Startup Weekend Missoula Hosts Area Entrepreneurs
MISSOULA, MT – November 8, 2012. Montana is set to host its first Startup Weekend the weekend of January the 18th in Missoula, MT. Startup Weekend is an event bringing together entrepreneurs, designers, developers and startup enthusiasts to participate in 54 hours of taking innovative business ideas from concept to launch. At a Startup Weekend developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups. Local CEOs, founders, and startup veterans will be on hand to provide expertise and guidance and share their own experiences in the fast-paced world of technology startups. “I was in the room when Brad Feld said to a Montana Programmers Meetup last summer that Missoula should do a Startup Weekend, and I thought that is exactly what we need to jumpstart Entrepreneurs in Montana. So I contacted Brad the next week and he connected me with Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend, and with a lot of emails and minor arm twisting ,we have the first ever Montana Startup Weekend coming to Missoula in January!” said Bob Clay lead organizer for Startup Weekend and CEO of SameSky Systems a Missoula cloud computing Startup. “I am really excited that the Kaufman Foundation’s startup weekend is coming to Missoula ,” said Dawn McGee CEO of Goodworks Ventures and one of the primary organizers of the event. “What a great way to showcase our entrepreneurial talent and to meet other people who are passionate about creating lean mean startups in Montana.”
On Friday night, attendees will line up behind the mic and pitch their idea in 60 seconds. After everyone gives their fire pitch, all attendees vote on the ideas and the top ideas are selected. The selected idea owner must then convince other participants to join their team. Teams will focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product with the help of mentors and seasoned startup entrepreneurs. On Sunday, teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges including venture capitalists, angel investors, and technology executives with the goal of seeing these businesses continue after the weekend. “I’m impressed with the mentoring talent and the format of this event. I expect great business and service startup’s to come from these efforts,” said Nathan Stephens co-founder of Montana web designers and web developers association and a startup weekend organizer. Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months and 80% of the participants plan on continuing with their team or startup once the weekend is over.
Greg Gianforte, serial entrepreneur and the founder of RightNow Technologies, which was recently acquired by Oracle for over $1.8 Billion, will present Friday’s keynote address. “The Startup Weekend team is honored and excited to have Greg Gianforte as our keynote speaker. Greg’s experience and success exemplifies the spirit that a Startup Weekend embodies,” noted Bob Clay CEO of two Missoula based startups, SkyTics and SameSky Systems, and lead organizer of Startup Weekend Missoula. Startup Weekend Missoula runs from Friday, January 18th at 6:00 PM to Sunday, January 21st at 8:00 PM at the Lifelong Learning Center, 310 South Curtis Street, Missoula, MT 59801. Early registration runs until December 19th and costs $65 ($35 for students). For more information on the event, as well as tickets to participate, please visit http://missoula.startupweekend.org
ABOUT STARTUP WEEKEND: Startup Weekend is a 501c(3)non-profit based in Seattle, Wash. Founded in 2007 in Boulder, Colo., by Andrew Hyde, the organization has been based out of Seattle since 2009 under the direction of Marc Nager. Supported by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation, Startup Weekend has held over 325 events around the globe, inspiring nearly 30,000 entrepreneurs to take an idea from concept to launch. For information about the Missoula organization, please visit http://missoula.startupweekend.org or contact lead organizer Bob Clay at 406.829.9205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.