Organizers of the first Startup Weekend in Colorado Springs have scheduled a second such event to help local entrepreneurs band together and accelerate the process of turning their ideas into businesses.
Nick Lee, a board member of Startup Colorado Springs and co-organizer of the event, said the group hopes to attract 60 entrepreneurs to its second startup weekend, Nov. 1-3.
Thirty people attended the first Colorado Springs Startup Weekend in April and united to create six business plans around ideas developed by participants, including one for Tacky Threads, a specialty line of children's clothing that won a $500prize awarded to the top plan.
"A lot of people told us after the first weekend that they didn't understand what it was, so we wanted to give more people the chance to be part of it as well as keep the momentum going from that first weekend," Lee said. "We are hoping to have enough people there to create 10 to 12 teams" to develop business plans.
Several of the teams have gone on to present business plans at Peak Venture Group's monthly "Pitch Night," where entrepreneurs can get criticism from other entrepreneurs to help them make the plans better.
At Startup Weekend, participants pitch their ideas to each other, then vote for the ones they want to pursue. They split into teams of four to five people that spend the rest of the 54-hour event creating business models and plans, designing products and validating that the product or service is viable.
At the end of the upcoming weekend, the teams will present their plans to a panel of judges that includes Davin Neubacher, CEO of Springs-based information technology provider Navakai Inc.; Erik Boles, CEO of Gearmunk, a website for users to learn about and review outdoor recreational equipment; and Jeff Chapman, a consultant who helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable businesses. Lee said the group hopes to offer a cash prize for the top plan, but details haven't been firmed up.
Sponsors for Colorado Springs Startup Weekend II include Peak Venture Group, Bristol Brewing Co., Smashburger and Epicentral Coworking.
Started in Seattle in 2011, Startup Weekend events have been held in more than 200 cities worldwide, including Boulder and Denver. Startup Weekends are scheduled for Oct. 11 in Aspen and Nov. 8 in Boulder. Eleven other such events are scheduled to begin Nov. 1 in Europe, North America and South America.
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