Entrepreneurs, start your engines
blog by Ben Kirst • November 13, 2012 @ 10:24am
Ever get sick and tired of working for The Man? Ever toss around the idea of going into business for yourself? Ever find yourself overwhelmed by the thought of the complications involved, only to find yourself dragged down by your nagging spouse and awful kids, and are left wondering about what could have been before collapsing into another dark night of sadness and despair?
Me neither! But just in case you are interested in pursuing entrepreneurial options, clear your calendar this weekend. From Friday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Nov. 18, Medaille College will host Buffalo Startup Weekend, part of a “...a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.” There are three professional tracks to follow throughout the weekend—developer, designer and non-technical—and registration for the three-day event costs $50.
Freelance interactive designer Nick Barone is one of the local organizers of Buffalo Startup Weekend, which is the latest of 400 similar entrepreneurial events held in 100 countries over the past two years.
“Our goal is to get members of Buffalo’s design, technology, and business communities together to meet and work toward creating new businesses in Buffalo,” Barone recently wrote in a blog post for the Advertising Club of Buffalo. “We want this event to be fun, and what’s more fun than working with complete strangers on an impossibly tight deadline to produce a killer project? You all remember college. You should join us for many reasons, most of which are beneficial to you and not self-serving to Startup Weekend. Collaborate with interesting people, take risks on a project you can’t get fired for, and walk away feeling energized about what you do each day. It’s going to be a damn good time.”
Speakers at the event will include local luminaries Eric Reich, president and co-founder of Campus Labs; Tom McManus, chief executive officer of KegWorks; and Jaafer Haider, vice president at Synacor. Don’t get the wrong idea, though—Startup Weekend is not about sitting around and listening to a bunch of businessmen talk about their past success. Instead, the three-day event is highly interactive, beginning Friday night with pitches for new product ideas followed by voting for the top proposals, dividing attendees into teams, and an intense 48-hour window to work with your new partners and pick the brains of a heady list of Buffalo-area mentors to develop a successful Sunday-night presentation. This isn’t some doughnut-fueled, handshake-heavy networking session—this is real work with real people. You learn stuff and test your own business skills in a competitive crucible.
Photo from Flickr / johnny goldstein.