Startup Weekend is coming to Louisiana the weekend of April 8-10, 2011 and will be held on the LSU Campus in Baton Rouge.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Startup Weekend, it’s a nonprofit organization that runs weekend events around the globe with the goal of launching startups in one weekend and building entrepreneurial communities.
Startup Weekend is a hands-on experience in launching a business, run by the local communities, grassroots-style. The event starts with initial pitches on Friday night; individuals attending Startup Weekend pitch their ideas to the crowd. The top ideas are selected by participants and then teams form around these ideas. The teams then plan out their work for launching the venture over the weekend. From sketching a prototype to assigning company roles, the teams dive into the work.
By Saturday, the teams are creating technology products, websites, marketing plans, and more. Some teams even begin to generate revenue during the weekend, choosing to hit the streets to gain customers. “It’s a do-what-it-takes experience designed to give attendees a taste of entrepreneurship,” says Wendy Overton, one of the conference organizers. By Sunday night, the teams have created a product and put together presentations to demo their products. The teams present before a panel of investors and seasoned entrepreneurs.
After the Weekend, the participants can pursue the newly created startup or abandon the venture altogether; they get to decide what to do. Many ventures gain traction and the creators continue to run them. Others realize that while their idea had no marketable value, they learned a lot and met some talented people. Many leverage the new relationships formed over the weekend to improve business, put together a team for a new startup, or plan their next venture. Whatever the outcome, it’s an intense and intensely fun laboratory to experience the startup world, without quitting your day job (yet).
“This kind of event, and the buzz that is surrounding it, is a great thing for Louisiana,” says Overton. “It’s an event by the entrepreneurial community, for the entrepreneurial community, including and especially tech people and developers. It’s open to everyone, and all talents are needed, from tech developers to graphic designers to business managers and more.”
Speakers, mentors and judges include Chris Schultz of Voodoo Ventures and LaunchPad Ignition, Tom Cox of Golfballs.com, Jen Medbery of Drop the Chalk, and Clayton White of the South Coast Angels. Tickets are $99 for regular registration and $50 for students. However, our readers get a special promo: type in “siliconbayou” for 25% off the regular ticket.
To experience it for yourself, register here.