Startup Weekend University: Tools and Codes

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Tools to help you succeed

Startup Weekend Tahoe starts in three days and we hope you’re as excited as we are that WE’VE SOLD OUT! This is an amazing opportunity to meet over 100 people who share our passion for entrepreneurship and this mountain community.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to review our earlier emails, you still have a little time to get up to speed on what to expect and how to get the most out of the event. Here’s the full agenda of what we’ve sent out during SWTahoe University, including links to the blog pages where we’ve saved the content:

  1. What is Startup Weekend going to feel like? [Feb 11th]
  2. What does it take to launch a new product/service? [Feb 18th]
  3. Customer development: the most critical skill for building a startup [Feb 25th]
  4. Tools that we think will help you during SWTahoe [this email]

Each email has three sections: “required reading” on things that will be super helpful for you to know before the event; extra resources to help you excel; and bonus material if you get really into the topic

Our favorite tools, and some free stuff!

The must-read:
One of the hardest things about Startup Weekend (or any startup) is digesting, organizing, and prioritizing all of the things your team is learning. In addition to recommending that you take great notes, here are some tools we think you’ll find valuable as you figure out how to validate your ideas (and present them).

  1. Track all your assumptions and key learnings using a business model canvas: we recommend either a big paper version with stickies or using Ash Maurya’s online tool. If you’re unfamiliar with the canvas, here’s a quick overview but we’d recommend that you go back to our lesson on the lean startup methodology to learn more.
  2. To track all your team’s activities during the event, it can be helpful to use online collaboration tools such as Asana or Trello for assigning tasks and prioritizing activities.
  3. For final presentations, PowerPoint or Prezi seem to be the main tools that people use. Start thinking about your presentation early in the weekend and review the judging criteria to make sure you’re on the right track!

Highly recommended material:
As a participant in Startup Weekend, you get access to some great free services from our sponsors:

  • Amazon Web Services: Amazon Web Services provides startups with low cost, easy to use infrastructure needed to scale and grow any size business.
  • Free .CO domain registration: The offer can be redeemed here using the following code: [SW14031119]. This code is only applicable once per participant, and will only be active until the first Thursday following the event.
  • Google Cloud Platform is offering developers $2,000 of credit to build startups on Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine. App Engine is a full development stack (PaaS), and Compute Engine lets you run workloads on Linux virtual machines (IaaS). Apply to receive credit at cloud.google.com/starterpack and use verification code: swoff-org.
  • Sprint is giving $100 credit to advertise/showcase apps in Google Play (a great way to get visibility in the app store).  Register by going to this link during our SW event using #SWtahoe100 and receive up to $100 toward your first winning bid.
Startup Weekend has an extensive list of additional sites and services that could be helpful to you this weekend

If you want more:
We’ve been contacted by a few other groups who have offered free services for Startup Weekend Tahoe:

  • Free polls from PickFu that can be used to test usability/appeal of ideas and designs. (1) Hone ideas at the beginning of the weekend (2) Get customer validation data for final presentations.
  • Get 30 days of free educational insights through Blinkist, which creates 20 minute overviews of many entrepreneurial books.

Thanks and please let us know if you have any feedback,
The Startup Weekend Tahoe Team