Ever miss that feeling of intense focus and alliance from pulling a caffeine-fueled, all-night study session? If so, you aren’t alone as Startup Weekend proves that doesn’t have to end when you leave school. In the same way Kiva.org and Quirky.com are making it easier to get your business or idea funded, Startup Weekend is helping aspiring technology entrepreneurs prove out their products and businesses in an intense 54 hour weekend.
Startup Weekend describes itself as a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. With active communities in 200 cities worldwide and 45,000 alumni, these gatherings are becoming a powerful tool to help get businesses off the ground quickly. And they are not alone; other such efforts are springing up; from the fully immersive minority-focused NewMe accelerator to Arizona State University’s military-focused Rapid Startup School MVD.
For Arizona specifically, the next Startup Weekend is being held in Chandler on July 27 at Gangplank, a co-working space in Chandler, AZ, with another one in Flagstaff on August 10. You don’t necessarily have to have an idea to attend the event, just a desire to participate in one way or another. Various ticket types are available, from developer to spectator, and registration for the Chandler weekend is available up until the day of the event.
Each Startup Weekend kicks off with idea pitches on Friday and teams are formed around those ideas. The next two days are for developing the ideas into working businesses and products using the team resources as well as mentors available for the weekend. The weekend wraps up on Sunday afternoon with demonstrations from the teams and feedback from a panel of experts. In addition to feedback, teams are typically exposed to other interested parties in the audience who are looking to fund or use some of the products presented.
Does all this fervent activity really pay off? Per their website, over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months and about 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend. One such Arizona business is Chow Locally, a service to bring local farm goods to local tables and a product of last year’s Chandler Startup Weekend. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, or you are just looking for an economical way to feed yourself this weekend (registration includes all meals and snacks), then go get registered and be a part of the next great use of technology.
Newtek will be at the Chandler, AZ Startup Weekend July 27-29. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we highlight the weekend’s activities.
To get involved in a Startup Weekend near you, visit www.startupweekend.org. Been to Startup Weekend? Tell us about your experiences below.
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