This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
We strongly encourage you to read through our First-timer FAQs before you sign up for Startup Weekend. If you have any remaining questions feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter or even reach out to any of the organizers you might know (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Phone: 308-3865). We'll get you the answer and make it available here.
However we'd like to address some additional questions specific to our event in Trinidad.
Do we have to break to go out to lunch?
Startup Weekend is about working hard to build a product, and teams regularly work straight through meal time. However for such a long event we want everyone to be at their best, so we will be providing fuel for your efforts, so expect food, drink and snacks for the entire event to keep those juices flowing.
Can I bring my own team?
Yes, you can certainly bring a group of people you already know, but half the fun is working with new people and getting an injection of new ideas. You will encounter skillsets you never knew existed and learn from the wonderful array of participants what skillsets are required to bring your new venture off the ground.
Is this just a hackathon?
Hackathons seem slow paced compared to Startup Weekend. Imagine if a hackathon existed for development, design and business at the same time and then you asked them to work together to not only build an awesome product, but to validate its appeal and prepare a business model and pitch deck and have it investor-ready by the end of the event. We know that's asking a lot, which is why Startup Weekend's model puts you in touch with awesome coaches throughout the event who will guide your team toward developing a strong product, business model and pitch.
So will I get money if I win?
Sorry, Startup Weekend events around the globe have a strict policy of no cash prizes. Winning teams will get access to a wide array of resources from office space to professional and cloud-based services and media exposure which will help them get their new venture off the ground.
I have an awesome company, can I bring it to Startup Weekend?
We prefer all participants to come with a new pitch, something that hasn't been worked on as yet. If you have an idea, but don't yet have a product, this would be the best place to come and validate it. If you have a business plan, and don't yet have a product and haven't done any customer validation, this would be the best place to come and put your business plan through its paces. However, if you do have an existing business, partners and/or are generating revenue, you've done quite a bit of testing already and although you can benefit from the experience, you won't be at the same starting point as the other participants. It just works out best for everyone if you come with a new idea you want to pitch.
I want to start my own business, is that considered a startup?
The answer is, it depends. If you're entering an existing market with an existing business model, creating an existing product, then there is no hypothesis to test. A startup is a company or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets. Generally speaking a startup is trying to innovate on an existing system bringing a new innovation to the market.
Am I going to learn everything to create a Startup in 2 days?
No you will learn alot through doing, but we expect you to at least be familiar with the language of business models, minimum viable products, pitch decks, customer validation, agile development and revenue generation models. Among people that make up your team you will have access to different skill sets who will be stronger in one area or another.
Can I just come after work or on one or two days?
We ask that by registering you make the commitment for the entire duration of the event. You will be working hard on building out an idea with a small team of people. If you can't make the entire event, you're essentially depriving your team of your expertise during that time, and you're depriving yourself of the opportunity to learn while doing. We understand that life happens, but if you know in advance that you can't be available for the entire event, we ask that you wait for the next Startup Weekend.
Why do I have to pay?
Startup Weekend is a non-profit organization so ALL money that we get from tickets goes toward making the event successful. We only charge to help cover costs to put on the event. You'll be getting all meals, snacks, drinks (including coffee!) and access to a bunch of awesome people who are all interested in helping take your idea forward! Think of it as an investment in yourself and your development plan.