Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Start Up Your Company in Late January

There is a group that is headquartered in Seattle called Startup Weekend. They put on "start up weekends" all around the world and are trying to schedule 50 out of 80 applicants for 2010. Read more about them here.

To get them here in Tacoma by January 29th, 30th and 31st would not be possible.


That doesn't mean we can't take the idea for a dry run. Hey, we organized a 72 film festival in 2006 that is going strong into its fourth year and getting better all the time. Maybe we can do the same for businesses.

For those of you who participated in the Tacoma barcamp, expect the same great networking and do it yourself type of organization.

In fact, it will be held in the same location, through the generous sponsorship of Suite133. Maybe a company or two that comes from the exercise will end up working out of the suite.

The general idea is to bring people of different strengths, ideas and ambitions together for three days, starting on Friday evening. At the end of the weekend, hopefully, companies will launch from the effort.

Paraphrasing how the Startup Weekend folks describe it.

Friday at 6:00PM
Everyone meets at the Suite133 offices and introductions are made. Within the hour people pitch ideas for products, businesses or expound on something they wish personally to pursue.

At 8 o'clock we will self sort into teams based on interests and skill sets with the intention of coming up with a product or company idea. By nine or ten o'clock we break off to groups and either carry on or go home to rest for the next day.

NEXT DAY: On Saturday we meet up by 9:00am and get working on development, prototyping, business plan development and by the afternoon, even some possible coding or web development. Break off and go to lunch at noon.

By six o'clock everyone meets up for a recap of what they are working on and how it is working out. Think refined pitches, but now with prototypes.

By eight, nine or ten: Break for drinks or off to bed.

On Sunday the projects are being developed and even some live web sites are possible. As the Startup folks say, this is "sink or swim time for a weekend launch".

At the end of the day, presentations are made from each company about what did and didn't work. Contact information is exchanged and agreements are made as to what will move the product or company forward.

What else can be expected? Well, I will line up guests where I can. I am trying to arrange for an Angel Investor to come by and talk. Maybe I can get someone from the Tacoma Angel Network. I will see if one of the folks from Startup Weekend wants to visit and gives us some direction for a later event. I would like to see someone from the Amazon or Microsoft cloud computing initiative introduce their services. Maybe the William M Factory folks can introduce the facilities for their new Technology Incubator building. (they have already expressed interest but I would need to schedule it)

At the onset, I will introduce a Business Planning template I use in one of my classes and give a short presentation on how to build out a successful plan.

You don't have to be there for every moment of every day. You can come and go. But if you get passionate about an idea, expect that there won't be enough time in the weekend.

If you are interested, send me an email at


Unknown said...

As a "veteran" of 3 Startup Weekends in Seattle (Adobe, Google, MicroSoft) really happy to see one here in tacoma. Time is precious at these things and that makes for a long drive up north (when you could be sleeping!!)

Droid116 said...

Excellent. It will be good to have a veteran there. I will be talking (hopefully) to Clint Nelson today or Startup Weekend. He caught wind of the event and would like to help out.

Unknown said...

Clint's great. Real positive energy.

don't know what the logistics are like at this late date, but it would be awesome to have t-shirts.

Also do you have any way to handle sponsorship/donations for things like coffee/lunch etc.

Hopefully you have seen the press release from the EDB about Infoblox renewing its lease in Tacoma for another six years. Growing from sixty...