Cutting-edge advise: from Austin Wong – Startup Weekend Winner in Kuala Lumpur

We’ve got some news here from the otherside of the world. Austin Wong gives us some insides about his experiences with Startup Weekend in Malaysia and his entrepreneural project UniStay :


Hi Austin,

You have won the startup weekend in Kuala Lumpur 2014 with your business UniSTAY- an international platform for student’s accommodation, which is going online mid of this month.  After SW you won the IFA NexGen Competition for young franchising entrepreneurs. You started joining the entrepreneurship scene at the age of 19. is already the second one, next to classCART. And you have spoken at international conferences. Currently you are coursing with a start-up entrepreneurs program of Stanford Graduate School in Malaysia, right? Seems like your career is boosting up, congratulations!

So, how did Startup weekend actually kick start your project?

Startup Weekend gave us a quick boost of speed in terms of validation and execution. Work that usually take 1-2 months which could be done within 54 hours. It also validated me personally as an entrepreneur, identifying my missing gaps, way of improvements and pushed me beyond my comfort zone focusing on the development of

Furthermore, we received incubation by Malaysia’s Largest Telecommunications Company, Telekom Malaysia’s IX Accelerator right after our winnings.

How come you decided to pitch your idea at SW Kuala Lumpur in first place?

I had always exposed myself to the start-up community when I turned 19, meeting new talents, leaders and influencers. SW Kuala Lumpur is in fact the gathering of all like-minded people. Personally, SW Kuala Lumpur is a platform for my breakthrough, to overcome my fears and boundaries. I’m an introvert by nature, but deep inside I just know I got to try. Without trying, you won’t know what might happen next. It turned out trying out SW Kuala Lumpur was in fact a great breakthrough for me. This is what I always tell my peers, “Keep trying, and every single try will reveal a better version of your previous self”.


How did you find your team and who are they? Are they still on board?

It was never easy to get my team members onboard. No one believed in the idea. Only two high school students believed in the vision, and teamed up with me. Although they might not have been as skilled as those with years of experienced, I believe that age is somewhat irrelevant because what matters more is the right attitude, the spirit of experiencing and learning. I sincerely appreciate their trust in me. A big shout out to Soh CH and Leung LW. I am sure they would have wished to stay on with the team, but we can all agree that their final high school examination.

What were the first things that happened after startup weekend concerning unistay? First steps. How did you go on?

Getting the right team to execute the idea. It wasn’t an easy journey. Because I always believed that a team is the deciding factor between making and breaking the business. Hence why we are always scouting and welcoming talents to join us, locally and globally.


You call yourself a student-preneur -how do you actually manage that?

Passion & Time management. Entrepreneurship is somehow pre-built in me ever since I was young, but I did not have the opportunity to pursue these issues due to what I call “excuses”.  – like being young. But what I have learned from this journey is that if you really want something bad enough you’ll do whatever it takes to get it. That includes prioritizing, managing your time well and self-discipline. If you have an excuse to not deliver your tasks, it proves that you are in fact not passionate about your idea.

 Is there anything you would have changed or done differently if you look back to the last six months?

When I first started in the entrepreneurship scene, I joined numerous seminars, workshops and competitions. Till now, I had represented my home country Malaysia to multiple international occasions and won numerous awards. But it wasn’t until my mentor, Miss Mallory Loone that gave me a humble advice on the term “Focus”, I wouldn’t have become who I’m today, launching in a couple of weeks’ time.

One word, FOCUS. And there are two aspects on the term “Focus”.

1. Focus on initiating only one idea. Too often we got too ambiguous wanting to solve many problems at a time, thinking that we have no time to lose. But start-up doesn’t work that way.

2. Focus on the core of the business, don’t lose track by the amazing conceptualization/ features that you would like to implement on a certain idea. Create a quick prototype and launch it to the market, validation is crucial. It doesn’t need to be perfect.


Do you have any advice for attendees of startup weekend hamburg 2015 to make their weekend special and successful?

Solve a problem you are PASSIONATE about and THINK SIMPLE. Focus on the core values you will like to deliver. Definitely make full use of the mentors provided by SW Hamburg. These are the people who have been there done that, they might be able to give you certain valuable insights and feedbacks. Last but not least, make friends and have tons of fun!!

Are you planning a trip to Europe any time soon?

Yes, definitely. Europe gave me the best memories from all of my travels, the joy and smiles I had with my family. Simply amazing. In fact, I’m still using the wallet I got from Europe.

Thank you so much for the interview, Austin. We will keep in touch and send you all the best from Germany.

Meet the megalomaniac SWHH15 organizing team 2/2

in continuance of the first part of this blog when Robin asked Dagmar:

And what motivates you, to volunteer as an organizer of SWHH? What do you find the most inspiring about it?”


Dagmar: “Thai curry? Yummy. Looking very much forward to it!

I got addicted to Startup Weekend seven years ago, when I helped organizing the first Startup Weekend in Copenhagen. After that, I helped to organize two more in CPH and now already three in Hamburg. Six Startup Weekends is not enough and I’ll participate in organizing two more this year.

Why I continue doing it? The energy at the event is amazing! All these great people talking about their ideas, thinking about ways on how to improve our ways of living, be it with wearables, apps, toys, online platforms for all kinds of solutions, you name it. Whatever gap you encounter, let’s see if you can find a way to fix it during the Startup Weekend. You will meet great minds at the event, lots of motivation and experience coming with the other participants, the awesome mentors and judges. Be there and go for it! In any case you will add great people to your network.

When I am not Startup Weekend-ing I am working at XING as product manager for the social plugins, the small XING buttons and widgets which you can find on other webpages. When I then have some time left I am helping to make more startups being successful by being a coach asking tricky questions and giving suggestions on how a product can be improved.

Clint, what are you looking forward to most at our next Startup Weekend?”


Clint:” I’m looking forward to getting the feedback from the participants. The whole event will be a lot of fun and I’m so excited to meet all the interesting people with their ideas and visions. But the feedback after Startup Week Hamburg 2014 was so productive and positive. We want to become better and better.
May we have some more water for you this year? 😀

It’s the second time I’m in the organizing team for Startup Weekend and I’ve never been a participant until now, but may I visit another Startup Weekend to get inspired for the next year and make it more special than before.
My current main task is to get some interesting, sponsoring partners for our Event, to make it generally happen. With best advices and help of my friend Mr. Kaya , who did a great job this and in the past years, it’s a great opportunity to improve various skills. That’s why I’ll do this again!

Marnie, how did you turn up to be in this year’s organizing team?”


Marnie:  “I had wished to support Startup Weekend for some years now. Gladly this year all schedules fit and Nils responded to my request to help out with Social Media tasks – so that’s how I am supporting the team now.  I am a social entrepreneur and very new member to the organizers team of Start-up Weekend Hamburg. I attended several SW’s and similar events in the past and would like to bring the entrepreneurial spirit I more overly got to know in your start-up community in Hamburg to my small hometown, Bremerhaven. That’s why I am looking forward to learn as much as I can behind the scenes of SWHH2015 – besides my personal growth and working with a good functioning experienced and smart team, like you guys.”

Patrick, we share a quite similar story in regard to sitting between two chairs during a Startup Weekend. What were your learnings?”


Patrick: “It’s hard to determine the most valuable thing I learned because on the one hand I attended with Florian and the idea for but on the other hand I was part of the great SWHH Organizing Team who’s hosting the event. As attendee I think the best lesson was to focus. Without focusing on the important things you’ll never have a good product by the end of Startup Weekend. As an organizer I think I learned how to approach companies, as organizer you have to talk to many sponsors. Why I stay in the organizing team? Easy – It’s a great time with an awesome Team and overall a great experience!

 Jawaneh, which part are you taking in the organizing team?”


Jawaneh: Thank you Patrick. I’m part of the Public Relations team, which is awesome because I love dealing with any type of media and the press. Mohamed and Serhat, who kindly asked me to join, knew about my experience in journalism and PR. Since I also work in politics, things can get really serious at times. To counter this seriousness I love to be surrounded by creative people and be part of the process of crafting cool stuff. I’m involved in the Hamburg Startup and occasionally write for Heute in Hamburg. Startup Weekend Hamburg is just the perfect opportunity to push Hamburg’s startup scene and empower potential entrepreneurs to make their dream of an own Startup come true (and for investors actually to invest 😉 ).

Let’s hear from Christoph what his motivation was to join the team. And Christoph please also tell us what you are most excited about at SWHH.”


Christoph: I heard about the start-up weekend just a couple of weeks ago and I have been fascinated by the idea right away. In only 54 hours from pitch to prototype?! I am truly excited to be part of this madness. I have been plowing the fields of Public Relations for quite some time now, but since I have been working mostly for large companies I am craving this speed and open-mindedness. In addition, I am currently working on the set-up of my own start-up, so I am sure this weekend will serve as a great inspiration for me personally.

Alex, what do you hope to gain from SWHH15 personally?”


Alex: For me it is a pleasure and exciting challenge to be a part of this exceptional start up event. I will support with my experience in public relations to reach a maximum of attention of a broad audience with the goal to show the concentrated business performance and the high professional engagement of the participants. Personally I want to come in contact with inspiring people and ideas, learn much about creating new firms and in general benefit from the powerful atmosphere.”

Weekend Never Ends

What changes can possibly be made within 54 hours? Our initial goals when we began planning the Startup Weekend Women Hamburg were simple and humble:

1. Have our participants give it all their best at the Startup Weekend Women, so that in the end they would be pitching a viable product with a good business plan and a neat design. In order to achieve that goal, we tried hard thinking out of the box. From daycare for their kids to healthy smoothies after breakfast, from mouth-watering caterings to yoga breaks, we came up with all sorts of little benefits to help the participants feel at ease at all times so they could fully concentrate on their work.

2. Regarding the title of the event, we particularly aimed to flip the usual ratio of 70% male to only 30% female participants by encouraging more women to at least give entrepreneurship a try, and in the long run provide for more equality amongst Hamburg’s founders. 

The outcome knocked it out of the park and totally blew us away. Not only did we have 80% female participants, proving that if there’s a platform given for women they will actually use it. But the cherry on the cake was the kindest possible feedback we received from both male and female participants, the press, various supporters and even people amongst our organizing team. Many had been to plenty of startup events before, and have stated that this was by far the best.


We are more than excited to hear from many teams that they have continued working on their ideas together. This is truly more than we could have ever hoped for.

So here’s to all courageous, innovative and creative minds who came to our event and have continued inspiring us since. Yes, that’s right. The Startup Weekend Women continues. This year’s event may be over but due its impact we couldn’t help but keep on working on the idea. Even though there had been a few Startup Weekends targeted at women before, the progress has been rather slow since its first event. That made us think what we can do to make a real change.

So what’s next? Another Startup Weekend Women Hamburg would be greatly welcomed by many people, that’s for sure. But maybe we can achieve even more: How awesome would it be to set the ball rolling for a global movement that follows our example?

When years ago German born startup expert Ira Tittler was casually asked to take part in the regular Startup Weekend Hamburg, she figured there was nothing to lose so she did. Now working for a globally successful startup in New York City, she considers her experience of the event to be an eye opener for possibilities in the startup scene and tech companies that can change the world.

Last year she was involved in the Startup Weekend San Francisco, though this time not as a participant but a coach. According to her observations, although there were plenty of powerful women with good pitches, both Startup Weekend Hamburg and San Francisco were clearly male dominated.

Sadly, she says, the same applies for the private sector: Particularly tech-oriented businesses are still mostly led by men. However she confidently adds: „But the number of women getting active in the startup community and on ideas is growing.“

Sounds like it’s about time to support those individuals, doesn’t it?

So far, there have been Startup Weekends with a special edition for women only in Seattle, Vancouver, Guayaquil, Stuttgart, and of course now also in Hamburg but not in major startup cities such as San Francisco, New York City and London.

Given her insights, Ira predicts a huge change for the so-called “Silicon Alley”, New York City’s Silicon Valley if you will, where things are moving fast and the startup community shows significant growth: “I think a Startup Weekend Women can be an enrichment,” she says. Thincreasing number of startup initiatives convinces her that an event “being specifically targeted to women might stand out from other options for young innovators.”

We feel ready for that challenge and are filled with happiness and gratitude that this event set a milestone in the history of Startup Weekends. Thanks to the outstanding spirit during the event, the kick-ass pitches, all those great new friends, and the wonderful feedback, we all have grown and become richer.

We learned that creativity knows no gender.

We learned that whatever we do, we should do it with passion.

We learned that if we do things with passion, we are able to inspire and empower individuals much greater than with a mere schedule.

And most importantly: We learned that there is a lot more to come, and it will. The Startup Weekend Women was just the beginning of a new era where the startup scene will soon be equalized, and many more creative minds will bring their ideas to fruition.

With this in mind let’s say it one more time and shout it out to the world:


First person experience from Marina, Team member of

The first Start Up Weekend Women in Hamburg is now over. It might have changed the way we think, it might have helped us meeting the right people, it might have empowered us or something totally different. Since this is a very personal experience I asked Marina, one of the participants and team member of the winning team, to share with us how she experienced the Start Up Weekend Women in first person. I got a pretty long reply, which I believe could help future participants to have an insight about what really happens at a Start Up Weekend.

Thanks Marina and congratulations to your team.

Foto from Kathrin Kaufmann #DMW
Foto from Kathrin Kaufmann #DMW

I recently got back from a trip where I did lots of surfing and I feel like attending a startup weekend is kind of like standing on a surfboard for the first time: You either get hooked and want to go again and again or you simply say: “check, moving on, it’s too much work”. Well, I am definitely the former type of person and this was not my last start-up weekend, that’s for sure!

The funny thing is I almost did not go because I was super exhausted and annoyed after a crazy fight with my roommate on Friday. What a difference that would have made.

As mentioned, I am a complete startup weekend newbie, I was familiar with the concept but was not quite sure what to expect. Are there going to be any good ideas? Will I find a team that fits? And are we going to be able to come up with something remotely presentable?

The answers are: yes, yes and YES!

Friday evening was dedicated to some intro, networking and obviously the pitches. Some of the ideas I thought were simply amazing, some not so much. After the planned 30 pitches were over our wonderful host Ümit managed to talk three more girls into going up and spontaneously pitching their idea. So I am watching this girl Laura, very charmingly pitch an idea for a platform that is supposed to find the perfect roommate for everyone, and think to myself (remembering my own roommate issues): this is awesome, I need to be part of this.

The next 30 mins were spent teaming up. You don’t have much time to discuss and figure out what everyone is good at. Therefore I went with my gut feeling from before and joined Laura’s team. We ended up being 8 people from very diverse backgrounds: Developers, Mathematicians, Maritime Technology students, Designers, Marketeers. You name it – we got it. Working with such a big group can be exhausting at times but at the same time means that you get a lot of different angles on certain problems, which was definitely a plus.

By the time we started working it was around 11 PM, which gave us 41 hours until the final pitch and all we had so far was the idea. That meant: work, work and more work with very little sleep in between. You need to define your product, your target group, get feedback, figure out how to ever make money with the product and how to put it out there. On top of that you are preferably supposed to build a prototype and then squeeze all the information into a 3 minute presentation. Sounded pretty impossible to me at 11PM Friday night, to be honest.

Thankfully we had lots of help from different mentors, most of them experienced entrepreneurs, who jumped in with critical questions where needed or suggested things we had not thought about before. And somehow by the time we were supposed to present on Sunday afternoon, we actually had a great concept and a very cool presentation in my opinion. Thanks to our designers Caro and Dennis for building such beautiful mock-ups and putting all the information together so neatly.

When it was time to pitch (Laura and me presented) I was actually pretty nervous. However, everything went fairly smoothly, Laura naturally got the crowed hyped up, I managed to get through the 3 minute Q&A without any major mess-ups and the feedback afterwards was simply overwhelming. When we sat back down I was pretty positive we would win something. Turns out both Jury and Crowd agreed, since we received first the crowd- and then even the overall prize. We were ecstatic.

The rest of the night was dedicated to lots of congratulations, more networking and finally some well-deserved Gin and Tonics before I finally went home sometime early Monday morning to get my much needed sleep.


Marina (right) and another woman of her team. Foto from Sina Gritzuhn. Hamburg Startups.
Marina (right) and Caro (left) working at the SWWHH. Foto from Sina Gritzuhn. Hamburg Startups.

Things I take away after the weekend:

-When selecting the idea and your team, go with your gut. You won’t really know if it is going to work out before you actually get to work anyway.

Use the opportunity to network! Organizers, mentors, judges, fellow participants. I made so many valuable contacts, I would never have made had I not participated.

-Working with people you don’t know can be a challenge. Clarify expectations and put down team rules in the very beginning.

No pain, no gain. Criticism from mentors and tension in the team are part of the experience and show that everyone is very passionate. Work through the downs and get back on track.

-Most importantly: Even during stressful situations, try to keep the fun in it. “Shake it off” if you need to – we did a few times!

And lastly:

I know this has been said a lot of times on Sunday, but I feel like it can’t be said enough: thank you so much to all the wonderful organizers! You made everything seem so effortless, were always approachable and simply a pleasure to be around. I am glad there are people out there like you guys who put in lots of time, sweat and tears to make sure events like these happen!

Right now we are in the middle of figuring out how and where to go from here. So like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter to stay tuned. We will be back!

What here what  is all about in 40 seconds?

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The Winners of Startup Weekend Women Hamburg 2015!

It’s over – a weekend full of networking, teamwork, innovative approaches, and awesome pitches, but most important a weekend full of awesomeness, growing beyond limits and turning ideas into reality! Startup Weekend Women took place from 10th – 12th April 2015 at Gründerwerft in Hamburg. The participants spent all weekend with a cohort of strangers who, like you, want to see what starting a startup is all about. However they were introduced not only to a bunch of ambitious dreamers, but to a network of experienced startup people who were running successful companies in Hamburg, raised venture capital or were themselves VCs or angel investors – looking for great local ideas!


This Startup Weekend was all about testing your ideas and meeting awesome people you probably would never have met otherwise! It’s about learning how a startup works, what problems a startup might have, how to co-work with others, how to deal with VC, how to lead a team, how to pitch your idea and being amazed by people’s creativity, by the strength of their mind! You might now realize that you spend a whole weekend working like crazy, learning and growing beyond limits!


On Friday there was a room full of ideas, 33 ideas to be precise. Two days later we had a room full of new and innovative business concepts and 11 teams were ready to pitch their idea in front of our jury and the greater audience! WOW! We are extremely proud that so many awesome and innovative business ideas were born at this Startup Weekend!


Although the purpose of a Startup Weekend is not about winning a competition, but rather about the awesome experience, on sunday evening everyone was curious which teams and ideas will convince the audience as well as the jury! So, there were given a few prizes in four categories to help their startup grow after the weekend is over… and these are the winners:


Team BringMeToArt won the prize for the BEST DESIGN. BringMeToArt is an app that compiles all dates and venues for art lovers. It’s designed as a paid app with ticketing and audio guide functionalities aimed for Hamburg. The jury was impressed by the design that quickly made everyone understand how the solution will work.


BEST PITCH – SpizeClub

Team Spizeclub won the prize for the BEST PITCH. SpizeClub aims to be an online platform where gourmets can choose their spice mixes itself, while receiving guidance on what individual spices work well together and which not.



Team really rocked this weekend. First they won the AUDIENCE AWARD and a few minutes later they were chosen as OVERALL WINNER by the jury, too! WOW! is a service that helps you find the perfect roommates by personality criteria. The Team was definitely overwhelmed by winning two prizes!


You can find more photos of the final presentation here or check out Twitter #SWWHH for latest tweets!

Congratulations to all of you!

We believe that it is possible to keep moving ahead after Startup Weekend and we dare to believe that the spark that we fired on Startup Weekend is a real possibility to get your startup off the ground! During this Startup Weekend we have collected phrases and favourite quotes from our participants and the female founders we’ve interviewed. So, we have put together a ‪Startup Weekend‬ ‪‎Manifesto‬ to keep the spirit alive! 🙂


We heartily wish that more startups born out of Startup Weekend across the globe turn into new real companies, that create jobs, innovation and hope for the world. With a hands-on approach and lots of BÄÄÄM-spirit we can make it happen!

After half a year of organization and hundreds of meetings, planning and working on everything to be perfect at the weekend itself, we can not believe it’s over!


We wish you all the best and we are looking forward to seeing you soon again. Feel free to contact us after Startup Weekend if you need any advice or guidance with any of your future business ideas.

Thank you for making this Startup Weekend so special! – Your Organizing Team



Self-Reflection for personal growth – What are your learnings from Startup Weekend?

This post was written by Ümit Konuray our Startup Weekend Women Hamburg Facilitator.

The Startup Weekend Women in Hamburg is over but it is still in our head: BÄÄÄM! We all agreed to rather get stuff done instead of just talking. So we did and the result was amazing: Great products, awesome pitches, innovative approaches and intense teamwork. Congratulations to all of you!


Something magic happened on this weekend: We all grew! When it comes to knowledge, skills, experience, tools, team dynamics, self awareness we left the Startup Weekend with more than we came. This is pure growth, this is intense competence gaining.

If I asked you now to tell me all your fields of growth that you got from this weekend, would you be able to articulate them all? Immediately? I assume that you would need some moments to think about this question. Then you would come up with many unique, beautiful learning points and examples.

But there is one problem: If you do not take this time to reflect about your learning, if you do not make yourself aware of these specific points, if you are not able to compare what has changed within you in those three days, then – in the long run – you won’t be able to capitalize on your growth. You wouldn’t be able to embrace all its potential. Unfortunately this intense part of „learning“ (intense, because it takes time) is not officially included in the process of the Startup Weekend series. That is why I would love to make you aware of this fact and invite you to make use of this potential. It would be great to see your positive impact on your community, society and on the world.


This is a list of questions, that you could ask yourself. You could even discuss those questions with peers, with your team or with any other person who attended the Startup Weekend. I clustered them in different levels. There is no order, no process has been defined by me. Feel free to design your own process.

Important note: No pressure, promise! 😉


  • Did I reach my goals, that I set for the weekend? If not, why?
  • Did I perform the way I want / that I am capable of? If not, why?
  • In which moments I was on „the edge“?
  • How were my decisions in those moments?
  • Which of my skills were appreciated by others? Why?
  • What feedback did I get by the other participants? (If you got none, ask for it)
  • Of what strengths and weaknesses am I aware thanks to this weekend?


  • What were my favourite 3 new tools that I got to know?
  • Was there any inspiring process or method?


  • How did I like the group dynamic?
  • What could have been done to improve on that?
  • Did I make use of my whole potential to have a positive impact on the group?
  • If not, what hold me back?
  • Did I speak in an open way?
  • Did I really say what I thought?
  • Have I been honest (to myself)?
  • Was I able to trust?
  • Did I receive trust by the others?
  • What did I learn from the others and their behaviours within the group?



  • What will I implement in my daily life from the gainings at Startup Weekend?
  • How will I do it?
  • With whom would I like to stay connected and why?
  • What are my next concrete steps for my personal growth?

I wish you all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing you soon again. Thank you for making this Startup Weekend so special for me. I feel honoured to have spent these unforgettable three days with you!

Yours, Ümit


This post was written by Ümit Konuray our Startup Weekend Women Hamburg Facilitator. If you want to get in touch with Ümit follow him on Twitter @umitkonuray or drop an e-mail. Thanks Ümit for making this event as awesome as it was! 🙂

How to Impress the Judges at Startup Weekend Final Presentations

On sunday evening it’s time pitch your business idea at the final presentations in front of the judges.  All of your hard work boils down to a 3-minute pitch.  Have you validated your idea with your target customer or market? Have you interviewed anyone and found anyone who will use your product? Have you figured out the revenue streams that turn the product into a business? Focus your efforts over the weekend on building a functional minimum viable product. If you don’t have a prototype, do you have mockups or wireframes of how your product will look like? Don’t go for pretty, go for usability! Demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, that you can execute, and that you know what you’re doing.

Here is a rundown of what the judges consider:

  • Business Model – 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?
  • Customer Validation – 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)? Is there a prototype or at least mockups/wireframes expressing the functionality of the product?
    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?

Some more tips on how to impress the judges:

  • Keep the judging criteria in mind while working on your idea so that you’ll rock all the sections. It’s best to make as much progress in each of these areas as possible. So, don’t put all of your eggs into one basket: don’t make beautiful mockups without validating your idea. Live demonstrations of prototypes are always great to have by the end of the weekend. However, don’t spend too much time on getting things working. In the end you need to convince the jury by selling a vision and having a proper business model.
  • Give someone the job of brainstorming the hardest questions that the judges will ask. Figure out how to respond to all of these questions from vertical integration to alternate routes to monetization, competitors, etc.
  • Since you only have 3 minutes, we do not reccomend to have more than one person pitching on stage. Make sure that you pick somebody awesome that has a bulletproof understanding of the business.
  • You’ll be in a room full of 120 people who are vying for each others’ attention. If you aren’t able to express who you are and what you want to do clearly and quickly, people will have trouble remembering you.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Start practicing your pitch early in front of your group!


10 things that will make SWWHH2015 a very special weekend.

There is no time left. The Start Up Weekend Women is now around the corner and the organisers, participants, coaches, speakers and jury are ready to give it all to inspire, create, design, develop, present and be part of this unique experience.


Our efforts to make this event a special one are going to be paid off thanks to your participation. We are excited, nervous and climbing up the walls.

What to expect at SWWHH2015:

  • 80% of the participants are women.

  • We give you the opportunitty you to get inspiration from our blog series Women Entrepreneur in Focus, where we have been interviewing women entrepreneur from Hamburg.

  • We are having a live cooking experience with the chef Claudio Martinez on Friday evening sponsored by Kitchennerds, a Hamburg Startup and platform to book expert chefs for private events.

  • We will be having on Saturday and Sunday a Yoga session with Anne to strech and rejuvinate our body, mind and soul.

  • The little ones are also welcome during the weekend. Thanks to our childcare service the mummies won’t need to worry.

  • One of the trendiest Food Trucks is coming to visit uns for Sunday for Lunch, Vincent Vegan.

  • We are streaming online on Sunday evening at YouNow the final pitches. That way you won’t miss anything. From 5pm live here.

  • And of course, we are proud to have on board great ensemble of speakers, coachers and jury and more than 90 participants full of ideas, creativity and power to turn ideas into reality.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Women Entrepreneurs in Focus – Interview Series

WE (Women Entrepreneurs) in Focus is a blog series initiated by Startup Weekend Women Hamburg, to showcase the stories of female entrepreneurs and to inspire and empower other women to turn their ideas into successful businesses. By interviewing female founders we tried to find out about the entrepreneurial spirit that drives these women, learn how they got started and what they wish they’d known before entering the start-up world. 


We have interviewd a wide range of women, but despite all of their differences, these women have somethings in common – they are all great role models who are passionate, determined and committed to turning their ideas into reality, building successful businesses!

Here you find an overview of all interviews sorted by industry:


freyaFreya Oehle Founder of Spottster

Freya Oehle is founder of Spottster, an online shopping platform that makes it possible to track your favourite products in numerous online shops. The 24-year-old entrepreneur from Hamburg founded the startup in 2013, right after finishing her MBA.

miriamMiriam Bundel Founder of Shelfsailor

After attending a Startup Weekend in 2014 Miriam Bundel founded her own Startup: Shelfsailor. Shelfsailor helps you to find storage in your neighbourhood with flexible terms and a nice community.


Mirja-Hoechst-Fotografie-24Sandra Roggow Founder of Kitchennerds

Sandra Roggow is founder of Kitchennerds, a platform that puts together professional chefs with food lovers allowing anyone to enjoy of an elaborated menu, freshly cooked by your private chef at the commodity of your own place.

Bildschirmfoto 2015-04-08 um 19.41.16Katharina Wolff Founder of Premium Consultants

Katharina Wolff is Founder of Premium Consultants, a recruiting agency for digital talents in the digital / Tech / Startup field.



sinaSina Gritzuhn & Sanja Stankovic Founder of Hamburg Startups

Sina Gritzuhn, Sanja Stankovic and Tim Jaudszims founded “Hamburg Startups” to enhance the visibility of Hamburg’s startup scene and they are also creating a platform transparently displaying all Startups founded and based in Hamburg.

anne arndtAnne Arndt Founder of Elbworkers and PASARY

Anne Arndt founded PASARY an agency building marketplaces as well as the digital agency Elbworkers.


leev1Natalie Richter and Christina Nissen Founder of leev

Natalie Richter and Christina Nissen founded ‘leev‘, a apple juice that comes straight from the area around Hamburg and is pressed unmixed so you can enjoy the pure tase of different sorts of apple.

stephanie döringStephanie Döring Founder of

Stephanie Döring started over five years ago and founded a online shop for wines as well as online platform for background stories and latest new with regards to quality wines.


janinaJanina Lin Tomaszewska Founder of Frau Ultrafrisch

Janina Lin Tomaszewska founded “Frau Ultrafrisch“, a restaurant and catering service that creates fresh selfmade food where all ingredients come directly from local farmers outside of Hamburg.


Bildschirmfoto 2015-04-08 um 19.41.06Kathy Gabel Founder of Besserbrauer

Kathy and Jörg decided to turn their idea into reality with Besserbrauer. Their main product, called Die Braubox,  includes the tools, the ingredients and of course the instructions to take you into the world of brewing your beer in your own kitchen.


Tech / Apps

anna_abraham_wall1Anna Abraham Founder of Pay with a Tweet

Anna Abraham founded Pay with a Tweet, a social payment system, in February 2014. With ‘Pay with a Tweet’ you give people access to your Content or Product once they tweet or post about it.


jobdiggaChristiane Brandes-Visbeck, founder of JobDigga

Christiane, founded JobDigga, an App kids could use to find out their strength and interests for the job market by playfully answering questions to various job missions.




Media and Gaming

Bildschirmfoto 2015-04-08 um 19.40.45Melanie Taylor, Co-founder of Osmotic Studios

In conversation with Melanie Taylor, co-founder of the gaming startup called Osmotic Studios. This startup makes games that have a special kind of atmosphere, evoking emotions through moral decisions or asking questions about society, life and everything.

susanneSusanne Harnisch Founder of pikofilm

Susanne Harnisch founded pikofilm, a film production company that specializes in telling digital stories, the core element is the documentary film. She also founded roleUP! – lvlUP your role models which portrays female role models with unusual jobs/hobbies.



Bildschirmfoto 2015-04-08 um 19.41.31Andrea Noelle & Annika Busse Founder of Beliya

Founders Annika Busse and Andrea Noelle founded a eco-designer bag and accessories label with a charitable purpose: Beliya. Every purchase enables a child in Africa to attend school for one year and all items are made of distinguished upcycling materials.

7_Chic_Avenue_Portraits_0105_sw-800x533Marianne Tochtermann & Jutta Schweiger Founders of 7 Chic Avenue

Marianne Tochtermann & Jutta Schweiger turned their passion for fashion into profits. They started 7 Chic Avenue in the summer of 2013 in Hamburg, where they design “tops for everyday luxury”. They claim their brand 7 Chic Avenue stands for chic, exclusive and affordable silk blouses.



diana1Diana Knodel Founder of AppCamps

Diana Knodel loves to share her passion for coding with others, that is why she founded App Camps – an organization that brings coding workshops into classrooms. App Camps offers learning resources that schools can use to teach basiscs of programming.


MomPreneurs_EEisenhardt2-800x639Esther Eisenhardt Founder of MomPreneurs

Esther Eisenhardt, is mother of two beautiful girls and founder of MomPreneurs  a revolutionary movement that started in Berlin in 2013 to support and encourage women entrepreneurs with kids.


jessica3Jessica Brockmann Founder of mylocalscouts

Jessica Brockmann is founder of mylocalscouts, a platform which connects tourism with greater good. It helps you to connect with local people called ‘local scouts’ that share your interests and help you to explore the city you’re currently visting.

poratrait3Janna Horstmann Founder of Radkappe

Janna Horstmann was tired of choosing between either safety or style when cycling through the urban jungle and founded ‘Radkappe‘ helmets, that stand out by the lively coloring and design.


If you’re a female entrepreneur and would like to have you story heard, then we’d love to publish your story! Get in contact with us via



70 Awesome Tools for Growth Hacking and Bootstrapping your Startup

This post compiles an overview of some of the favourite tools and resources for bootstrapping a startup and employing growth hacking tactics. So, these tools will help you work faster and smarter to get your Startup off the ground. They can also help your team to boost the process during and after a Startup Weekend. So, have a look at these tools first to know best which tool to use when.

70 Awesome Tools for Growth Hacking and Bootstrapping your Startup

Most of the tools mentioned are free or at least have free trials, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the product in advance and add significant value to your startup projects.

Keep on track

So, you want to build your own startup? First of all keep yourself accountable for making progress on your startup:

Generate and organize your ideas

If you have no idea yet, get inspired by watching these 50 Groundbreaking Startup Ideas from Twitter, Airbnb to Evernote and many more.

  •  lets you capture every eureka moment and very idea and take it through to execution
  • MindNode Pro or MindMeister helps you mindmapping your ideas

Get a name

Is your choosen name available on all services and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit..)?

  • Namecheckr Check domain & social username availability across multiple networks

Design your Business Model – Lean Methodology Sources

  • Business Model Canvas a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business idea
  • Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas is similar to Business Model Canvas but outlines a more problem focused approach targeting entrepreneurs and startup businesses
  • Experiment Board Use the lean validation/experiment board to describe, validate and refine your business idea.

Find a co-founder or outsource specific tasks

If you haven’t found a co-founder at Startup Weekend you can use these sites to find a buddy. Or if your team does not have all the skills needed you can outsource specific tasks:

  • CoFoundersLab Find a co-founder for your startup in any city, any industry
  • Founder2be Another online platform that helps to find a co-founder
  • oDesk Find freelancers on oDesk
  • Fiverr  is the marketplace for creative & professional services
  • Elance Find rated web developers, mobile programmers, designers, writers, translators, marketing pros, virtual assistants and more
  • 99designs is the world’s largest online marketplace for design
  • legal Connects startups with qualified specialists to help solve their legal issue

Do Market Research and Customer Validation

  • Statista is a leading international statistics portal on the internet
  • SimilarWeb Analyze your competitors’ traffic and identify growth opportunities
  • Use Moat for real-time, multi-platform marketing & ad analysis of your competitors
  • Google Trends Check the currently trending topic or find the search trend for any keyword of your choice
  • SEMRush Find the Most Shared Content and Key Influencers
  • SurveyMonkey and Google Forms is the simple way to create surveys for customer validation
  • is the best free alternative to Google Keyword Planner

Pitch your Startup Idea

Build your MVP – Prototyping, Mockups & Wireframing

Tools that help you build your Minimum Viable Product (MVP):

  • QuickMVP help you to test your ideas, without wasting time or money
  • Optimizely One optimization platform for websites and mobile apps (A/B testing etc.)
  • Marvel a free prototyping and collaboration tool that lets designers transform their files into interactive, sharable prototypes viewable on any device
  • POP transforms your paper sketches into click-through prototypes in minutes
  • Instapage Build fully-functional landing pages on the fly
  • is enabling users to create fully interactive mobile app prototypes
  • UI Faces Find and generate sample avatars for user interfaces
  • Balsamiq Mockups is a wireframing tool
  • Moqups is a HTML5 app for creating resolution-independent SVG mockups & wireframes
  • Pixate allows you to create sophisticated animations and interactions for mobile

Get your Design ready

Do Marketing, Social Media & Blogging

  • Buffer is a easy way to publish on social media
  • Hootsuite Best Social media dashboard tool which let you manage all social media channels from single dashboard
  • Mailchimp An email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results
  • Aweber email marketing software for bloggers which offers email automation, personalisation and offers pre-built template to send beautiful Email newsletter
  • Buzzsumo Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.
  • Portent Content idea generator

Do Cost Calculation and Finance

Startup Stock Photos

Organize yourself and your team, collaborate digital

  • Slack will bring all your communication together in one place through real-time messaging
  • Trello Keeps track of everything and manage your To-Dos
  • Evernote collect and organize your ideas, notes and inspiration
  • Yanado Tasks management inside Gmail
  • IFTTT  helps you to automate business processes and gives control over apps you love
  • Wetransfer Free transfer up to 2GB
  • Dropbox Free space up to 2GB
  • Free, fast, private and easy image and file hosting.
  • Asana is a handy project management tool that helps you keep your team and your projects organized in one place
  • Basecamp project management tool that allows different teams to seamlessly collaborate.


Still lacking some tool to get your startup off the ground? Check out this and this site for even more resources and tools! What other resources allow startups to work faster and smarter? Do you have other suggestions for the Startup Weekend teams? Feel free to tweet any ideas to @SWWHH2015 or me directly @contenthorizon.