How To Win At Startup Weekend


Winning at Startup Weekend means lots of things. It means learning more than you ever thought you could learn in a weekend. It means meeting more interesting people than you ever thought you’d meet in your lifetime. It means starting something and changing your life.

It also means the judges ranked your team the best.

There is no rubric for judging; make as much progress in each of the areas listed below as possible. Be careful not to put all of your eggs into one basket: don’t make beautiful mockups without validating your idea and don’t build features before you’ve built your core functionality.

Here’s a rundown of what the judges are looking for:

Have you validated your idea and core value proposition with your target customer or market?

You came in with a smashing pitch, rallied a great team, and built some cool stuff. But does anyone care? Have you surveyed other Startup Weekend attendees, facebook friends, and/or people you don’t even know? Have you interviewed anyone who will use your product? If your answer is yes to those questions, you’ve validated your idea and will win bonus points in the eyes of the judges.

Have you figured out the revenue streams that turn the product into a business? 

If the judges were investors, they’d want to know how their investment will turn into cold hard cash. Even better – try to have cash in hand at the end of the weekend from a paying customer.

Does it work? 

Focus your efforts over the weekend on building a functional minimum viable product. Once you’ve validated your idea with customers and built the first iteration of your product, it’s time to begin the cycle again by getting real feedback from real customers on the functionality and usability. Judges are looking for a baseline level of core functionality that can be used to get customer feedback for the next iteration.

How does it look?

Don’t go for pretty, go for usability. Design an interface that encourages people to sign up, pay for, and use your product. But don’t spend too much time on the details. Minimum viable product applies to functionality and design. You’re going to test everything and continue to improve the usability later on. Of course, some great design can be your extra punch here, once you have the usability all worked out.

How do you and your team work together?

Remember: startups get funded when investors believe in the capability and perseverance of the founding team. Demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, that you can execute, and that you know what you’re doing.

For more about what to expect this weekend and the judging criteria check out this video from Steve Blank.

If you have questions about judging at Startup Weekend, or if you want to say hi, email us at

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- あなたは自分のアイディアの正当性を確認したことはありますか? 核となる価値をあなたがターゲットとしている顧客や市場に提案したことはありますか? 



これまでに、スタートアップウィークエンドの他の参加者や facebookの友達、あなたが知らない人たちに提供したことがありますか?




- 製品をビジネスとするための収益の流れについて考え付いていますか?





- ちゃんと動きますか?






- 仕上がりはどうですか?




- あなたはあなたのチームは一緒に働きましたか?





この週末に期待していることや、審査員の審査基準については、Steve Blankが作成してくれたこのビデオを見て下さい。


Join the Startup Weekend Tokyo on Facebook
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