How to turn your idea into an actual business in 3 days.

I’m going to be honest with you. I started writing a full article about the steps I took to win 2 Startup Weekends. Then I deleted all of it.

I realized the steps my two 2 teams followed were EXACTLY the same and essentially I would be repeating what others have accomplished. This summer I had the opportunity to even help some of the teams at a Startup Weekend in DC. The winners clearly followed the EXACT same process to achieve the same outcome. Surprised?

Now guess what happened when I googled “how to win a startup weekend”?…. You were right. They listed the exact same steps. Well I decided not to re invent the wheel.

Here are the top resources I found to help you win a Startup Weekend and also validate your startup idea.

Winning Guides for Success

How to Win a Startup Weekend: The Ultimate Guide by

7 Tips to Help You Win Startup Weekend by Milan Steskal

Pitch like a Boss

During my first Startup Weekend we actually practiced our pitch riding up and down the elevator. It really helps you keep your pitch short and too the point. Address/ validate the problem, solution, and value. You should be able to recite this in your sleep before you pitch to the VCs.

The Best Elevator Pitch by Vanessa Van Edwards

Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch by Entrepreneur Magazine

The Business Blueprint

The winning teams used this to keep track of everything. This will change and evolved throughout the weekend so don’t be afraid to pivot if you don’t think you can validate your concept by the end of the weekend. My team actually had to pivot and change our whole idea a hour into starting the competition and we ended up winning second place.

The team that won first place was able to secure a contract and had a couple of paying customers. I think it was an app for toast masters or something.

Business Model Canvas by Strategyzer

Business Model Canvas Explained by Strategyzer

Pokemon Go — BMC Cast Study

So when you’re thinking to yourself “hey I have this great business idea! It’s a service/app/website/product/ect that does something amazing that everyone will want” use these resources to help validate your idea. Remember this can be done in with a team in one weekend. Find ways to get out and test quick, fail fast and learn quick. Plan and execute.

I will continue to *update* this page with more resources and feel free to add more if you fine them.