If you are thinking of participating in Startup weekend, here are some tips for participants (particularly developers):
Items to Bring
- Laptop, power cord, mouse
- ergonomic keyboard (use backpack)
- extension cord and power strip
- paper pad and pens
- big headphones to block noise, you generally don’t get your own room
- business cards
- substantial or healthy food if you want it (one year they only served sandwiches and pasta, another year they catered and it was better)
- A big help for preparation would be having a RAD tool and being able to produce a shiny app from front to back very quickly, and having a starter app with users and database ready to modify
- Big themes are mobile devices, should be able to write mobile app (not site) that’s location aware, has login options, etc. Can always do backend rest/json for mobile too
- There are many online services and api’s you can use, be able to use a rest template or in some way make calls from your app. Leveraging google api’s or other free services can help you put up something very quickly that does something actually useful.
- Follow the judging criteria carefully, they are there for a reason – specifically to make you think through what it takes to make your business viable. It is impressive when business people research the market validation, potential revenue, and are able to put it all together it in a nice presentation (say, with prezio or a video).
- Make sure to network during dinner on friday night. You’ll find people you like or don’t like, and if you’re pitching, people you can connect with will be more likely to join your team.
These are just notes that I thought of, your mileage may vary. But if you want to check out startup weekend for the first time, these ideas will smooth your way!