A brand new tech enterprise in 54 hours? It is potential with Columbia Startup Weekend


Columbia pastor Jeremy Linneman speaks concerning the Enneagram throughout Columbia Startup Weekend in 2019.

Say you may have an concept for the subsequent nice know-how product that may make the lives of different companies simpler, or you may have an concept that may assist most people, equivalent to by means of a cellular or internet software.

However you are only one individual or a small crew and haven’t got entry to the mentorship and financial assets or different educated folks to get what you are promoting off the bottom.

That is proper the place Columbia’s Startup Weekend can step in and assist.

This yr’s Startup Weekend is that this coming Friday by means of Sunday, after a two-year hiatus. Lasting 54 hours, it’s an intensive aggressive weekend to launch what might be the subsequent nice tech startup.

Startup Weekend is being held on the EquipmentShare headquarters on Bull Run Drive in Columbia.

Amongst main sponsors and occasion organizers is Scale, a hybrid accelerator fund and enterprise studio. Scale is an funding fund offering capital for companies which are simply getting began.

“Expectations for subsequent weekend could be we get a superb turnout from the neighborhood and folks study startups,” mentioned Brett Calhoun, Scale director of operations. “It is a fantastic networking occasion and alternative for people to fulfill one another in Columbia.”

It permits for collaboration amongst individuals who might wish to acquire sure enterprise abilities or different sorts of abilities, he added.

Scale was based by leaders of the Columbia-based EquipmentShare, a earlier Startup Weekend winner when the occasion was underneath the purview of Affect and Co.

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EquipmentShare supplies digital and {hardware} options for building tools monitoring together with tools leases. Based in 2015 by Willy and Jabbok Schlacks, the corporate has grown to make use of greater than 2,700 folks at greater than 80 areas throughout the U.S. and is valued as an organization at not less than $1 billion.

“Internet hosting Startup Weekend aligns with Scale’s mission to establish entrepreneurs with the potential to construct high-growth, scalable corporations and convey good concepts to {the marketplace},” Jabbok Schlacks mentioned in a press release.

A general view of Columbia Startup Weekend in 2019.

A basic view of Columbia Startup Weekend in 2019.

What occurs at Startup Weekend?

Greater than 90 folks already are signed as much as take part on this yr’s Startup Weekend, Calhoun mentioned.

“Startup Weekend is a platform for us to essentially get the neighborhood collectively and assist entrepreneurs and people get out of their consolation zone to pitch an concept, kind a crew, work on an concept after which presumably launch that enterprise, giving all of them the assets they want,” he mentioned.

There’s not a financial prize for Startup Weekend, however winners obtain computerized placement into Scale’s Accelerator Program cohort. This program helps present the connections a startup must succeed, together with capital.

“Regardless that it’s extra for know-how startups, we do welcome anybody to come back take part,” Calhoun mentioned. “It nonetheless is a good alternative for folks to come back, take part and meet (others) on the town that might assist them with their enterprise.”

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He supplied an instance of how Startup Weekend may play out.

“Let’s say we have now 100 folks coming. Perhaps 40 have an concept, the opposite 60 simply wish to have come have a superb time (to community),” he mentioned.

These 40 folks will supply their pitches. That can be whittled to the highest 10 concepts and groups are fashioned round these 10 concepts. This will embrace folks with backgrounds in advertising and marketing, consumer expertise design and tech engineering, so the enterprise may be constructed from the bottom up and able to go after the 54-hour occasion.

“When you find yourself forming your crew, you’ll be strategic about it,” Calhoun mentioned.

Groups can depend on a slew of mentors for assist. Mentors will conduct workplace hours all through the weekend occasion for groups, Calhoun mentioned.

“On Sunday, everybody may have a presentation to pitch to our judges and they’ll determine who has the very best enterprise mannequin, probably the most modern,” he mentioned. “Sure it’s a contest, however we’re there making an attempt to have a superb time studying about constructing a startup.”

What Scale does

Scale, as a enterprise capital and enterprise accelerator firm, works to help and convey companies to the Midwest, and specifically, Missouri.

“We’re an funding fund that’s investing capital into Missouri startups. As well as, we’re additionally working with funds from coast to coast to draw capital right here,” Calhoun mentioned.

In different phrases, if capital funds come from exterior of Missouri, they nonetheless are investing in Missouri companies.

“We now have two cohorts per yr that final for 12 weeks the place we put money into 4 (or extra) tech startups,” Calhoun mentioned. “We provide operational help to our corporations, investor and business knowledgeable community, mentorship, and capital to our corporations.”

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Scale invests on the first-money stage as enterprise capital for a startup or for an individual with a ok concept. There are different sorts of enterprise capital funds, however Scale is targeted on the early levels.

“Startups want capital as a result of there may be low or no income that may fund hiring prime expertise to construct tech merchandise and take a look at varied channels to promote the product,” Calhoun mentioned. “… We wish to resolve the capital downside.

“In doing that, we feature out a few of these neighborhood occasions like Columbia Startup Weekend.”

This text initially appeared on Columbia Day by day Tribune: Columbia Startup Weekend is again after two-year hiatus