The winners of 2015’s Startup Weekend was a group started by Sherrie & Paul Norton. They came in with a unique problem targeting a very specific market. Below is our interview with the founder of SlipShare, Paul Norton.
What is SlipShare?
We are lifelong boaters and know what a problem it can be to find a slip when you need it most. Some of the factors that affect boaters are the weather, mechanical breakdowns or any other unforeseen circumstances. SlipShare is designed to remove the anxiety and give you peace of mind that a slip or mooring is waiting for you when you need it most.
Where did you come up with the idea?
Sherrie and I had been kicking around an idea for an app that would allow boaters to book slips much like on Open Table. Kind of like how you would book accommodations on travel sites. We had formulated our idea prior to the weekend but really had no idea where to go with it or how to get started. With nothing to lose we registered for Startup Weekend Stamford and made the commitment that if our idea was picked, great! And if it was not we would join another team to learn what we could.
How did you pitch the idea at the event?
To best describe the problem we decided to put together a little skit where we would show the problem and solution. We knew that this would be the best way to clearly articulate our idea. People must have understood it because by the end of the night we had the most talented and dedicated team. If we tried to recruit this team on our own, it would have taken years.
How was your Startup Weekend Experience?
It was simply amazing; our teammates found a fit for their skills and got to work, not a lot of discussion or debate, just got on with it. We also had coaches and mentors guiding us along the way. The guidance we received over the of the weekend advanced our idea from something we just talked about to a plan we could move forward with. It was amazing. We hardly slept it was so exciting. We knew there had been something special about the weekend and when we gave our final presentation we felt good about our prospects. But hearing our name announced as the winners at the end of the event was a thrill for the whole team. We were Triumphant!
What have you done since the weekend?
It’s been a year of market research and planning. We interviewed several firms to do the coding and selected one in the fall. We are in the midst of starting to sign up marinas for a late spring launch to boaters. There is a lot to do with little time.
We never would have gotten here without the Startup Weekend Stamford and the amazing group of people who joined our team. Add the coaches, mentors, judges and other volunteers and we realize and appreciate that there were hundreds, if not thousands of volunteer hours behind our success.
Do you have any advice for this year’s participants?
We would encourage anyone with an idea or interest in learning how to move forward with an idea to take part in the weekend. It is an opportunity that you don’t find often. The people are wonderful and genuinely want you to succeed. We hope to see you there!
Thank You Paul & Sherrie. We are glad you had a great weekend.
Join us for Startup Weekend Stamford and start your own adventure!
Close to home and close to our hearts Sal Syed, co-founder of Arccos, the number one performance tracker for golf who was recently awarded the Best New Product at the 2015 PGA Show!
While Sal Syed was earning his MBA at the Yale University School of Management, he and his co-founder at Yale realized that golf was lacking a high-performing, comprehensive tool to track and analyze a golfer’s game and improve decision-making on the course. This Gap in the market place inspired the founders to develop a product concept, and plans and strategies for the idea. Sal eventually formed a business. His product development, diligence and hard work has allowed Arccos to excel in the Golf Technology Market. Sal is a visionary. We are fortunate and excited that he can come by to tell us about his entrepreneurial journey in making golf more addicting.
While one co-founder Ammad Faisal was earned his stripes as Vice President, Investment Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sal was earning his MBA at the Yale University School of Management, where he met co-Founder Clinton Grusd, who worked to develop the foundation of the business, and the business and product concepts, plans and strategies that are used by Arccos.
Realizing that golf was lacking a high-performance, comprehensive tool to track and analyze a golfer’s game and improve decision-making on the course, these co-founders set out to change the way we think about golf and play golf.
Join us for another EPIC EVENT!
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A 54 hour Hack-a-thon of the magnitude of Startup Weekend is a bit preposterous to those of us whose timeline usually consist of months not hours. Think about it. We need to come up with an idea, develop this idea in a team environment, develop a working prototype, and develop a comprehensive business plan. All in 54 hours… umph, Sounds Crazy! But, guess what, it is crazy. And such an Awesome experience. So, what does a savvy Hacker need to bring to this event? Or is the question what doesn’t a Savvy Hacker need at this event?
Here are a few things are more seasoned Hackers recommend bringing to the event. If you plan ahead, your first Startup Weekend can be a success. If you don’t plan ahead… Well, let’s just say your head might explode.
This is a Social Event
Bring your Hacker skills, but don’t forget this is a networking event and you have to mingle. The first night is all about networking. Here you will ask people, what they are (Biz Dev, Designer, Coder, Human, or Zombie), What they do for a living, What brought them to the event, etc. Just small talk. The point of this exercise is to find some people you wouldn’t mind working with. A lot of people are active on social media and blogging, use this to your advantage. Be Friendly & Social!
Ideas are free, as in FREEDOM!
Don’t be afraid to share your idea. Remember you are here to work in a collaborative work environment and the only way your idea is going to get some ideas to move is to share. Everyone at the event has the next million-dollar idea. At the pitch session you will probably hear close to 50 pitches. If your ideas are good, you won’t have to force them on anyone. Good people will find you!
You are an Amur Leopard or Black-Eyed Tree Frog i.e. You are Rare & Special 😉
Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of Hackers who show up to these events. You are a commodity and lots of people will be coming to you. Every project needs programmers and most of the time, people will approach you. Use this to your advantage and pick the idea you like the most. Chances are you won’t be the only Hacker on your team. Also, the mentors have experience and will offer guidance throughout the event. Enjoy the ride my Black-Eyed Tree Frog, just don’t wound up like Steve Irwin!
It is a LONG Weekend…
Yes, it is a long weekend, but the food is free and it won’t be all work. If you find good team they may let you sleep an hour between Hack sessions. The reality of the situation is that you will put in a couple of long rewarding days. If you need personal space, we recommend bringing headphones with you. This will enable you to tune out those around you and get some work done. Remember from our last point, YOU ARE A COMMODITY. Let your team know that you need some uninterrupted time to get the next feature done. Stock up on energy drinks, do some yoga, and bring some positive energy. You’ll need it!
Ruby on Rails is King!
Just get over it. Your Java skills won’t cut it. Your late night hacking on the Linux kernel won’t give you much help this weekend. Ruby and Ruby on Rails seems to be very popular at these things. The one thing that rails gives you that other frameworks don’t are the fast scaffolding of an application. Python junkies can still be useful, as a few groups will go towards the Django/Pylons/etc. route. You can even go as the sole developer in a group if you find yourself better than average at another MVC framework.
Also, that windows laptop really won’t cut it. I hate to say it (as I’m typing on my Windows 7 laptop), but Ruby on Rails sucks on Windows. No worries though, just download VirtualBox and the latest copy of Ubuntu and go wild. Installing Rails on Ubuntu is a breeze if you follow the simple instructions. For those still inclined to stick with windows, you can follow these instructions instead.
Have A Blast
Remember, this is your weekend. You are doing something different, exciting, and worth bragging about. Don’t stress out about adding last minute features and just roll with the punches. There are no managers riding your coattails nor is anyone harping on you about the extra features. Complete as much as you can in the time given and try go for the gold. If you’re on a good team, follow the rules laid out before you, and come in with a great attitude then, and only then, will you survive Startup Weekend.
I look forward to seeing you at Startup Weekend Stamford on March 18th!
Follow us on Twitter @SWStamford
Before I start, maybe I should give a quick overview of what Startup Weekend is: The concept of SW is that people with an idea for a startup, and people who have skills and would like to be part of a startup meet up and over the course of a weekend try to make something happen!
Attending a Startup Weekend is the best thing you can do to start your entrepreneurial journey. Below is a list of 8 great reasons I think you should attend Startup Weekend Stamford:
- The Power of Networks
The Stamford Innovation Center & Fairfield County is a hub for creativity and entrepreneurship. There will be over 100 developers, designers, engineers, marketers, and entrepreneurs looking to build their professional network and launch a Startup.
- Education Through Action
Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. No more theory, no dry lectures, and no pompous instructors. You will actually build your own strategy, learn from mentors and other startup professionals, and launch your business through the school of Hard Knocks. After all, we are known as the City That Works!
- Form a Startup Team
Whether you have the next big idea, or you want to be part of a team actively working to solve problems, you’ll be a member of a startup team! You will be making crucial decisions and be involved in the entire process start to finish.
- Save Money & Win Prizes!
Startup Weekend cost between $75 and $99 ($50 for students). Your ticket covers seven meals, snacks, swag, and access to exclusive resources from our global sponsors. The winning teams receive thousands of dollars worth of prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. There are even prizes just for attending the event… That’s how cool we are!
- Get involved in the Fairfield County Community
There is no better way to give back to your community then starting a business and stimulating the local economy through employment or local purchases.
- Learn a New Skill
Being a member of a Startup Team will challenge you in ways you never thought possible. You will be challenged with developing solutions for a new business and working with a team. The whole weekend is a dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Stamford Startup Weekend is the perfect opportunity to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
- Launch a Business!
By participating in Stamford Startup Weekend, your goal is to develop a web or mobile application with a viable and sustainable business model. After Startup Weekend, most teams continue to develop their project and market it to the world. Who knows, you may even start the next multi-million dollar Internet venture!
- Join a Global Community
Join over 30,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world. Come join the Stamford Innovation Center at our 4th annual Startup Weekend Event. We are committed to our community in developing local talent. Join Us
Startup Weekend Stamford is March 18th.
Follow us on Twitter @SWStamford
And, now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…
Startup Weekend Stamford is back–and better than ever. What is Startup Weekend you ask? Startup Weekends are a 54-hour event where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiast come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. Very exciting! Oh, and before I forget, win prizes and face time in front of Venture Capitalist and Angel Investors. Interested Yet? This is the fifth-annual Startup Weekend the Stamford Innovation Center is hosting and we are expecting a bigger and better experience for all participants!
I know exactly what you are thinking, STARTUP WHAT? Let me explain, Startup Weekend is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have a technical background; the other half has a business background. But 100 percent of attendees come away with new ideas, fresh perspectives and new possibilities.
So, Let’s break down the event. The night begins with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees are encouraged to bring their best and boldest ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams design and develop business plans while continuously tweaking their startup vision. On Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes, listen to judges’ feedback and choose a winner. Oh, and did I mention, you get a T-shirt for participating in the event! I can’t tell you how many events I volunteered for just for a T-shirt… I have a shrine, and I am proud!
Alright, Alright, Alright! Let’s get technical. Startup weekends are specifically designed for entrepreneurs interested in receiving feedback on an idea, looking for a co-founder, or those seeking a new skill. We also welcome anyone looking to test the entrepreneurial waters. Startup Weekends are risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and dive into the exhilarating world of startups.
So, Why should you attend? Here is a list of reasons conveniently placed in bullet points for you:
- Build your network: Have you taken a look at our speakers, judges or mentors? There’s a smorgasbord of entrepreneurs, angels, and VCs with incredible credentials. It’s a ‘who’s who’ of people you should absolutely know- right here in Connecticut.
- Co-Founder Dating: We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. What skill are you missing from your dream team? Biz-dev, marketing, developer, designer?
- Launch a business: Here’s your chance to validate that idea you’ve been mulling, build a team and make it real! Also, you didn’t hear I from us, but some of our investor guest keep an eye on early stage ventures… Just Saying.
- Get face time with community leaders: The speakers and mentors have decades of experience at being phenomenally successful Ask them for advice, that’s exactly why they are here! We have a great set of consultants, analysts, lawyers and experienced startup people on hand to help you work through your ideas.
- Save money and get FREE stuff: There are some great freebies and discounts and everybody, I mean Everybody loves swag.
Join the global community. Come to Startup Weekend Stamford and come see what all the fuss is about!
I had a chance to reach out to Theresa Robbins of Mirror Books. Theresa dreamed of Mirror Books through the process of homeschooling her three children. She taught her boys to read through various methods, but found that using electronic media to keep the children’s interest was very effective. She graduated summa cum laude from Norwalk Community College and cum laude at the University of Connecticut with her Bachelor’s degree in English. She has over 10 years experience marketing for start-ups, a non-profit, and an established financial firm.
On her latest blog she reflects on 7 Lessons of a New Business Owner. Be sure to check it out and leave her some feedback!
By Will Haire
Follow us on twitter: @SWStamford
We have some Great News! Quinnipiac University is sponsoring Startup Weekend Stamford for the second year in a row. Not a surprise—after all, Quinnipiac made quite the impression last year with three student teams participating at the event: Pisces Place, Music Vault and Déjà You. Déjà You took home Silver with a second place victory with their idea. This year’s participants will have big shoes to fill! David Tomczyk is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Quinnipiac University. He coached last year’s event and will be assisting teams again this year. Dave is passionate about entrepreneurship and mentoring students. He agreed to sit down with us for an interview:
Q: What made you decide to get into teaching entrepreneurship?
Honestly, it was pure chance. I had applied to George Washington University’s Ph.D. program to study organizational behavior, and the two people who interviewed me asked me what experience I had with it. I mentioned doing some work with an entrepreneurial lab when I was in my Masters program, and they both jumped on it. A half-hour later, I changed my degree to entrepreneurship and had both of them as mentors. I later found out that they were two of the people who helped found entrepreneurship as a field of study! They are two of the nicest people you’d ever get to meet, and they helped make sure no one got too big for their britches. They even let me create the first ever entrepreneurship undergraduate course at GWU, and I enjoyed every minute of it! (Well, minus the grading.) To this day, I keep in contact with them and thank them for putting me on the right track.
Q: What kind of businesses are students starting while in school?
I’m seeing a lot of digital businesses starting now. Digital businesses (websites, apps, video games, social media platforms, etc.) usually have pretty low startup costs, so people still in college are more able to launch them prior to graduating. Two we have launching at Quinnipiac right now are Unify Solutions (http://unifysolutions.co/), which helps companies integrate, manage, and track work orders, services, and deliveries, and Checkmate Creations (http://checkmatecreations.com/home/), which helps companies build their digital brands. Both of these required little more than a few computers, some programming and design expertise, and a whole lot of hard work—things college students can definitely pull together.
You also see a lot of niche businesses—businesses that meet the needs of a particular college or local community. Niche businesses also don’t often require much capital to launch, and students are so tuned into their communities that they have incredibly easy access to their customers for validating their idea and eventually selling to them. For example, Cronk Shop (http://cronkshop.com/) is a streetwear company that helps budding designers market and sell their products on a national level. The business grew from the owner’s passion for clothing (being an up-and-coming streetwear designer himself), and he already had some connections in the market who joined on almost immediately because they knew he understood their needs.
Q: What is the Department’s philosophy on teaching students how to be entrepreneurs?
Two years ago we redesigned the major, and the first thing to go were textbooks and tests. Entrepreneurship is about doing, and the best way to do that is by getting your hands dirty. If you want to learn about small business marketing, work with an actual small business. If you want to learn entrepreneurial finance, you need to create financial statements and sit on the other side of the table as an investor. If you want to launch a business, you need to go through the process—preferably multiple times! And the entire time, you need people cheering you on as you fail. Everyone already supports a success, but failure is an intrinsic part of entrepreneurship, so you need people pushing you to get up and try again if you fall.
Q: What is your philosophy on teaching students how to be entrepreneurs?
When I create a class, I have to be excited to take it. If I’m not imagining how much fun it would be to be in the students’ seats, then I have to redesign the class. That’s not to say my students don’t do work or that I give a whole bunch of A’s; in fact, my classes are regularly rated as some of the hardest in the school. I want the students to be motivated to do the hard work, and that means making the classes place they want to come to and have knowledge bombs dropped on them, often through exercises, workshops, and discussions.
Q: Can entrepreneurship really be taught?
If you’re talking about the inherent drive to launch a business, studies have shown that it can be enhanced. If you’re talking about the skills an entrepreneur needs, they can be learned and practiced. If you’re talking about the mentality entrepreneurs need to thrive, it can be grown. If you’re talking about knowledge of laws and financing and marketing and more, it definitely can be learned. The one thing that can’t be taught is passion. No matter what any educator does, unless you have that fire in your belly for your idea and figure out what makes you motivated to launch that business, they can’t make you passionate.
What direction do you see the E-ship program moving in the future?
We’re right now redesigning the program again. After two years with the existing program, we’ve identified some things that work awesomely and some things that don’t. And that’s awesome! We get to apply the same principles we teach in the classroom to the classes we teach. One thing we’re doing is loading a bunch of entrepreneurship classes into the final year of our students so that they can use all of them to help launch their businesses. This way, everyone’s learning about marketing, creativity, finance, negotiation, and more right when they need it!
Q: What did you think of the event last year?
Last year was a blast! The level of creativity and passion was through the roof, and I have even higher expectations for this year! People were generating ideas all over the place, and they wanted to share their ideas with the world. I remember one team disappearing for a few hours because everyone went out to survey people on the streets about the design and functionality. Another team left after midnight, continued working until around 4 am in their hotel room, and then came back at 7 am because they couldn’t wait to make more progress.
Q: Any advice for participants this year?
Startup Weekend isn’t about perfection or success. You’ll never achieve the former in 48 hours, and you’ll have plenty of the latter along the way in small amounts. It’s not about failure, either—failure is what Startup Weekend people call “in progress.” And your idea will definitely be “in progress” for the entire weekend! The goal of Startup Weekend is to thoroughly enjoy yourself as you work incredibly hard on an idea. It may be your idea, it may not. You may have to teach yourself about some things you never heard of before. You may see your idea blow up in your face or take an unexpected turn based on one crazy idea someone yelled out at 2 am. In short, it’s one of the best entrepreneurial experiences you can ever hope to have!
What do you think will be your biggest concern this weekend? Be sure to share your opinions or experiences below in the comment section!
At Startup Weekend Stamford we like to focus on success stories from local entrepreneurs. What’s even more impressive are stories from young entrepreneurs. Ambitious, motivated and business savvy are just a few adjectives I’d use to describe this crew of recent Quinnipiac University graduates. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tom Nassr one of the co-founders of Kricket.
Kricket is the brainchild of Tom Nassr, Connor Croteau, and Matt Cameron.
The Kricket application allows a user to tag an emoticon image to the map, with a message attached to it. This is image and message is called an ‘atmosphere’. The atmosphere is posted anonymously onto the map and can be seen by anyone. Other users nearby can upvote & downvote the atmosphere. The idea is to make communication between people more fluid at a hyper local level. With the wide range of images to pick from, the use cases range from selling old goods, to finding the best bar in the area. In Tom’s words;
Kricket provides a geography based social network that helps people connect in the real world.
User generated atmospheres on the map is only half the equation. Kricket is also working with local restaurants, clubs,cafes, bars, and other venues to reveal their atmosphere, upcoming deals, or live events, onto the map for everyone to see in real time. The app will be released in late March on the Android and Apple app stores. Be sure to download it, use it and leave a review. If not for you, do it for your community. After all, it takes a village to raise a child and in the same sense, it takes a village to build a bad ass app!
During the app creation process, Kricket did receive guidance from a mobile focused digital studio called Checkmate Creations, also located in Hamden, CT. The collaboration and difference in expertise with Checkmate, helped Kricket sharpen its vision while learning and progressing through several pivots over the last year.
Tom and his team embody the entrepreneurial spirit and are part of the foundation of businesses developing in Connecticut. Startup Weekend Stamford strives to bring like-minded and motivated people together who are doing great things. Be sure to check out our website. 2015’s event is sure to be the most EPIC EVENT EVER! Don’t miss out and thanks for reading. Be sure to check out the Kricket.co website and be part of the movement.
The winning pitch from New Haven’s Startup Weekend:
SeqHub is a marketplace that connects data scientists in the genomics space with research labs that need their data analyzed. The need arises from increased accessibility of technologies to labs to generate a vast amount of insight-rich genomics data which these labs do not have the expertise to analyze. On the other side of the market, we can connect very capable, but inadequately compensated post docs and graduate students with the computational expertise to meet these needs.
– Taiwo Togun
You may be asking yourself, who is Taiwo and what an Awesome idea. Taiwo is a Computational Biologist and Research Data Scientist. He received his Ph.D from Yale, and teaches computer science at Peirrepont School in Westport. Taiwo is not an entrepreneur, but this did not stop him from attending Startup Weekend.
This is the beauty of Startup Weekend. We are able to connect Taiwo with the right network that takes a pain point unique to his experiences and spin that into a viable business. Taiwo still has a long road ahead, but he now has his idea validated and also has access to resources and a network he did not have before. This alone is an excellent reason to come out to Startup Weekend Stamford and give us your pitch!
Here is more of my interview with Taiwo:
Q: How did you hear about Startup Weekend?
A: I went through the A100 Apprenticeship program and Derek Koch the founder of Indie Soft encouraged me to go out and pitch my idea. And I did!
Q: Can you tell me about your experience at Startup Weekend New Haven?
A: The feeling and gratification were overwhelming. The constructive feedbacks and encouragement from such a company of innovative minds and experienced business professionals have provided tremendous momentum and refinement. The validation of my idea by seasoned and successful entrepreneurs felt so exciting. Beyond exciting! I would say the weekend indeed created in me, a new sense of responsibility and feeling that this idea, this product is not just my vision, but one that is shared, and now has a group of capable people helping to bring it to life. It’s very exciting!
Q: Can I hear your Elevator Pitch from the event?
A: SeqHub is a marketplace that connects data scientists in the genomics space with research labs that need their data analyzed. The need arises from increased accessibility of technologies to labs to generate a vast amount of insight-rich genomics data which these labs do not have the expertise to analyze. On the other side of the market, we can connect very capable, but inadequately compensated post docs and graduate students with the computational expertise to meet these needs.
We aim to facilitate genomics research and foster the realizations of more scientific breakthroughs by leveling the field so that small labs with genomics projects, despite limited resources, can find quality data scientists to analyze their data on a project-by-project basis, and data scientists can easily find well-defined jobs of interest with guaranteed remunerations.
Q: Did you Come in with this idea or did your experience at Startup Weekend help shape your current version of your idea?
A: I came to Startup Weekend with this idea. While the core of my idea did not change, it benefited immensely from feedbacks received during the weekend. Having a team of experienced developers and business professionals was very instrumental in informing and presenting an initial prototype and business plan for my idea. I would definitely say that the feedback from the weekend has shaped the current version of my idea into the valuable tangible product that it is today.
Q: What types of opportunities have resulted from your success at Startup Weekend New Haven?
A: The connections and networks are the most amazing part of Startup Weekend. The prizes are great too; for instance, we have a work space at the GROVE in New Haven; this is a huge resource as it is more than an office space, but rather a hub for several New Haven startups. Thus, it provides an avenue to connect with several mentors, learn from them and continue to sharpen my entrepreneurial acumen. The network is indeed the icing on the cake! The connections with the right people are definitely my most valuable takeaway from Startup Weekend. In fact, through the start-up weekend, I have connected with two research labs that would like to use SeqHub as soon as our MVP goes live.
Q: Do you have any advice for any young entrepreneurs?
A: Don’t be afraid, just do it! Any idea is worth throwing out there, especially if you believe in it! The validation, constructive critics, or feedbacks will only provide refinement and momentum! I’m certainly glad I did it!
Q: Last Questions, What are your future plans for 2015, anything you are willing to share with our audience of attendees?
A: Our goal in the next six months is to have a web-hosted Beta version as a pilot project to better engage customers. As my co-founder and I are both data scientists ready to provide solutions to genomics projects, we will market our analytics services to labs in order to have on-going projects on SeqHub in the next six months. Feedback from our first customers will further inform both product and business development.
Take a chance and Come out to Startup Weekend Stamford
The most important part to winning Startup Weekend Stamford is knowing what you will be judged on. Like running a marathon, it is important to know where the finish line is! This year we will be using Bill Kenney’s ScoreMyPitch, a product of Stamford Startup Weekend 2013.
Stamford Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3criteria (weighed equally):
- Business Model
The heart of it all. If you haven’t got the answers to these questions, you’ve spent too much time on frills & features and need to get back to the basics:
a. Who is your customer?
b. What is your core value proposition?
c. What are your key activities?
d. What are your revenue streams?
e. What is your cost structure?
f. Who/what are your key partners/resources?
g. What are your distribution channels?
h. What is your rollout strategy?
- Customer Validation Have you taken the proper steps to ensure that the people who matter (your future customers) support and reinforce your assumptions? Think of Customer Validation as ‘evidence’ to back up the core structure of your ‘theory’ (your Business Model). The more feedback you gather (quantity), the more this feedback comes from your specific target market (quality), and the more you’re able to actually integrate this feedback into the Business Model and product development (execution), the better.
- Execution The nitty gritty: what has your team been able to actually build over the weekend? Even the strongest of Business Plans are useless in the hands of those who can’t properly execute on them. Getting as far as possible in the development of your product/prototype not only helps give the Judges a tangible vision of what the final product could be, but proves your strength and skills as a team. This is what truly matters: investors don’t invest as in ideas so much as teams.
In the words of the greatest cartoon known to man GI Joe, “now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” Be sure to check out the website for additional details about the event, and do not hesitate to email one of the organizers.