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Q: What should I do to prepare?

A: Figure out what problem could be solved relating to the smart city that you can pitch, practice your pitch (60 seconds: no slides, no props), do a bit of research on your idea (are others already doing it? how big is the market?).

Q: Can I pitch my existing business?

A: No. Startup Weekend is a platform for growing new businesses from a seed over the course of a weekend. A key feature of the weekend is the nature of all-embracing teamwork. We’ve found that having existing businesses in the mix weakens this spirit and relationship, in addition to forming an imbalance between those ideas that are truly ground-level

Q: Can I participate in Startup Weekend even if I don’t have an idea to pitch on Friday?

A: You are ABSOLUTELY Welcome!

As long as you are a person who is interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most likely yes. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas you’ll fit right in.

Q: How do you start a tech startup as a non-technical person?

A: Any time a tech startup is mentioned, the intuitive guess is that the founders of these businesses are tech experts and indeed hold a degree in Computer Science. If you think you are not a tech person and you shouldn’t be attending this startup event, then you are WRONG! Your lack of technical expertise should not be an excuse for not working on your startup idea. The strength of an entrepreneur is reflected in the strength of his/her network. A successful entrepreneur has a strong vision with creativity and passion and has great business networking skill. We not only want to help people who are passionate about building products that can better improve the communities but also find people who are potentially a strong leader with excellent communication skills to grow an audience. In fact, a well-rounded team of different skill sets is what will help make this event successful. Including, graphic designers, programmers, marketers, business developers and anyone looking to learn to help you find the most collaborative way to launch your fantastic idea.

Q: What if I sign-up alone or don’t have a group? 

A: On Friday night, anyone can pitch an idea to the crowd (not everyone has to pitch). We will begin to vote after the pitches are over. You are not alone as long as you keep yourself motivated, walk around and speak to your fellow participants and then join a team where you can be excited by the idea being worked on and you know your skills can help the team be successful. Trust yourself, and don’t be hesitated to ask for help, you will always find a great fit where you can contribute your knowledge and help the team to go strong! Don’t forget we are here to help!

Q: What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

A: The purpose of the Friday night pitch isn’t to eliminate certain ideas, but simply to underline the most popular/high-potential ideas and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds/skills. If your idea isn’t selected but you have formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend. If you decide to do so, however, please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.

Q: What should I bring?

A: Your laptop (optional but recommended), power cords, connectors to the overhead projector, lots of enthusiasm.

Q: Will the food be provided?

A: Yes, we got you covered for the full weekend!

Q: Do we have to sleep over?

A: Hacking is until 11 pm. There are Hotels 5 mins away!

Q: What about the prices?

A: The ticket info is available here. Please note that our Early Bird sales end on May 31.

Q: Will we get support after the event with our startup?

A: Yes, Innovation Factory, Haltech, Sheridan EDGE will be helping you build your idea into a life-changing startup!

Q: How do I get more information about the Weekend?

A: Follow us on twitter (@SWOakville), like us on Facebook (Oakville Startup Weekend) and watch the blog for updates over the next few days for announcements.  You can also start practicing your tweeting for the event using hashtag #SWOakville.

Q: I have more questions.  How can I get them answered?

A; More Attendee FAQ is available here or posts them on our Facebook page or tweet at us or email oakville@startupweekend.org

Grace Wang