What Happens at Startup Weekend Doesn't Stay at Startup Weekend

Every day I get to meet with big thinkers who want to start their own business.  They want to know how to meet the right people, validate their ideas, and get moving with their business.

Usually we sit down for an hour to talk through a variety of opportunities, but this time of year is exciting because I can send them one place- Buffalo Startup Weekend.  More than just a weekend, BSW produces ideas and relationships that serve our city all throughout the year.

How's it work?

We’ll kick off on Friday night, October 21, at 6:30 PM at Dig.  Our volunteers will be ready to get you signed in and meeting 100-150 new people.  We don’t want you to have an empty stomach, so dinner will be waiting for you—Fat Bob’s gets the nod on Friday night. 

On Friday, our “Pitchfire” gives anyone with an idea 60 seconds to share their idea. No presentations are needed Friday night - it's just you and the mic.

Generally, we see about 40 people pitch.  If you don’t have an idea right now, you can watch the pitches and look for a team to join.  Generally, the ~40 pitches yield about a dozen teams.

Once the teams have formed, you’ll have the rest of the night to get to know your team and plan out your weekend.  You’ll compare skillsets, find a corner to work from, and get to it.  Feel free to stay as late as you want.

We’ll pick back up at 9:00 on Saturday, October 22, and breakfast will be waiting for you. 

Saturday is your team’s opportunity to work all day.  You’ll move your idea forward through market research, building out a prototype, figuring out a business plan, and tackling the creative aspects of starting a business. 

After lunch, coaches will join us to help your team.  We’ll hold a check in with each team and answer any calls you have for help.  By Saturday night, your team will have made major strides forward and start looking more like a business.  Dinner comes at 6:30, and you’re again welcome to stay as late as you’d like.

Like Saturday, breakfast will be waiting for you when you ramp up at 9:00 AM on Sunday, October 23.  Sunday is all about getting ready for your final pitch.  You’ll have a final opportunity to ask questions, enjoy lunch, focus on perfecting your presentation, and do a tech-check. 

Final presentations begin at 2:00 and will show 10-12 teams that have taken enormous steps forward in just 54 hours.  While everyone deserves recognition, our judges will select winners with prizes including Sabres tickets, Venture Association memberships, business books, and scholarships into StartUp CEL. 

Startup Weekend is a whirlwind!  You’ll learn, meet people, and push yourself.  When else do you get to spend three days with 100+ of the biggest thinkers in WNY?

Registration is available here (use discount code WIN for a $10 ticket).