Global Online Startup Weekend USA - Unite to Fight COVID-19


 

Stay Home, Work Together. Change The World.

For the first time ever, Techstars' staff and our US-based team of passionate startup community leaders has reimagined every aspect of Startup Weekend and converted everything into a remote, online, high-energy experience that comprises the weekend of April 24-26.

At this online version of Startup Weekend, geography is no longer a limitation. We are taking the best of the in-person experience and amplifying it with the power and reach of the best digital tools available. Just like a normal Startup Weekend, we expect a commitment for the 54 hours of focused work and fun. We’re excited to enjoy this epic weekend with you all! We hope we empower you to make new connections, discover new things, and build something amazing! That’s our mission and we’re here to help.

COVID-19 Focus

This series of online Techstars Startup Weekends are run at a country level, focused on developing solutions that directly tackle COVID-19 related challenges. They are 54-hour online events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs - you'll connect with amazing mentors, industry experts, founders, and partners who are ready to help you get started.

Each country will bring together hundreds or even thousands of participants that will work on prototypes for three days. This event is not only about bringing together developers who can work on software-based solutions for the crisis. It’s an opportunity for everyone interested in the topic to inspire and be inspired and to work together on developing inclusive solutions. Here is the website for more details https://covid.startupweekend.org

  • Are you passionate about solving a problem related to COVID-19?
  • Do you have an amazing idea for a solution?
  • Are you trying to find talented people to work with?
  • Do you want to launch a startup that will improve the world now or after COVID-19?

Join us, make a difference — and experience the thrill of seeing your idea come to life!

Themes

To help focus our work for the weekend and address key topics related to the COVID-19 health emergency, we’ve identified several themes. Winners will be selected from each of these:

  • Health: Address and scale a range of health initiatives, including preventative/hygiene behaviors (especially for at-risk countries and populations), supporting frontline health workers, scaling telemedicine, contact tracing/containment strategies, treatment and diagnosis development.
  • Vulnerable Populations: The set of problems facing the elderly and the immuno-compromised, such as access to meals and groceries, and supporting those who are losing jobs and income.
  • Businesses: The set of problems that businesses are facing to stay afloat, collaborate effectively, and move parts of their business online.
  • Community: Promoting connection to friends, family, and neighbors to combat social isolation and the digitizing of public services for local governments.
  • Education: Alternative learning environments and tools for students, teachers, and entire school systems.
  • Entertainment: Alternatives to traditional forms of entertainment that can keep the talent and audiences safe and healthy.
  • Other: The above themes are just suggestions. Feel empowered to get creative

One Event. Two Start Times.

In order to craft a similar experience for everyone, we’ve tried to account for schedules of people in different time zones by creating a site and platform for those in the Eastern and Central time zones (East) and those in the Mountain and Pacific time zones (West). Please sign up accordingly!

How does the “East” and “West” region work?

We recognized that someone is Albany, NY will get off work 3 hours earlier than someone in Portland, OR. So we set up the schedule to help match the schedules more easily. However we are still running one nation-wide event. You can work in teams with anyone you want, from anywhere in the country. But you will see some of the timing will depend on your timezone, and others will be “live” and therefore fixed across all timezones.

Registration Information

How much does it cost to participate?

Nothing! Tickets to register for the event are completely free but you are able to make a donation to an organization that's tackling the COVID-19 crisis (selected by the organizing team). If you wish to make a donation, simply add any amount you wish to donate to the ‘Donation’ ticket option. The action begins when you register! Please visit the following sites for registration and more information:

  • USA East: Registration Closed
  • USA West: Registration Closed

Essential Platforms

We can’t work on distributed teams without a few digital platforms. Essentials for this event include:

  • Discord
  • Zoom

You’ll be given links and more information about each of these after you register.

All in Good Time

Each Startup Weekend has several key elements, but in order to organize this special event, we’ve shifted a few and added some time on the front end to enable the discussions and project exploration that lead to forming the best teams possible. Here’s how our modified schedule runs:

How does a normal Startup Weekend work?

All Startup Weekends have the same 7 key activities:

  • Attendee registration
  • Kickoff event
  • Pitch ideas, vote, and form teams
  • Enroll your teams
  • Begin working
  • Submit for Judging
  • Judging and closing event

How does a remote Startup Weekend work?

  • Register Now and consider inviting your friends to do the same! (Deadline Wednesday, 4/22 11:59 PM EDT/PDT)
  • Pitch ideas for problems and solutions
  • Discover projects and vote on your favorites
  • Meet attendees and connect with other attendees
  • Form a team with other people who share your passion
  • Enroll your team and idea so we can assign a facilitator and help your team (Deadline: Friday, 4/24 1:00 PM EDT/PDT)
  • Watch the kickoff on Friday night
  • Work all weekend on your project using our remote tools and techniques
  • Submit your project for official judging
  • Watch the closing event on Sunday night

What’s the time commitment?

Just like a standard Startup Weekend, we are expecting everyone to make this their focus for the full weekend.That generally means attending the kickoff on Friday night, working with teams, mentors and facilitators through the weekend and attending the closing event on Sunday night. See the event schedule overview on this page.

However, since we aren’t all together in a single location, it’s up to each team to stay focused. You will need to stay actively connected and engaged with each other, your facilitator, the agenda and the process. That also means that if you have family or other obligations, you can work with your team members to help each other out and juggle those commitments.

Additional Questions

What if I can’t launch a startup right now?

That’s fine! We want to help you unlock your entrepreneurial spirit to solve important problems related to COVID-19. Your project could become a fundable startup business, a community passion project, or an open-source solution. What matters is the focus on creating value for the world, learning the tools of entrepreneurship, making connections and having fun!

Are You Ready to Jump In?

Head over to Eventbrite at the "Register USA East" or "Register USA West" button on the top of this website and register to attend. We will get you all the details in your welcome email.

If you have more questions after reading everything, please consider the following alternatives:

  • Join our group Facebook group here
  • Send us a message on Facebook messenger here
  • Visit our other social media discussions below
  • As a last option, send us an email at either email address: USA East or USA West

Finally, thanks! We’re excited to enjoy this epic weekend with you all!

Partners

Global Partners


 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

National Partners


 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Community Partners