How to Win at Startup Weekend – pt 2

In part 1 of this series, Steve Blank introduced us to the concept of Startup Weekend, and what to expect at the event. In part 2, Blank continues with some tools to help you at SW, including Agile Development, the Business Model Canvas, and Customer Development. Extremely valuable guidance.

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How to Win at Startup Weekend – pt 1

This is the first of a multi-part series with tips on how to win at Startup Weekend.

The legendary Steve Blank, professor at Stanford as well as a handful of other universities, is an evangelist of sorts for Startup Weekend. His backstory can be found here. Now, we could explain the concept and process in words. But Steve has taken the time to put it on video. He is a master at customer development and is spot on with his explanation of our weekend event.

So here is a primer from Steve, including the judging criteria. It’s a little dated, but still holds true. Enjoy!

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Calling All Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

“We know intuitively that diversity matters. It’s also increasingly clear that it makes sense in purely business terms.” –McKinsey & Company

As a great deal of recent research suggests, diversity matters. It’s just good for business. And in Dallas, we like to be good for business in every regard. When so few venture backed companies are run by women, there is an obvious opportunity.

The first in the state of Texas, the Dallas Entrepreneurship Center will host Startup Weekend Women’s Edition to showcase the talent of experienced and aspiring women entrepreneurs.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour all action entrepreneurial event. It’s an immersive experience for participants to pitch ideas, form teams, and build companies.

No matter where you are on the spectrum of your entrepreneurial journey – from reluctant to ready – we want you to join us May 29-31 for what promises to be an inspiring , exciting, and just-plain-fun adventure

Check out some highlights from Startup Weekend Women’s Edition put together by our neighbors in New Mexico!

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NoD Coworking Space To Host North Dallas Startup Weekend!

We are proud to announce that our venue for North Dallas Startup Weekend will be NoD’s (pronounced “node”) 11,000 square foot coworking facility in North Dallas. They are home to many local tech startups, including the winners of the 2014 Startup Weekend EDU (held at The DEC): AnonyQ and Kinskii. NoD is also the official home for the #UXRoast, and they have agreed to reserve 2 spots in the September 18th #UXRoast for winners of the North Dallas Startup Weekend! So what are you waiting for? Sign up here:

NoD is run by serial entrepreneur and Dallas native, Chirag Gupta, who moved back to Dallas in 2013 to open up the first coworking space in North Dallas. He will be playing a key role in organizing the event and will also be on the lookout for promising startups to join the NoD.

We can’t thank them enough for their support of Startup Weekend. Give them a shout out on Twitter (@nodDFW) and let them know you’re stoked for the event in July! Here’s the whole story behind NoD featuring the founder himself:

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AnonyQ wins Startup Weekend Dallas, Moves On to Global Startup Battle!

A Huge Congratulations to our winning teams at #SWDallasEdu

1st Place – AnonyQ – Have you ever been embarrassed to ask a question in class? Have you ever had a question but the professor has moved on? With AnonyQ, educators can track the questions in the class, choosing to answer now or later!

2nd Place – Match to Learn – The “EHarmony” of the tutoring world. Matching with a tutor on personality and learning styles. By being matched with a tutor on more than just subject knowledge, you can maximize the learning in the relationship!
3rd Place – Playli – Learning and engaging children, even from a distance, is possible with Playli. If you’re in the military, a grandparent far away, you can take a child on learning adventures with a seamless gamified web chat service!
Startup Weekend Education:  Bringing New People to the Dallas Startup Community 

Many of the attendees at this Startup Weekend Education were first time Startup Weekend participants. For many of these attendees, the prize is not just having a product at the end of the experience but a network of new connections and learning core elements of entrepreneurship. We are excited to welcome in new entrepreneurs to the Dallas startup community, which continues to grow everyday!

A Huge Thanks for Support From the Dallas Startup Community winning teams

Dallas loves to support its startup community. We had many community partners and sponsors who made the weekend possible. We are especially grateful for the many mentor coaches and judges who gave their time to refine each team’s work, showing them what it takes to turn an idea into a viable business!

An enormous thanks to The Dallas Entrepreneur Center for sponsoring the event.

Winning Teams Have Opportunity Participate In Global Startup Battle!

Each team had the opportunity to submit a pitch to Global Startup Battle.

You can support your Dallas startup community by voting for the Dallas entries! Voting opens TODAY! Follow along on Twitter @SWDallasEDU for the links to vote as they come out!


h/t Portland, Maine SW for curating these resources! Collaboration FTW!

This event locally powered by…




 How to Kick Ass at a Startup Weekend: 5 Tools to Build a Winning Product. (Because we are all here to kick ass, RIGHT?)


Friday night (60-second pitches) should include the following:

  1. Snapshot/Overview
  2. Problem & Why Now
  3. Solution
  4. Market
  5. Revenue Model


Sunday night’s presentations are 5 minutes and include slides or video demonstrations. Universal Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighed equally):

Business Model:
 The heart of it all. If you haven’t got answers to these questions, you’ve spent too much time on frills & features and need to get back to the basics:

Who is your customer?
What is your core value proposition?
What are your key activities?
What are your revenue streams?
What is your cost structure?
Who/what are your key partners/resources?
What are your distribution channels?
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.

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 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.


Global Startup Battle – From the team at Global Startup Battle, resources to learn all about the prizes and the competition!

Don’t miss out on the almost two dozen offers for attendees. These discounts are worth thousands! Take advantage of them!

Make sure to get your .co domain and all the Amazon Web Services. Codes to redeem these resources will come out in  your Saturday Morning Email Blast

startup  Startup Weekend Resources – from the smart folks at Startup Weekend headquarters comes this comprehensive list of resources covering helpful apps, market research, keyword research, traffic research, presentation tools, finances, web hosting and much more.  Definitely worth taking the time to become familiar with  these resources before the big weekend! Survey Tool to get feedback on marketing presentation. Coupon code will be in your Saturday Morning email blast!

Steve Blank Startup Tools – an amazing list from Silicon Valley’s #1 entrepreneurship educator. Scroll down to find resources for Website Domain Names, Create  Websites, Surveys, Product Launch Tools and much more.

DESIGNERS + DEVELOPERS | Bringing the EdTech Boom to Dallas at Startup Weekend EDU




Startup Weekend Education: A Place For Designers + Developers

There has never been a more opportune time for technologists to learn and grow in the education technology sector. Increased awareness of the need for new education solutions has led to huge private and public investment in technology to drive student learning.

Education technology startups raised over a half billion dollars in Q1 this year. There are so many factors playing into this boom — growing market alignment around standards like the Common Core, broad access to mobile technology, and increased openness to diverse models of schooling to name a few.

Designers and Developers are essential to create both the form and the function of these new technologies!

Virtual Visit wins Dallas Startup Weekend: Health Edition

Dallas Startup Weekend: Health Edition

Sunday night at The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, Dallas Startup Weekend finished up on it’s first ever health focused event. Entrepreneurs, developers, designers and health professionals from all around the Dallas/Fort Worth area came together to build products, services and applications focused on improving health and healthcare.

Among the amazing list of other ideas Virtual Visit, Health Record Trust and ReLyf took home top prizes during the weekend.

3rd Place: ReLyf

Helping doctors provide a more personal touch to visits, by giving them the ability to quickly look up current patient information before entering the exam room.

2nd Place: Health Record Trust

Health Record Trust provides a software service to remove personally identifiable information from EHR health records and deliver HIPAA-compliant data to meet your research needs.

1st Place: Virtual Visit

Virtual Visit provides a new way for families to track and understand the day to day lives of family members living in skilled nursing facilities. Whether it’s keeping track of doctor visits, meals or just general satisfaction, through the use of an end-user focused mobile application.

Rather that looking to the facilities for revenue, Virtual Visit is giving an incentive the facility employees who use the app, then transferring the cost to the family. Doing this allows the app to be included in various packages that the facility may offer to new residents.

For winning, Virtual Visit has access to $24,000 in hosting credits with SoftLayer, $1,000 of production credits with True Vault (a HIPAA compliant data storage API), one month of residence at the Addison Treehouse, Consulting time with lawyers at Stewart Courington and will be presenting at Dallas New Tech, next month.

Dallas Startup Weekend Table TennisThe Startup Weekend sprint can be a bit of a grind, so to give all the teams a much needed break, the Dallas organizers hosted the first ever Dallas Startup Weekend Table Tennis Tournament. Participants from each team competed for the coveted 3M Cup. Players signed up and a single elimination bracket was created. The event took only one hour, but gave participants a well deserved break while also creating a little camaraderie among the teams.

Dallas is primed for health and health technology innovation, and the ideas that came out of Startup Weekend Dallas: Health prove that there is not only a need but a passion to make great strides in the health industry as a whole.

Congratulations to all the teams who participated, it’s people like you who will make health and healthcare better for the future.

Photos from the event can be found on our flickr page. (which will be updated shortly)