On November 15-17, 2013, Moncton, NB will be hosting a Startup Weekend for would-be entrepreneurs. It is part of the Global Start-up Battle held in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship week. The Battle takes place over a two week span in over 200 countries; there will be 20,000 participants and $500,000 in prizes.
Startup Weekend is all about learning the basics of starting your own company and taking it through to a successful launch. Startup Weekend is a non-profit organization that has already completed over 400 weekend events in over 110 different countries.
The Startup Weekend follows a simple format: people pitch business ideas and get feedback from other attendees and then everyone votes for their favourites. Teams form around the best ideas and the rest of the weekend is a whirlwind of creation including business models, coding, designing and market validation. At the end of the weekend, presentations are made to local entrepreneurs for more feedback and suggestions and a winner is chosen.
Sally Ng, Executive Director of PlanetHatch and Global Facilitator at Startup Weekend said, “Start-up weekend is meant to be the first step in entrepreneurship, you have a variety of people that come from assorted backgrounds. In Moncton, participants will have the opportunity to work with experienced mentors like Dan Martell, the co-founder of Clarity, and Walter Melanson, the Director of Partnerships for PropertyGuys.com. Everyone is welcome, if you have an idea that is pre-developed, great, if you don’t that’s ok because there will be lots of other people there with new ideas too.”
New Brunswick held their first Startup Weekend in Fredericton this past March. Approximately 70 people participated in what was felt to be an extremely successful event. Prospective entrepreneurs pitched 26 different ideas and after the ideas were narrowed down to the top 11, everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work.
The winning idea was HotSpot Parking, an app that lets people pay their parking meters online or with their phone. By the end of the weekend, Hot Spot Parking had won the competition, attracted a team of partners and $15,000 in funding. Since the competition, HotSpot Parking has started a pilot program in Fredericton and Saint John, NB.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur with a great idea, sign up for this energetic weekend of creativity, networking and learning. You’re sure to meet some interesting people and learn some valuable new skills relating to the world of start-ups.
If you are an Aboriginal entrepreneur, be sure to contact JEDI about the JEDI Aboriginal Development Fund (JADF) which provides financial support to First Nation communities in New Brunswick, 506-444-5650.