Ssshh, don’t tell anyone else, but I’m about to tell you how you can win the Harrisburg Startup Weekend competition and go home with your head held high and arms full of prizes! Wait for it… wait for it…
IT ALL STARTS with the Judging Criteria. Yes, Startup Weekend publishes its judging criteria for all to see and – quite simply – it falls into FOUR CATEGORIES:
The Business Model: Can this idea make money? Is there potential for customer growth and revenue generation? Did you define a customer acquisition or rollout strategy? What’s your revenue generation model and is it viable? The judges will ask themselves if they would invest in your company?
Customer Validation: Did your team identify customers (demographic, location etc)? Did you get out of the building? What is your product’s value proposition to customers? What channels of communication will you use to reach your customers? Do you have Product/Market fit?
Technical: – Is there a demonstrable MVP (minimum viable product)? Were architecture diagrams and API signatures included in the technical design? Which which external services do you integrate? How much of the product executes on your chosen platform with real/live data?
Design: – does your MVP 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 support the design decisions that you’ve made?
With only 54 hours to finish, the clock squarely against you and a prepared investor pitch in front of a panel of experienced entrepreneurs and investors as your primary deliverable, you must focus on the four categories. You and your team must constantly ask yourselves if your current task answers any of the key judging questions or supports any of the primary judging categories. If it doesn’t, you’re out of scope – and soon – you’ll be out of time. Focus and time management dramatically increases the odds that you’ll take home a prize, perhaps even 1st place.
Best of luck – and remember – don’t share this secret with anyone.