Kickstart your Startup idea with SWZurich and 99designs!

Kickstart your Startup idea


Turning an idea into a successful business is one of the core learnings of the Startup Weekend. To kickstart your business idea and pitch it with passion to the crowd, there are a couple things you need to know.

Define your story

Storytelling is the key to successful branding. Big brands define themselves through stories. It’s like when you were a kid and just loved those bed-time fairy tales. Tell your teammates, prospects and investors a great old-school story that made you set up your business. You will much likely get their attention and hit them right back in their childhood emotions. There is no way they’re not going to remember you after that forever.

Be different

Find out who your competitors are, what they are doing and what they look like. And then: Do the exact opposite! You don’t want to look like a copy-cat or always having to answer the same question: “Oh so you are just like competitor XXX, right?” . NO! Do your own thing, and use your story to define your brand and communication strategy.


Use the power of design

Your idea is supposed to become a brand at some point. Your brand components will help you attract and retain customers. A memorable logo design is the key to reach that goal. Designing a logo is just the beginning of building a brand that people will love and it will help you lay the foundations for all your collaterals.

Your brand identity should be consistent on all channels. It is therefore very important to look professional from your letterheads to your twitter background. At 99designs, we help entrepreneurs to kick off their business with a  Brand Identity Pack that includes:

  • Logo Design
  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Envelope
  • Social Media

Offering affordable Brand Identity solutions to Startups. Go to the 99designs blog to find inspiration! Good luck on kickstarting your startup idea!

99designs supports Startup weekend with vouchers to all participants and …. amazing prizes for the awarded team!!

How to prepare for Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend Zurich – December 5th, 2014

Do some research into startup tools and best practices to get ready to rock the weekend – start with our database of resources at Make sure you get lots of rest prior to the event, and finally – tell your friends & join the Startup Weekend Zurich Facebook page. If you plan on pitching an idea:

  • Do as much research/preparation around your idea as you feel is necessary to give a persuasive pitch and attract a team.
  • Boil the idea down to the basics: with 60 seconds, you only really have time for a hook, so pull out the most attractive key points of the idea and forget the rest.
  • Join the Dec 1st pre-event (registration needed) to learn all the secrets of an efficient pitch and… practice, practice and practice again your pitch using a timer

Attached a short video giving a flavour of the Startup weekend experience

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SUW Sunday awards

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Startup weekend is all about the experience: share ideas, form team, build product and develop your own Business concept – in just 54 hours. To make this journey even more thrilling, 3 Prizes will be awarded to 3 teams on Sunday by a Jury of recognized entrepreneurs.

– Overall winner

– Best prototype

– Best pitches





I am often asked how the team projects are evaluated by the Jury. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria which are equally weighed:

  • Business Model & customer validation: 

Can this idea make money? Is there positive customer growth or revenue? Is there a customer acquisition / rollout strategy? Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic? Is the idea/team ready for capital and execution? Would you invest in this company at this point?

Did the team identify customers (demographic, location etc)? Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers? What channels of communication are used? Product/Market fit?

  • Technical – Execution

Is there a functional product ( the case of an app, did they build one)? Were architecture diagrams and API signatures included? Which services did they integrate with? How much of the product is running on a real server with non-sample data?

  • Design – Execution

Does it have a professional look and feel? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Is it memorable? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in this creative direction?

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