Lamar Francois ©Lamar Francois/Pictured by Lamar

Start Up Weekend

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Over 30 aspiring Nottingham entrepreneurs spent 54 hours together to create new business ideas.

Startup Weekend, is a concept created in the USA which has grown to become a global network of entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate and empower. This month alone over 50 other countries from Copenhagen to Caracas will host a Startup Weekend.

Nottingham’s event was hosted by Broadway and BioCity and supported by the Creative Quarter Company.

Biocity Nottm RGB HR-3Prizes at the Startup Weekend included one year’s worth of business support including office space provided by Next Business Generation and Antenna, use of the Paul Screen Screen 4 Cinema at Broadway for a product launch, lunch with Doug Richard – an England-based Californian entrepreneur and specialist in technology transfer and business incubation from BBC TV Dragons’ Den.

Another Britain now based in the US is also supporting the Nottingham Startup Weekend. Ben Way is an entrepreneur, author and inventor who featured on Ch 4’ Secret Millionaire, and is now based in Silicon Valley. Ben has invested in two tech based companies based in Nottingham GoDine and Easy Pre-Orders. He commented

This sort of initiative is a great way for budding entrepreneurs to come together to develop, share and create new business ideas and is something I’d encourage all inspiring inventors to consider.”

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Since it was founded in 2007, 1068 Startup events had been held, involving over 100,000 entrepreneurs across more than 400 cities in over 100 countries and over 8190 start ups have been created. Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months.

The Nottingham Startup teams received support during the weekend from experienced coaches and mentors including Toby Reid, Director BioCity, Jim Shorthose, Cultural Research and Creative Consultant, Caron Lyons from PCM Creative, John Buckby, IP Solicitor at Spearing Waite and Sean Macaskill, Enterprise Adviser at The Hive, Nottingham Trent University.

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Participants formed teams with designers, developers, marketers and business bods to construct, create and collaborate to take an idea to a minimum viable product within 54 hours. The weekend included market research and customer validation, business model and rollout strategy, branding, prototyping and tech build, leading up to final pitches where judges will select a winning team.

Carrie Blake, a member of winning team ‘Make Something’ at London’s Startup Weekend Mobile Edition commented: “Startup Weekend was an amazing, nerve-racking and exhilarating experience. Working at a pace that is unimaginable, and living off pure will and determination to build and develop an initial ‘raw’ idea to something that is fully considered and ready to pitch, and all in 54 hours!  ‘Make Something’ winning first place was a wonderful feeling, a testament to the hard work of the team and our belief in the initial idea.  I now understand why people are serial start up weekenders, even if we hadn’t got to the final, I’d be back .… I had the experience of working with some genuinely talented and fantastic people, and I certainly surprised myself. Oh and energy drinks really do help.”

Nottingham’s Startup Weekend Judges were Adam Bird, Co-Founder of Esendex, Alun Edwards, Design Director at Studio Output, Marjolijn Brussaard, Dean for the School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University, Craig Chettle, Managing Director of Confetti Media Group and Kathryn Greenwood, Managing Director at Eden PR.

www.nottingham.startupweekend.org

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