January 14, 2015

What to Expect

by Josh McBroom

Those familiar with other startup competitions will recognize GrassRoots format:

Friday:

We'll open the event with drinks, networking, and dinner on Friday night, before getting down to business.  We'll go over what to expect from the weekend, what resources you'll have at your disposal, and what we're looking for in judging criteria during the presentations on Sunday.  After that, it's time for the pitch process: everyone who wants to present an idea gets 60 seconds to say who they are, what problem they want to solve, what their propose solution is, and who they need to help build a Minimum Viable Product. Once everyone who wants to has pitched an idea, participants will vote on their favorite ideas, and then form teams around them.  Friday night will end with the newly-formed teams going off to brainstorm and get on the same page before heading home for the night.

Saturday:

After a quick breakfast and morning announcements, teams will get to work validating their idea, building their MVP, and readying their presentation for Sunday.  Experienced mentors will be on hand Saturday to help teams after lunch.  During dinner we'll have a fun ice-breaking, tension-relieving activity to get attendees a bit of a break, and then after a few more hours to work the venue will close for the night.

Sunday:

We'll begin Sunday with another quick breakfast and morning announcements, followed by a check-in from representatives of each team to seek help if needed.  After lunch, we’ll again have reps from each team do a "tech check", to ensure all technical issues regarding presentations are resolved prior to beginning presentations.  Presentations will be before dinner: each team will have 5 minutes to present, and 3 minutes to answer questions from event judges.  We'll present awards and prizes after dinner, and then wrap things up with an after-party at a venue to be determined!

While we expect some teams to continue to work on their startup after GrassRoots, the point of this weekend is to get passionate people together and help them grow their professional skills, network, and learn more about an exciting and high-growth industry!