Finances

Techstars Startup Weekend organizing teams are responsible for funding their events. There are two main sources of revenue: ticket sales and sponsorship. The cost of running an Online event should be significantly lower than an offline event as you will not need to cover venue, catering, or facilitator travel and accommodation expenses. The organizing team is responsible for 100% of their sponsorship and financial operations. 


Finance Lead: we recommend that you appoint someone in your team as a finance lead who will manage the budget from start to finish. Responsibilities include:

  • tracking revenue coming in from ticket sales

  • processing attendee refunds

  • creating sponsorship invoices 

  • tracking revenue coming in from sponsorships

  • facilitator reimbursement

  • paying vendor invoices

  • ensure the team has enough funds to operate

  • keeping track of all accounting records

  • ensuring compliance with local tax and financial reporting requirements


Financial Requirements

The organizing team is responsible for managing all finances locally (Exception: Brazil)

Financial management and raising funds for the event is 100% the responsibility of the organizing team. There is no financial or accounting support from Techstars. While Techstars can provide general guidelines for managing your event budget, you will need to familiarize yourself with your local business legislation to ensure compliance with local reporting requirements and regulations. 

The great news is that all event profits will be yours to keep! Some teams have used profits from their Startup Weekend to invest back into the community by running community workshops, meetups, or more Startup Weekends, but this is entirely up to the discretion of the team.

Please be aware that for business operations, you may need to establish a separate legal entity, or partner with an existing entity, depending on the regulations in your country. This may also require opening a new business bank account. Depending on which country you’re organizing in, these tasks might be time consuming. Therefore, we recommend that you get this out of the way as soon as possible. Sponsors will be more inclined to provide funds to a business account. 

The facilitator travel and accommodation costs must be covered from the event budget.

Facilitator cost is a required cost and must come from the event budget. Please reach out to your facilitator early on to ensure sufficient budget for facilitator travel and to agree on the reimbursement process.

No cash prizes are permitted.

While we encourage in-kind prizes (donated co-working space, networking opportunities, product use, etc.) that directly impact the progress and success of Startup Weekend teams, no cash prizes may be given! 

Ticketing

Please review our event management section and a step-by step guide on how to set up your payment settings to be able to receive funds from ticket sales through the event management platform.

Unless otherwise agreed upon with your Techstars Community Support Contact, all in-person Startup Weekends must charge an admission fee to participants.

Experience shows us that a small barrier to entry, in the form of a ticket price, increases the quality of the attendees and significantly decreases the cancellation and drop-out rate.

Techstars Startup Weekend Online

Selling tickets is optional for Techstars Startup Weekend Online, although ticket sales may support participant commitment. As the cost is significantly lower to run an Online event, the ticket price ought to be lower than the offline event. We recommend that if there is a ticket charge, the ticket price for an Online event should be 40% of the average offline event ticket price. See here for more information on Online event finances.

Techstars Startup Weekend organizing teams are required to honor refund requests up to 7 days before the first day of the event. 

This is a standard policy which is integrated into our event management platforms. Please ensure there’s a designated person on the team responsible for processing attendee refunds and related inquiries. 


Refund Policy

Techstars Startup Weekend organizing teams are required to honor refund requests up to seven days before the first day of the event for in-peron, and 48 hours for online events. This policy is integrated in our ticket management platform’s default settings but refunding participants is the responsibility of the organizing team. 

We feel that this is fair to participants and fair to organizing teams. In the event that a ticket is not eligible for a refund, we recommend that participants donate their ticket to someone else:  #givefirst! If you are struggling with ticket sales, please see our ‘Promotion’ section, and feel free to reach out to your Techstars community support contact for further advice and options.

Budgeting

Your main expenditures will be:

  • your venue, if it’s not being sponsored

  • venue extras like A/V or security support over the weekend 

  • food and beverage

  • travel and accommodation for your facilitator 

  • supplies like flip charts, post-its, and pens

  • promotional items like flyers or advertising

  • any swag like T-shirts or stickers 

To help you with your budget, we’ve provided a budgeting worksheet in the Planning Sheet.

Please note that Techstars Startup Weekend cannot provide financial or legal advice to organizing teams — please don’t interpret anything we say as such.