Can You Jumpstart an Innovative Company in 54 Hours?

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“It’s Sunday evening in a huge loft in New York City’s Chinatown, and leaders of nine motley teams are presenting their ideas for startup businesses to investors, advisors, and other wannabe Mark Zuckerbergs.” So begins an Entrepreneur article about “How Startup Weekend Got Its Start.” 

 Startup Weekends take place in locations from Kansas City to Singapore. They are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups. More than the cash prizes, the gold medals of these events are the team experiences they foster and the links they help forge to potential funders, mentors, co-founders, managerial talent, subject matter experts, and business service providers.

 Startup Weekend Co-founders Marc Nager and Franck Nouyrigat will be among the participants in a panel on Maximizing Entrepreneurship: Showcasing Innovation Accelerators at the Office of Advocacy’s September 19 conference in Seattle

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Another innovative organization helping entrepreneurs get started and grow is the Northwest Entrepreneur Network (NWEN). Since 1985, NWEN has been “the hive of the Pacific Northwest entrepreneurial community.” Its almost 800 members connect, learn, and share through more than 60 events annually. By offering a community to rely on and educational offerings geared towards the specialized needs of the entrepreneur, NWEN helps its members find the funding and resources they need. Representing NWEN on the panel will be Executive Director Dan Rossi.

 Jonathan Sposato of will moderate the panel, which includes the Small Business Administration’s Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant, Startup Washington Co-chair Lindsay Andreotti, and Advocacy Economist Christine Kymn. Dr. Sargeant comes from an entrepreneurial background, having started his own successful company. He worked with the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program before being appointed to head the Office of Advocacy. Lindsay Andreotti is chief executive officer of Brilliance Enterprises and the Brilliance Foundation. Dr. Kymn has degrees in economics and law and worked with the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs before joining the Office of Advocacy.

 The Office of Advocacy conference, cosponsored with the Seattle Center, NWEN, and GeekWire is being held in Seattle in conjunction with the “Next Fifty” commemoration of the 1962 World’s Fair. (See the Small Business Watchdog, Aug. 10). For more information and to register, visit Small Business and Government: Maximizing Entrepreneurship, Driving Innovation.

—Kathryn Tobias, Senior Editor