Participant Education

A big part of your role is about educating participants on the key principles, impact, and importance of entrepreneurship. You’ll provide information about the mission, values, methodology, and impact of Techstars Startup Weekend as well as other ways that people can get more involved and connected to the Techstars network. You’ll also be expected to run through building an MVP, which includes subjects such as customer validation, lean canvas/business model canvas, prototyping, pitching, and judging criteria.

Using your Facilitator Deck to explain key concepts related to starting a business, and running short workshops on specific topics participants will encounter during the weekend, you can provide participants the necessary education to help them perform well at Startup Weekend and beyond.

Facilitator Deck

Please note:

  • Each slide that is mandatory to leave in your facilitator deck (like the ‘What is Startup Weekend’ and ‘Sponsors’ slides, for example) is marked as such in your deck. 

  • Try to keep the order in which you present your deck as close as possible to the original order. We have done extensive research and gathered feedback from our experienced facilitators about what works best, and the deck reflects that research and feedback. 

  • Please adhere to our branding rules and guidelines.

The deck is divided into three sections — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — and we have designed the deck to achieve the main goals for each day.

The main goals of Friday are for participants to:

  • Understand what Startup Weekend is and what Techstars is.

  • Learn how the weekend will work.

  • Pitch their ideas. 

  • Form teams.

  • Feel welcome in the space and comfortable with other participants.

The main goals of Saturday are for participants to:

  • Understand what needs to be accomplished before pitches on Sunday night.

  • Understand the mentoring process.

  • Build out their MVP.

  • Start working on their presentation. 

The main goals of Sunday are for participants to:

  • Understand the pitch process.

  • Complete a tech check and pitch practice.

  • Understand the judging criteria and judging process.

  • Complete their final pitch presentation.

  • Understand what opportunities there are to stay connected to the Techstars network.


During the planning phase of Techstars Startup Weekend, the organizing team will decide if they will be running workshops during the weekend. 

Workshops can include anything from educating participants on the key aspects of building a minimal viable product to how to deliver the perfect pitch. It can also be about something more in a particular niche if you’re running a Startup Weekend focused on a specific vertical. For example, you can run a workshop on how to search for the most reliable scientific information about global warming online.

Remember to leave enough time for participants to work - we recommend short workshops of no longer than 20 mins in total each. 

The workshop deck

We provide a workshop deck template to help teams with building their MVP and pitching, and teams have the freedom to use their own materials as well. This deck covers engaging and educational information related to customer validation, lean canvas, business model canvas, prototyping, pitching, and the judging criteria. 

Since the workshop is related to all the things participants will need to know to build their product and how to structure their presentation deck for their pitch, it’s advisable that you run a workshop, or a few short workshops, on Saturday morning. This gives participants the opportunity to hit the floor running and learn what they need to as soon as possible to start building a great company.

Presenting the workshop

It is up to the organizing team to decide who will be running the workshop, but they might ask you to run it, or for your support to run it. This is a great opportunity to witness growth in participants and make a big impact.