It’s organized by Oregon State Athletics, involves teams and coaches, and it takes place in Reser Stadium, but next weekend’s event is no sports game. Startup Weekend is a chance for students and locals to pitch ideas for startups, vote for their favorites, and then break into teams to tackle the challenge of entrepreneurship.
Any business ideas are eligible, but there’s a strong focus on the tech-oriented. Most pitches involve the Web or mobile devices, and a good number of those who participate are developers or designers.
During the 54-hour event, participants start with a brand-new idea, collaborate in teams with the help of coaches, create presentations to showcase their ideas, and then face judges on the final day. The top teams win prizes — and more important, have gained viable business plans and partners.
Startup Weekend is a non-profit charitable organization funded by the Kauffman Foundation and based in Seattle. Startup Weekends take place across the globe, but OSU’s has the distinction of being the first one hosted by a collegiate athletics department. Depending on the event’s success next weekend, it may become a repeat player at Reser Stadium.
Startup Weekend is Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12 at OSU’s Reser Stadium. Tickets are $40 for students and $75 for non-students (includes seven meals). Donations help send students to the event. For more information, to sponsor a student, or to register by Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m., visit www.oregonstate.startupweekend.org.
By Jen Matteis