January 2014

Coalition Casts Wide Net For Startup Event

Area Entrepreneurs From All Backgrounds Urged To Attend

Reposted from the Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va

Originally Posted: December 28, 2013


HARRISONBURG — A common misconception is that entrepreneurs fit into a specific demographic, according to Nicky Swayne, executive director of the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council.

“Aspiring entrepreneurs are not just in the early 20s,” she said. “They’re in their 30s, 40s, 50s — they’re any age.”

Similarly, new business ventures are not necessarily tech companies, which is why a wide net is being cast to find participants for the second Shenandoah Valley Startup Weekend.

Startup Weekend gives people the chance to pitch their ideas to business leaders and others and potentially develop a company.

“Everyone is welcome — we need folks with technical backgrounds, artists, designers, programmers and coders, as well as those with knowledge of marketing, financing and other business-related skills,” the release says. “If you have an idea to pitch, or just love entrepreneurial energy, you need to be at Startup Weekend.”

The Shenandoah Valley Innovation Coalition will host the three-day event at James Madison University’s Showker Hall from Feb. 7 to 9.

The coalition is a broad group that includes business, government and academic organizations, including the technology council.

At Startup Weekend, participants will pitch ideas and receive feedback. Voting will then take place to select the most promising ideas. Teams will come together to do business modeling, coding, designing and market validation.

The weekend concludes with teams making pitches to local business leaders to receive additional feedback.

“It’s a 54-hour frenzy of entrepreneurial energy that anyone can participate in,” the release says.

Registration is required, and the fee covers meals. Early-bird registration costs $75 per person. That price is good until Jan. 15, when it will go up to $99. Anyone can attend the final day’s evening presentations for free, but registration is required.

For more information or to register, go to www.harrisonburg.startupweekend.org.

Contact Jeremy Hunt at 574-6273 or jhunt@dnronline.com



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