‘Start-up weekend’, planned for 4-6 November at the BizDojo in Wellington is one of those web-oriented events that Wellington seems to be particularly good at pulling off.
The idea is to mix people, ideas, skills and resources, and see if new businesses can’t be conceived.
Startup Weekend is an international movement based in Seattle that has held events in over 100 cities worldwide, including Auckland. International backing comes from The Kauffman Foundation, Microsoft, Amazon, Elance, and others.
Dave Moskovitz, chairman of WebFund is heading the organizing committee to bring the event to Wellington. CreativeHQ, Unlimited Potential, and BizDojo are all actively involved in planning and resourcing the event. Microsoft and Manawatu’s Bio-Commerce Centre are also providing financial sponsorship, with other organizations like iWantMyName, AngelHQ, 90seconds.tv, NZTE, and Grow Wellington providing assistance.
‘Start-up weekend will be a 54 hour non-stop marathon,’ Moskovitz says.
‘We plan on having 100 people at the Biz Dojo. They’ll start pitching and teams will form around these. They’ll execute the idea as far as they can in 54 hours. At the end, 6pm on Sunday, the teams will present to the judging panel, with prizes for the best teams who have gone the furthest with their ideas.’
‘The idea is to tie together and have a more seamless path from idea to company,’ he says. ‘I’m hoping that some of the participants will be motivated to take their businesses further by entering WebFund’s HyperStart programme. (see separate sticK blog here). HyperStart is like a six-week long Startup Weekend with committed investment available to companies that can perform.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown (a former software programmer as it happens) will open the weekend. Mike DelPrete, the President of Agora Games in New York, the company behind Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, is making a trip to Wellington specifically to participate in Startup Weekend.
‘It’s all about job growth, the weightless economy the digital creative sector,’ he says.
‘But ultimately, its all about generating world class companies to got from Wellington to the world.’
Participation in the weekend is open to all — though spots are filling fast. Those interested should enter here wellington.startupweekend.org ….now.