliver relevant startup content to innovators around the world. Whether it’s their first company or their fifth, Techstars Startup Digest connects founders with their startup community through events and quality content. If you are interested in curating, you can apply to become a curator

New Community Model

Q: What is the New Community Model?

A: A self-serve model that gives community leaders greater ownership of their events. We have developed a platform and a new toolset that empower CLs to independently set up and customize their events, while managing their own event finances. 

Q: What has Changed?

A: New Brand + Graphic Design Tool (Desygner)

We’re excited to bring to you a new brand identity for Techstars Community. The new system integrates the unique aspects of our startup community programs into the core Techstars identity. For the first time, there will be a shared DNA across the Techstars ecosystem. We’ve also just launched Desygner, a simple graphic design tool that will help you as CLs produce customized, brand-compliant event assets.

New Event Platform, by MeeteR

Techstars will roll out our new event platform by MeeteR internationally, in the second half of 2021. (This platform launched in the USA in December for Startup Weekend events). The platform will allow CLs to set up and manage their event website and scheduling page, as well as sell tickets, all in one place. In the meantime, CLs will manage their event website using Wordpress and Sched for event scheduling. 

Community Resource Portal

Historically, community resources were scattered in many places and were pretty outdated. All of your resources have now been revamped and consolidated in one place - our new Community Resource Portal. The content has been split into 3 primary sections: Startup Weekend, Startup Week and facilitator resources. 

Organizer License and Event Agreement

Techstars has created an organizer license and event agreement to help guide CLs through their event experience. It outlines the rights and clear guidelines for CLs to ensure all events worldwide maintain a high standard of excellence and provide a quality experience for participants. 

A licensing agreement is a legal contract between two parties. Our new license agreement is more in depth than our previous Terms and Conditions and is focused on our relationship with CLs. We will not charge organizers any license fee under this agreement. 

Q: How are you going to train me on the new tools?

A: Our new resource portal contains a number of training materials and guides to help you get up to speed with our new tools. We will also have our helpdesk available to field questions.

Q: You’ve mentioned a Techstars global rebrand. What is the new Techstars branding for Techstars Startup Weekend and Techstars Startup Week like?

A: Techstars launched a new brand identity in March 2020, and we’ve begun rolling it out in phases throughout our company, network and global community. In December of 2020, we launched a new brand system to unify and elevate the collective identity of our programs. We’ve streamlined brand guidelines and provided an enhanced library of assets on the new event platform. Materials have launched alongside our new Techstars Community resources.

It's been very well received so far and we think it will be helpful for attracting volunteers, attendees and sponsors to your events! 

Q: Is Techstars launching a new website for Techstars Startup Weekend and Techstars Startup Week?

A: Techstars has introduced a new Techstars Community website last year (2020). You can head to our Communities homepage to access them.

Q: Will there be greater flexibility on branding and co-branding guidelines with the new format?

A: We believe it's important to maintain consistency and clarity of branding to build the trust and excitement that attracts sponsors, volunteers and future CLs. So no, there will not be greater flexibility with our branding.

  • However, we will provide you with more assets, resources and materials to support you with your event promotion and branding. We’ve adopted a new brand platform called Desygner to help create customized brand assets for your events 

  • Techstars events cannot be co-branded: you may not link the Techstars Startup Weekend or Startup Week logos/identities/names to the name of another organization, non-profit, corporation or other entity

  • If you’re looking to run an event on behalf of another entity and feel free to reach out to us or consult our event license agreement.


Interim Process for Running Techstars Startup Week Events

Q: Can I still run events before the new event platform is available?

A: Yes! You can still run events! 

Q: Will I still be able to run offline (in-person) events?

A: The ability to hold in-person events will depend on local circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors. We strongly encourage CLs to follow their local governmental guidelines around in-person events and access to public spaces, always prioritizing health and safety measures related to Covid-19.

It's also important to note that since Techstars is no longer controlling event finances, the success of in-person events will depend on the team's ability to manage the finances for their event.

Q: What will the interim process look like?

A: Until your region is onboarded onto the new event management platform; MeeteR, later in 2021, we will continue to use Sched as your scheduling platform and Wordpress to create your event website. 

Other things to note:

  • You will still be supported fully by the Customer Success Coordinators (CsC) and Regional Managers. You will receive the regular emails and resources you are accustomed to receiving during the course of planning your event

  • Until we move to our new event management platform, Techstars will use Asana as our project management tool, and we'll be able to track your event planning progress

  • Techstars will continue to create an event website for you and will give you admin access on Wordpress to manage your pages.

Q: What will happen to our community event pages under this new model?

A: In the future, organizing teams will still have their own community event web page, but instead of being managed on Wordpress, like it has been in the past, those sites will be hosted on a platform called MeeteR and be promoted on the Techstars’ website here.

Q: Are we allowed to use our own event website from prior events? 

A: As part of the event licencing agreement, the organizer has to agree to use our event management platform, which will be ready later in 2021. Until the platform is available in the country of the event, the organizing team can continue to use their own website but must adhere to our branding guidelines. 

Q: I’m opening a company bank account to run the event finances. Can Techstars provide a copy of the license agreement with the company's name as the license holder instead of the organizer's name?

A: No this won’t be possible. The person who submits the application to run an event is the licence holder and lead organizer. It is the lead organizer’s responsibility to manage the event in its entirety. It is fine for the team to get support with the event finances but the ultimate responsibility rests with the licence holder and lead organizer.