I’m not going to lie. I totally geek out when it comes to Startup Weekend. I get so excited that I can’t sleep for days in anticipation. In Athens, Ohio, we have hosted seven weekends. Because of our positive experiences, we’re preparing to bring the same amazing event to Startup Weekend Zanesville on August 25, 2017.

Why do I geek out about organizing this national franchise locally? I want to build a startup culture throughout our entire region. I meet amazing people through the events through our group of participants, judges, mentors, and facilitators from across the globe. And, I enable and watch as entrepreneurs emerge from these events. They become business owners or employees in other startups. They learn how to bring more entrepreneurial spirit to larger companies.

So, what happens at a Startup Weekend? Participants forge the foundation for building successful companies. They take ideas either their own or one in which the group decides is the best and they build a business model around that. Participants of all ages join teams huddled around ideas to answer the following questions:

  1. What problem does my idea solve?
  2.  What is the solution?
  3. Are there people in the market for my solution?
  4. How do I make money?

The event culminates with a pitch competition from the weekend’s teams and ultimately with some prizes meant to help advance the winners journey into entrepreneurship.

If you love to be around people who are excited to build new things in a fast-paced environment, then you’ll just love Startup Weekend Zanesville! Register soon! Watch this blog for more information.

About LIGHTS: Ohio University’s Innovation Center founded the LIGHTS (Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability) program in 2016. LIGHTS’ Innovation Network catalyzes the creation of companies to create high-wage jobs, and attract greater private investment in the coal-impacted regions of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The Appalachian Regional Commission generously funded the program because of its unique way of matching complex problems and opportunities facing corporations, communities, and individuals to a network of two strategically-placed Innovation Hubs and seven Gateways. New marketable products arise from these problems. The Gateways and Hubs are new business incubators and makerspaces serving a 28-county area.