Triangle Startup Weekend comes to UNC for first time Nov. 15-17

For 48 hours beginning Nov. 15, budding entrepreneurs will converge on Carolina’s campus for a weekend of non-stop imagination, invention and teamwork.

Triangle Startup Weekend, a local nonprofit that is part of the international Startup Weekend organization, will sponsor the event Nov. 15-17 at the UNC Student Union. Startup Weekend events bring together passionate individuals with unique skill sets and experiences and challenges them to turn their startup ideas into reality over the course of 48 hours.

Beginning with “open mic” quick pitches on Friday, attendees share their best ideas with fellow participants and try to encourage others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, the newly formed teams focus on validating their ideas and developing a viable product or service. Sunday evening, the teams demo their prototypes to a varied panel of experts and investors, who provide feedback to start their business.

Having a startup in the works is not a requirement for participating. The event welcomes creative thinkers from a variety of disciplines, in addition to experienced entrepreneurs, to get the best mix of ideas and talent.

Innovate@Carolina, the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, the Campus Y CUBE, and Launch Chapel Hill are the four UNC organizations helping to sponsor the event. The Campus Y’s social entrepreneur-in-residence and co-founder of Sungevity Alec Guettal, along with Judith Cone, special assistant to the Chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship, will give the opening talks on Friday at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $74, and a student rate of $50 is available.

Judges include Ted Zoller, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Jim Kitchen, president of JimKitchen.org, lecturer at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, and coach for UNC’s Launching the Venture program at the University’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Since its inception in 2009, Startup Weekend has conducted more than 1,068 events in 478 cities to help create nearly 8,200 startups globally. Through Triangle Startup Weekend alone, six local events have helped create many local startups.

Published November 14, 2013.