Organizing Your Team
There is nothing more critical to your success than putting together a stellar organizing team. Your organizing team consists of your core team, your track captains, and any other volunteers you outsource tasks to mentioned below.
Team Roles and Responsibilities
Organizing a Startup Week can be an extremely fulfilling and fun experience, but it’s hard work. Your team will be responsible for nearly all aspects of the event — raising sponsorship to cover event costs, securing multiple venues, finding local mentors, track captains, panelists, speakers and volunteers; promoting the event, and recruiting attendees.
Our recommendations below cover the main roles and responsibilities. Some of these roles can also be outsourced, like the basecamp lead and promotion/marketing lead roles. Remember, all of these roles are in volunteer capacities, but should you have the budget to hire an external PR manager for their services, you can do so.
Lead organizer: Even though it’s a team effort, the lead organizer is typically the face and voice of Startup Week, as well as the main contact for Techstars. This person also cultivates and manages a strong and dedicated team, and sets benchmarks for measuring success.
Traffic controller: This person is essentially the Startup Week project manager, helping the team stay on schedule. There are also some administrative duties as well as assisting in task delegation, scheduling meetings, and sharing meeting notes.
Volunteer lead: This person is the main point of contact for all volunteers before and during your Startup Week. The volunteer lead is responsible for outlining and filling the necessary assignments for the week. Depending on the size of the event, you will likely need around 50 volunteers per day. We discuss volunteer management in a separate section.
Logistics and catering lead: This person is a good planner and problem solver, and manages all the moving parts of the week. They also coordinate food and beverage as needed and help source supplies for multiple venues, such as additional furniture, AV equipment, and more.
Venues lead: With Startup Week needing multiple venues of varying sizes, you’ll need someone to be responsible for securing and managing the venues. They will also be the main point of contact for venue hosts during the week.
Tech lead (online event): You won't need a physical venue or catering for the online event but you'll need to make the right platforms and tools are selected. This person will be the main contact on all details regarding the platform use and needs of the session/speaker/etc.
Sponsorship and budgeting lead: This person is responsible for raising monetary and trade sponsorships to help fund a robust budget for your Startup Week.
Mentors lead: Mentor hour sessions are usually one-on-one, 20-30 min sessions for two to three hours a day. This lead assists with networking, to introduce local entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs to mentors, giving them the opportunity to meet with startup subject experts.
Basecamp lead: It’s highly recommended to have one main location during Startup Week called basecamp. This main location would typically host at least 30 percent of programming and have an information booth. This lead will be the main point of contact for this venue, ensuring the week’s events run smoothly here.
Promotion/Marketing lead: This lead will be the overall promotional campaign visionary and manager and be responsible for outreach, marketing, and promotion. They’ll liaise with the logistics lead to ensure promotional and marketing materials are ordered in a timely manner and distributed accordingly. Please see Promotion for more details on these roles.
Programming lead: This lead is the scheduling mastermind behind Startup Week. They organize time slots and venues for all programming during the week. In addition, they support track captains with the scheduling of their events and support the lead organizer with programming.
Track captains (you’ll need 5): They are responsible for choosing five or more events within a track, and they manage and source track participants like speakers and panelists. The track captain and track captain liaison works closely with the programming lead.
Track captain liaison: The track captain liaison works directly with each track captain to ensure he/she is on task, and offers support where needed.
It's useful to create a “Basecamp Handbook” that you can use as a detailed run-of-show guide for the event team.
We recommend including the following information in your handbook.
A basecamp venue map with notes of how specific events should be set up for each event through the week, as well as access and parking information.
Contact numbers of the organizing team and all other important contacts, including a contact for the venue, security/emergencies, A/V or tech support, and out of hours contacts.
A daily schedule of vendor deliveries and instructions for setup — food and beverage, supplies, swag, etc.
A daily schedule of events and activities — panels / speakers / meetups / mentor hours, happy hour, etc.
A volunteer schedule and detailed volunteer assignments. If someone showed up to do the job, would they know exactly what to do by reading your instructions? Include detailed information/registration desk instructions.
Instructions for receiving mentors for mentor hours and a copy of mentor best practices.
Sponsor requirements for the basecamp, to make sure your sponsor/partner agreements are being executed upon correctly.
Event hashtag/social sharing information.
You can see a template for a basecamp and volunteering schedule in your Planning Sheet.