What are the Judges Looking For?

So you’ve got your big idea, and you’re ready for your final presentation. What should you look out for to make sure you wow the judges?

The judges are looking at three important criteria, that are all weighted equally:

  1. Business Model: How does your team plan to make this business successful? Have you either solved or identified your problems? Have you taken into account your competition, your ability to scale, the acquisition of customers, and created a revenue model?
  2. Customer Validation: Are you building something that people really want? How well do you understand your customer as well as their needs? Did you go out and talk to potential customers? What is your value proposition?
  3. Execution and Design: Have you established a “Minimal Viable Product” over the course of the weekend (hardware, software, etc.)? Are you going to deliver a compelling user experience? Are you able to demonstrate something that is functional?

If you take these factors into account, your business idea should be ready for the competition in no time. Get ready, Startup Weekend 2016 starts in just a few short days! We can’t wait to see you soon.

Do I need a Business Idea for Startup Weekend?!


NO! You do not need a business idea to participate in Startup Weekend! Although the idea-makers are very important, they need people to help them turn their ideas into reality. We are looking for designers, programmers, business-oriented students, and really anyone that would bring charisma and dedication to the table.

If you do have a business idea and are planning to craft a 60-second pitch on the first night of the weekend, here’s some advice for you:

  • 5-10 Seconds: Introduce yourself and explain why you are qualified to speak about your idea
  • 10-20 Seconds: Name the problem that this idea could solve, as well as who is affected by that problem
  • 10-20 Seconds: Explain how you are going to solve that problem, and why your idea is better than existing alternatives
  • 5-10 Seconds: Explain who you are looking for on your team

Make sure to appear approachable when you are pitching. If you would like to guarantee team members, you need to make sure to keep the audience interested and show that you are friendly. Also, make sure to keep your solution simple, both to ensure that potential team members understand your idea, as well as to make things easier to move forward over the course of the weekend. Now get cracking, there’s just a few weeks left until #SWMU2016!

Why Participate in Startup Weekend?

By Emily Sabanegh

September 20th, 2016

Okay, so I have to shell out $25… What’s in it for me?

We can guarantee that this will be the best $25 that you have ever spent. From memories of a lifetime to being part of a meaningful team (not to mention, free meals!), Startup Weekend can easily be the most formative experience of your college career. The experience extends well beyond the weekend itself, too. The Hydrodontist team from SWMU 2015 placed second and went on to participate in the Brandery’s mini-accelerator course. The Oros team from 2014 took home the gold and went on to the Brandery’s mini-accelerator course as well, where they raised 320,000 on Kickstarter (to date, Oros has raised nearly $2M).

Who knows what your team can accomplish this year! Now that you know what Startup Weekend can do for you, sign up quick. Spots are filling up as we write this.

It’s That Time of Year Again! #SWMU2016

By Emily Sabanegh

September 13, 2016

#SWMU2016 is right around the corner and we’ve been busy planning! With 48 hours to plan, ideate, and execute a business model, Startup Weekend Miami University is a great place to practice what you already know, or try something new and delve into the world of startup entrepreneurship. The entire event takes place over the course of 3 days and will count for a 1-hour credit for the ESP 102 class. Registration cost is $25 and spaces are limited. This event is open to students of all years and majors. We are looking for students from a variety of backgrounds and skillsets to come together to create something amazing.

Startup Weekend is a great way to learn more about business, develop important skills in leadership and teamwork, and create memories of a lifetime. Sign up now to better your future and do something at Miami that you may never have the chance to do again. We can’t wait to see what you create!