(Quad Cities) – The Quad Cities will join 200 communities across the globe in a Global Startup Battle for entrepreneurship during the region’s first-ever Startup Weekend November 20 – 22, all as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Startup Weekend is an intense 54-hour entrepreneurial boot camp led by a global grassroots movement of entrepreneurs and community leaders who are enacting the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. Startup Weekend Quad Cities is scheduled during Global Entrepreneurship Week, dubbed the Global Startup Battle.
Amadou Hanne, local entrepreneur and co-founder of HiFit, LLC is the driving force behind Startup Weekend Quad Cities.
"There are certain activities that all great entrepreneurial communities have, and one of those is an event like Startup Weekend, where anyone with an idea can get in the room with people from a broad range of backgrounds and skillsets and collaborate,” says Hanne. "I’ve been active in the Quad Cities Chamber’s Ignite Quad Cities Meetups, and I’ve participated in events in other communities like Chicago. The Quad Cities entrepreneurial community is a growing network, and Startup Weekend will be a big opportunity to get people together and hopefully launch some businesses.”
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from those in the room. Everyone will vote on their favorite ideas, and teams will form around the ideas that receive the most votes. From there, the 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation will ensue. The weekend will culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders for another opportunity for critical feedback.
Hanne and other organizers are encouraging people to be a part of Startup Weekend in two ways: as a participant who wants to pitch a business idea with the hopes of developing a new business, and people who can serve as coaches and who have skills including but not limited to marketing, graphic design, coding, product development, accounting and legal.
"We started Ignite Quad Cities – the Chamber’s line of work aimed at supporting entrepreneurs - just over a year ago as a grassroots effort to grow our entrepreneurial culture,” says Paul Rumler, Executive Vice President, Quad Cities Chamber. "Our first Ignite Quad Cities Meetup gathering included a Chamber staff person and one entrepreneur. The group has now grown to over 300 people, and that first entrepreneur is part of the team organizing Startup Weekend. This is how entrepreneurial communities develop, and we’re here to connect people, resources, investors, and ideas.”
Startup Weekend will take place one week after the Quad Cities’ second round of Venture School, a six-week entrepreneurial boot camp wraps up. Eight teams are enrolled in Venture School, which is a program made available in the Quad Cities through a partnership between the Quad Cities Chamber, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, and the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.
Startup Weekend will be held from 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 20 to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 22 at Eastern Iowa Community College’s Advanced Technology Environmental Energy Center, 201 N. Harrison St., Davenport. The cost to participate in Startup Weekend is $75 per person if registered by October 19, and $99 thereafter. The cost includes all meals.