Startup Weekend offers three-day ‘crash course’ on starting a new business

Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend Fort Worth

Friday 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Attendees pitch ideas to one another and vote on the top three. They then form teams to help develop the idea throughout the weekend.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Teams work together to develop the product and form a business model.

Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Teams work on customer development, talking to prospective customers and getting feedback on the business idea. In the evening, teams present to judges and receive awards.

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The first year of a new business can be both stressful and rewarding. Participants of Startup Weekend Fort Worth will get a taste of what that first year is like within three days.

“Startup Weekend is almost like a crash course in one year of a startup,” said Hayden Blackburn, director of IDEA Works FW. “You’ve got your highs and lows throughout the weekend where you’re in panic mode.”

Startup Weekend takes place Nov. 20-22 at IDEA Works FW, 600 E Rosedale Street. Participants will work in teams to create a mock business, form a business model and present to judges, who will then choose winners. Some of the judges include Robert Sturns, acting director of Fort Worth Economic Development, and Linda Nelson, member of TECH Fort Worth’s Board of Directors.

Winners will receive several prizes, such as a free coworking membership at IDEA Works FW for a limited number of months, as well as startup baskets with flash drives, ramen noodles and other items. The first place winner will also get a donated patent application from the Damon R. Hickman Law Firm.

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“This is the second year Startup Weekend was held in Fort Worth. Startup Weekend’s are also held in downtown Dallas, North Dallas and Denton.”

But Startup Weekend events aren’t just concentrated in Dallas-Fort Worth — they’re global. In November 2014, 236 cities in 83 countries held Startup Weekends. This year, 71 Startup Weekends will be held in the U.S. between Nov. 13-22.

Blackburn said the purpose of the event isn’t necessarily to start an actual business but to educate participants in what it takes to start a business.

“It’s really about that experience of what it’s like and learning a new skill that you can then take back to the business that you are running and doing,” he said. “Or you’re just looking to find somebody that could be a potential co-founder for your business idea, and you’ve done a little bit of work on it that weekend, but it could pivot into something different.”