On January 22, 23, and 24, 2016, entrepreneurs and creative minds will be taking over Lake Washington Girls Middle School – Seattle’s first middle school for girls – for a Startup Weekend like no other: one specifically designed for fifth through ninth grade GIRLS. Organizers and volunteers of Startup Weekend GIRLS have been working to ensure that this event provides not only inspiration, but also the resources required for building and launching a viable, scalable company. Last year LWGMS organized the first ever Startup Weekend GIRLS – it felt only natural that it happen first here in Seattle, and at a school for girls that was a startup in its own right.

Startup Weekends are about learning through the act of creating. Participants don’t just listen to theory; they present their own ideas, build their own products, and put them to test while collaborating with like-minded, passionate individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and points of view. On top of that, Startup Weekenders receive invaluable one-on-one time with the movers and shakers within the community, as local tech and startup leaders take part in Startup Weekends as mentors/coaches and judges.

Startup Weekend GIRLS Edition is specially designed for the next generation’s entrepreneurs-in-the-making, fifth through tenth  grade girls. Our team of highly innovative and connected mentors and judges will create an atmosphere of exercises and experiences that will teach girls how to come up with business ideas, conduct market research, prototype, work in teams, and “pitch” their ideas to a room full of people. Our goal is to give girls the confidence to innovate and create they will need to succeed in all aspects of life.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model – massaged a little bit to fit the needs of our aspiring #GIRLpreneurs: participants pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote), and then it’s a frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Contact: Shannon Blaisdell
Phone: 206.709.3800
Email: swgirls@startupweekend.org
Twitter: @StartupWGirls (#SWGirls, #PitchLikeAGirl, #GIRLpreneurs)
Website: Techstars Startup Programs
Tickets: SOLD OUT!

Our generous sponsors

Sponsor Startup Weekend GIRLS!

Whether you are looking to gain branding exposure, test out an API, or support GIRLpreneurs as they grow into the next generation of social entrepreneurs, Startup Weekend gives companies firsthand discovery, experience, and interaction with a unique group of the world's most passionate entrepreneurs, makers, and do-ers. Sponsor our event today!

Premier: $5,000 USD

  • Invitation to address attendees for 3 minutes.
  • Invited to set up a booth for your product or service during Startup Weekend event
  • All benefits of the Gold Sponsorship
  • Four tickets to the event

Silver: $500 USD

  • Company name/logo listed on “yourcity”.up.co
  • Thank you & recognition during the meal you sponsor
  • Opportunity to display a sign or banner on the food table
  • Hand out materials, swag, other relevant materials
  • Two tickets to the event


  • Invitation for a guest blog post on “yourcity”.up.co site
  • Offer a prize to a team or individual via raffle/vote. (eg. iPhone, netbook, software)
  • All benefits of the Gold Sponsorship
  • Three tickets to the event

GOLD: $1,000 USD

  • Identified in all media materials for Startup Weekend
  • Company name/logo listed on “yourcity”.up.co
  • Thank you and recognition during Startup Weekend event
  • Opportunity to hang banners at the event
  • Hand out materials, swag, other relevant materials
  • Two tickets to the event

Contributing Sponsor (Price Varies)

Help support Startup Weekend GIRLS with Press Coverage, Marketing, Swag, Venues, Food, Software, Discounts, etc. Anything that the community will benefit from! Contact us for more information.

How to Sponsor

Click here to get to the official Startup Weekend sponsorship page. You will have to fill out your information – and your business information. You'll also be asked for the city and dates of the event: "Seattle GIRLS" and "Jan 22, 23, and 24, 2016". Or you can email us at swgirls@startupweekend.org and we can help you through the process.

Thank you for your support!

Be a mentor or coach!
Your Name *
Your Name
Because we will be working with girls ages 11-14, the format of the event will be little different from what Startup Weekend veterans may be used to. The biggest change is that each team will have two TEAM LEADERS – Biz/Market and Tech – as guiding members of the teams, all weekend (Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 9-6).
STILL NEEDED! Would you like to help the GIRLpreneurs with their initial market research? Help them make surveys, phone calls, or hit the streets to find out if they're ideas will work? We have two shifts for Market Research Coaches. Join us for one or both!
Want to help the girls build apps? Websites? Please join us on Saturday, then, and join in the fun!
The GIRLpreneurs will be working on some pretty awesome presentations! Would you be willing to help them bring it all together in a way that will wow the judges? We have two shifts for Prez Coaches. Join us for one or both!
STILL NEEDED! The GIRLpreneurs will need help tying up all the loose ends toward the end of the event. We'd love a few people to help support them as they practice their pitches and get ready for the final judgement event! We ask that Pitch Coaches spend the entirety of Sunday, Jan 24 with us.
Best Number *
Best Number
T-Shirt Size *

Sign up to get involved here! We'll contact you to confirm!

We are seeking mentor/coaches in the following capacities and timeframes:


Biz/Market: Saturday, Jan 23 9a-6p and Sunday, Jan 24 9a-6p
Tech: Saturday, Jan 23 9a-6p and Sunday, Jan 24 9a-6p


Saturday, Jan 23 1p-6p
Sunday, Jan 24 9a-1p
Sunday, Jan 24 1p-6p





What to Bring

  1. This Parent/Guardian Consent, Liability, and Media Release Form
  2. Laptop (and/or iPad)
  3. Gmail address (we will be using google drive, so this would be a good thing to set up before the event. Here's how.
  4. Water bottle
  5. Your School ID (if you have one)

Partipants' Packet

Available for download early January.

Judgement Event

On Sunday at 4p, the groups will present their final pitches to judges and guests. Registration for the free Judgement Event is open! Get your tickets here!

Some other things to know:

  1. There will be lots of food
  2. You will not have homework
  3. Parents should come to the Friday Welcome Event, and are also invited (and most likely already have tickets for) the Sunday Judgement Event
  4. You will get a t-shirt (and some other cool nicks knacks)

GET Ready!

The animation is made to explain the concept of social entrepreneurship to the general public and raise awareness of the importance of this type of business. Created by Smart Kolektiv. If you want to learn more about social entrepreneurship and social enterprises in Serbia, please visit www.sens.rs.

Now is a great time to start thinking about your ideas! Here are some resources to get you started...

Real businesses by real Biz Kid$. Watch and learn tips on how to start your own business!

Top Tips for Social Entrepreneurs: Pitch Perfect

Social Entrepreneur Pitch Sessions at SOCAP

1. The Pitch

#GIRLpreneurs are welcome to come to Startup Weekend GIRLS with an idea for a business or not! The fun will be in the learning of it all...

On Friday night our #GIRLpreneurs will be learning the basics of  "the pitch," and on Saturday, after some morning practice, any #GIRLpreneur who wants to, will take her idea to the stage for a 60 second pitch. Five to seven of these ideas will be chosen by the entire Startup Weekend GIRLS group, and teams will form...

Here are some pitch tips:

  1. Focus on the problem you want to solve
  2. Mention how you think the problem should be solved
  3. Talk about your secret sauce
  4. Tell us what you already know 
  5. Showcase your winning personality
  6. Show up with an idea that does something meaningful

Read more here: Preparing for the Pitch

The anatomy of the initial (individual) pitch:

A pitch should be unique to you, but some structure never hurts as a place to start. 

A simple template may look like:

  1. [10 sec] Introduce and sell yourself
  2. [20 sec] Describe the problem you want to solve
  3. [20 sec] Describe your solution (e.g. explain the product)
  4. [10 sec] What do you need to be successful during the weekend? ( people, skills, tools, etc)

Read/watch more here: Pitch Examples


Startup Seattle has a great Startup Flowchart full of useful tips and resources (and adorable illustrations) available to you at every step of the startup process:

  1. Assembling your team
  2. Validating customer needs
  3. Getting your legal house in order
  4. Financial planning

3. THE FINAL PResentation

Startup Weekend Presentation 101 And other slideshares about Startup Weekend stuff!

Final presentations may include Pitch Decks. Here are some examples:


Follow us on Twitter for lots of tips and tweets about being a #GIRLpreneur! We'll be tweeting all weekend, so parents, you should follow along, too!

Startup Weekend GIRLS 2015

Our 2015 event is featured on the Startup Weekend homepage!

About Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

About Lake Washington Girls Middle School
Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle's first middle school for girls, is located in Central Seattle, is a place where girls explore, experiment, discover, create, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Since 1998, LWGMS has challenged its students with high standards and helped every LWGMS girl find the tools she needs to succeed. Here, girls are empowered to think critically, develop leadership, and enjoy learning through an integrated curriculum that has proven to prepare girls for success in high school honors and college preparation courses.

Our students are learning to use tools that will serve them well: hand tools, power tools, digital tools, and the tools of their own strong voices. They work with computing platforms alongside hammers and saws and sewing machines. They are taking apart computers and building their own. They are making films, which allows them to own and create media in a way that no generation before them could do. They are sewing clothes that light up and they are 3-D printing a robotic hand. More importantly, they are learning that they have the power to solve problems, to innovate, and to invent. And that is really what we are teaching them: to find solutions, to overcome obstacles. We are teaching them that struggle and failure are normal – and that effort is a crucial part of eventual success.

The creative confidence the girls get while they are at Lake Washington Girls Middle School completely translates beyond any classroom.

Press Resources