Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Startup Weekend New Haven begins Friday

"Aspiring Entrepreneurs Can Turn an Idea into a Business At Startup Weekend New Haven"


"They arrive with an idea, a creative spark and the willingness to roll up their sleeves and work as a team for 54 hours until they turn that idea into a working business model," organizers said in a statement.
"They are a new generation of entrepreneurs competing in Startup Weekend New Haven, a global grassroots movement of active entrepreneurs learning how to create tech-based startups and launch successful business ventures in a weekend-long exchange of ideas and competition."
The event begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at The Grove, 71 Orange St., New Haven and concludes with “Demo Day” – final presentations and judging at at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at Gateway Community College, the statement said.

“We have a great reserve of untapped talent, creativity, and drive right in our own backyard; and if we give aspiring entrepreneurs encouragement and assistance, they can fulfill their dreams of creating a new company and at the same time create jobs for others," 
said Mike Roer, a GCC instructor of Entrepreneurship, the founder of the Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc. and one of the organizers of StartupWeekend New Haven, also in the statement. "We have clearly seen from our experience that new jobs are created by new companies and new industries.” 

“The goal is to encourage more and better startups," he said.

Rose Bednarz Luglio, a Gateway professor of Business and program coordinator of Entrepreneurial Studies and Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising, said GCC is excited that the Gateway Community College Foundation is the co-host of "such an important event."

"GCC is the first university in the new ConnCSU system to be part of StartupWeekend. During the next twelve months, other Startup Weekend events will be held at UConn (in) Storrs, the Stamford Innovation Center, Fairfield University, and the Hartford Public Library as well as in 100 cities across the U.S. and around the world from Seoul, South Korea and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Guadalajara, Mexico," the statement said.

"A key part of every StartupWeekend is the valuable advice and assistance provided by the event’s speakers and coaches," the statement said. 

 Organizers "keep talks short and sweet, focusing on practical issues such as “how to give a persuasive pitch” or “best approaches to customer validation” that can actually help the teams better achieve their weekend goals. 
“Mentors – community experts in various fields ranging from entrepreneurship, software development, marketing, finance, law, and more – dedicate their time to providing advice and working with teams,” said Ethan Carlson, the 2012 StartupWeekend organizer, also in the statement.

"Startup Weekends are hands-on experiences where people can find out if their ideas can work. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds," the statement said. 

An estimated 120 people are expected to participate: 60 pitching ideas and 60 audience members, the statement said. 
People interested can register online at Tickets range from $20 for Friday’s demo day to $99 to participate in the whole weekend.

 Ben Berkowitz, CEO and co-founder of SeeClickFix New Haven, named Huffington Post’s 2010 Tech Gamechanger is a featured speaker. Coaches include Paul Hughes, a partner at Wiggin and Dana, Bob Coughlin, a co-founder of a biotech company, and Luke Weinstein, a co-founder of four ventures and the founding director of UConn’s CCEI/Innovation Accelerator, the statement said.
Startup Weekend New Haven events culminate at GCC with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders. Investors will also be on hand and may consider funding the startups,
the statement said

Editor's note: All information in this post was contributed.

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