Calling all would-be entrepreneurs: during Startup Weekend Baltimore, you can turn your ideas into reality by forming a team, building a product, and demoing it for judges and investors.
“You don’t have to know somebody or have a business plan,” said Mike Brenner, who is organizing the event with help from Khalid Smith, Monica Beeman, and a handful of volunteers. “We want you to come out and participate.”
Brenner expects about 100 attendees at Baltimore’s first Startup Weekend, April 15-17. Participants should come ready to pitch an idea or join one of the top 20 or so ideas chosen on Friday night. Then, in a “54-hour sprint,” they will work on a startup plan and present it at the Sunday-evening demo.
Brenner–who helped organize the coworking space Beehive Baltimore and founded Startup Baltimore–is looking to build a startup community in Baltimore and create connections with DC. “The Baltimore tech community is bigger than it’s ever been, and it’s growing,” he said.
Startup Weekend Baltimore is part of the larger Startup Weekend project, founded in 2007 and now affiliated with hundreds of international events. Ideas at these events often get picked up by TechCrunch or Mashable, and some eventually turn into full-fledged companies. One such company, Foodspotting.com, began at a Women 2.0 Startup Weekend in San Francisco and has now raised almost $4 million in funding.
Tickets are available for the whole weekend or just the Sunday-night presentations, with early-bird prices before March 16 and student discounts. Participants usually have technology or business backgrounds, and Brenner particularly encourages students in business school to attend.
Friday (ETC in Canton)
6:30pm – Registration starts
7:00pm – Dinner & Networking
7:20pm – Welcome & Speakers
7:30pm – Pitches Start
9:00pm – Attendees vote for the top ideas
9:15pm – Teams start forming and discussing ideas
10:00pm – Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow.
Saturday (ETC in Canton)
9:00am – Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
9:30am – Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
12:00pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Call for needs & skills
2:00pm – Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
6:30pm – Dinner
7:30pm – Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
10:00pm – Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow.
Sunday (UMD BioPark)
9:00am – Arrive at the UMD BioPark, simple breakfast & coffee
10:00am – Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
12:00pm – Lunch
12:30pm – Mentors arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
3:00pm – Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
4:00pm – Dinner
5:00pm – FINAL PRESENTATIONS
7:30pm – Judging & awards
8:30pm – Wrapup
9:00pm – Go home!
Tickets and Registration
Tickets must be purchased before entering the event. There is a student discount available. The ticket includes your entrence fee as well as 7 meals throughout the weekend. They will be having vegetarian / vegan options as well!
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