GoVertical presents

Machine Learning Startup Creation Weekend

Hosted by Madrona Venture Labs & TiE Seattle


Welcome to the FAQ! If you have additional questions, please contact us.

What is the purpose of the Startup Creation Weekend?

The purpose of the Startup Creation Weekend is to help jump start the formation of new companies based around innovative technologies. In 2017, we held workshops on Machine Learning and Blockchain technologies. Over 14 teams and 75 participants participated in both workshops. These workshops showcased many interesting ML and Blockchain based startup concepts many of which are being actively pursued by the winning teams. In the future, we will explore other interesting technologies such as AR/VR, IoT etc.

Do I need to have Machine Learning experience to participate in this event?

You don’t need to have prior Machine Learning Learning experience to participate. We have mentors with deep Machine Learning experience who are available to help you. However, to get the most out of the event, we would recommend learning the basics of Machine Learning technology. Our Machine Learning resources section will provide you with guidance on how to get up to speed quickly..

How do I apply to the event? 

Here are the steps to apply:

1. Click on the "Apply now" button or navigate to the Application page

2. Fill out the application form with background information about yourself and any idea that you would like to pitch. You will have until March 28, 2018 to fill out this information and submit it.

3. On April 2, 2018, you will be informed whether you have been accepted or not.

4. You will then receive email from us indicating that your ticket has been released on Eventbrite. You will have 48 hours to purchase your ticket to the workshop.

How do I improve my chances of being accepted?

We are looking for strong mix of business professionals, software developers and data scientists to ensure that each team has 1 or 2 people in each category. If you have a strong ML based business idea that you are planning to pitch, it will increase your chances of being accepted into the event. We also encourage teams to apply together to enter the event. If you know other good people who would like to be part of your team, you should encourage them to apply and let us know that you are part of a team. This will also increase your chances of being accepted.

If I am an existing Startup, can I apply to be accepted into the event?

We will accept existing startups into the startup as long as they haven’t released their product into the market.

How much will the event cost? Can I get a refund if I am not able to attend?

The ticket to the Startup Creation Weekend, which includes admission to the Panel event, costs $99. Once you have been accepted to the event and have purchased a ticket, you will not be able to obtain a refund as the Panel event will start shortly thereafter.

How do I prepare for the Startup Creation Weekend?

We would recommend learning the basics of Machine Learning technology prior to the event. Our Machine Learning resources section will provide you with guidance on how to get up to speed quickly. It is mandatory for the Startup Creation Weekend participants to attend the Panel event as the ideation and team formation will start at the Panel event.

How is the event structured?

We will kickoff the event with a Panel on April 19, 2018 to discuss the latest trends in Machine Learning and Deep Learning and feature innovative startups utilizing AI/ML at their core. At the end of the Panel event, we will hold a Pitch fest and form teams around the best startup concepts. The actual Startup Creation Weekend will be held on May 4-6, 2018 where the newly formed teams will work together to develop detailed business plans and prototypes for their Machine Learning startup concepts. Your fee for the event includes the fee for the Panel.

It is mandatory for participants to attend the Panel event as the ideation and team formation will start at the Panel event. Participants are encouraged to bring their own ideas and pitch them to other participants. Participants then get to vote on which idea they want to work on. Once the teams are formed, they can start collaborating on their startup concept in advance of the weekend event. We will establish a Slack channel to connect all the team members with each other.

The Startup Creation Weekend will begin on a Friday evening (May 4, 2018). Teams should be prepared to begin work on their startup concept in earnest including developing a solid business plan and their Machine Learning model. Throughout the weekend, teams will be supported by experienced mentors with deep startup and Machine Learning experience. By Sunday afternoon, teams should have finalized their business plan presentation and application prototype to present to a distinguished panel of judges who will select the top 3 winning concepts. Each of the winning teams will receive exciting prizes from our sponsors. In addition, the winning team will have an opportunity to enter the Madrona Labs Accelerator program.

How much time will I get to pitch my idea at the Panel event, and what information should I include in my pitch?

You will get 60 secs to pitch your idea. You should start by introducing yourself. Next, you should describe what problem you plan to solve and the product idea you have in mind to solve the problem that leverages Machine Learning technology. You should also have a name in mind for your startup so people can easily vote to join your team.

What are the rules for participating in this event?

Please refer to the Terms and Conditions outlined on our website.

Will the organizers own IP in any companies that are formed as a result of the Startup Creation Weekend?

No, the organizers will not own any IP or have any ownership interest in the resulting companies. Our goal is to encourage the formation of new tech companies in the Seattle area. Companies are, however, free to partner with Madrona Labs or TiE Seattle post the workshop if they wish to obtain help in incubating their company. In that case, they should apply to these programs and discuss the terms of such a partnership.

Will the organizers provide funding for any companies that emerge from the event?

The organizers provide mentorship or incubation programs that can help jumpstart promising companies that emerge from the Ideation workshops. The Winning team from the workshop will get the opportunity to join the Madrona Ventures Accelerator program. Participants in this program will receive $100k funding to help the team further validate its idea.

Teams that are not accepted into the Madrona Labs Acclerator programs can also receive further mentorship from Madrona Venture Labs and TiE Seattle. TiE Seattle offers a network of experienced entrepreneurs and industry executives to mentor companies.

If you have additional questions, please contact us.