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In 24 hours the first-ever Startup Weekend for Women in Germany will kick-off in Stuttgart. Startup Weekends aim to promote entrepreneurship in the locality and this one has special interest in boosting female entrepreneurship in Stuttgart. As one of the organizers, its amazing for me to see quite number of female participants registered for the event. A rare sight, but its about time. Our sales analysis confirms the significant rise in numbers.

Participation in Startup Weekend Stuttgart- Women’s edition 2014
Participation in Startup Weekend Stuttgart- Women’s edition 2014 (click to enlarge)
So what to expect? This weekend (5th, 6th and 7th September) Literaturhaus Stuttgart  will open its doors to a host of developers, designers and business experts to come together and form companies in 54 hours!

Friday: Participants arrive between 6-7 PM, begin networking, and eat dinner. After an ice-breaking game and a short introduction by the Facilitator, there will three talks by our esteemed speakers. Then the “Pitchfire” will commence: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch. No presentations or props needed for Friday. It will just be you and a mic. After pitches are finished, all attendees will vote on their favorites, and using these votes the top ideas will be selected to be worked on over the weekend. Teams will form organically, consolidate, and begin working.

Saturday: Teams will work all day, with the occasional breaks to eat or listen to 3 workshops. Mentors will be circulating to provide concrete advice in the field of their expertise for those teams that want it.

Sunday: Teams will work uninterrupted from morning until mid-afternoon. They’ll begin wrapping up their product/prototype and/or presentation around 3 PM to do tech-checks and practice their demonstration. After all Judges have arrived presentations will begin: each team typically has 5 minutes plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the jury (this varies occasionally.) The jury will select the top teams, give out prizes, and the event ends (and celebration begins!)

Mentors and Workshops –  To help the teams solidify their business ideas we have an amazing ensemble of experts/mentors dealing with different areas of startups from idea development to launch of the startups in addition to startup laws and ways to secure finances for your business!

Another unique feature of our event is that some of our mentors are holding workshops on Lean Startup Training, 3D printing, and Untapping into the world of female entrepreneurship to educate and motivate our participants during the weekend.

The Jury and the Judging Criteria – While there are no specific requirements in terms of what teams should have accomplished by Sunday, it’s in your best interest to plan your execution around what you’ll be judged for on Sunday: Customer Validation, Business Model, and Execution (see below). As far as presenting goes, some of the most common presentations include any combination of the following (in no particular order):

  • Wireframes or fully developed website
  • Mobile Apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully functional)
  • Slide decks (Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.)
  • Videos (i.e. product demonstrations, etc.)Live product demos
  • Skits

Our esteemed Jury members will weigh each criteria equally and all the teams will receive important “real-world” feedback on developing their ideas beyond the weekend.

Event sponsors – Startup Weekend events offer participants access to a variety of resources provided by our global sponsors – Google, Coca-cola, .CO and Amazon Web services during the weekend.

Startup Weekend Stuttgart – Women’s edition has received great support and commitment from our local sponsors as well. An honorable mention of our local sponsors:

Gold Sponsors : MBG Baden-WürttembergBaden-Württemberg Connected, and Energie Baden-Württemberg.

Silver Sponsors :  99designsChocolatoCity of StuttgartRioprintoStattysCoworking0711, and Massivum Echtholzmöbel.

Media Sponsors : GeekettesWEFOUNDAspire and MicialMedia.

Thanks to our sponsors you will get a lot of stuff with your ticket including top quality meals, snacks, swag, access to exclusive startup resources, and all-you-can-drink coffee!

Enough said.

So prepare your pitches, get pumped up for the weekend and of course, don’t forget your beauty sleep. Team Startup Weekend Stuttgart is eagerly waiting to welcome you all!

Eshani Sarma