How To Start A Company In A Weekend

It’s Friday night. You’re out having margaritas with your best girl friends when the conversation comes up again. “Wouldn’t it be great if someone could build an app that ____­.” Or, “someone should invent a product for kids that would _____.”

Or maybe your family is great at coming up with new ideas around the dinner table and you always wonder if you could take that idea and turn it into the next billion dollar company. Your mind flashes to visions of pitching your new startup on Shark Tank in front of Mark Cuban and millions of viewers worldwide.

What if you could pitch your idea, work on it with a team of experts over a weekend and turn those dreams into reality?

That is exactly what Startup Weekend offers and the next one in Fort Worth is right around the corner. Startup Weekend is exactly that – a weekend where people from diverse backgrounds come together to turn ideas into companies.

Every Startup Weekend starts with one minute business pitches on a Friday night (unfortunately no margaritas are provided!). The group of about 50-75 participants selects their favorite 8-10 ideas that they want to develop over the course of the next 54 hours. Each team then jumps headfirst into turning their concept into a real company. By the end of the weekend, every company has developed a brand, built a website and talked to potential customers about the viability of their startup business. Some teams have built a working app and some, if you can believe it, have even made money!


It’s a long weekend, but participants in Startup Weekends have an absolute blast and are able to interact with people that they never would have met otherwise. Marketing people get to work with coders and finance guys come together with graphic designers for a weekend. They all work together testing out ideas to see if they can turn that idea in a revenue-producing company.

At the end of the weekend, each team gets the opportunity to present their startup to a panel of judges. They get to show off what they’ve built over the last 54 hours. Win or lose, participants wake up the next day (hopefully after sleeping in) and get to decide if the experience they had is worth pursuing further. Typically, they’ve gotten just a small taste of what being an entrepreneur is truly like, which for some can lead to a decision to pour themselves into their new venture.

But does anything that comes out of a Startup Weekend ever actually turn into a real business? Well, the fastest growing company in the country in 2016, according to Inc. Magazine, began at a Startup Weekend. That company, called Loot Crate, grew at over 66,000% (yeah, you read that right) from 2013-2016. And they certainly aren’t the only one to humbly begin at a Startup Weekend and turn into a big company.

The next Startup Weekend in Fort Worth is November 3-5 at the UNT Health Science Center at Montgomery and Camp Bowie. Tickets, which include food and beverages for the entire weekend, start at $75 (until October 16) and are $99 each after the 16th. Get your tickets here.

If you’ve ever wanted to turn that idea into reality, Startup Weekend may be just the opportunity you’re looking for to put down that margarita and get started!

Get Moving on Your Idea

The idea behind Rx Interactive, Inc. was one that was simmering in Del-Metri Williams’s mind for years before Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2015. She pitched it, but it didn’t move forward that weekend. She went on to learn how to do a startup over the course of the weekend and later launched it.

The team Del-Metri was on worked on a video question and answer service they called MetaWhat. She applied herself to it fully, aiming to win. Ultimately another team won, and the MetaWhat team didn’t continue working on the idea, but that didn’t detract from the value of the weekend.

MetaWhat team at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016
MetaWhat team at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016

Del-Metri came out of Startup Weekend convinced her idea could work. So she and her husband Rudy launched it. Rx Interactive’s goal is to use game mechanics to engage patients in learning so that they know more about the conditions that affect them and their treatments and ultimately lead to better outcomes. Unsurprisingly, Del-Metri and Rudy met two of the people who would later join the team at Startup Weekend.

Del-Metri says the weekend was a learning experience on how to do a startup, which prepared her for some of the work on Rx Interactive. In particular she said learning to talk to people before building was helpful. Using that approach, she has been able to get in front of people at the companies that will be her target market. Not only does she get information and advice from them to help target the company’s solutions, but she creates a warm market for the future.

Experience Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016, November 4-6. Test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Fort Worth, and launch your next startup all in one weekend. Get your ticket now!

Startup Weekend Is About Much More than the Ideas Pitched

Chris Handy, a local marketing consultant, pitched at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2015 but didn’t get enough support for a full team to work on the idea over the weekend. Of course it’s nice to take your idea all the way, but Chris’s experience illustrates that not all pitches will receive enough support for teams to form and develop them over the weekend. Most won’t. But ultimately, the impact of the weekend isn’t diminished, because the weekend isn’t always about your idea. It is also about learning new skills and getting to know others with similar passions—perhaps even a future cofounder.

Chris came to Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2015 with an idea for a service that would help businesses with their marketing by prompting them to generate content. His was one of 23 pitches Friday. When his pitch didn’t receive enough support, he joined another team. Together, that team developed an idea for an Airbnb-like service for longer-term stays. Out of nine teams, they were awarded first place on Sunday night. Chris found that working on another’s idea was still fun, provided variety, and allowed him to solve problems and learn.

If your idea doesn’t get enough support for a team to develop it over the weekend, don’t worry. As Chris points out, it may not be because the idea lacks merit. The people in the room may just be interested in other things, no matter how well you explain the opportunity.

Chris continued to develop his idea on his own after Startup Weekend. Initially hiring coding help, a CTO has since joined, bringing a depth of technical expertise Chris himself lacks. Given the connections made at Startup Weekend, it is no surprise to us that it was a fellow team member from the winning team. Chris says he knew it was a fit based on his work ethic, how he tackles tough situations, and how he handles pressure, all of which Chris knew well because they worked together over 54 hours at Startup Weekend.

Chris’s experience shows the connections that can be made at Startup Weekend if you come in with more than one goal in mind. We are excited to see what comes from teams in 2016.

Experience Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016, November 4-6. Test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Fort Worth, and launch your next startup all in one weekend. Get your ticket now! got its start at Startup Weekend Fort Worth was recently accepted into Health Wildcatters’ 2016 cohort, but it began as an idea Irving Rivera pitched at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014.

Participants, judges, and organizers at the conclusion of Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014
Participants, judges, and organizers at the conclusion of Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014


The core of the idea hasn’t changed since he first pitched it at Startup Weekend Fort Worth: a marketplace that more efficiently matches potential clinical trial volunteers with medical researchers. Currently it can be expensive and slow for researchers to recruit volunteers for trials, particularly for rare conditions. The application process for patients can be tedious, and acceptance rates are low. If the patient wants to apply for another trial, he or she must complete another application. provides a marketplace where patients can enter their medical data once and are then able to apply for any number of trials quickly and easily. It then analyzes applicants’ profiles against the research criteria for each trial, and provides pre-screened profiles to researchers. The service is free for patients. Researchers only pay a fee if they agree that a profile offered as a potential match is a good fit for their trial.

At startup weekend, a team of five came together around the idea. Irving had never met any of them before, but together they validated the market, developed the business plan, and built a mockup over the course of the weekend. At the end of the weekend they were awarded first place.

The team did not continue working on the idea after the weekend, but Irving continued to develop the idea as a class project in design. Later Adam Shed, who was on the Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014 team with Irving; Stacey Gullen, who had been on the same team as Irving at an earlier startup weekend in Dallas; and Seth Dorris, who Irving had previously served with in the U.S. Army, each joined the team.

From Irving’s point of view, the best part of startup weekend is that everyone has to present. Even if you don’t pitch an idea, you have to talk about your skills and interests in finding a team to be a part of. In that way, startup weekend can sort people by similar interests and help them find useful collaborations.

Having participated in a few startup weekends, Irving suggests that people spend too much of the short time for their pitch focusing on the idea. He recommends giving more information about your background, particularly the insight it gives you to the problem, and the kinds of people you’re looking to have be a part of the team.

Experience Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016, November 4-6. Test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Fort Worth, and launch your next startup all in one weekend. Get your ticket now!

Learn How to Code with Dev Mountain!

We are excited to have Dev Mountain on board as a Startup Weekend Sponsor this year!

DevMountain is an industry-leading coding bootcamp with offices in Dallas, Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah. Founded by fellow coders, DevMountain’s expert faculty love sharing their craft, and empowering the next wave of programers and entrepreneurs. DevMountain brings affordability + the highest quality / hands-on education to the tech space.  There’s many ways to get involved on campus including networking events, workshops, part-time classes and full-time immersive programs. 

Volunteer Orientation for North Dallas Startup Weekend

If you are interested in volunteering this year, please read on and follow these instructions:
1. Mark your calendars! The event will be held July 8-10 at NoD Coworking
2. Sign up for a Volunteer Orientation – we have two options in May at NoD Coworking which you can sign up for here: (All volunteers are required to attend at least one of these sessions)
3. Let us know by which days you can help out (July 8, 9, or 10). This will help us assign shifts ahead of time. (Deadline: June 1)
4. Let me know your t-shirt size! Each volunteer will receive a Startup Weekend t-shirt and a NoD t-shirt! (Deadline: June 1)
5. Register here as a Volunteer by using code “VOLUNTEER” (Deadline: June 1)
Thanks and see you all at Volunteer Orientation!
-Chirag, Kelly, & Carri (NDSW 2016 Organizers)
PS: Tickets are available now, so if you’d like to share on social media, go right ahead: Startup Weekend Fitness, Food, and Physical Education

Does Startup Weekend Texarkana promote economic development?


Click image to register!


Do you want to know how events like Startup Weekend can impact local economic development efforts?

Take a few minutes to review this white paper on “Ecosystem Development”

Here are the five topics covered: 1. Talent  2. Culture 3. Density  4. Capital  5. Regulatory Environment

Click to open th e Whitepaper: Startup Weekend + Economic Development

Startup Weekend Texarkana Explained by Dr. Gary Stading Texas A&M University – Texarkana:

ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url

Thanks to TXK Today for the video

Tickets are $75 and include meals throughout the weekend.

Student tickets are $25 Get registered today

Applications open for San Antonio's first Startup Next!

applications open for sn

February 2016

Applications for San Antonio’s first ever Startup Next are open! What does that mean for our community? Startups with great ideas looking to to learn from experts, receive standout mentorship and perfect their pitches are in luck. Techstars now offers a pre-accelerator program that prepares startups to apply to accelerators and pitch seed investors. The program runs for six weeks on Tuesday evenings starting April 19th. Founders will have plenty of time outside of the program to work on their companies.

If you’re an early stage startup looking to take your company to the next level, apply by April 5th to be considered for the program! Startup Next is completely free and sponsored by Geekdom. Click here to begin your application! 

Who will lead the program? Blake Yeager and Luke Owen will manage Startup Next. Founders will benefit from Blake’s experience as Managing Director of Techstars and earlier work with Rackspace, ZeroVM and Gandi Innovations. Companies can also learn from Luke’s startup and operational experience as Geekdom’s COO and prior work with TrueAbility and Rackspace. More mentors and experts will support the program as well.

Topics covered in Startup Next will include pitching, customer development, market sizing, product/market fit and fundability. Sessions will begin at 6 pm each Tuesday with a talk from an expert. Founders will then have an hour to practice their pitches. Finally, sessions end with feedback from mentors.

Once again, apply by April 5th to be part of San Antonio’s first ever Startup Next!

a techstars program

techstars logo

sponsored by

Geekdom Logo - Transparent Background

The Who, Why, and What of Startup Weekend

Startup Weekends are…

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. The weekend events are centered on action, innovation, and education. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs.  Participants are challenged with building functional startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.

Friday, November 20 – 22, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

600 E Rosedale St
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Buy Tickets

Who you’ll meet at Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekends attendees’ backgrounds are roughly

  • 50% technical (developers, coders, designers)

  • 50% business (marketing, finance, law).

Why people come to Startup Weekend:

29% of Startup Weekend participants attend an event to network,

20% attend to develop/build a product

13% attend to learn how to create a new venture.

After the conference is over, roughly 80% of attendees plan on continuing to work on their startup after the weekend.


What you’ll get out of the event:

  1. Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking.  Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.

  2. Co-Founder Dating: The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups.  Create relationships that last long past the weekend.

  3. Have fun: During the weekend working alongside awesome people who share your ideas. Startup Weekend is meant to be fun and entertaining so enjoy it.

  4. Solve local problems with your ideas. Do you think that one of your idea can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.

  5. Build Your Network: Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high quality, driven entrepreneurs- like you!

  6. Learn New Skills: With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or give marketing a try.  With nothing to lose there’s no reason not to step outside your comfort zone.

  7. Learn How to Launch a Business (and Actually Do It!): Startup Weekend is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology.

  8. Mentorship: Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends and give feedback to participants. Interact with the movers and shakers in your community.

  9. Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources: By participating in Startup Weekend you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed! Click here to learn more about some of the offers our Global Sponsors provide during the event.

  10. Save Money: Startup Weekends are affordable (typically $99, only $50 for students). Your ticket includes seven meals, snacks, and all the coffee you can drink.

Join our community for the 2015 Startup Weekend Fort Worth!

Announcing The Winners of North Dallas Startup Weekend! #WINNING

North Dallas Startup Weekend
July 17th-19th, 2015

First Place: LL Bev – Ecommerce Safety. Bridging the gap between clicks and handshakes.

Second Place: Take Us Out (TUO) – Can’t decide where to go for date night? Let us do the work for you. We’ll pick you up, take you to eat and to a special event for one unforgettable night. All you need to do is be at your doorstep.

Third Place (Tie): Peeyr – a revolutionary tutoring startup that connects experienced peers to other students.

Third Place (Tie): CoTech