Summit Requirements

Summit Application | Terms + Application Info


Hosting a Summit is a big undertaking. It is taking your typical fireside chat to the next level and hosting a longer half day or multi day event with multiple speakers. We are excited that you are interested in this opportunity, but first need to ensure you understand how it works. Read on for our terms and conditions:

The Difference Between a Regional Conference & Summit

We consider a Summit as the middle ground between your regular monthly events and a larger Regional Conference. Typically, a Summit will have some form of Government (think Enterprise Development Agency) involvement and we would encourage you to seek out and collaborate with them where possible.

We also classify a Summit as an event with less than 400 attendees, and a maximum of 4-5 hours, i.e. a half day event.

Mission & Values

Your event must be in line with the values of Startup Grind itself: give, not take, make friends not contacts, help others before helping yourself. Our mission is to educate, inspire and connect every entrepreneur in the world. Startup Grind Summits can be agenda or single-topic driven. 


Only Startup Grind Directors who have the following qualifications are eligible to apply to host a Summit:

  • You must have attended a Startup Grind Conference (Organised by HQ) in-person

  • You regularly host 10 chapter events/year; avg 50 check-ins/event

  • You have hosted more than 100 checked-in attendees at least one of your events in past 12 months or 75 virtual checked-in attendees at an event since March 2020

  • You successfully secured sponsors for the chapter to the value of at least $5,000 USD in the past 12 months (in total, i.e. 1 or more sponsors)

  • You must have over 12 months experience as a Chapter Director before you can apply to host a Summit event


Your event should be a half day day summit. If you have thoughts otherwise, you’ll need to discuss with us in advance. A half day event qualifies as 3-4 hours, or 3-6 Fireside chats/panels/workshops and a networking session.

In-Person: Half day with max of 6 hours in total

Virtual: up to 2 days with 3-4 hours per day

If you need to tweak the above, please reach out to and chat to your Community Manager


Startup Grind HQ will supply you with Art Assets,  but it is up to you to “localize” them. Please ensure you get a graphic designer with Adobe Illustrator skills to assist. If you don’t have a friend, please use Fiverr,, or something similar. Here is a great example from Pablo in Mexico City


The naming of your summit cannot be “Midwest” or “Africa” or “Asia” etc. Those are reserved for our larger regional conferences. However, you may do your chapter or city name, and you may do a SMALL regional area - i.e. “Triangle” for 3 smaller cities that are within +-1 hours drive of your chapter.

Please apply for the name, it needs to be approved by your Community Manager.


We do not allow co-branding. Connecting the Startup Grind logo/identity/name to the name of another organization, non-profit, corporation or other, or presenting your SG Summit as being organized by such entities is prohibited (unless you have prior authorization from your Community Manager).

Please chat to your Community Manager to get the naming approved


Startup Grind events are stand-alone events- they may not be combined with or integrated into any pre-existing conference, summit, or event (unless you have prior authorization from your Community Manager).

Location & License

Startup Grind allocates one location-based license per applicant, and you must live in the city for which you are applying for. Your Startup Grind Summit must happen in the city for which you received the license. Startup Grind Summits do not travel - a Startup Grind Summit license is valid for one city, and for one event. Should you wish to host another Summit then you will need to apply for a new license.

While virtual events allow you to reach a global audience, your summit license still remains valid to the Chapter that you manage and the city you live in.


Startup Grind Summit Organizers are responsible for procuring and handling their own speakers. Startup Grind HQ simply does not have the resources to help secure speakers, but a reference to our past speakers should be used for inspiration as you put your speaker roster together. 

Please always keep in mind that we expect you to hold the same standards for diversity on stage as we do at HQ. 

Content Tips

  • Remember to ensure diversity- at least 40% of your speakers should be representing various forms of diversity. 
  • Top 5 founders of the region
  • Top 2-3 investors from the region
  • Interviewers (tech leaders, ambassadors, media, potentially sponsors when appropriate)


We recommend that all talks are under 30 minutes. We typically have keynotes between 10-15 minutes and a fireside chat between 20-30 minutes. It’s highly recommended that you do a small pop-up stage (only needs to be for 2-4 of your speakers' events) for speaker Q + A’s if they are willing to stick around after their mainstage talks.

For a virtual event we recommend utilizing the Q&A feature on Bevy virtual for guests to engage with speakers after the fireside chat. Otherwise see if speakers are willing to move into a breakout room and conduct a brief Q&A. You’ll want to have someone from your team helping to moderate this session.


Most programming should be short (20-30min) Fireside chats with the occasional Keynote talks and perhaps a couple Panel Discussions and Workshops if needed for your sponsors. The main and most prominent format remains the Fireside Chats, especially on Main Stage. Most Startup Grind Global talks are 20-minutes with a follow-up Q+A off-stage.

For Virtual events make sure to mix it up and keep sessions short and entertaining.

Startup Program / Pitching

Startup booths are allowed. Pitch battles are also allowed, but should not be the primary focus. You can select up to 5 startups (for example) to present for 1 minute each throughout the period on the main stage: i.e. between talks.

You can also accomplish this virtually as well if you’d like startups to pitch on the virtual stage in between speakers or integrate time at the end of your event for some pitches.

In-Person Venue

  • Do all you can to keep your venue low-cost, as this is where your profit lies (such as in-kind sponsorships)
  • Check schools, govt facilities, etc.
  • Look for fixed chairs, lights, AV and restrooms (the more “bare” the room, the more you have to spend to bring things in)
  • Aim for 2x your regular audience size (no less than 150)
  • If possible, look for a venue with a green room (VIP Room or secure room for speaker to be before they go on stage - and not be swamped by crowd)
  • You may have 1-2 breakout rooms, where keynote talks and workshops work well, but you need to have enough attendees to ensure all rooms are full. 1-2 fireside chats per room are always needed.
  • Breakout rooms are great opportunities to sell higher level sponsorships which include speaking opportunities AND for speaker Q+A off-stage. Try to secure a venue with at least one additional breakout room.

Virtual Venue

  • Virtual events remove the need to have a fancy venue with food and seats. However it is up to you to make your event look as professional and engaging as possible. Your virtual backgrounds should be professional, well-lit, and crystal clear audio. Check out London’s professional setup here


Be sure to have light refreshments if it is a half day summit. Should it be a full day summit (and you have authorisation for this) then please do provide a meal and some snack breaks throughout the day.

Ensure that water stations are available (or at least jugs of water are permanently on tables) as this is often overlooked.

Virtual events do not require food or beverage but encourage your attendees to get some throughout the day and secure some during any mini breaks throughout your event.

Recording content

You must record content on video - only the main stage required (fireside chats, keynote presentations, etc). After your event, you must make the videos accessible to Startup Grind and the public via the Startup Grind Local YouTube channel (and put into a YouTube Playlist).


You must use your Chapter Dashboard to sell tickets as well as invoice Sponsors. Revenue (from ticket sales, sponsorships & retreats) is subject to your typical chapter split. Ticket revenue will be paid out after the completed event, as always. Sponsor revenue will be paid out as payments come in. 

It is crucial that you plan well so you have the cash flow to meet all agreements at the necessary time. All financial agreements are between you and your vendors - not between Startup Grind Inc and anyone. We will not tolerate a lack of integrity so please take care of your vendors and anyone you have a financial agreement with (including traveling speakers, if applicable) in a timely fashion. This requires both clear agreements with each person (keep email records in case of disagreement) as well as good budget planning. 

Just as is the case with your chapter, at the end of the day all costs are yours so it is important that you manage things right (budget well, promote well, etc) to ensure the success of your event.

It is recommended that you complete an MOU for all sponsorships received for a summit outlining agreed terms. You can find a template for an MOU under your document templates in Google Drive.


Startup Grind Summit Organizers are responsible for marketing their own Summit, however, Startup Grind HQ will assist you with marketing your event in the following ways:

  • Startup Grind will add a link to the website to the different Summits
  • Startup Grind will share event on social media platforms (twitter, instagram, medium, etc.) where appropriate

Startup Grind HQ Representation

Startup Grind HQ, if possible, would like to send one team member to represent HQ at each event, and provide support where available.

Virtually, we’ll have at minimum one team member present at your virtual summit to provide any technical assistance. Point of Contact

Your primary point of contact will be the Community Manager for your region.


If the event needs to be cancelled you need to offer your attendees the option to get a free ticket to a future event (or summit) - as a last resort, you can refund them.

Regarding sponsors, you need to ensure to either pay them back, or find alternate ways to give them the ROI that they want from the amount. It’s important that you communicate timeously with your sponsors and work out a great way to deliver value regardless.

In an event of cancellation, all Sponsor must be paid back in full.

Costs incurred are not the responsibility of Startup Grind Inc.

ApplicationThe application will ask you questions about speakers, sponsors, venues, tickets, marketing plans, your team and more. We have you fill out this application because summits, while not as large as a Regional Conference, have a much different feel than your typical fireside chat that brings in 60~100 people. In order to have the opportunity we need to see that you have thought through all the necessary details. Your application will be reviewed by our HQ team. If you have questions along the way reach out to:

Post EventAfter your event please submit a brief recap of final registration numbers, attendee numbers, number of sponsors, copy of your sponsorship deck, and values they paid, total revenue, profit, and attendee feedback. Next StepsOnce we receive your completed application your Community Manager will reach out to schedule a video call to go over your application (within 2 weeks). Thereafter, should the application be approved, your Community Manager will advise you formally by email.

Approvals and Timelines

After the calls you may be issued a pre-approval, and you can begin publishing the event, lining up speakers & sponsors, etc. We recommend publishing your Summit at least 3 months before you plan on hosting it in-person and 2 months for a virtual summit.