By Terrah Baker
Startup Weekend is an international nonprofit based out of Seattle, Wash., helping to spread an entrepreneurial spirit with workshops that bring together current and future business leaders. They claim they can help participants launch a Startup in 54 hours. And last weekend they tried to do just that.
Startup held over 100 events in 100 different cities across the U.S., including right here in Fayetteville at The Iceberg — a common work space offered to the public for daily use and events just like this.
“It was cool that we could bring this event to Fayetteville and be on the same page and having the same conversations as people in Seattle,” said co-organizer of the NWA Start-Up Weekend, Max Farrell.
Individuals who attend represent different skill sets and corporate interests, but are all seeking advice and leadership that could take them to the next level in their career. During the weekend, they present their business platforms that already exist, and ideas for business ventures. Then, an intense brainstorming session takes place, with industry professionals and entrepreneurs brought in to help facilitate productive conversation and fine-tune ideas. At the end, they present their newly developed or refined business plans.
“What it creates is a community of entrepreneurship, for those that either want to build their own company or need a push to the next step,” Farrell said. “There are the people who become entrepreneurs, interns get jobs, it helps people get to the next level of careers, and establishes connections that wouldn’t happen otherwise.”
Success stories from the Start-up Weekend include groups that completed business plans during the workshop going on to win $20,000 in funding from Ark Challenge, young people learning from experienced business women and men and gaining internships, and established NWA companies learning to be more productive for themselves and the community.
To learn more about the Weekend, and how to get involved, visit startupweekend.org