In order for us to provide the most support and sustain our community, we require all ticket sales and sponsorships to go through Techstars. This removes the liability from our organizers and also allows sponsors an easier channel for payment. Rest assured, however, that your team will have full transparency and access to the funds raised.

In some countries, there will be exceptions depending on the local availability of our standard payment and ticketing platforms. If this is the case in your community, please discuss with your regional manager for authorization.

We’ll cover the Community Chest in detail later, but be aware that after your event, 50% of all leftover revenue (net profit after expenses have been covered) is invested into Startup Weekend, and 50% will be reinvested into your local community as you see fit.

Tracking Your Budget 

It is the organizing team’s responsibility to keep track of all event expenses and reporting transparent. We ask that you delegate one team member to manage the finances and event budget. Keep in mind that every expense or contribution (monetary or in-kind) should be documented in the budget report by description and cost, and also submitted with receipts or invoices to balance each expense amount.

Yes, remember to keep your receipts!

How much does Startup Weekend Cost?

Startup Weekend is historically very “lean.” The size of your event budget will depend on:

  • Your region

  • Participant quality

  • How fabulous you want to make the event (swag, extras, etc.)

To begin planning your budget, consider how many attendees you are targeting—this will directly impact your choice of venue, as well as your decisions regarding food, supplies, and swag. Once you’ve got an idea of the event scale, you’re ready to move forward.

We recommend setting your fundraising target (ticket sales + sponsorships) at 150% (1.5x) your total estimated event expenses in order to account for unforeseen expenses and ensure leftover funds are available to your local Community Chest.

Typical Expenses

  • Food and Drink
    Food is easily the most costly expense, and the most important! The actual costs will vary by location, but your budget should allow for 7 meals over course of the weekend, plus snacks, coffee/tea, water, and other beverages. For a detailed breakdown on how to keep your food and drink costs low.

  • Venue
    We strongly encourage finding a donated/sponsored venue for the event. See the Picking a Venue Section for a more detailed breakdown.

  • Supplies
    Consider the basics: rented tables/chairs, name-tags, markers, dry-erasers, paper, post-it notes, sketch-pads, tape, plates, napkins, utensils, etc. Depending on what is provided by the venue, supplies can cost between $2-8 per participant (this varies by region.)

Extras: Depending on your venue you may need to rent A/V equipment and other “venue-related” supplies. Assessing what your venue provides is very important.

  • Startup Weekend Facilitator Travel and Accommodation
    Set aside enough funds to cover the cost of a local/regional flight, plus three nights of accommodation. This expense will often be lower (as facilitators will often be willing to sleep on couches, or be travelling locally). A good estimate is $500USD (or equivalent) for an event in the US, Canada or Europe.

  • Marketing Materials
    If you plan on pursuing traditional marketing tactics (printing flyers, paying for advertising space, etc.), account for this in the budget. Use social media as much as you can to save money on promoting your event.

  • SWAG
    T-shirts, stickers, water bottles, mugs, tote bags, notepads, pens etc. It’s always a good idea to have something fun for attendees to take home from the event.