Startup Weekend Athens starts up

More than thirty participants registered for Startup Weekend, three days of developing ideas for new enterprises. As they checked in, they chose color-coded stickers to put on their name tags identifying particular skills and interest: Blue for coders, orange for engineers, electric green for business gurus (the word interpreted broadly), hot pink for marketing and communications types.


The aspiring entrepreneurs talked over dinner in the lobby of the OU Innovation Center. The excited buzz of conversation contained a lot of “Are you going to pitch?” “What are you going to pitch?” and “What do you think of…?”

The next step is for folks to pitch their ideas. Then the group votes to choose the ones that will be developed this weekend.

Stay tuned!


SUWA 2015 Prize Pack

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 3.19.27 PMCheck out the prize pack for SUWA 2015!

Along with the amazing experience Startup Weekend Athens offers, prizes are awarded to first, second and third place!


Prize Pack Flyer


How to Win Startup Weekend: A Good Team and a Little Magic

The most frightening thing I’ve done recently also turned out to be the most rewarding.

About a month ago I attended a Startup Weekend in my resident city. I knew no other enrolled attendee and next to nothing about the process. But I had a keen interest in business, startups, and the unique opportunity SW offers to potentially build a business from the ground up. Within a weekend.

When I arrived on Friday night I was filled with a mix of anxiety, excitement and ambition.

I wanted some magic to happen.

After some ups and down moulding a good team, ours started working on a concept I felt had good potential. We were following the Lean Startup method and had worked out a problem, a solution and who our potential customers would be by the end of Friday night.

On Saturday morning we left the building to do some market validation. Unfortunately, after spending hours gathering data and customer validation we discovered that not only did our solution already exist, but in nearly the exact same form we’d envisioned.

We were disheartened and exhausted. But we still wanted to work together. We wanted to finish the weekend. We just needed a new business idea.

After a couple hours brainstorming over beer and craft hot chocolate we were left grasping at straws and coming up short.

We returned to the building together for what we thought would be our last meal as a team: fresh paella, a Startup Weekend Wellington tradition.

After the meal, we were prepared to disassemble and go home to a decent night’s sleep.

And then a little magic happened.

A Startup Weekend mentor approached us with some sage advice that changed our weekend.

She said, “I want you to know, every team reaches this point. Not only that, but every business reaches this point. When there seems no possible way forward and that no solution exists, it’s those who find a way and a will that succeed.”

Boom. We were back in. I forgot my own need to sleep and forgot the daunting fear of failure.

Our team chose to persevere over the remainder of the weekend and we pulled out a turn-around so profound that we earned the ‘Boomerang’ award from the SW mentors Sunday evening.

We were also the honourable recipients of the first standing ovation Dave Moskovitz, our lead mentor, longtime global Startup Weekend facilitator and organiser, has ever given a team during pitch practice in his entire Startup Weekend history.

And he stood and applauded us again when we were announced the weekend’s overall winner.

What began as an exercise to stretch my comfort zone became one of the most fulfilling 54-hour work periods in my recent memory. Meeting and joining the incredible team of my now-co-founders and winning Startup Weekend Wellington has started me (and I hope us) on a journey.

And I’m not sure that where that journey will take us nor where it will end. But I feel we can rest assured there will be more magic involved.

Co-founders of Voilà  (Team HousitLook at SWWLG).

A First-Timer's Guide to Startup Weekend



If you’ve considered for even two minutes that you might like to become an entrepreneur, here’s why Startup Weekend is the place to start.

If you’ve ever had an idea that you wanted to share. If you like to compete…have fun…and make something from scratch, read why STARTUP WEEKEND is made for you.

If you like to design applications, code in JAVA or C++, or use WordPress applets…if you like to talk to customers about their problems, explain technical solutions in plain English, or make presentations in front of a roomful of people you’ve never met, learn why it would be a HUGE mistake to miss STARTUP WEEKEND.

Here’s the Not-David-Letterman Top 10 List of What to Expect.

10. Great munchies, a get-acquainted happy hour, and easy introductions to interesting new folks.

We’ll feed you, help you relax (a little), and have a bit of fun with an ice-breaker to two. Lots of people come on their own. You’ll meet people who are almost just like you and almost nothing like you.

9. A safe place to take a risk.

You might get a few laughs, but no one is going to call your idea dumb. Whether you know anything about technology or not, you’ll have a skill that some team needs. Part of the whole experience is putting yourself out there to be part of process.

8. 15 to 50 Fastball Pitches. 

Right off the bat, anyone with an idea is invited to make a 1 minute pitch. Everyone votes with Post-it® notes. Over the next 50 hours, 10to 15 teams will turn a roomful of concepts into a bunch of companies.

7. Power teams.

This means you! Women and men. Millennials to Boomers to Gen X and Y. From multiple states, countries, continents, and cultures. Marketing, technical, finance, and more. A total mixed bag of value add.

 6. All Action, no talk.

Tenacity. Passion. Determination. Once the top concepts are chosen, people self-select around those ideas. You’ll get a taste of what it takes to combine the right mix of talent to accomplish the near impossible. Who’s responsible for what? What are the deliverables? How fast can you get it done?

5. Concept validation.

Every good business plan begins with the entrepreneur surveying the market and talking to customers.

4. Minimal viable prototypes.

It’s a two-day hack-a-thon with a business spin.

3. Contacts, contacts, contacts.

The Ohio University Innovation Center will be packed with people you will be happy to meet: Wanna-be entrepreneurs, Gonna-be entrepreneurs, Already-are-entrepreneurs. Plus developers, designers, investors, mentors, business leaders, and more.

2. Fun.

There’s an esprit and collaborative feeling that comes about when you fill a space created for entrepreneurs with a hundred folks who want to concentrate for three days and give it a try.

1. The whole startup experience compressed into 3/365th of a year.

From concept validation to prototype, STARTUP WEEKEND delivers a dose of it all.

There’s the risk of putting your idea out there and having it voted up or down.

There’s the challenge of building the right team. And having a great idea, only to discover that a competitor in Texas is already doing it.

There’s the reward of winning the business plan pitch and getting some cool prizes.

There’s the satisfaction of living up to the commitment of delivering results overnight.

STARTUP WEEKEND is one of the cornerstone events of the Athens entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is a catalyst for people to take risk and get a taste of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.

Give it a try!


Sign up today! Click HERE

Stay Connected to SUWA 2015

Startup Weekend Athens: October 23rd-25th, 2015

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Want updates on all things Startup Weekend?

As SUWA 2015 approaches updates, information and opportunity will arise on all of our social media platforms.

Follow us on: Twitter and Facebook

Most importantly, don’t forget to sign up! Don’t miss out on the best weekend of your life. Sign up HERE.

Startup Weekend is back!

Startup Weekend Athens


October 23rd-25th, 2015

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 49 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.
Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Why Should YOU Attend Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend Athens 2015

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Why should YOU attend Startup Weekend?

1. Launch a business!

2. Gain valuable insight from our coaches who have experience working with aspiring entrepreneurs.

3. Meet potential co-founders and business partners.

4. Collaborate with like-minded individuals to come up with an innovative idea. Then, find out if the idea has traction and how best to position yourself to make it reality.

5. Build your network. Meet creative, innovative people with whom you can solve problems.

6. Meet amazing judges and mentors and hear great feedback.

7. Learn a new skill. You’ll be fully emerged in all things startup, from marketing to technical development, and from design to pitching.

8. Get inspired by a group of entrepreneurs just like you.

9. Win cash prizes and make your idea happen.

10. Find out what you excel at in 54 hours. Spend the weekend perfecting your networking, pitching and brainstorming ideas.

Buy your ticket for the best weekend of your life NOW.


UT:10 News – Business & Entrepreneur Startup Weekend Feature

UT’s Campus News covers Startup Weekend in 2012.

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Profile: Startup Weekend Toledo (September 2012)

Want a better idea of what Startup Weekend Toledo is all about? Check out this video.

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Announcing Startup Weekend Toledo 2015

Startup Weekend Toledo
October 2nd, 2015

Startup Weekend Toledo 2015 is scheduled for October 2-4 at the LaunchPad Incubator on the campus of the University of Toledo. This will be the third Startup Weekend hosted in the Toledo area – past events occurred in 2012 and 2013.

Some people call it a three day MBA in entrepreneurship. For others, it’s a life changing experience. Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

You know how crazy it is to go from idea to business model to launch a company in one weekend. At Startup Weekend you can join others in the Toledo region who are crazy enough to just do that and more. Your ticket includes all your materials, access to coaches and mentors from many different fields, discussions with speakers who have gone through the startup process, and all meals during the weekend. Advance discount tickets are available until September 1.