Have questions about this whole Mashup Weekend thing?
You've come to the right spot!
What happens at Mashup Weekend anyway?
This event is all about creative, innovative, like-minded, and enthusiastic people coming together, sharing their ideas for new businesses, and working as a team to bring ideas to life over the course of the weekend. This is a hands-on “roll up our sleeves and get ‘er done” experience in what it takes to bring a business idea to life!
Launching a business idea in weekend you say…how does that work exactly?
The premise here is very simple.
Anyone with an idea for a new business is welcomed to give an informal 60-second talk about her or his idea. All participants vote, the top ideas to be worked on over the weekend are selected, and people form small teams around the top ideas. Teams then get to work and begin collaborating on how to bring their idea to life: validating the idea with potential customers and figuring out how the business will make money, all while building, designing, and creating things needed to launch the idea (i.e. a simple prototype, initial product design drawings, a basic website, a rudimentary app, etc., etc.).
A weekend worth of work comes together with each team presenting what they’ve been able to accomplish since Friday evening. A small panel of experienced entrepreneurs act as the “evaluators of progress” (aka judges), providing invaluable advice and feedback to the teams.
Why do we need to vote on ideas?
There are a couple reasons. There likely won’t be enough people to form a robust, diverse, and productive team around every idea that gets pitched. Also, by allowing all participants to select the ideas they think are awesome and have the greatest potential, the better our chance of building teams that are fired-up and totally stoked to help bring these ideas to life.
How many ideas will get picked?
Typically between 8 and 12 ideas end up getting worked on over the course of the weekend, but it really depends on the number of participants that attend. We want to make sure there are at least 3-4 people per team in order to ensure a good balance of skills and talents on each team.
What if the idea I share doesn’t get picked?
We can all learn something to help us with our own business idea by helping someone else bring their idea to life – jump on a team and help build something awesome. A big part of Mashup Weekend is about the relationships you build and connections you make with other creative and innovative people. Get involved – learn something new and meet some amazing people in your community!
Besides, the food will be awesome – that alone would be worth stickin’ around for!
How are the teams formed?
Once the ideas that will be worked on over the weekend have been selected we facilitate a process that allows people to self-select the team they want jump on.
Are we expected to be in the room the whole weekend? Are we required to stay until closing time every evening?
The short answer is ’No' - we’re not going to lock you in the room and keep you there until 10-o’clock at night. The team, and the individuals on the team, determine their own work plan for the weekend. The facility is available until 10pm (and there will be lots of coffee on hand!) but it is up to the team to decide when they need to collaborate together, when they can be working on things separately, and how late in to the evening they want to stay to get stuff done.
If there is a short period of time over the course of the event that you need to be absent, we ask that you let your fellow team members know ahead of time so that you can plan around it.
That said, Mashup Weekend is really about giving yourself the time and the space to focus, learn, and take action. It is not really fair to yourself - or your team - if you're checkin' out to do other stuff.
What does the registration fee cover?
Luckily we have some amazing sponsors that cover the lion-share of the costs associated with creating this experience for you – I know, they rock! The registration fee covers all the materials and facilities you’ll use and all the awesome food we will feed you over the course of the weekend. Yes, all meals plus snacks and drinks are covered in the price you pay – are you kiddin' me, that alone is worth the price of admission!
Can you give me a run-down of how the weekend actually unfolds?
Sure, we’d be happy to! We run Mashup Weekend in a 2-Day and a 3-Day format, so here is how the 3-Day version works:
Friday: People show up at 6pm, get to know each other and have something to eat. The facilitator for the weekend will kick things off and facilitate the process for people to share their idea for a new business. Those wanting to share an idea will have 60-seconds (and no more) to make their best pitch - their name, the problem or opportunity they see, and their idea for addressing the problem or capitalizing on the opportunity. We’ll be kickin’ it old-school for these presentations – no technology, no props, just you and your passion for your idea. Once everyone that wanted to share an idea has had the opportunity to do so all participants then vote on their favourite ideas. After the voting is done we whittle down to the top ideas. People self-select which idea they want to get behind, teams are formed, and then we are off to the races and jumping right in to action-mode!
Saturday: This is the day where most of the magic (and heavy-lifting) happens. Teams work throughout the day, breaking only to eat. Experienced entrepreneurs will be available as coaches to all the teams, pitching in with rock-solid advice based on their area of expertise and years of experience.
Sunday: On Sunday morning teams launch a ‘full court press’ on the final items on their to-do lists, putting the final touches on their prototypes, designs, and anything else they plan to show during their presentation. Teams are permitted to use technology for their final presentations, so we’ll do a tech-check at around an hour before the presentations begin. Teams are given 5-minutes (and no more) to do their final presentation, with up to 5-minutes of Q&A from the judging panel. Once all teams have presented the judging panel will select the top teams, prizes are awarded, the event ends and we all celebrate a weekend of business startup awesomeness!
Who "owns" the idea and the stuff that was developed after Mashup Weekend?
The truth is, just like any other startup weekend, game-jam, hackathon - or any other open collaboration where people are working together to make an idea better and a more viable business - there is really no clear answer to this question. One way to deal with this would be to put a bunch of buzz-killing, energy-deflating, creativity-limiting legal agreements in place and make everyone sign them before stepping foot in to the room.
We've decided not to do that.
Instead, we put our faith in the fact that people come in to Mashup Weekend in the spirit of open collaboration and see the value in making things better together. We're trusting that people will act like mature and reasonable humans - both during the event and afterwards.
The fact is, there is a chance (albeit an extremely small chance in our opinion) that ownership of the intellectual property (IP) that is developed by the team over the course of the weekend is something you and your teammates may have to deal with if you decide to turn this idea in to an actual business. That is a normal part of business creation.
If this is something your really worried about, than Mashup Weekend - or any other type of open collaboration or discussion that isn't preambled with a bunch of legal jargon - may not be for you. You may want to work on your idea alone, collaborating with no one, and trying to do and learn everything yourself. Good luck with that.