24 Hour Startup FAQs

Am I expected to work 24 hours straight?

The simple answer is no.

Our event is broken down into two days and typically looks like this:

Day 1:

  • Kickoff
  • Idea Pitching
  • Team Formation
  • Grind time

Day 2:

  • Kickoff
  • Grind Time + Mentorship
  • Pitch Scrubbing
  • Pitch Finale

We usually end around 10 PM on Day 1, and kick off Day 2 around 8 AM. Teams can continue to work through the night on Day 1, however is not required or expected.

Do I have to participate on both days?

Yes, everyone who attends is expected to participate for the full two days. It’s important that we ensure all participants are committed to the process and can rely on one another.

Do I have to pitch an idea to participate?

No, but we encourage it! The more ideas pitched, the better. Pitches are only 60 seconds and public speaking practice is always valuable.

Can I pitch my existing business?

No. 24 Hour Startup is about exploring a new business from the ground up over the course of two days with a collaborative buy-in from all team members. Coming in with an existing business creates an imbalance to the competition and potentially impacts the contribution and buy-in from others.

What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

The objective of the idea pitching on Day 1 is not to exclude certain ideas but rather to highlight the most popular and high-potential pitches to make a manageable number of teams. We aim for 6-10 teams at each event to ensure each team has the skilled members it needs to be successful. Getting 3+ backers is usually all that is needed to get your idea selected. If it is not selected, we work to ensure your skillset is able to fit well with another idea/team and build something amazing!

Do I need to have a team formed before the event?

Nope! Everyone who attends the event as an attendee is expected to participate on a team, but the teams aren’t formed until Day 1.

Is there a cost to participate?

Yes. We charge a small fee to participate, which varies per event and is usually no more than $30. 

What will I need?

All you’ll need is a computer, a good internet connection, fuel for your body and a growth mindset! 

How do I prepare?

  • Do some research. Market research and background information will give you a better understanding of the problem you are trying to solve?
  • Practice your pitch. You’ll have 60 seconds to persuade other attendees to join your team. Make it clear, concise and convincing!
  • Get familiar with your tools for the weekend! We’ll send an email to help you prep for a few days before the start of the event.
  • Get some rest.

What resources and assistance are provided?

A key part of our planning is to ensure we have resources readily available to you throughout the entire process. As such, you will have access to expert mentors from a variety of backgrounds. From revenue models to marketing to legal tech support, we’ve got it!

What are we supposed to accomplish by the end of the 24 hours?

Ideally, you’re shooting to build a minimum viable product (MVP) for the business idea you’ve been working on which will include a variety of things, including:

  • Customer validation
  • Execution and design
  • Business model

For your 3-minute team pitch, we recommend:

  • A slide deck (requirements to be provided)
  • Mobile apps (from mock-ups to skeletons to fully-functional)
  • Very brief video or animated demo

More information will be provided to you during the introduction session at the event.


Why is it a competition?

While it is a very inclusive environment with a strong focus on community building, we still feel there is a lot of benefit from a little friendly competition, especially to reflect life as a startup. It will be important to gather real-world feedback throughout the event and get a real-world startup experience – plus we have cash prizes to award!

Are teams expected to continue after the event?

It’s not required to continue after the event. Having said that, some teams decide to continue. Cultivator does an intake for its START programming twice a year, so if you and your team decide to continue, we encourage you to apply. 

24 Hour Startup agtech recap

We’ve teamed up with Canada’s Farm Show to host a 24 Hour Startup | Agtech.

Watch the 2022 recap video here!