Why Designers Should Attend Startup Weekend


Designers attend Startup Weekend

There are a lot of different skill sets represented at a Startup Weekend, from business and marketing, to technical development, to beautiful design. No matter where your skills lie, they can be put to good use. We invite everybody, regardless of what your skills are, to attend Startup Weekend on November 11, 2016, but in this post let’s look at a few reasons why designers should attend.

You’ve Got an Idea

This the most obvious reason why people attend Startup Weekend. A lot of people who register have an idea that they want to pitch and build out into a startup, or as much as they can over the course of a weekend. This is the perfect time to share your idea with others and see if they want to help you build it. You might be surprised what others with different skills than your own can add to your idea.

Don’t have an idea to pitch? Come anyway!

If you’re a designer that doesn’t have an idea to pitch, you can still make valuable contributions to the ideas of others. Can you listen to people and visualize what they’re saying? Has anybody ever told you “That’s exactly what I was picturing!” after you showed them a design? Good, because no business presentation or app design will be ready for the judges without a professional, polished, design. You might create the logo or user interface of the next big thing!

Note: Time is extremely limited (only 54 hours from idea to presentation) so you won’t have to do tons of revisions to your designs 😉

Learn other aspects of launching a startup

There’s more to business than designing a website, user interface, app or logo. There’s product/market fit, customer validation, product development, business plan development, and more. Startup Weekend will give you experience for the other aspects of developing a product and business. You’ll meet growth marketers who know how to make money from ideas. You’ll meet developers who know how to build apps and websites. You’ll meet business pros who know how to write a business plan. Working on a project with others will help make you a well-rounded business professional, in addition to a talented designer.

It’s a great opportunity to showcase your talent and network

There’s nothing quite like the vibe inside a fast-moving startup, and it’s hard to find in the real world. The people who attend Startup Weekend are driven, ambitious, clever people with a passion for entrepreneurship. You’re going to meet some truly amazing people. Additionally, the judges and coaches are some established, respected veterans of the Sacramento startup scene—you never know who you’ll impress!

Get involved in and give back to the Sacramento startup community

A lot of people come to Startup Weekend with altruistic motives. Giving your talents and skills to the community is a gratifying experience you won’t soon forget. Sacramento has a great, vibrant startup community that is a very open and collaborative compared to Silicon Valley and other startup hubs. Startup Weekend is a great opportunity to meet others in the Sacramento startup community and get involved with the revitalization of our region.

Work hard, move fast, break things

Startup Weekend is all action. In order to succeed, you might have to step outside your comfort zone, learn new skills, and take a swing at something you’ve never done before. You might just discover a part of yourself that you didn’t know existed, or that you’ve never had the chance to express before.

We’re not going to lie to you; it’s hard work. This is anything but a relaxing weekend, but that’s part of the appeal! You will be amazed at the amount you can get done in a very short time.

So what do you think—can we count you in? Sign up here.

Connect with your Fellow Startup Weekend Sacramento Attendees with WimZr

Start meeting others who are attending now by downloading the official Startup Weekend Sacramento app, wimZr!


One of the many benefits of attending a Startup Weekend is the new connections you will make. Those connections  with other awesome Sacramento entrepreneurs and professionals will stay with you long after the weekend is over. With that in mind, Startup Weekend Sacramento is teaming up with local Sacramento startup wimZr to help organizers and attendees stay connected with each other before, during, and after the weekend.

wimZr is a mobile application that allows people to connect days, weeks, even months prior to arriving at music festivals, travel destinations, sporting events, business conferences, and so much more worldwide!

Want to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your fellow Startup Weekend attendees? First download the free wimZr app. You can download wimZr for iPhone and Android.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, add the event Startup Weekend Sacramento.

Once you’ve downloaded the wimZr app and added the event, you’ll have the ability to connect with the organizing team as well as participants, before, during and after the weekend. You’ll be able to view event details/schedule and get push notification throughout the weekend about the schedule, food, mentors and coaching sessions and you’ll be able to connect with other Startup Weekend participants in the app through an open forum, regardless of where you are.

If you haven’t already got your tickets to Startup Weekend Sacramento on Nov 11 – 13, get them now!

Workshop: Pitching Your Idea at Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend opening night pitches – you’ve got just 60 seconds to pitch your idea and convince everyone that your idea is worthy to be selected and worked on over the course of the weekend and to motivate others to join your team to help you work on the idea. Unfortunately some people aren’t prepared for this short format. It’s all to easy to squander this 60 seconds if you’re not focused and don’t get to the point of your pitch. But the good news is, you’ll have a chance to prepare and practice your pitch before the weekend starts.

FREE Pre-event Workshop: Pitching Your Idea at Startup Weekend

When: Monday, November 7, 2016 6:30pm

Where: The Urban Hive, 1931 H Street Sacramento, CA

Cost: FREE!

This is your chance to practice your pitch and get feedback from peers and coaches before Startup Weekend begins! You will get the basics on how to make your 1-minute pitch effective so other participants at Startup Weekend Sacramento will want to join your team.  As an entrepreneur learning how to effectively pitch your idea to investors and customers is key for success, and what you learn during this workshop you can later apply in future pitches.

Not sure if you are ready to commit to Startup Weekend? Come on out anyway — the people you meet and the practice experience will help you decide if Startup Weekend is right for you.

RSVP for the Workshop!


3 Steps to Develop Your Mobile App Idea

Startup Weekend is only possible because of generous sponsorship from the Sacramento business community. Apptology, once again is demonstrating its generosity, commitment, and support of Sacramento’s startup community and Startup Weekend by sponsoring at the platinum level. Based in Northern California, Apptology is the leading mobile applications development and mobile marketing company. The following is a guest post by Apptology CEO, Rich Forman.

You’ve been thinking about an idea that you think can be the next Uber for weeks. So what do you do? Here are three steps you can take that will help you develop your idea.

1. Research Your Mobile App Idea:

The first thing you want to do with your idea is to research it. I had a client that spent a considerable amount of time having me do an NDA dance before speaking with me. Once we finally started talking, I quickly did a search on the Apple App Store and found there were over 25 similar apps listed; he quickly lost interest in pursuing this project.

Keep in mind that it’s not the end of the world if you find another app that does what you’re trying to accomplish. You just have to figure out how to make your app better. Remember, before Google there was Yahoo; Before Facebook, there was MySpace. It’s not so much who goes to market first, but rather who executes best.

In doing your research, you need to also look at the market potential. For example, let’s say you had an app that was geared for veterinarians. A quick Google search shows that there are 90,000 veterinarians in the U.S. Now, you just identified your market potential.

2. Create Storyboard for Your Mobile App:

Now it’s time to put your idea down on paper and develop a storyboard (or wireframe). This is where the rubber hits the road and you put yourself in the shoes of the user. For instance, what’s the first thing they see once they launch your app? The first screen takes you to the main menu; the user taps the top button, where does it take the user? And so on.

To create our wireframes, our designers use a design tool called Balsamiq. I send our clients a PowerPoint template where they can either use PowerPoint’s drawing tools or they can even print it out and hand draw it.

The advantage of creating a storyboard are:

  • It helps develop your idea
  • You have something to show as you try to recruit people or investors
  • Provides direction for your development team

3. Develop Mobile App Business Plan:

After you’ve done the research and developed a storyboard, if you decide you have something viable, you need to put together a business plan. After you’ve followed these 3 steps diligently, I suggest reading the 5 Challenges of a Startup Appreneur to know what you’re up against and strategize accordingly. Good luck on your start up journey as you recruit co-founders, get funding, etc.

Fun with iOS App development – Basic Overview

A lot of the ideas that people come up with during Startup Weekend are apps. Additionally, a lot of business ideas can be implemented through apps. Having an app is a great asset for a firm to publicize their business even when the app is not the main product. If you have an idea you’re considering for Startup Weekend that will need an app or even if you’ve just wondered how the apps you use are made, we’ve got a special FREE workshop lined up for you.

Get ready to have fun with iOS App Development! This workshop will give you an overview of iOS App development, helping you get ready for the Startup Weekend event on Nov 11-13!

Thu, October 27, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM PDT

Hacker Lab
1715 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

RSVP and join us to get a feel of how the apps you use on your phone are developed.


How Does Startup Weekend Work?

The next Startup Weekend Sacramento is just a few weeks away. The organizing team expects to see a lot of new faces at this upcoming event. With that in mind, here’s an infographic to give attendees a quick visual overview of what to expect over the course of the weekend. If you haven’t signed up for Startup Weekend yet, here’s the details:

When: November 11 – 13, 2016

Where: Velocity Venture Capital, 801 K St. 28th floor


Download PDF version of the infographic



Sponsor Spotlight: Rocket Department

Startup Weekend would not be possible without support and funding from our business community. In the next few weeks leading up to the November 11-13 event, we’d like to publicly recognize this generous support.


Sacramento-based Rocket Department is itself a startup, originating 2 years ago from a Cereal Hack hackathon. Since that time, the team at Rocket Department have been stalwart supporters and champions of the Sacramento startup community and Startup Weekend. They build ideas to inspire people and to create a vibrant, tech-forward region. They work closely with innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses, and community groups.

Thank you Rocket Department!

Want to be part of the Sacramento startup community? Sign up for Startup Weekend Sacramento taking place November 11-13.

Impact Venture Capital

Startup Weekend is only possible because of generous sponsorship from the Sacramento business community. Impact Venture Capital is our signature sponsor and is dedicated to helping to grow our startup ecosystem. Take a minute and get to know Impact VC and how your startup can work with them.6da0c374e46d492e9dd14edee2122de3

At Impact Venture Capital, we believe that talented human capital, mentored startups, and a strong ecosystem drives the innovation economy of Northern California. In past decades, the digital and mobile revolutions, started here in Northern California, radically transformed the way we live, work, and play. But, this economy is ready to change the world in a way never seen before. New technologies, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, driverless cars, and robotics, have the potential to solve some of the greatest challenges the world has ever seen.

As nearly a billion people grapple with hunger; as we waste almost $1 trillion in the healthcare system; and as we spew billions of tons of carbon into the air, vital industries are ripe for disruption. And that disruption will improve the lives of billions of people across the planet. We’re at the epicenter of that disruption here in the Northern California “Technology Triangle”, anchored by the San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento, and we are uniquely positioned to provide real solutions to these challenges.

At Impact Venture Capital, we focus on the information technology companies targeting industries best able to lead this disruption, including security & government; energy & transportation; agriculture & health; and education & media. We co-invest and partner with major corporations to resource these efforts and ensure our startups are funded and sustainable for the long haul. With investment offices in Sacramento and Silicon Valley, Impact will tap into the most exciting opportunities coming from Northern California’s best research labs or from its smallest garages. By investing and collaborating with us, you too will help find the solutions for tomorrow.

Customer Development Workshop

“More startups fail from a lack of customers than from a failure or product development.” ~ Steve Blank 


Do you have an idea for a business? It is time to put it to the test!

Learn some of the tools and skills needed to get valuable information from potential customers so you can set up your business for success. Finding whether your product or service is something people will really go for requires a strategy and the right way to ask. This will be an interactive workshop on how to interview your potential customers and find whether is time to pivot!

When: Tue, November 1, 2016 5:45 PM – 7:30 PM

Where: Capsity, 2572 21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95818

Cost: Free


Extra Credit: Take what you learn in this workshop and put it to the test. Sign up for Startup Weekend Sacramento.

Why Students Should Attend Startup Weekend Sacramento

Startup Weekend Sacramento for students
Image via unsplash.com

Come one, come all to Startup Weekend, but if you’re a student, we have some special opportunities available to you. The last several Startup Weekend events in Sacramento have all had students from a variety of backgrounds, from business to design to technical.

At Startup Weekend, age and work experience don’t matter as much as the ability to innovate and work under pressure. We invite everybody to attend Startup Weekend on November 11, 2016, but in this post, we want to take a minute to explain some of the key benefits that students can receive by participating in the weekend.

Looks great on a résumé

OK, so you knew this one was coming, but it’s worth noting that spending your own money (and your weekend!) working on something you’re passionate about shows a lot of initiative. Employers like initiative. So go ahead, spice up your LinkedIn profile with some actual project work—a great conversation starter for your next interview.

Being an entrepreneur is no longer a choice

At a recent TEDxSacramento talk, Henrik Scheel offers some insight into how entrepreneurship fits into the education system. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this video.


Learning outside the classroom

The theme for this Startup Weekend encourages you to “Take entrepreneurship for a spin.” What better way to test out the startup culture than to actually live it? If only for the weekend. You’ll be amazed at the skills some of your team members and competitors have, and you’ll have the chance to learn firsthand and ask questions. This type of education is very difficult to come by otherwise—take advantage of your opportunity!

Networking with other entrepreneurs

You will meet business owners, you will meet engineers, and you will meet venture capitalists. Again, not something that you have access to on a normal weekend. If you play your cards right, you might even impress somebody who’s looking for a business partner, co-founder or employee.

Students get a discount

Wait, how did we leave this until the end of this post!?! Enter “STUDENT” in the promo code of our Eventbrite page for a steep discount—regular tickets are $99, but only $26 with valid student ID.

Well, will we see you November 11? Register today!