How to Prepare for Startup Weekend 2013


Patrick O’Brien’s team, GroupMyFunds, won Startup Weekend Milwaukee 2012. Here are his tips for preparing for Startup Weekend Milwaukee 2013: 

  • Perfect Your Pitch

    I prepared my pitch and then I PRACTICED, PRACTICED and then PRACTICED SOME MORE!  I would record my pitch on my cell phone voice recorder and then play it back. I would listen, evaluate, make revisions and then do it again. It was funny because I didn’t realize that my phone battery was low on a couple of takes and I sounded like I was slurring my words. I was thinking , ‘Do I really sound like this?’ Though I knew I had a good idea, I wanted it to be ‘Pitch Perfect!’  Getting a clear and concise message across in the allotted 60 seconds or less is extremely important–and it takes practice and adjustments. My wife and kids must have listened to my pitch 20 times or more.  Though they were attentive and encouraging, I think they were really happy when Startup Weekend Milwaukee finally arrived! They supported me and that was important.Finally, the big night (final presentations) arrived and I was extremely nervous. At one point, shortly before it was my turn to pitch, I almost got out of line. But I took a deep breath and pressed on–and I’m glad I did.

  • Get Out and Talk with Customers

    As a team, the single most important thing we did all weekend was probably getting out and talking to people about GroupMyFunds and the idea that encompassed it. On Saturday, I drove to Bayshore Mall. It happened to be a really nice day outside so a lot of people were walking around. I had prepared five questions that we would ask the general public that would help give our team the data we needed to validate our idea and generate feedback on what we might be missing. With a clipboard in hand and our Startup Weekend Milwaukee badges, we headed out. After speaking with about 30 people, we found that we were able to gather vital information that we would ultimately use in deciding what features we would build into our MVP. This information was used during our final pitch on Sunday to the panel of judges.

  • GroupMyFunds was the 2012 Startup Weekend Winner 

    Winning Startup Weekend Milwaukee was very exciting for me, but also very emotional. The knowledge I acquired–for building a startup and the processes that go along with it–were priceless. I also learned a tremendous amount about myself and about working with others. But most importantly, it taught me to follow my dreams. I would like to personally thank my team members and also thank all of the mentors and judges for their invaluable advice and encouragement during Startup Weekend Milwaukee. 

  • An Update on GroupMyFunds 

    We have almost completed developing our MVP and are planning to go live by November 15, 2013. A name change will be unveiled at the upcoming launch. Sign-up for GroupMyFunds here >>