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Getting Competitiors for Startup Weekend

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Who are the competitors at a Startup Weekend? How do I get them to come to my Startup Weekend? It takes a lot of time and energy to put on a successful Startup Weekend, but from my experience as a competitor there is only one thing that the whole event rides on.


Specifically the competitors. Attracting the right people to the event is key to an exciting, productive, and innovative SUW. Each startup weekend needs a combination of makers, designers, and business developers to help achieve this goal. Here’s a quick overview of what these innovators bring to the event:

Makers are the technically skilled members of the team outside of bus. dev. and design. Examples would be coders, mechanical engineers, aerospace majors, etc. These people are the core brains behind the building, without them there is usually no product.

Designers do so much more than making the project beautiful (although they are highly responsible for doing that as well). Designers help create the flow of information and functionality of the product or service. An example would be in designing the user experience for an app idea. Graphic communications students usually fit well into this category because of their ability to work with coders. But, for non-tech products the design members of a team might very well be Art majors.

Business Developers define the product or service in terms of its potential to grow into a profitable business, or successful non-profit. They bring understanding of business model development, market identification, pitching, and other similar skills. For example a business administration major might provide a business model for the product the team has developed, or suggest a pivot to the products initial function to better capture a market.


Reaching all of these groups takes strategic marketing that happens months in advance of the actual Startup Weekend. Some tips to successfully marketing to these groups:

-Reach out to clubs the above members would be a part of and ask to present the opportunity at their next meeting. Focus on explaining the benefits to this particular group. Example) “Startup Weekend is a great opportunity for “ National Coders United * ” members because it allows you to put in coding hours on a resume building competition that’s exciting and productive!"

-Promote via local/campus media such as newspapers, email newsletters, and campus TV.

-Social Media! Post event registration links and talk about the value of SUW to groups that could be interested.

-Hold pre-SUW events or registration parties where you can build community interest and collect registrations at a low cost.

-Speak in classes about the opportunity.

-Post posters EVERYWHERE.


Most important is to be creative and to NOT do this alone, if you are an organizer recruit friends or other interested people to help you spread the word and collect registrations.

 *I don’t think this club exists