Judging Criteria for Houston Startup Weekend (July 27-29, 2012)


If you’re curious how the Startup Weekend Houston judging works, here are the details:

The Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three categories. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighed equally):

1. 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?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What is your customer acquisition strategy?
  • What is your rollout strategy?
  • What is your revenue model?

Tip: Do a Business Model Canvas or a Lean Canvas to help you think through the big picture and think about all the key parts of your business model. You don’t have to present this, but you should know the parts of the model.

2. 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. So, get out of the building and go interview your potential clients. Its a weekend, so you may have to find them in bars and coffee shops.

3. 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: customers don’t pay for ideas, they pay for products.