Worried about being judged?

Well here is the rundown of what the judges are looking for.

  1. Business Model
    • How will your business be successful?
    • What problem does your idea solve?
    • Who is your competition? How do you compete with them?
    • Have you considered how you can scale your business, get customers, make money?  
  2. Customer Validation
    • Will people want this idea/product?
    • Do you understand what customers need?
    • Did you talk to potential customers?
  3. Execution and Design
    • Have you created some sort of product/or mock up over the course of the weekend (hardware, software, etc.)?
    • Is your product user friendly?
    • Are you able to show your product is functional?

Get ready for the competition!  #SWMU18 is right around the corner so come excited and ready to create!

What if I don’t have a good business idea?

Don’t worry! Don’t discount your business idea if you have one, you can pitch it to us Friday night. If you don’t have a business idea, or one you want to develop, we need you just as much as those with big ideas! We need people who are great teammates, communicators and students with a variety of skills such as programmers, designers, engineers etc.


Tips for pitching:

  • Keep it short (60 seconds)
  • Make it easy for others to understand
    • This will help ensure that your potential team members fully understand what the idea is
  • Explain the problem you are solving with your idea
  • Be personable and approachable


#SWMU18 is quickly approaching! If you haven’t already signed up, do so now and be a part of this amazing experience.

Blog Post Content

Why Startups Fail

Watch this video (link is below) to understand why startups fail. It often is not the product. As you listen envision the business model canvas. Entrepreneurs must test assumptions. Which ones do they seem to miss?

Also note the concept of time. Time is a valuable resource for an entrepreneur and if misused can compromise startup success. 

As you consider time and testing assumptions think about the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams. They will be important to demonstrate in this course.

The video discusses what investors look for and what customers look for. Consider what each seeks and why and how they are similar.

Watch the first 8:50 of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouHDNBT_leg&feature=youtu.be (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Business Model Definitions

Customer Segments – also known as market segments:

An identifiable group of individuals, families, businesses, or organizations, sharing one or more characteristics or needs in an otherwise homogeneous market. Market segments generally respond in a predictable manner to a marketing or promotion offer.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/market-segment.html#ixzz2ZrbU2wSZ

Customer Segmentation:

The act of separating a group of clients into sets of similar individuals that are related from a marketing or demographic perspective. For example, a business that practices customer segmentation might group its current or potential customers according to their gender, buying tendencies, age group, and special interests.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/customer-segmentation.html#ixzz2ZrbcJ5PD 

Customer Problem also known as customer need:

Problems that customers intend to solve with the purchase of a good or service. See also customer expectations and customer requirements.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/customer-needs.html#ixzz2Zrc69Cul

Business Solution:

Answer(s) suggested or implemented to try and solve a question or problem. A solution can be either simple or complex and may require few resources or many resources. For example, the solution to a math question may be addressed quickly with a calculator but the solution to preventing accounting fraud may be more complex and require a great deal of time to find.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/solution.html#ixzz2ZrcUMmu6

Unique Value Proposition:

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer that value will be experienced. A value proposition can apply to an entire organization, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services.

Creating a value proposition is a part of business strategy. Kaplan and Norton say “Strategy is based on a differentiated customer value proposition. Satisfying customers is the source of sustainable value creation.”

Developing a value proposition is based on a review and analysis of the benefits, costs and value that an organization can deliver to its customers, prospective customers, and other constituent groups within and outside the organization. It is also a positioning of value, where Value = Benefits – Cost

Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_proposition

Unfair Advantage also known as competitive advantage:

A superiority gained by an organization when it can provide the same value as its competitors but at a lower price, or can charge higher prices by providing greater value through differentiation. Competitive advantage results from matching core competencies to the opportunities.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/competitive-advantage.html#ixzz2ZreKfRpE

Key Metrics sometimes known as key performance indicators:

Key business statistics such as number of new orders, cash collection efficiency, and return on investment (ROI), which measure a firm’s performance in critical areas. KPIs show the progress (or lack of it) toward realizing the firm’s objectives or strategic plans by monitoring activities which (if not properly performed) would likely cause severe losses or outright failure.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/key-performance-indicators-KPI.html#ixzz2Zren8VeM

Channels sometimes known as distribution channel:

The path through which goods and services travel from the vendor to the consumer or payments for those products travel from the consumer to the vendor. A distribution channel can be as short as a direct transaction from the vendor to the consumer, or may include several interconnected intermediaries along the way such as wholesalers, distributers, agents andretailers. Each intermediary receives the item at one pricing point and movies it to the next higher pricing point until it reaches the final buyer.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/distribution-channel.html#ixzz2Zrf64hAz

Channels sometimes known as sales channel:

A way of bringing products or services to market so that they can be purchased by consumers. A sales channel can be direct if it involves a business selling directly to its customers, or it can be indirect if an intermediary such as a retailer or dealer is involved in selling the product to customers.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/sales-channel.html#ixzz2ZrfI7Mkj

Revenue Stream:

The income generated from sale of goods or services, or any other use of capital or assets, associated with the main operations of an organization before any costs or expenses are deducted. Revenue is shown usually as the top item in an income (profit and loss) statement from which all charges, costs, and expenses are subtracted to arrive at net income.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/revenue.html#ixzz2Zrfhdn8X

Cost Structure:

The expenses that a firm must take into account when manufacturing a product or providing a service. Types of cost structures include transaction costs, sunk costs, marginal costs and fixed costs.

Read more: http://www.investorwords.com/6462/cost_structure.html#ixzz2ZrgWVe9q

A method to determine how much it will cost a company to manufacture a product and how much profit will be recognized from manufacturing the product.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/cost-structure.html#ixzz2Zrgml3Ek

What is business model?

What is a business model? In this video Alexander Osterwalder, who created the concept of the business model canvas, explains the business model concept and its utility.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8zIESVOSEA&feature=youtu.be

Watch the short video at this link to understand the basic definition of a business model and note the simplicity of the concept. Often the term business model is one that is confusing and while there are several elements that make up a business model, in essence it comes down to this: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/businessmodel.asp (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Business Model Types

Read the article, 15 Business Models, to get a sense of the variety of ways a business can create value, the types of products and services they could offer and how they structure their operations to deliver the product or service. 15+Business+Models.docPreview the document


 Learning Objectives

Over the course of Startup Weekend you will learn the following:

  • Understand the term entrepreneurship–what it is and what it is not
  • Gain an understanding of the startup business landscape in the U.S.
  • Understand models of how new products and services are developed and taken to market
  • Understand what differentiates startups from other organizations
  • Understand the terms business model and business model canvas and learn how to use a business model canvas
  • Understand the fundamentals of how and why startups succeed or fail

Why do I want to be involved with Startup Weekend?

Winners of SWMU2016
Winners of SWMU2016

Not sure if Startup Weekend is for you or are concerned you will waste $25? Well, have you
ever had a business idea, an inclination to create your own business, wanted extra business
practice, or more experience working on a team? If you answered yes to any of these
questions, then Startup Weekend is the place for you! Use your $25 to launch your future. Your
$25 doesn’t just include your 48-hour experience with Startup Weekend, it’s an investment in
your future. In both 2015 and 2014 the first and second place winners participated in the
Brandery’s mini-accelerator course and have helped raise over $300,000 on Kickstarter.
Pitch to the judges, potentially work with companies, and take your idea past this weekend.
Can’t wait to see these amazing ideas come to life. Don’t miss this unique opportunity, sign up
now!Blog Post Content

Get Excited for #SWMU Again!

Startup Weekend Miami University is quickly approaching! Spots are limited, so sign up for only $25 to be a part of #SWMU. This is a weekend for students to practice critical entrepreneurial skills and for others to learn, all while earning a 1-hour credit for ESP 102. Be there for the 48 hours that it takes to bring your idea from start to finish.

Startup Weekend is a great opportunity for students from all majors to come create ideas together, practice teamwork, communication, and critical leadership skills. Mark your calendars and sign up now to be a part of this amazing event!

What are the Judges Looking For?

So you’ve got your big idea, and you’re ready for your final presentation. What should you look out for to make sure you wow the judges?

The judges are looking at three important criteria, that are all weighted equally:

  1. Business Model: How does your team plan to make this business successful? Have you either solved or identified your problems? Have you taken into account your competition, your ability to scale, the acquisition of customers, and created a revenue model?
  2. Customer Validation: Are you building something that people really want? How well do you understand your customer as well as their needs? Did you go out and talk to potential customers? What is your value proposition?
  3. Execution and Design: Have you established a “Minimal Viable Product” over the course of the weekend (hardware, software, etc.)? Are you going to deliver a compelling user experience? Are you able to demonstrate something that is functional?

If you take these factors into account, your business idea should be ready for the competition in no time. Get ready, Startup Weekend 2016 starts in just a few short days! We can’t wait to see you soon.

Do I need a Business Idea for Startup Weekend?!


NO! You do not need a business idea to participate in Startup Weekend! Although the idea-makers are very important, they need people to help them turn their ideas into reality. We are looking for designers, programmers, business-oriented students, and really anyone that would bring charisma and dedication to the table.

If you do have a business idea and are planning to craft a 60-second pitch on the first night of the weekend, here’s some advice for you:

  • 5-10 Seconds: Introduce yourself and explain why you are qualified to speak about your idea
  • 10-20 Seconds: Name the problem that this idea could solve, as well as who is affected by that problem
  • 10-20 Seconds: Explain how you are going to solve that problem, and why your idea is better than existing alternatives
  • 5-10 Seconds: Explain who you are looking for on your team

Make sure to appear approachable when you are pitching. If you would like to guarantee team members, you need to make sure to keep the audience interested and show that you are friendly. Also, make sure to keep your solution simple, both to ensure that potential team members understand your idea, as well as to make things easier to move forward over the course of the weekend. Now get cracking, there’s just a few weeks left until #SWMU2016!