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: The event’s lead organizer (and license holder) will be responsible for managing all event finances, and 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

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.

Refund Policy

Techstars Startup Weekend recommends that organizing teams typically honor refunds up to 72 hours before the event kickoff. [If your event is on a Friday, then the refund request would need to be submitted by Tuesday night at the latest].

We do not recommend that our organizers offer refunds within 72 hours of the event starting due to the need to pre-purchase event essentials like catering and supplies. If your ticket is not eligible for a refund, we strongly suggest passing on your ticket to someone else who could benefit from the opportunity. If there are any participant refund requests after this period, these must be dealt with by the organizing team directly. The event platform by MeeteR will reimburse tickets up until 72 hours prior to the event, but not after that time. 

In the instance of an event cancellation or postponement, the event platform by MeeteR will be responsible for refunding 100% tickets for the organizing teams who are using the platform for payment processing. Where teams do not use MeeteR’s payment processing system (but rather collect the funds directly themselves), the sole responsibility for reimbursing participants for refund requests lies with the organizing team. 

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.