By Bill Fallon
Aspiring entrepreneurs from across the Connecticut and the Northeast will converge in Stamford at 6 p.m. Friday to innovate, collaborate and incubate their new business ideas at Startup Weekend at the Stamford Innovation Center, 175 Atlantic St., the old Stamford Town Hall building.
Startup Weekend is billed as “a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who come together to learn the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.” This is the fourth Startup Weekend event in Stamford.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: Anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and spend the next 54 hours crafting business models, coding, designing and conducting market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations to a panel of judges who pick winning teams and designate prizes.
Entrepreneurial coaches include Brian Anderson of Madd Gear; John Lim of Life in Mobile; Linda Singh of Sitara Collections; Samuel Rockwell of Waffle Waffle; Janis Collins of The Refinery; Josh Aferzon of Orthozon Technologies; Doug Campbell, author of “The Success Coach”; Jerry Grammont of EmployToy; and Dale Jasinski and Dave Tomczyk of Quinnipiac University. Past Startup Weekend coaches Jonathan Yarmis, Sharland Blanchard and Will Haire are returning.
The coaches will provide insights “that help teams move more quickly and with confidence through critical milestones as they race to build viable business models and working prototypes in 54 hours.”
This year’s judging panel includes Tracy Killoren Chadwell, an angel investor in the tech software and molecular science spaces; Steve Laitmon, CEO of The Calendar Group and co-founder of Nothin’ But Foods, a healthy snack food company; and state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff.
Startup Weekend is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Seattle with organizers and facilitators in more than 726 cities around the world.