💡 Words and abbreviations you'll encounter when organizing a Startup Weekend, explained.

Community Leader (CL)

A community leader, or ‘CL,’ is someone in the community who has, is planning to, or is currently involved in organizing a Techstars Startup Weekend or Week. They are passionate about supporting and bringing their community together to drive positive change by boosting local economic growth and innovation. 

Techstars Startup Weekend (TSW) Organizing Team

A TSW organizing team consists of around 4 to 8 community leaders who form a group and work together to plan and execute a Startup Weekend. CLs form their own teams and teams are typically fully formed before applying to organize a Startup Weekend. 


We view Techstars Startup Weekend facilitators as an extension of our core team. They are ceremony masters, supporters, and guides at our events. We rely on them to be stewards of the Startup Weekend mission and ensure every community has an amazing experience.


Mentors at Techstars offer value to our network of founders through industry knowledge and expertise, life experience and/or learnings, but also connections that could help our network of aspiring, first-time, or serial entrepreneurs. There are different types of mentors who “Give First” through a myriad of Techstars programs, and a Techstars mentor can provide value to entrepreneurs once-off, or ongoing.

Customer Success Coordinator (CSC)

Customer success coordinators are Techstars employees (assigned by region) that help organizing teams take an event from its early stages as a prospective application, all the way to successfully running and closing out the event. They are available to support our community leaders with whatever detail they need help with.

Regional Manager (RM)

Our regional managers are Techstars employees responsible for supporting all events within a region and to help the region run quality events. They are focused on building startup communities and acting as a catalyst for connections and growth. They support Startup Weekends, Startup Weeks, Bootcamps, Unsummits and other network events within their region. 

Techstars Community Support Contact

When we talk about your event support contact who you will engage with throughout your organizer experience, this refers to either your RM or CSC.


An event focused on a vertical is one with a theme specific to a particular industry like ‘FinTech’ or 'Hospitality/Tourism' or a theme around a social or environmental challenge, like Diversityor ‘Sustainability’. An event without a theme, or vertical, is usually a general event in a city, likeStartup Weekend Iowa’, which is open to any idea within any industry. 


An initiative is an overarching theme connecting many separate events happening over a certain time-period, like a global initiative focused on a specific vertical like 'Sustainability'. We also have regional initiatives where a vertical like ‘LatinX’ or ‘Fintech’ will unite events in cities across a region during a certain time period. For global and regional initiatives, Techstars will typically work with a team of global community leaders to help plan and execute successfully on a global scale. 

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

A minimum viable product is a version of a product with just enough features to reach early customers who can provide feedback for future product development. It’s the version of a new product a team uses to collect the maximum amount of validated learnings from customers with the least amount of resources. An MVP must include these key elements in production quality:

  • Functionality - The set of features must deliver clear value to the user.

  • Design - The design of the MVP must be up to the highest industry standard.

  • Reliability - Production quality standard needs to be achieved by rigorous testing.

  • Usability - The MVP must be easy to use and intuitive.

Regions abbreviations:

  • APAC: Asia Pacific - includes Southeast Asia and Oceania

  • EMEA: Europe, Middle East and Africa

  • Americas: North- and South-America - includes all of Latin America excluding Brazil