Who can pitch at Startup Weekend?

10/26/2016 | By Trey Steinhoff

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

By: Allison Barkley

Here at Startup Weekend Tampa we get asked a lot about who is able to participate in the weekend.

The simple answer is: Everyone!

Startup Weekend attendees come from backgrounds in development, programming, business, education, PR, marketing, finance, law and more. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you're motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas, you’ll fit right in.

We know. Computers are hard. You don’t know how to code. The truth is, the teams that win at Startup Weekend are the teams with good ideas and presentations – the teams that can most effectively validate their concept and communicate the market potential as well as their ability capture that market. The judges are not there to do a code review. As long as you’re good at something and you make it a point to be useful somehow, you will be. The people who are not useful at Startup Weekend are the people who show up on Friday having firmly decided that they cannot be useful.

Wait! Before you register we have some simple guidelines to keep everything fun.


Everyone who attends the event as an attendee is expected to participate on a team. This is important not only to preserve the mission of Startup Weekend (teamwork!) but also to minimize distractions/disruptions for all working teams. Each person will get 60 seconds to pitch their idea to the audience. Only 10-15 ideas will be selected to move into the weekend. The teams that move on are decided by the attendees' votes.

You can’t pitch your existing business/app. Startup Weekend is designed to be the most effective platform for growing new businesses from the ground up over the course of a weekend. A key facet of the weekend and a central value for participants is the spirit of complete collaboration, buy-in and ownership. We’ve found that having existing businesses in the mix undermines this spirit, in addition to creating an imbalance between those ideas that are truly ground-level.

In summary, Startup Weekend is an event to bring two types of people together: people who have ideas, and people who can execute those ideas. They work together to build a business over a 54-hour period, with enough research and hard work done to hit the ground running with the business when they’re ready.