Startup Weekend is the event for individuals who have ideas for innovative solutions or new businesses. It helps to build a startup community.
Startup Weekend Toruń is a regional edition of global event supported by Google and Techstars and it is organized by Exea Smart Space. During 54 hours, the participants have to build the team with whom they would like to share their ideas and create the company. The aim is to create a prototype of an online product or service – portals, mobile apps, shops. The team consists of people of various skills and competencies such as computer programmers, graphic designer, marketers, scientists, freelancers or technological specialists. Then, the best business ideas on which the teams will work are picked. Both mentors and counsellors are supporting the participants, they are sharing their knowledge and professional experience. Moreover, their role is to point out mistakes and to advise how to bring in potential clients. During the last day, each team presents their work in front of the jury – investors and experts in business development. The winners receive a prize from the sponsors.
Startup Weekend can take two forms. The first form is more general, the team develop any project connected to technology, mainly mobile apps and online tools. The second form requires more specific subject matter, hence the project should be narrowed to one sector or trend.
Examples of such event are Startup Weekend Internet of Things or Smart City. The aim of these events is to support innovative projects connected with processing and analyzing of data or smart cities, houses or companies.

Resources needed

Group of 4-8 organizers who take care of the event (logistics of the event, catering, advertising materials, working materials, contact with the sponsors and partners, engagement of mentors and the jury). Budget from 7,5K to 20K euro, depending on the the number of participants and location

Evidence of success

Three editions of Startup Weekend have been organized in Toruń so far. They took place in 2014, 2015, and 2017 and they are considered as the biggest and the highest-rated events in this category in Europe. The number of participants exceeded 300 people from Poland and abroad. There were 40 mentors from recognizable technological companies and startups such as IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla, Allegro. There were 40 teams and some of them are still developing their projects.

Difficulties encountered

1. Startup Weekend is a non-profit event that is why it is important to find and attract sponsors so they can cover the expenditure. Revenue from the tickets does not cover all expenditure of Startup Weekend.
2. The balanced list of computer programmers/graphic designers/non-technical people. Durin

Potential for learning or transfer

The startup ecosystem is a complex phenomenon requiring a number of soft activities involving the local community. In order to strengthen the ecosystem of startups in the region, it is necessary to provide cyclical activities that gather the local community, creating the opportunity for contact and exchange of information.
Organization of that kind of event, promotion of startups successfully operating in the region and sharing their achievements thanks to the Startup Weekend event is beneficial in many ways. It can become an inspiration for undertaking business activity in the region and also it promotes the region as a place friendly for starting a business. It can convince young people to stay and attract investors. It can also help the outflow of young people from the region. This event is organized with the support of Techstars and Google. Everything you need to know about an organization, you will find it in Startup Weekend Organizer's Guide which includes detailed instructions.
Main institution
Exea Smart Space
Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland (Polska)
Start Date
November 2014
End Date


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