54 Hours to Build a Business: What you Need to Know about Rochester Startup Weekend

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Rochester Startup Weekend

Rochester Startup Weekend

Want to learn how to transform an idea into a viable business concept? Participate in Rochester’s inaugural Startup Weekend. This event will take place from Friday November 3rd through Sunday November 5th at Collider Coworking in downtown Rochester.


Startup Weekend is an opportunity to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, create an idea, and build the beginnings of a viable startup in fifty-four hours. The event is powered by Techstars, a global network that supports and encourages entrepreneurship. Techstars’ Startup Weekends take place in over 150 countries; 2.9K Startup Weekends have occurred to date.

The process all begins on Friday evening, where participants pitch their ideas and gather teams around the most promising concepts. Participants do not need to come to Startup Weekend with a pre-formed team. They are encouraged to use the weekend to connect and collaborate with other innovators who may be outside of their normal network. On Saturday, the groups work to build a minimal viable product or service and develop their business model. Participants also receive coaching from mentors and hear a talk from an entrepreneurial expert. Sunday, the teams continue to work and prepare five minute presentations to demo their product or service and explain their business model.

Startup Weekend culminates in a demo night on Sunday, where groups pitch their product or service to a panel of judges and a gathered crowd of interested community members.

Tickets for the event are $75 for adults and $35 for students, which includes seven meals throughout the weekend. Tickets are $25 to attend the Sunday night demos for non-Startup Weekend participants.

This weekend is an opportunity for true experiential learning. The event is for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and provides a first-hand look at what it takes to build a startup.

"Startup Weekend will give people a critical advantage by allowing them to practice those important first steps in creating their first or next startup venture," explained Rochester Startup Weekend organizer Chris Lukenbill.

Approximately twenty-five percent of teams participating in Startup Weekends continue with their concept after the event. One local success story comes right out of the Minneapolis Startup Weekend. A team of University of Minnesota students developed the idea for a smart water bottle that monitored and encouraged water consumption and glowed when it was time to drink. The startup, called Hidrate, is now a full company based between Minneapolis and Chicago.

Destination Medical Center and Preventive Services are Platinum Sponsors of this event. Silicon Valley Bank and Fredriksson & Byron and Gold Level Sponsors. Mayo Clinic Ventures is the Silver Sponsor for the weekend.

For more information about Startup Weekend, head over to the main homepage. Click here for registration and more details about Rochester’s Startup Weekend.