Changing the Ratio: Startup Weekend Women is Coming to Denver, Colorado!

Denver, Boulder & Fort Collins rank within the top ten cities for female entrepreneurship, and yet there is still a struggle to get female founders funded and successfully launching their businesses. Not to mention that entrepreneurship in general can be a lonely and intimidating career choice. So how do we make a difference here and change these statistics? Education, support, resources and working in teams, rather than alone, is where we start!

Startup Weekend Women Denver on February 9th – 11th will ignite some serious change in this arena by bringing women from all backgrounds together for 54 hours…to learn, be mentored and build businesses together. Who should attend? Any women that has a business idea, needs help creating a startup, or those that want to help, support and empower women in this endeavor by working with them for three days in a collaborative team environment. This event is open to anyone in the community, not just women!

The hardest part of starting up is starting out! This 54-hour event at The Commons on Champa in Downtown Denver is designed to create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. Teams will hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local mentors and entrepreneurs. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup or being part of one.

Plus there’s an added bonus for this special event! This event in Denver is actually part of a larger Global Startup Weekend Women initiative where 23 cities worldwide will hold the same event on the same weekend with the same goal in mind. The winner from Startup Weekend Women Denver…will go to Paris! (And no, we are not talking about Paris, Arkansas) The Sunday night pitch winner from each city (including Denver) will win an all-expense paid trip to Paris to participate in the final global event in March.

We know the power of women-led businesses and the talent women in leadership, marketing, tech, operations, sales and finance bring to the entire team. That’s why we want you to be a part of this weekend and join some of the most talented and entrepreneurial-minded women across our community!

Grab your tickets while they last and we’ll see you there!

And a special thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible and for supporting the future of our startup community: Full Contact, ZayoTechnical Integrity, Qwinix, The Commons on Champa, Meyer Law, PitchLab, Women Who Startup, Choozle, All Terrain Yoga, Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch








5 Reasons Men Should Attend Women's Edition

When our organizing group decided to do a Women’s Edition, we never once entertained the idea of not letting men attend. This is for a pretty specific reason: equality and empowerment for women in entrepreneurship requires men to be involved, too.

So here you go, we have five reasons men should attend Women’s Edition. Ready? Here we go!

1. Showing up is saying that you support equality for half of the population. While women may be roughly half of the humans who occupy the planet, we ladies face inequality in virtually all aspects of employment and socioeconomic development. By showing up to say that you believe women should have a place in entrepreneurship, you’re saying that you believe in equality for half the population!

2. You will have no problem surveying women for your idea. One of the difficulties of doing customer validation is finding your audience. Women – as half the population! – are an important element of customer validation, and Women’s Edition will give you an easily-available audience of women whose customer validation will be a breeze!

3. Women make spending decisions. Most tech events are mostly men; that’s one a few places where it is forgotten that women make the spending decisions. Where real people are spending real money – and not exchanging “likes” for a “yo” or a “favorite” – 85% of all brand purchases are made by women. If you’re looking to really come up with a marketable idea, learn why women spend their dollars and where – this event is perfect for this.

4. Our speakers, mentors, and judges are out-of-this-world. We have some of the most amazing speakers, mentors, and judges showing up to help you. Yes, you. You’ll be getting face time with strong women who wouldn’t have time otherwise. You’re welcome.

5. This is the first of its kind in San Diego and you’ll be part of something amazing. There is never a reason not to attend Startup Weekend. Networking, learning, creating, building – there are so many things that happen at a Startup Weekend, and that’s why so many of us keep coming back for more.

Sign up now for SWSD Women’s Edition at SDSU May 1-3.








Why We're Doing a Women's Edition

If you’re a female and you have ever attended a startup community event, you may have noticed that you might be one of few women in the room. You may have even been the only woman in the room. And you may have noticed that this is a common occurrence.

My co-organizers have all recognized the same thing I have seen: because women are often just a fraction of the attendees at a startup event, the focus and atmosphere just isn’t always conducive for women to truly participate comfortably – whether it be a pitchfest, hackathon, or hey – Startup Weekend.

This isn’t unique to startup culture, of course. Inequality in the workplace forms spaces where women aren’t able to contribute to their full potential. When it’s more difficult to be heard, the likelihood of stepping up into a role or responsibility is even more difficult. When you throw a tech-centric event into the mix, where women are typically outnumbered by men, the politics of gender, power, and privilege become a bigger issue. It’s already tough enough to step up in front of a lot of people, pitch an idea, and work the crowd! If you look out into a sea of faces and see very few faces that resemble your own, how encouraging is that? What if you’re introverted? What if you’re shy?

On top of the bravery it takes to stand up, pitch, and pour your heart and soul into a weekend of building a business, it’s a lot to face the dynamic created by inequality. We want to remove the pressure of that dynamic and provide a space where women can feel less like the minority, and more like the faces in the crowd are there to hear them out. As a women who have often been the only gals in the crowd, we know that it will make for an entirely different experience – for both women and men.

We’re excited to make this an event about empowering women. One really great part about that is that it doesn’t mean that just women should attend; some of our organizers are men, and they, too, understand that equality takes all of us. We hope you will join us and show us the energy and enthusiasm that comes with believing in an equal and empowering setting for women.

Overall, we really want to see women shine at this event. We want to see more women pitch, more women lead, and more women feeling empowered after leaving this event. We want to see this event make a difference in women’s lives and we’re excited to do this with Startup Weekend in sunny San Diego.








Registering for the event : 10 STEPS guide for FIRST-TIMERS

Ever had the bold, crazy idea of going to one of those 54 hours events known as Startup Weekends? The events where you meet bunch of interesting minds, who like you, also want to network and explore the startup world?

If this is your desire, then look no further.

Startup Weekend Women Hamburg is happening on April 10th, 2015 at Gründerwerft Hamburg. The event is unique in itself – while most Startup Weekends have 70/30 male to female participants, this 54 hour event wants to flip the ratio. We want to encourage more female founders in Hamburg’s startup scene by connecting them with best of resources. So participation is open for men too.

Now if this is your first time registering for the event, we will guide you through the process in this post.

Step 1. Register for the event at Eventbrite. You will be taken to our official ticketing page.

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Step 2. Select the category of ticket and select the quantity you need. Then click on Order Now. (Note: Only one ticket at a time can be purchased for Early Bird and discounted tickets.)

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Step 3. You are now directed to the Order Form where you get 15 minutes to fill-up your details(Ticket Buyer). If you are buying for someone else then the information under Ticket 1 will be of that person(actual participant). All the fields marked with must not be left blank or else the order will not be processed.

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Step 4. If the email address of the participant is different from yours, please specify clearly for the ticket and all the important information related to the event will be sent to that address.

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Step 5. If you are bringing a child during the event, we provide free childcare by professionals for our participants. For that you need to select option “Yes” followed by entering information in sub-box on how many kids you intend to bring, their respective ages and if in need of special care. After that you can click on “Check out with Paypal” button.

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Step 6. Paypal is one of most trusted payment options used by Startup Weekend worldwide. You will be directed to our official Paypal page, where you can make the payments using your personal, valid Paypal account.

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Step 7. In case you don’t have a Paypal account, do not worry. You can click on the option “Don’t have a Paypal account?”. You will be redirected to another page where you can fill-in your personal and bank details. Then click “Pay” to complete your purchase.

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Step 8.  Once the purchase is completed successfully, you will be redirected to the confirmation page. Smile. You are ready to take on the startup world. And why not bring friends too? Share about the event on Facebook.

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Step 9. Check your email address that you entered to get more information about the event. Your event ticket awaits for you there! Print it and bring it on the first day of the event. (Note: Student ticket buyers should carry a valid student card during the event or you will be charged full price ticket.)

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Step 10. Congratulations, you’re registered for the event! Stay connected and get informed about our event’s highlights, pre-events, prizes, swags and all that jazz through our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Bring your coolest ideas and vibrant energies – we are sure you will have loads of fun with others during the event,and everybody goes home with valuable insights once the weekend is over.

So wait not. Take the leap of faith.

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Triangle Startup Weekend – Worth the Trip

Matthew Brown copy

Our organizing team was recently contacted by Matt Brown, an entrepreneur and Clemson MBA student who attended TSW: Health and is making the trek back to Raleigh for TSW: Women this weekend.  He was looking for suggestions of where to stay, and what happened next is the perfect representation of how welcoming and collaborative the Startup Weekend community is. Through a quick stream of email intros, Matt was connected to some local entrepreneurs who live at the ThinkHouse, a residential accelerator for young innovators, and he’ll be crashing with them all weekend. We were thrilled to see the SW community spirit take hold in such a unique way, so we decided to ask Matt a few questions before he hops in his car this afternoon!

Oh and by the way, there’s still time to grab a (discounted) ticket! You’ll meet Matt and other aspiring entrepreneurs all weekend!

TSW: Can you give us a bit of background on the Clemson MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation program and the entrepreneurial climate there?

MB: What I love about the Clemson MBAe program is that it has given me the chance to start my own startup and get an MBA at the same time.  The Clemson MBAe program is designed to help would-be entrepreneurs bring their ideas to fruition, whether by starting your own venture, addressing societal needs via the not-for-profit sector, or within a company.  With the Clemson MBAe program based in Greenville, South Carolina we are positioned in the best city for entrepreneurship in South Carolina.

TSW: How does it compare to what’s happening in the Triangle?

MB: Personally, I love what is happening in the Triangle! After experiencing what the Triangle has to offer entrepreneurial wise, I definitely think both Greenville and the Triangle are both on the same track to growing their communities through entrepreneurship.

TSW: How did you originally hear about Triangle Startup Weekend?

MB: I originally heard about Triangle Startup Weekend through some friends who were in The Ironyard Health Accelerator in Spartanburg, SC.  My friends had participated in numerous Startup Weekend events, and told me the one coming up in the Triangle would be a great one to attend.

TSW: Why did you decide to attend TSW: Health?

MB: TSW: Health was actually my first Startup Weekend event ever.  The reason I decided to attend TSW: Health was to take myself outside of my comfort zone and learn more about entrepreneurship in the health sector.  For me, the beauty in doing TSW: Health was that I was able to learn so much about the health industry, and how entrepreneurship can make an impact.

TSW: Did you participate on a team during TSW: Health? Have you stayed in touch with the people you worked with?

MB: Participating in TSW: Health was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made!  Ever since my TSW: Health experience, not a week has gone by that I have not spoken to someone from that weekend.   Sometimes when I get a great idea for a business, I give one of them a call to get their feedback.

TSW: Being an out-of-towner and first-time attendee at TSW was probably a bit intimidating. Can you tell us what that experience was like? 

MB: Deciding to attend TSW: Health was a big step outside of my comfort zone.  Originally, I thought I needed to have a background in the health industry to participate, but once I got there I found that was not the case.  In actuality, anyone can participate in TSW: Health, for the event is all about the relationships and bonds you foster over the weekend.

TSW: How did you hear about TSW: Women in Raleigh?

MB: The way I heard about TSW: Women in Raleigh was through some friends I made at TSW: Health.  All of them were signed up to do TSW: Women in Raleigh, and they really motivated me to sign up.  Also, what makes this startup weekend so special is that the goal of this event is to encourage more women to come out and help close the gender gap in the startup community.

TSW: This time, you’ll be couch-surfing at the ThinkHouse, a living and learning environment for young entrepreneurs. What are you most looking forward to about that experience?

MB: In couch-surfing at the ThinkHouse I am excited to see this residential accelerator in person.  Currently, there is nothing like this in Greenville, so I have never seen anything like it before.   Also, I honestly cannot wait to meet the members of the house and learn more about what they are working on.  If it were up to me, I would put something like the ThinkHouse in every city possible, for I think it is great for entrepreneurs!

TSW: You’re making a drive to attend the event, so there obviously must be great value in attending. What’s most valuable about TSW for you? Why should others attend?

MB: The drive to attend the event is a 3 plus hour drive.  Regardless how long the drive is for me I am excited to be around fellow like-minded entrepreneurs.   For the value in attending events like this is unmeasureable.   No matter the distance, I think other should try to attend Startup Weekend events because you never know what you can learn or who you will meet.

 

We can’t wait to meet Matt and all of the other participants when TSW: Women kicks off tonight! Use code “TSWsupporter” for 20% off and make sure to stay tuned for a follow-up interview with Matt after the weekend comes to a close.








T-Minus 6 Hours! Come Hungry and Leave Inspired!

Rosie says, “YOU can do it!”

The day is finally here! Triangle Startup Weekend Women starts TONIGHT! Still not registered? No worries, you still have time! Register here, and use the code, “ILoveSW” for 20% off!

We doubt you need convincing at this point, but here are some of the awesome things we have lined up for you if you attend this weekend:

Oh and you’ll also get a pretty cool T-Shirt and another treat, courtesy of our amazing designer Magdalyn Duffie. Here’s a sneak peek! Can’t wait to see you tonight!

T-Shirt sneak peek!

 

 

 








What You Need to Know About the Judging Criteria

American Idol Judges

We know the judges will love all of you and your ideas. But we also want you to be prepared and know what your product will be judged on, so we’ve broken it down for you in this post.

The Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 4 criteria (weighed equally):

  • Business Model

    • Can this idea make money? Is there positive customer growth or revenue? Is there a customer acquisition / rollout strategy? Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic? Is the idea/team ready for capital and execution? Would you invest in this company at this point?

  • Customer Validation

    • Did the team identify customers (demographic, location etc)? Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers? What channels of communication are used? Product/Market fit?

  • Technical – Execution

    • Is there a functional product (e.g.in the case of an app, did they build one)? Were architecture diagrams and API signatures included? Which services did they integrate with? How much of the product is running on a real server with non-sample data?

  • Design – Execution

    • Does it have a professional look and feel? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Is it memorable? What key insights were gathered over the weekend to go in this creative direction?








Innovation Opportunities for All Ages

Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, NC
Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, NC

In our last post, we told you Triangle Startup Weekend Women is partnering with Marbles Kids Museum. Marbles is, “a hands-on, minds-on museum that inspires imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play and larger-than-life IMAX experiences.”

We’re pretty excited about the partnership and think you will be too. What this partnership means is that, while you innovate at TSW Women, your kid(s) can innovate at Marbles…for FREE! Yes, you heard us right, we’ve got FREE passes for your kids to go to Marbles this weekend. Not registered yet? Here’s what you’ll get if you sign up today:

  • Two adult passes per day (Saturday 10/11 and Sunday 10/12)
  • Five kids passes per day (Saturday 10/11 and Sunday 10/12)

When you register, be sure to also register for the Marbles passes. If you’ve already registered and didn’t sign up for the passes, but want to sign up, email us and we’ll get you squared away.

So sign up today for TSW Women and let your spouse, partner, friend or relative take your kid(s) to Marbles. We bet your whole family will be happy with your decision to come to TSW Women!

(Marbles is located at 201 East Hargett Street. Raleigh, NC 27601)

 








Calling All Triangle Parents!

If you have kids, committing to a full startup weekend might seem out of the question. We realize it is a big time commitment, especially for parents. So we’ve designed Triangle Startup Weekend Women to be as family friendly as possible. Through partnerships with both Marbles Kids Museum and Kidznotes, we’ve set up fun some stuff for your little ones to do while you innovate. In this post, you’ll learn more about Kidznotes, hear from their co-founder, and find out why and how they’re involved in TSW Women. In our next post, you’ll learn about our partnership with Marbles and how it will benefit you, the participant. If you’re not a registered participant yet, it’s not too late! Sign up today!

Photo provided courtesy of Katie Wyatt
Photo provided courtesy of Katie Wyatt

Kidznotes is a Triangle non-profit providing orchestral training for underserved K-12 students. If you’re intrigued and want to hear some of their kids play, you’re in luck! Some Kidznotes students have graciously agreed to perform for our participants (and your families if they want to come!) on Sunday at 3:10 PM before presentations begin. Check back soon to get more details about our partnership with Marbles.

 

Today, you’ll hear from Katie Wyatt, the co-founder and Executive Director of Kidznotes. Katie is an accomplished violinist who has performed all over the world and is now using her gifts to teach and inspire the next generation of musicians. Kidznotes has partnered with previous Triangle Startup Weekends and we are so thankful her team has again agreed to participate. To find out more about Kidznotes and their support for TSW Women, keep reading!

 

Question: Why did Kidznotes decide to participate in the TSW Women?

Answer: Because as a founder of a nonprofit and an entrepreneur, and a WOMAN, I think it’s important that I and our girls in Kidznotes have a voice!

 

Q: What is Kidznotes?

A: Kidznotes is inspired by the international phenomenon of El Sistema, an evidence-based system of classical music for social change. Founded in 1974 by economist and professional musician Jose Antonio Abreu, El Sistema offers free classical music training for young children from highly impoverished backgrounds. El Sistema and its global offshoots focus on providing an environment of opportunity through collective practice of music through orchestral playing and choral singing as a model of social organization and community development. Since its inception, El Sistema has transformed the lives of nearly 2 million children.

Kidznotes, in its fifth year of operation, serves 315 K-7th grade students at eight Title-1 schools in Durham and Raleigh. In 2013-2014, Kidznotes expanded into Southeast Raleigh and enrolled 60 pre-K and Kindergarten children in three Title-1 elementary schools. As we scale our Raleigh program, we will work closely with the Wake County Public Schools Superintendent, principals and music teachers to select two additional Title-1 schools with the greatest need in Southeast Raleigh. Kidznotes intends to grow to serve 1,000 students in Durham and Raleigh by 2020, advancing our kids through a system of orchestras through the 12th grade. In its full complement, Kidznotes will keep children and youth engaged and in school, ensuring their successful transition to college or the workplace.

 

Q: What excites Kidznotes most about TSW Women?

A: The opportunity to learn from other innovative women about their ideas in social change, the arts, business, and economic and community development.

 

Q: What advice do you have for TSW Women participants?

A: I love learning about work in fields totally outside of the arts and social change – it helps me think differently about solving the challenges I’m faced with as we develop Kidznotes. I encourage participants to seek out work totally different from their own, and find similarities or totally new ideas, to change the way you make decisions.

 

Q: Any other information you’d like participants or those considering participating to know about Kidznotes & your support for TSW Women?

A: Please come check out our girls performing at the opening of the final pitches on October 12th!








Meet Triangle Startup Weekend Women’s Premier Sponsor: CT

CT

You may have already heard through our press release, website or another source, but we are THRILLED to announce (or reannounce) that CT is Triangle Startup Weekend (TSW) Women’s premier sponsor! Today, you’ll get to learn more about CT and what they do. TSW: Women is the first startup weekend CT has sponsored, and the organizing team is incredibly grateful for their willingness to support the event! So we could hear straight from the source why they are supporting TSW: Women we sent them, and they graciously answered some questions about their involvement. We thought y’all would love to learn more about them too, so without further ado, let’s get to it!

Who is CT and what do they do?

CT is a leading provider of legal and compliance services for businesses of all sizes. More than 300,000 small businesses rely on CT’s expertise for everything from forming an llc, to registered agent and business licensing to ongoing compliance responsibilities. With over 120 years of experience in governance, compliance and regulation, and strong relationships with federal and state legislatures, CT’s service professionals put an unrivaled bank of knowledge to use helping a wide range of clients succeed.

CT is a part of Wolters Kluwer, a leading provider of information, software and services for customers in over 150 countries. Legal, tax, finance and healthcare professionals depend on Wolters Kluwer for the essential information, software and services they need to make their most critical decisions effectively and with confidence.

Why did CT decide to sponsor the Triangle Startup Weekend: Women?

We are proud to support Triangle Startup Weekend as a springboard for aspiring business owners. We fully share in the mission to empower women entrepreneurs, and all those with dreams of launching their own venture. Starting a company is no small undertaking, and we’re honored to provide the Raleigh community with the information and expertise they need around formation, registered agents and other legal services to play a meaningful role in the entrepreneurial journey.

What excites CT most about TSW: Women?

We are thrilled to be able to participate in the startup weekend concept and look forward to helping women entrepreneurs on their journey, helping them incorporate the right way and throughout their business lifecycle.

What advice do you have for TSW: Women participants?

It’s important to make sure you incorporate your business the right way and with an expert. Watch CT’s new spot to learn more about CT’s expertise!

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CT is encouraging all participants to share a picture of themselves with their craft on Twitter @CTCorporation with #ShareYourCraft. Stop by our booth at the weekend to learn more about CT and get a surprise treat Saturday night. Also, we will be giving away 3 incorporation packages to the top 3 teams at TSW:Women!

 

Want more information about CT? Check out their site, or better yet, register today, and come meet them in person at TSW: Women next weekend!