Spokane Journal of Business

Entrepreneurial startup weekend planned at Gonzaga this month

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New Venture Lab, Gonzaga University's student-run business consulting lab, will host an entrepreneurial "Startup Weekend" April 20-22 on the university's campus.

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch new enterprises, says Brett Noyes, event organizer.

Greg Green, president of Fatbeam LLC, and professional poker player Phil Gordon will be featured speakers at the event, which will be held in the Jepson Center, home to the university's School of Business Administration.

Noyes describes the gatherings as "hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekends' attendees have technical backgrounds; the other half have business backgrounds."

Beginning with open-mike pitches on Friday, attendees are encouraged to bring their best ideas and to inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, teams design and develop business plans while streamlining their startup visions. On Sunday evening, teams demonstrate their prototypes and listen to judges' feedback.

Noyes says the events are designed specifically for entrepreneurs interested in receiving feedback on an idea, looking for a co-founder, or who want to learn a new skill. He calls them "risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves" and take an active role in brainstorming ideas.

Sponsors for the event include Avista Corp., Magner Sanborn, New Venture Lab, Connect Northwest, and Launchpad Inland Northwest. Tickets are $75. For more information, go to http://spokane.startupweekend.org.

—Kim Crompton

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