If you've ever thought about building on a great idea, starting your own company or collaborating with a team of like-minded entrepreneurs, you shouldn’t miss Startup Weekend Evansville 4.0, which will be held Friday through Sunday, February 20-22, in the University of Southern Indiana’s Business and Engineering Center.
A global phenomenon, all Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: Anyone is welcome to pitch a startup idea and receive feedback from peers; teams form organically around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote); and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The events culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders and another opportunity for critical feedback.
In its fourth year, Startup Weekend Evansville remains the largest event of its kind in Indiana. Through the support of generous sponsors USI’s Romain College of Business, Vectren, Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville and Lieberman Technologies, Startup Weekend Evansville is unusually affordable in comparison to other Startup Weekend events.
“Most Startup Weekend events can cost over $100 – and it’s worth it for the access to coaches, mentors, investors and advice. But because of our great sponsorship, our cost is only $30 for the general public and $25 for students,” said Bryan Bourdeau, instructor of business and co-founder and co-organizer of Startup Weekend Evansville. “That includes materials, meals and access to an invaluable array of coaches and expertise.”
However, members of the public who just want to watch final pitches, judging and awards (and enjoy a catered dinner) should register for Demo Day tickets on Sunday for just $15.
The keynote speakers for Startup Weekend Evansville 4.0 are Brad Niemeier, founder of Azzip Pizza and Purdue University’s Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition winner, and Dr. Lisa Hoverman of the Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Hoverman will discuss grant opportunities for small business owners.
Since its founding in 2012, Startup Weekend Evansville has fostered the development of a new entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. “We’ve had startups launch, provisional patents filed, license agreements transferred, entrepreneurial education delivered, and new ‘feeder’ initiatives, such as Evansville Tech-On-Tap and Innovation Pointe’s Innovation Station cowork space develop due to intersectional networking taking place at Startup Weekend Evansville,” Bourdeau said.
“I’m confident these opportunities will influence hundreds and ultimately thousands of entrepreneurs and contribute to a cultural change that will positively impact our communities and ultimately our economy.”
Prizes include $2,000 in idea development scholarships; $2,400 in transferable memberships for Innovation Station cowork space courtesy of Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville; and $500 in software services from Lieberman Technologies.
Photo Credit: Bryan Bourdeau