Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.
The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.
Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!
First ever Startup Weekend for high school students to launch in Little Rock
The first ever High School Startup Weekend will launch on April 4th at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. Exclusively geared for high school students, the 54-hour event will begin Friday evening, April 4th, and will conclude with final pitches to an esteemed panel of judges on Sunday evening, April 6th. A total of 15 High School teams from across the state will converge to take part in the 54-hour frenzy that serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurship.
Considered to be the world’s starting point for entrepreneurship, Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. This specific event well be the first high school focused event that Startup Weekend has sanctioned, welcoming Arkansas High School students from around the state.
As a real world educational initiative, the students will be challenged to identify an issue, formulate an idea for a solution, and work through a process that will ultimately end in a final pitch to an esteemed panel of judges. Throughout the weekend, they will have access to serial entrepreneurs, mentors, and facilitators that will provide professional guidance. They will also be validating their idea through customer feedback by creating essential questions and/or surveys that will inform the teams of their proposed solution.
One month prior to the event, each student team will be given a startup toolkit that will help guide their approach to the entire process, which will include methods and frameworks used by leading entrepreneurs around the country. The final evening, teams will perform final pitches and different categories of awards will be handed out, to include a Citizen Impact award from the Clinton School of Public Service.
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Startup Weekend is a non-profit organization that has now partnered with Startup America Partnership to form Up Global.
The idea to launch in Little Rock was in direct relation to a group of high school students that participated in Northwest Arkansas Startup Weekend this past November. Here are some quotes from the students:
About what they learned…
“I learned how to work with a team. I learned what I was good at and what I wasn’t really good at but what I could still try to do. I learned how to appeal to other people and also what appeals to other people.”
“I think for me it was listening, especially working with a team of a lot of different personalities. We all have a tendency to shut everyone else’s ideas off and I think that I had to step back a lot of the times and just listen, hear it out, and see how to incorporate it. When I listened, they were ideas that were monumental in forming our mission. I listened and watched ideas come out…I definitely learned a lot from that.”
About the idea…
“We were worried about the money making aspect of it, but once we kind of pushed that aside we were actually able to find a way to make money while doing something good to better the community.”