There is no secret sauce! But may be there is..
Participants in any Startup Weekend come with varied individual goals, and work together fiercely for 54 hours to eventually pitch their ideas with a common goal of winning the competition. While there is no secret sauce to winning, but there are a few criteria that judges look at when evaluating different ideas.
- Business Model
The heart of it all. If you haven’t got answers to these questions, you’ve spent too much time on frills & features and need to get back to the basics:
- Who is your customer?
- What is your core value proposition?
- What are your key activities?
- What are your revenue streams?
- What is your cost structure?
- Who/what are your key partners/resources?
- What are your distribution channels?
- What is your roll-out strategy?
- Customer Validation Have you taken the proper steps to ensure that the people who matter (your future customers) support and reinforce your assumptions? Think of Customer Validation as ‘evidence’ to back up the core structure of your ‘theory’ (your Business Model). The more feedback you gather (quantity), the more this feedback comes from your specific target market (quality), and the more you’re able to actually integrate this feedback into the Business Model and product development (execution), the better.
- Execution The nitty gritty: what has your team been able to actually build over the weekend? Even the strongest of Business Plans are useless in the hands of those who can’t properly execute on them. Getting as far as possible in the development of your product/prototype not only helps give Judges a tangible vision of what the final product could be, but proves your strength and skills as a team. This is what truly matters: investors don’t invest as in ideas so much as teams.