What is YallaStartup Weekend?
Startup Weekend recruits a highly motivated group of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more to a 54 hour event that builds communities, companies and projects. It is an amazing opportunity to connect with other passionate and skilled individuals, and perhaps even find a co-founder or two to transform your idea into reality. Startup Weekend has been represented in over 100 cities in over 25 countries. YallaStartup is bringing the Startup Weekend event to Lebanon for the first time ever! In one weekend, teams will dynamically form around great ideas proposed by the participants.

What is the weekend like?
The weekend is fun, mentally simulating and always valuable for everyone! It starts Friday, November 12th at 4 pm and finishes up Sunday, November 14th at 9 pm, the hours in between are up to the community, though we have posted an initial Agenda. Everyone will show up the first day, form teams, decide on an idea, start the mock up process, code and deliver prototype on the last day. During the weekend we will have a lot of fun activities, speakers, VC visit, music, food, and more. Take a look at our YallaStartup Weekend Basics post for more information about what really happens during the weekend.

What are the benefits of participating?
There are many benefits to participating. Entrepreneurs rarely get presented an intense learning experience such as this – this is not your normal sit-and-listen classroom learning. Here you learn about entrepreneurship by doing with peers and industry mentors. Other benefits include networking with like-minded energetic entrepreneurs, getting exposed to rapid development processes, and forming communities. Who knows, maybe your team will be the next Microsoft or Google. For more information please read “5 Reasons to Attend YallaStartup Weekend” blog.

Do I have to present an idea to participate?
We highly recommend and encourage everyone to pitch their ideas at Startup Weekend. It is your chance to share your ideas and get help from the community to build and execute your idea. However, you do not have to present an idea to participate. You can come and listen to ideas presented and then join a team around the idea you like. There are really no restrictions on participants – dynamically flow to your interests and to the team you think you can help the most. Remember that Startup Weekend is an informal, community driven atmosphere. You don’t need to have any formal material when pitching your idea. You simply get up and give a quick 1 minute pitch about your idea.

How are teams formed?
We are currently planning to have 25-30 teams of about 2-6 members, this depending on the total number attendees. Some of the attendees might form teams before the Weekend. These might be a few friends who have an idea in mind and want to work together during the weekend to execute it. We are also expecting a large portion of the participants to come without a team. One of the main goals of Startup Weekend is to give everyone the chance to work with new people and learn from them. If you come without a team you can simply join the team with the idea that interests you most.

Will all the ideas being pitched become teams? What next? Prizes?
No, not all ideas will become teams. Here is how the idea selection process works:

  1. All participants will start off the day pitching their ideas (if they have any)
  2. After everyone pitches, attendees will rank their top ideas
  3. The ranking will help us narrow down the number of ideas and teams. If 50 people pitch their ideas and we only have space for 20 teams then we will pick the top 20 ranked ideas
  4. Members can then choose which of top ranked teams they want to join. It is up to the founder of the idea to decide how many members they want on their team
  5. If your idea was not top ranked but you are really passionate about it and really want to do it then you are free to do so. We will help facilitate the team formation but we will have no restrictions, this event is for you so it is up to you to make the most out of it
  6. During the weekend the founders of the teams will have to lead the teams, keep them on track and execute upon the idea
  7. On Sunday at 6 pm, each team will present the work they did during the weekend to a panel of judges who will then decide the top 3 winners of Startup Weekend
  8. The top 3 teams will be getting cool prizes… but the weekend isn’t about the prizes and is more about the experience, the learning and the network that each team will build and take forward.

What happens once the weekend ends?
Above all, we hope that a strong community bond will form. Beyond that, it depends on the group. Past weekends have seen groups work beyond the weekend and continue to build and market their products. Several projects have incorporated as companies and a few have raised multiple angel rounds. Skribit is an example.

What should I bring?
Make sure you come in with an energetic positive attitude during the weekend! and bring the following:

  • Laptop (We will have a few computers during the weekend, please email us at weekend@yallastartup.com if you don’t have a laptop)
  • Power cord
  • Good attitude
  • Personal contact cards
  • Camera – take pictures and video!
  • Creative energy
  • Anything else you want to bring to launch a cool startup!
  • Sleeping bag (if you plan on sleeping at the venue)

What about food? All of that creative work makes me hungry!
We will be providing food and beverages throughout the weekend 🙂

Where exactly is the event?
YallaStartup Weekend will be hosted at Berytech in Makalles, Lebanon. Berytech is situated on a mountain overlooking Beirut. The venue can accommodate more than 800 participants and equipped with high speed Internet and numerous meeting rooms of varying sizes. During the event, participants will have the option to spend the night to maximize face time.

What if I am outside of Lebanon?
Don’t worry if you are in Jordan or Syria we will be organizing bus rides with the generous help of our sponsors in a fun and exciting set-up called “Geeks on a Bus”. Berytech has generously offered to allow participants to sleep at the venue. If you decide to do that please bring a sleeping bag with you. Otherwise you can find a list of hotels (with discounts) here.

How much are the registration fees?
This varied among the participants. Please visit our registration page.

How do I pay? What if I don’t have a credit card?
We accept any type of credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. If you are unable to use a credit card, please pick “Pay at the door” as your payment option when you register for the event. You can also pay in cash by simply going to the Berytech venue prior to the event.

Sounds great, how do I sign up?
Please visit our registration page. We need you to register so we can get a proper estimate on transportation, food, computers, etc.

Any Other Questions?
Please email weekend@yallastartup.org and we will get them answered ASAP.