Think of Startup Weekend as a training ground for entrepreneurs. Groups of educated, enthusiastic, creative individuals gathering for a weekend of brainstorming and mentoring about how to transform a dream into reality.
Startup Weekend returned to Cleveland thanks to Brian Adams and Ryan Marimon, coworkers at Hyland Software. (Communications Consultant Tara Sturm came on board this year.) Adams learned of Seattle-based, UP Global, an organization that introduced the concept around the world.
In 2013, they brought it to Cleveland. It was successful then. Thanks to increased community and business support, it was more successful now.
The weekend begins with 60-second-pitch sessions designed to provide overviews of the proposed startups. Attendees vote on concepts, narrowing down the playing field. Members of teams are selected with an eye on specific talents that best complement other team members. “It’s organized chaos,” Adams says.
Ground rules are established. Teams are off and running, developing strategies, positioning and working with coaches and mentors. Some work through Friday and Saturday nights.
On Sunday, five minute presentations and three-minute question and answer sessions with judges result in a winner.
This year, after Hotel Hounds earned top spot, Tyler Village announced it would provide six months free office space and use of OneCommunity ultra high speed broadband to the winner. Hotel Hounds will also jump to the head of the Flashstart’s Summer Program’s Acceptance List and become part of incFuse, COSE’s newest offering for start-up and early stage businesses.