Wanted: Developers, Designers and Entrepreneurs

By Nina Anthony | February 21, 2013

Get Involved in Startup Weekend Santa Fe

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on events where aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. Teams of developers, graphic designers, marketers, startup enthusiasts and entrepreneurs work together throughout the weekend to develop a working prototype, demo, and/or presentation for a panel of judges by Sunday evening. It’s akin to a Business Plan competition only the idea here is to get emerging entrepreneurs ready for their debut to potential lenders and/or investors by having a tangible “product” to present. Ultimately, the goal is to prepare entrepreneurs with a strong foundation for building a successful sustainable business that creates jobs and improves communities.

Google sponsors Startup Weekends as part of its Google for Entrepreneurs initiative, which I wrote about last October. The Kauffman Foundation is a key funder, as is Microsoft. Together, they hope to kickstart startup communities worldwide by supporting the development of entrepreneurship through these intensive weekend-end long events that immerse aspiring entrepreneurs in the process of moving an idea from concept to market. As of this writing, nearly 800 Startup Weekend events have been held and some 10,0000 startups have been created around the globe.

Experience the Excitement of Launching a Company from Concept to Creation

The New Mexico Technology Council is working with several organizations to bring the first Startup Weekend event to New Mexico, which will be held at the Santa Fe Business Incubator, March 1-3, 2013. NMTC Executive Director, Eric Renz-Whitmore, describes Startup Weekends as “essentially a weekend-long hackathon for transforming ideas into viable startups.” He says they’re still looking for web developers, app developers, graphic designers and aspiring entrepreneurs to participate, adding that they could also use a sponsor to help fund some scholarships – especially for high school and college students. Speaking of students, read this Startup Weekend success story about 17-year-old Aviv Hadar who took his idea of simplifying online menus to a Startup Weekend event in Bend, Oregon, and was able to launch his Perfect Menu app over the course of three days.

Why Get Involved?

For developers, participating in a Startup Weekend event is an opportunity to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, and think outside the box. It’s a chance to make new friends, meet thought leaders and potential clients in the community, and connect with team members who you may actually continue working with to develop a real product or company. Designers reap similar rewards from Startup Weekend events. And, as for entrepreneurial hopefuls, Startup Weekends offer a rare opportunity to learn by doing. Not only will you get valuable face time and advice from the area’s movers and shakers, you might actually meet the people who can not only fund your idea but the people who you may actually launch a business with as a team.

I’ll be dropping in for a few hours on Saturday, March 2nd, to offer my feedback and advice where I’m needed. Additional mentors are needed for Sunday the 3rd. For more information, visit the Startup Weekend Santa Fe website. If you don’t need any more convincing, you may register for Startup Weekend Santa Fe here.

About the Author

Nina Anthony

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