Startup Resources

 

Let’s start with the basics:  How to Kick Ass at a Startup Weekend: 5 Tools to Build a Winning Product.

Because we are all here to kick ass, RIGHT?

STARTUP WEEKEND PITCH RESOURCES

Friday night (60-second pitches) should include the following:

  1. Snapshot/Overview
  2. Problem & Why Now
  3. Solution
  4. Market
  5. Revenue Model

 

SUNDAY NIGHT JUDGING CRITERIA -Sunday night’s presentations are 4 minutes and include slides or video demonstrations. Universal Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighed equally):

Business Model:
 The heart of it all. If you haven’t got answers to these questions, you’ve spent too much time on frills & features and need to get back to the basics:

Who is your customer?
What is your core value proposition?
What are your key activities?
What are your revenue streams?
What is your cost structure?
Who/what are your key partners/resources?
What are your distribution channels?
What is your rollout strategy?

Customer Validation:
 Have you taken the proper steps to ensure that the people who matter (your future customers) support and reinforce your assumptions? Think of Customer Validation as ‘evidence’ to back up the core structure of your ‘theory’ (your Business Model). The more feedback you gather (quantity), the more this feedback comes from your specific target market (quality), and the more you’re able to actually integrate this feedback into the Business Model and product development (execution), the better.

Execution: 
The nitty gritty: what has your team been able to actually build over the weekend? Even the strongest of Business Plans are useless in the hands of those who can’t properly execute on them. Getting as far as possible in the development of your product/prototype not only helps give Judges a tangible vision of what the final product could be, but proves your strength and skills as a team. This is what truly matters: investors don’t invest as in ideas so much as teams.

 

SUGGESTED ONLINE RESOURCES

startup  Startup Weekend Resources - from the smart folks at Startup Weekend headquarters comes this comprehensive list of resources covering helpful apps, market research, keyword research, traffic research, presentation tools, finances, web hosting and much more.  Definitely worth taking the time to become familiar with  these resources before the big weekend! Definitely be sure to check out the   Welcome to Statup Wekend: Attendee Resource!

$100 Credit towards Amazon Web Services: get a code at the registration desk.

Google Entrepreneur Resources:  discover online tools/resources to launch and scale your business.

PickFu.com Survey Tool to get feedback on marketing presentation. Use coupon code SWPORTLANDME2013 to get two free polls.

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Portland Public Library Business Research Page- hosts a wealth of business databases at your fingertips.  So, if you are not already the proud owner of a library card head down to the library to pick one up before the event! Resources include:

  • ReferenceUSA – an online business directory. Find information on existing businesses such as location sales, number of employees, etc.
  • DemographicsNow – research the local market by entering an address and accessing the 2012 Consumer Expenditure Comparisons. Find info on how much the average person with in 5, 10, or 20 miles (mileage is customizable) spends on various items.
  • Small Business Resource Center – find over 500 sample business plans!
  • Business Source Complete – a database chock full of useful business information, for instance full, text journal articles, market research reports, product reviews, industry profiles, SWOT analyses  and eBooks available from a variety of respected resources.
  • Access to full-text online business journals such as Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Inc.

 

Steve Blank Startup Toolsan amazing list from Silicon Valley’s #1 entrepreneurship educator. Scroll down to find resources for Website Domain Names, Create  Websites, Surveys, Product Launch Tools and much more.

 

top gun The Top Gun Guide to Business Models gives you a quick guide to thinking about the different pieces of a business. Used in Maine’s Top Gun program, Steve Blank’s classes and elsewhere!

 

maine angelsMaine Angels was founded  to enhance regional economic development by providing a cooperative mechanism for qualified investors to collaboratively locate, investigate and make investments in promising early-stage companies. On their resources and links page find best practices on due diligence, sample syndication formats, best practices for deal screening and further information that will be useful to entrepreneurs looking to optimize their pitch.

FYI Maine Angels members generally are looking for the following attributes in an investment opportunity (helpful points to keep in mind over Startup Weekend):

  • Differentiated product or service
  • Emerging market for the product
  • Scalable business with plan to meet growing market
  • Management capable of executing to plan
  • Attractive deal terms
  • Achievable exit strategy that exploits opportunity

 

creativeCreative Portland, is a nonprofit organization that leverages, grows and sustains Portland’s creative industries, enterprises and workforce. Their Working in Portland Resource Page provides an excellent list of local resources on the topics of professional groups, incubators and business counseling, investment and incentives, how to find office/work space and co-working spaces.

 

startup portlandStartup Portland is a community of entrepreneurs, investors, technologists and creative misfits who love building scalable companies in Portland, Maine; their webpagelists a variety of educational and financial resources. Also  of interest – a list of local startups. Check out what your innovative neighbors have been up to!

 

sbdc Maine Small Business Development Centers’ (SBDC) topics of interest page has great information for those considering producing food, running a green business, technology commercialization and also links to helpful tools, training and resources. The free on demand workshops are definitely worth a look. SBDC  provides comprehensive business management assistance to the small business community through a network of professional, certified business counselors.

 

scoreSCORE of Portland  provides a variety of helpful templates and tools to get your business up and running. Such as links to articles on Social Entrepreneurship, venture capital secrets, business valuation and more. To sharpen your skills, The ONLINE WORKSHOPS page is also worth checking out before the big weekend! SCORE Portland is a trusted network of over 30 Certified Mentors who are there to assist budding entrepreneurs.

 

business worksMaine Business Works provides a detailed list of resource providers in the areas of business assistance, workforce development and economic development. Maine Business Works is a great resource for people who drive Maine’s economy: small business, employees, and the service providers who support them.

sbaMaine SBA Small Business Resource Guide is a highly informative 52 page online guide to starting a running a small business in Maine. Also, visit SBA.gov for more information on starting and running a small business.

 

tech maineFor yet another good read, see the TechMaine Entrepreneur Handbook from Maine’s technology community!

 

maine.govMaine. gov’s  business portal provides corporate searches, information on taxes, employer resources, information on business licensing and much more.  Also provides a fantastic Business Answers service which, unfortunately for weekend warriors, is only open Monday – Friday. This service allows you to email or call and have your business questions answered by those in the know of state regulations and licensing procedures.

cityseal55Portland Economic Development Department let’s you know what is going on in Portland! Read about Portland’s economic development plan, major development initiatives, info on how to start and grow a business in Portland and more. It is helpful to know that this type of information is available from most municipalities, depending on where you intend to base your venture.

wwcMaine Center For Women Work and Community  offers guidance, classes and workshops at no cost to individuals in four areas: BUILD YOUR CAREER, START A BUSINESS, MANAGE YOUR MONEY, and BECOME A LEADER.