I’m not sure how I feel about this. I like the idea of forcing teams to learn how to articulate what they’ve done in a succinct manner. Is it the best way to measure who’s made progress over the 54 hours? Maybe not. But is it a valuable exercise to learn how to effectively share progress and a plan? Absolutely.
The challenge I’ve seen after attending, organizing and mentoring at a few different Startup Weekend events are the inconsistencies in the judging criteria. Sometimes it’s judged like a hackathon: if you made something work, you won. In other cases, it’s about the market opportunity. If the point of the pitch is to allow aspiring entrepreneurs to get feedback on what it’d be like to go in front of VCs, you’d expect them to have an idea of what that specific VC needed to invest.
So I guess I don’t think judging is the problem, it’s not knowing what is being judged.