Orlando Startup Weekend EDU is coming soon and I’ll be joining in on the fun as a mentor! This is my second Startup Weekend as a mentor but it’s the first Education-Focused Startup Weekend and it’s the first anywhere in the southeast. I’m excited to hear it will be hosted in Orlando. The event will be held the first weekend of August, August 3rd to the 5th. Teams will have the opportunity to compete for $15,000 in cash prizes, in-kind services and incubation space.
Startup Weekend is a non-profit, community-building event that brings together entrepreneurs of all backgrounds including software developers, marketers, designers, and other enthusiasts to pitch ideas, form teams and start companies in just 54 hours over the course of a weekend. The participants that attend have the option of taking 60 seconds to make a pitch when they arrive to the event Friday night. The pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams form around the ideas. Teams work in a high-paced high-energy environment throughout the weekend to design prototypes, functioning websites, business strategies and marketing plans. Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.
These events are a great place for people who have great ideas but don’t possess all the skills necessary to execute to meet other people who do. It’s also a great place for people who want to be involved in a startup but don’t have that million dollar idea yet to find a partner or a team. It is a great introduction to what starting and running a startup can be like – a great trial run where you learn by doing. While startup weekend refers to itself as an “experiential learning” program, and that is really their purpose – around 30% of the startups are still going 6 months after the event, and there is an 11% success rate (companies that generate revenue or raise capital), more than the national average! Read more about my review of Startup Weekend Orlandoheld earlier this year.
I am excited at the potential this event has in spurring new businesses here in Central Florida, in helping to bring innovation to education through technology, in starting new conversations and more importantly in spurring action. I’d greatly appreciate your help spreading the word about Startup Weekend EDU through your network. The event is open for registration and you can find more info at http://orlandoedu.startupweekend.org/. There is a limited number of participants that can be accommodate, so I urge people interested to purchase their tickets early.