Sponsor Spotlight – Harbor Compliance

logo-sloganStartup Weekend Lancaster couldn’t happen without our sponsors. We (virtually) sat down with Mike Montali from Harbor Compliance to learn a little more about the company, why they sponsor our prize pack, and got a little nugget of business wisdom from him as well!

Tell us a little bit about Harbor Compliance…

Harbor Compliance is a national provider of business licensing and compliance services. Harbor Compliance helps you incorporate and stay compliant throughout the life of your business.

How did you get plugged Startup Weekend?

Our first experience with Startup Weekend was the inaugural year of Startup Weekend Lancaster. Our co-founders participated that year and our experience was so positive that we’ve sponsored both Lancaster and Harrisburg every year since. We’ve also become involved with a few other Startup Weekends throughout the country and have helped the winners incorporate their businesses.

What’s your best piece of advice to tech entrepreneurs?

Stay in tune with the market. Before you build anything, validate the need for your offering by speaking with target customers. Continue the process of asking customers for feedback as you go live.

Also make sure to get your “legal house” in order early to avoid potential problems down the road. Incorporating your business, agreeing on ownership terms, and creating a partnership agreement are all key steps to laying the foundation for a successful startup.


Startup Weekend is NOT about the prizes. It’s about the learning, the meeting people, the energy, the fun, the buzz, the inspiration and even the delicious Wibbly Wobbly Burgers and Pizzetta Pizzas… definitely not about prizes. But we wanted to ensure that if you have to receive a prize, not only are they incredibly useful in terms of taking your new startup forward but pretty awesome too!

So without further ado we announce this years Lancaster University Startup Weekend grand prizes:


By the courtesy of key figures on the Manchester and UK Startup scene, one lucky team will receive access to Manchester’s #1 Collaborative Workspace for Startups : SpacePortX!

Our local university based ‘incubator’ Mind Your Own Business will also give one team a Fast Track straight into the final round of their selection process. Where successful teams will be allocated university office space for free.


Our top three teams will also earn their place in the Champions Circle of Global Startup Battle, and be given the opportunity to compete on international level. Where teams will have the opportunity to win prizes such as:

  • All expenses paid trip to UP Global Headquarters for an extensive team mentoring experience.
  • All expenses paid trip for the Global Entrepreneurship conference.
  • All expenses paid to New York for a NASDAQ media tour.
  • 20 000USD for GA courses
  • Booth at the CES Eureka Park, access to the LAUNCH conference.
  • and much more

Beyond this there are loads of other prizes from sponsors such as Zoaring Adaptive, NuBlue, Blinkist and Podio.

Stay Connected:

Like the Lancaster University Startup Weekend page on Facebook.
Follow @LancasterUniSW on Twitter.

Start Preparing Your Pitch!

MicIf you’re coming to Lancaster University Startup Weekend – you only have 1 week to prepare your pitch for Friday night!

Alli Blum wrote a great post on preparing for the pitch for Philadelphia (US) Startup Weekend.

  1. Focus on the problem you want to solve
  2. Mention how you think the problem should be solved
  3. Talk about your secret sauce
  4. Tell us what you already know
  5. Showcase your winning personality
  6. Show up with an idea that does something meaningful
  7. Name your idea

Here’s how the Co-Directors of StartupWeekend.org think you should plan it out:

  • 5 to 10 seconds: Who are you?
  • 10 to 20 seconds: What’s the problem your product/service solves?
  • 10 to 20 seconds: What’s your solution?
  • 5 to 10 seconds: Who do you need on your team?

Now, with all of that advice – start preparing your pitch! I know that we’ll hear some great ones Friday, 21st of November!

If you still need advice on preparing your pitch, you want to run your pitch by someone before Friday night, or you just can’t figure out where your hamster got to feel free to email us at LancasterUniSW (at) Gmail (dot) com (or you can click the contact button on our home page).

Stay Connected:
Like our page on Facebook.
Follow @LancasterUniSW on Twitter.

The Roles at Startup Weekend

So. Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event where you can get a crash-course on being an entrepreneur. But how are you going to participate in Startup Weekend? There are a variety of ways anyone can participate. I had an interesting experience where I signed up to be a developer but had reservations on developing when I arrived. It was fine – I still played a part as a Project Manager and assisted with some development decisions. In other words – whatever ticket you choose, while it is very important, there are so many more ways to participate in Startup Weekend.

But that doesn’t necessarily help you decide which way you’ll sign up to participate, does it? Never fear. I’ve pulled together a little guidance on each role at Startup Weekend: Developer, Designer, and Non-technical!

This ticket type applies to software engineers/coders/developers – in short, anybody who can and will write code.
Honestly – that description is pretty perfect. What can you expect to do at Startup Weekend, though, if you sign up as a Developer? You might start with a pitch. And then you might work with the non-technical and designer to ensure your concept is effective for completion in 54-hours and then start to code. Or maybe you don’t have an idea to pitch. Or you might pitch an idea that doesn’t make the cut Friday night. You can still join another team and work with that team to complete the idea and code during the weekend either alone or with another developer (or two)!

This ticket type applies to anybody with a background in design (graphics, UX/UI, etc.)
Again, the ticket definition hits it spot-on. Know anything about design? Great! This ticket is for you. You might spend your time creating a logo or elements of an online-tool (like buttons, etc) or even laying out pages on a site. Or creating the many graphics needed for a site. If you have some coding knowledge for design, that’s great! If you know a bit about UX/UI but can’t complete everything for it – this is the ticket for you, too! And your time to learn more about creating the best experience online. If you’d like to read more about this unique way to participate. Also check out this great blog post on The Role of Design in Startup Weekend.

This ticket type applies to business, marketing & PR, and anyone with a non-technical background.
I love this ticket type description. It really can serve so many purposes because there are so many things to be done at Startup Weekend. It takes a great team to pull off creating a business in 54 hours. Are you a great marketer? This ticket type is for you. Do you know a lot about running a business? Or starting one, at least? This ticket type is for you. Are you a great writer? You might also make a great blogger or copywriter for a website or tool. This ticket type can also be for you! Also – don’t forget – you can pitch an idea Friday night, too. Maybe that’s what you think you’re coming with – just an idea for a business. And that’s fine. You can watch your idea unfold in 54 hours and learn the many different things you need to get that started with a great team while helping each developer, designer, marketer to get this accomplished.

Whichever ticket type you choose, there are so many ways to participate at Startup Weekend. From Friday Night through Sunday evening. It can be as much or as little as you like – but you’ll get the experience of watching a business start faster than any other situation.

Still have questions about what ticket to buy? Or just want to say hi? Just email us at lancasteruk (at) startupweekend (dot) org (or you can click the contact button on our home page).

Stay Connected:
Like the SW Lancaster page on Facebook.
Follow @LancasterUniSW on Twitter.

Hello! I’m Vegard – your web and social organizer!

Hello! I’m Vegard!

I’ll be writing blog posts to prepare you for Startup Weekend Lancaster and I’m really excited to be an organizer for this event. I went to my first Startup Weekend in Stavanger in April 2012. I had a blast and my team, RedContext, won 2nd place in the competition. I’ll admit – I was nervous before the weekend and continued to be nervous as it started. I wasn’t sure where I would fit in, what I was going to do! But Startup Weekend was an experience that I know many others would like to have – and Lancaster University is close to my heart (as a Lancaster graduate) so I’m super psyched to help bring it there for a second year!

In addition to writing blog posts each week I’ll also be managing the facebook and twitter pages and I’m more than willing to answer any questions you may have or just talk to you about what socks you’ll wear that day. So feel free to email me. 🙂

I’ll also be providing site updates. Any time there’s a change in our sponsors, coaches, judges, or schedule (or anything, really) I’ll be sure to update the website. And, with my blog posts, I’ll let you know if there’s anything new and exciting!

For now – why don’t you check out our Sponsors, Coaches, and Judges via our homepage and get associated with the schedule. You can even checkout the Startup Weekend site and get familiar with the event a little!

If you’re already convinced Startup Weekend is for you – you can get a ticket here and come spend 54 hours with myself and the other great organizers taking a business from concept to creation.

Stay tuned for more information on the different roles of participants in Startup Weekend!

If you have questions about Startup Weekend, or just want to say hi, email us at LancasterUK [at] StartupWeekend [dot] Org (or you can click the contact button on our home page).

Stay Connected:
Like the SW Lancaster page on Facebook.
Follow @LancasterUniSW on Twitter.