5 Things to Expect at Startup Weekend

1. Late nights and lots of coffee
Startup Weekend kicks off Friday night with 1 minute pitches and ends with the final presentations on Sunday evening. That’s not a whole lot of time to do everything needed to wow the judges, including customer validation, design, and the actual building of your idea. To make the most out of this time, you might have to sacrifice some sleep. Be prepared to stay up late coding and up early the next morning getting back at it. I promise, it’ll be worth it. And coffee helps!
2. Learn something new
Have you been wanting to learn a new coding language like Node.js, play with cool things like Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and 3D Printers, or have an idea you think could turn into a business? Well there’s no better place to do it then a Startup Weekend.
3. Meet some cool people
MakeWorks is going to be packed full of talented designers, developers, hardware hackers, marketers, and people who love startups. Expect to work closely with your team and mingle with everyone else. You never know, that person might be your future co-founder, next employee, or someone who can help you with your day job.
4. Actually build something
Startup Weekend’s slogan is “No talk, All action”. That means there’s no time to hum and haw over options and there’s certainly no red tape to cut though. If you have an idea, you can build it immediately. Aim to have something built by the final presentation on Sunday and maybe, if you’re brave enough, even do a live demo!

5. Mentorship and advice from experts
At Startup Weekend, there will be a whole slew of mentors there to help your team out. These will be people with a whole lot of experience building things so I suggest you ask them questions and have them scrutinize your plan. The more help you get, the better your final pitch will be and the better chance you’ll have at taking home the grand prize!

Bonus: You’ll quit your job and start a company

This might not happen to everyone, but I’m willing to bet it will happen to someone. Over the course of the weekend, you’ll be validating your ideas, talking to customers, and building a ton of awesome things. But after Sunday, everything doesn’t have to stop. You can take what you’ve worked on and turn it into a real business that might even let you quit your job. It happened to our Startup Weekend alum wydr.me in 2014 – listen to Matthias’ story Friday night.

Game changers at the Startup Weekend Zurich


“Demographics”. This is the key word we can take away from this edition of Startup Weekend Zurich 2015 Spring Edition. After 3 days of intense work of startup building, TALINX convinced our jury and won the overall best price and the Creative Hub coaching award.

With their idea of reversing the recruitment process by enabling people to shape their own jobs with an online tool and connect them to recruiters, Talinx is the team that captured and touched a very sensitive nerve: the demographic shift and its impact on the recruitment system.

Only about 12% of the Swiss and the German population are aged between 15 and 24 years old. In the next 5-10 years, the baby boomer generation will leave the labor market.

”The economy will lose more workforce than ever in history. The demographics are stark”,

noted Dr. Barbara Lang, CEO of joba-consulting AG in Hergiswil and member of the jury.

“The labor force in Switzerland is aging and declining dramatically in the next 5-10 years, yet very few HR departments have a strategic HR program in place to face that demographic tsunami. The baby-boomer generation is in charge.”

These people have grown their careers in a market where people needed to adapt to the job-description. Many people competed for desirable job. That era has come to an end. Now, and even more so in the next 5-10 years, many open positions are available to a very limited pool of talent. While the baby-boomers were used to “fit a round shape into a square hole” simply to get the job, that era is over.

As Dr. Barbara Lang mentions,

“Generation Y doesn’t have to bend over backwards to get a job – and they know it. The demographics show that a wide choice of open positions is available to a small pool of talent. The logic of the hiring process is changing, “Führungskräftemangel” is already the word of the day among HR professionals.”

People will be able to define their desired job and their requirements. Companies may have no choice but to adapt, and to adapt fast – especially smaller companies in order to attract the talent they need.

TALINX captured this paradigm shift – and therefore deservedly won the first prize.

Congratulations TALINX!

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Final Day and the Winner Is…

Sunday was full of excitement, polishing the ideas and final touches on the presentations. At 5pm, participants, visitors, coaches and judges were ready for the highlight of the weekend: final pitches!

We had 9 amazing pitches which gave the jury a hard time to decide at the end.

Awards: Best Pitch, Best Prototype, Overall Winner


The final decision by jury came as follows:

The overall winner is Talinx. The platform aims that talents can create their dream job and reversing the recruiting process. The idea is that the potential employee posts the job definition and the potential employer applies to the candidate.


Talinx Team
Talinx Team

Cook Next Door was selected for the best prototype prize. They aim to connect the eaters and the cooks for a homemade take away.

Cook Next Door Team
Cook Next Door Team

The best pitch award goes to Together Panda. Their platform connects team assistants, HR professionals, team leaders and other interested people to agencies, venues, NGOs and individuals that provide team events.

Together Panda
Together Panda

Last but not least, Blogradio is chosen the “sexiest presentation”. Their idea is to bring the blogs to your ears. They enable listening the blogs when the followers do not have time to read or prefer to listen it on their way back home in the car.

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Blogradio Presenting

This was Startup Weekend Zurich Spring Edition 2015. Thanks a lot everyone for your great attendance and congratulations to our winners!

See you at the next edition: Startup Weekend Zurich 2015 – Autumn!


Your Startup Weekend Zurich Crew

Judging Criteria


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

●      Customer Validation (does the business have a good understand customers and their needs)

○      Did your team get out and talk to customers?

○      Who will be your users, who will be your customers (are they different)?

○      How many users have you interviewed?

○      Did you target the correct people to interview?

○      What did you learn from your customer interviews (revenue)?

○      What are the core needs of your users?

●      Execution & Design

○      What feedback have you gotten to inspire your Minimum Viable Product?

○      Did you build a prototype (paper or powerpoint is ok)?

○      How effective is your a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (be it software, hardware, etc.)?

○      How functional is your technical demo?

○      How easy is it for the user to navigate and use your product?

○      Were you able to incorporate customer feedback into the solution?

●      Business Model (is this business feasible)

○      Is it a big/unique idea?

○      What is your key value proposition?

○      How do you plan on making this a successful business?

○      Have you thought about competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, revenue model etc.?

○      Have you identified a specific target market?

○      How will they acquire their first 100 customers?


Good luck to all the teams for today!


Day 2: Getting work done

The morning started with a great presentation by Dr. Jordan McAfoose, Technology Founder & Lean Startup Evangelist. He shared his knowledge and insights on Lean methodology and helped teams on forming their business canvases.


The second speaker was Europe’s first Ethical Hacker & Serial Enterpeneur, Marco Ricca. He founded Ilion Security which he grew into Switzerland’s leading information risk management firm.

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Throughout the day teams validated their concepts, created mockups, developed their ideas while mentors were challenging their business proposals and offering a support.

What an impressive list of coaches and experienced individuals!

Kim Ludvigsen – CEO  Interprefy AG and consulting www.ludvigsen.ch

Jordan McAfoose – Technology Founder & Lean Startup Evangelist

Carlos Morales – Software Engineer & Lean Startup Evangelist

Andreas Posch – Head Consumer Business of Qnective AG

Alex Tschopp  – CEO of CEPAX Sustainable Solutions AG

Dominic Rubas – Founder & CEO rubas Holding GmbH

There was plenty of food, coffee, and Coca-Cola to keep everyone fueled. Chopfab is in the cooler for tomorrow.

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Thank you coaches for your guidance and support!


Teams are formed!

Startup Weekend Zurich Spring Edition started last night at ETH Honggerberg with a great atmosphere. The event had the start with full energy thanks to the participants.

Our facilitar Kathrine, who arrived from Norway last night, took the stage and started the first game: High-five with the people around whenever you see the blinking sheep on the screen!

Disco sheep?



High five!

After the introduction, our speaker Pascal Mathis, industry manager at Google and co-founder of GetYourGuide, gave his insightful presentation on “Small ideas can win big things”.

Small ideas can mean big wins


Lots of ideas were pitched yesterday evening. They all experienced a challenging voting session.


The best ideas are selected and 9 teams are formed:

Team 1: Medinung

Team 2: Crowd Invest

Team 3: Together Pand

Team 4: B-EYE

Team 5: Cook Next Door

Team 6: Radio Blog(g)

Team 7: Talinx

Team 8: 21 Ads for Locals

Team 9: Lokal

Already started!
Already started

Good luck to everyone!

Prizes for the winners


We are very excited to announce the following prizes for the winners of the Startup Weekend Zurich!

The overall prizes are:


Coaching Creative Hub

Did you know? Creative Hub is the first national platform for the support of Swiss designers in the implementation and commercialisation of their product and business ideas. Creative Hub supports Swiss designers in the promotion and utilisation of their product, service and business ideas.


Coaching wemakeit 

Who is wemakeit? At wemakeit platform, you get the chance to present idea to a large audience and to fund it with the help of countless backers – your friends, your family, fans and our community. At the same time, you can discover projects and join in the effort of putting fresh ideas into action.


99designs  supports Startup Weekend with a voucher to the winning team:

Bronze Logo offering Brand Identity solutions


Swisscom is an established sponsoring partner providing the following vouchers:

1st place: Swisscom vouchers worth in total 1000 CHF

2nd place: Swisscom vouchers worth in total 500 CHF

3rd place: Swisscom vouchers worth in total 250 CHF



Big thank you to sponsors for providing great prizes!




Pitch training: Are you in a Pitch shape yet?

The date is set. The venue is booked. Is your pitch ready?

Thank you all for coming to Pitch training event at Impact Hub Zurich.

Andreas Jurgeit, a venture-challenge lecturer and a coach to several start-ups,  shared some great tips on making your pitch efficient:

“Ask a question.

Stick to cold hard facts.

Choose one word equity. ”

Do whatever you feel comfortable with, but always remember to connect, focus on topic and intrigue.

Few more days left for some training.

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Thank you Andreas, Impact Hub Zurich for hosting and Zum guten Heinrich for a great meal!

See you on Friday!



Spring is sprung! Startup is back in Town

Startup Weekend Zurich

May 8th, 2015


A new edition of Startup Weekend is coming to Zurich! This winter the event will take place on May 8-10 at the dynamic environment of ETH Zurich.

Subscriptions are already open, so don’t miss the chance to pitch your idea and receive feedbacks from entrepreneurs and mentors. Startup Weekend Zurich is also a unique opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds: developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts will get together to launch a startup in 54 hours!

Registration for the event are available here.



Gewinne CHF 200‘000 Startkapital für dein Startup

Du hast eine geniale Startup Idee? Es wird ein kreatives, originelles und innovatives gewerbliches oder industrielles Startup mit oder ohne hohe Wachstumsabsichten? Du wirst diese Idee an diesem Wochenende am Startup Weekend Lucerne 2015 ausarbeiten (falls nicht, hier gibt es noch Tickets!)? Und für den richtigen Knall zum Start fehlt Dir nur noch das nötige Kleingeld?

Dann bist Du hier genau richtig! Die besten Geschäftsideen der Schweiz werden im Rahmen der SWISS STARTUPS AWARDS 2015 mit CHF 200‘000 Startkapital prämiert.

Hier findest Du den Flyer zu den SWISS STARTUPS AWARDS 2015.