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Launch a startup to help the country in 54 hours

Startup Weekend DC returns August 4. This year's event focuses on civic-minded startups.

Teams working during the Global Startup Battle in D.C. in 2014. (Photo via Facebook)

On August 4, Startup Weekend DC is offering the latest chance to launch a company in three days. Several times each year, the global grassroots association hosts 54-hour sessions to give entrepreneurs at all stages the chance to form a team, build and test a new product in front of an esteemed panel of judges and audience.

Each year, the D.C. branch’s event has a different theme. While social engagement has been a popular one over the last few years, civic impact will be the focus of this coming edition. Startup founders with an interest in driving civic engagement, public safety, or any idea that transforms or aides communities for the better are encouraged to participate.

And the timing is anything but accidental. “We chose civic impact as it is particularly relevant given the current political climate and outpouring of people asking how they can make a difference in the government and their communities,” Erica Soultanian, Organizer for Startup Weekend DC: Civic Impact Edition, told

Soultanian also noted that D.C.’s proximity to the federal government and plethora of nonprofits makes the focus all the more worthwhile. “We hope to tap into this ecosystem and bring the community together to work on startups that will make a positive difference.” Soultanian said.

At Startup Weekend DC (Courtesy photo)

At Startup Weekend DC (Courtesy photo)

The judges for the August event include:

  • Carey Anne Nadeau, Founder and CEO of Open Data Nation
  • Samson Williams, Chief Strategy Officer at CoFunder
  • Ebony Pope, Senior Manager of US Ventures at Village Capital
  • Kate Glantz, Founder and CEO of, Director of Entrepreneurship at SEED Spot

This year, the judging panel also features a Startup Weekend DC alum. Glantz pitched in October 2014 for the Startup Weekend D.C.: Women’s Edition. She said the weekend  “turned an idea in my head and scribbles in a notebook into a living, breathing thing.”

Judges will provide constructive criticism for each startup. Monica Kang, Facilitator and D.C.-Area Startup Weekend DC Organizer, recommends “presenters share how their solution is uniquely solving a problem, what kind of customer discovery they have done and how they work together as a team.”

At the end of the event, Startup Weekend DC will award a first, second, and third place winner. Last year’s winners received an assortment of prizes including free technical assistance, coworking space, mentorship and coaching, discounts and credits for classes, and other awards to help launch their businesses. This year’s prizes will be announced during the competition.

While not everyone will walk away winners, Kang is hopeful that participants will at the very least leave “inspired, challenged and learning something new.”

Startup Weekend D.C. will start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday August 4, in Eastern Foundry in Arlington, VA and run until 9 p.m. on Sunday, August 6. To purchase tickets, click the button below and use the code “dctech” to receive 10 perecent off all tickets.

Buy Tickets

If you want to learn more about Startup Weekend and can’t wait until August, join them for their happy hour next week on Wednesday, July 19th at Lost Society. For more information about this event, follow the link here.

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