Bloomington Indiana, home to Indiana University, is a hotspot for startups and entrepreneurial activity in Indiana. It was while attending the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University that Nick Tippmann not only helped organize Startup Weekend Bloomington, but also a Shark Tank Season Premiere Party with Mark Cuban.
Now, Startup Weekend Bloomington is back. While a lot of cities Bloomington’s size are embarking on their first or second official Startup Weekend event, this will be the fourth in the town of just 81,000.
This time around the organizers include Matt Burris, Jessica Falkenthal, John Adamson, Paul Simacek and Chris White. They also have Steve Bryant the Executive Director for the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech on board as a coach. They also have Kyle Johnston, President of Onsite OHS signed up to judge. They will announce more coaches and judges soon enough.
For those of you not familiar with Startup Weekend, it’s a 54 hour startup hackathon that starts on a Friday evening and finishes up on Sunday evening.
Friday kicks off with “Friday Pitches” those entrepreneurs and founders who have registered and have an idea they would like to see turned into an actual startup have 60 seconds to pitch that idea. After the pitches the crowd votes, by show of sticker, on which startups will be built over the next 52 hours. After the ideas are picked, teams form and breakout into groups for the next 50 or so hours to develop, build out their ideas and prove customer validation. This is a daunting task for some.
Some Startup Weekend venues allow the teams to work around the clock in true hackathon fashion. Others typically break for the evenings around midnight and come back first thing in the morning at 8am or 9am.
On Saturdays, teams dive head first into creating websites, designing mock ups for apps, and hitting the streets interviewing potential users about their idea. Some of the teams are lucky enough to have outside people they can go to by phone, skype or in person to work out the kinks. Coaches and mentors are also on hand to help answer key questions about viability, design, legality and everything else a business would need to know to launch.
Sunday is the day of reckoning for the remaining teams. At the end of the evening they will have five minutes to present their idea in it’s finished state and get grilled by a panel of local judges.
Startup Weekend’s are typically fueled by tons of food (Pizza, donuts etc) and plenty of caffeine.
Lunker, a social app for fisherman, was the winner of Bloomington’s last Startup Weekend event which was held in May. The team received a grand prize package featuring goods and services from local businesses and organizations, including three months of office space at The Solution Lab, legal services from Mallor and Grodner, accounting services from BKD, a free marketing campaign from BizProps and a free business plan review from Localstake.
If you’ve got what it takes, head on over to the official Startup Weekend website at the link below.
Here’s the page for the next Startup Weekend Bloomington
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