Judging Criteria

With prizes ranging from cash, professional mentoring, swag, and positions at great companies there is a lot at stake during Startup Weekend.

Of course, the weekend is about much more than winning. But in order to keep your head on your shoulders during the hectic 54 hours it’s important to remember what you are expected to present at the end of the event. We therefore wanted to give you a look into what our judges will be thinking about on Sunday evening.

The Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighted equally):

      • Business Model
        • How does the team plan on making this a successful business? Have they thought about (either solved or identified problems) competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, their revenue model etc?
      • Customer Validation
        • Are teams building something that people actually want? How well does the team understand their customer and their customer’s needs. Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers?
      • Execution & Design
        • Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (software, hardware, etc.)? *Note: an MVP is the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data. Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Were they able to demo something functional?

Get your ticket today to get the chance to impress the judges with your idea! Tickets available here.

Startup Weekend WOMEN SBE 2019

Originally posted by Erling Amble

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South Bend Elkhart Welcomes Startup Weekend

In the renaissance of South Bend, Indiana, community leaders, groups of people with common efforts, and organizations with broad influence have helped align the ship we call home. Situated at the southern bend of the St. Joseph River, our city is home to great industry of the 20th century, infrastructure of the 21st century, and the people who will shape the future.

Our greatest asset has always been our people and our ingenuity is what has brought us prosperity. By harnessing the hydropower of the river, we created industry, with humble lands we have educated the leaders of tomorrow, and in our geography we have connected ideas. Through mass transit rail, our waterways, international aircraft, or digitally on the fiberoptic web, South Bend, Indiana embodies what it means to be the Crossroads of America.

Share in our enthusiasm as we embark on a broadening of our constituency base through 2020. In the next three years, our goal is to host Startup Weekend events four times per year, distribute deeper volumes of content in the Startup Digest, and host our annual Startup Week. Beyond Techstars’ suite of programs our groups hopes to support others in various events throughout the community as well, such as and not limited to: TEDxSBE, IgniteMICHIANA, Kickstarter Film Festivals, SXSB, Art Festivals, Music Festivals, and much more. Send us an email at southbend@startupweekend.org, visit our community page http://communities.techstars.com/usa/southbendelkhart, and get involved any way you can. The sooner you start, the sooner you will learn what it takes to begin.

Startup Weekend South Bend Elkhart


Just another blog post

Here is another blog post on our South Bend, IN event page.

Judging Criteria Update

Good Morning Everyone!

Hope you guys are enjoying the startup weekend experience. We wanted to present you with some more details in regards to the some of the business components that the judges are looking for over the weekend.

MVP: This is your basic prototype. What is that you need on a simple level to show potential customers/investors/friends/potential teammates.  It doesn’t need to be working it just needs to get the basic message/idea across. This is an example of a very creative, non-technical MVP:  https://vimeo.com/13377903

Business Model Canvass: Please see the canvass sheet provided and begin to fill this out. Focus on the Value Propositions and Customer Segments and how they are connected.  Ask the organizers if you have any questions at all!

Value Proposition:  Is this idea unique? What value are you offering to customers?  What makes this different to everything else on the market? Your secret sauce! You need a differentiator to make this a successful business.

Our (product/service) helps (customer segment) who want to (job to be done), by (verb e.g. saving time) and (customer pain point e.g. increasing reliability).  Can you fill out this sentence?

Customer Validation: This can be done in a survey format (surveymonkey or google surveys), you can use social media (facebook or twitter).  The most valuable customer validation comes from getting out of the building and talking to people.  You have 8,000 Notre Dame students across the road, ask them about their needs and the opinions. Give us powerful quotes from people (“I need to buy this now!”, “Everyone has this problem”, “All my friends would buy this”)

Target Market Size and Logistics:  What is the potential market that your product/service could reach.  If it is an app, how many smartphone users are there in the US? in the world?  If it is for college students, how many freshman each year?