What to bring to Startup Weekend

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So you have signed up for the maker edition in 2 weeks, and you are ready to build actual, physical products.  Beyond your good looks and clever comebacks, here are some suggestions for useful items you should bring each day in order to get the most out of the weekend. Also, your computer, while not required, is also probably a good thing to have everyday, too.

Friday: Ideas, Cooperation, Creativity

Friday, all you really need to bring is your big, beautiful self. After some food and opening presentations by our organizers, everyone will have a chance to pitch their ideas. Then, we will pick the best of the pitches, and hopefully, 5-6 teams will form around them. At this stage, cooperation is key. Ideas will grow and possibly merge, and it is most important for everyone to work together in order to form teams around the best business plans. Finally, as the evening winds to a close, members of the new teams will have to utilize their creativity to figure out how to actually implement the business they have come up with.

Saturday: Tools, Arduino/Raspberry Pi, Craft Supplies, Cell Phone

Saturday is the nitty-gritty, the hands on build stuff and go talk to potential customers day. You should bring any tools you think you might need. We are working on a community pool for tools, but right now, if you need it, you should bring it. The same goes for craft supplies, Arduino/Raspberry Pi, and anything else you might find useful. We are working with some local stores to (hopefully) bring a discount for parts, but right now, just like the tools, if you need it, bring it. Finally, maybe most importantly, bring your cell phone. A key part of the LEAN startup mentality is validating ideas as early as possible. Thus, a few members from each team should either be going out on foot, emailing or calling in order to get in contact with potential customers and to asses their needs.

Sunday: Slide Deck, Booming Voice, Enthusiasm (and probably slight exhaustion)

Sunday is the big day, pitch day, when we will burn away the chaff and be left with pure, executable ideas. Each team should have a slide deck that goes over the basics of their business: idea, customer validation, business model, product, revenue, and plan for execution. A member or members will then take the audience through their deck, hopefully with a booming voice and boundless enthusiasm. When it is all said and done, our panel of experts judges will pick the winner and two runners up.

Comment with your questions below, and please stay tuned to this blog for more tips and tricks to help you prepare for Startup Weekend, Maker Edition.

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