HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — More than two dozen potential future entrepreneurs will be getting a crash course in launching a business this weekend during a 54-hour blitz dubbed Startup Weekend Huntington.
The host site for it is the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Manufacturing.
“You have to be really dedicated to it. It’s not easy. It takes a lot of time. When you come up with an idea, you have to put a lot of effort into it,” Shaw said Friday.
“What we teach you in this program is how to do that with a team of people.”
Ideas were to be pitched Friday night, Nov. 3, followed by a vote.
For the ideas rising to the top, “We’ll form teams and they’ll work throughout the weekend to develop out the business model, validate it and get it ready for a pitch to a panel of judges on Sunday evening,” Shaw explained.
The teams were to be made up of those specializing in varying fields from entrepreneurship to business to coding.
Supplementing their work to create a company would be advice from community mentors, investors and other businessmen and businesswomen.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three groups, but Shaw told MetroNews the prizes were not the main focus of the event.
Instead, he said, it was about education.
“They learn the processes that are needed to come up with an idea, figure out a problem that you need to solve and validate that idea since you know people are going to want to purchase it or use it and then, ultimately, figure out how to pitch that to investors,” Shaw said.
Startup Weekend Huntington is another component of the support already being offered through RCBI via the TEN50 program which provides three months of extensive networking, educational sessions and investor access for early-stage technology companies.
A similar Startup Weekend was hosted in Huntington two years ago and plans are already in the works for a weekend next year.
In addition to RCBI, the sponsors of Startup Weekend Huntington were Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business and the BB&T Center for the Advancement of American Capitalism.
Those sponsorships, Shaw said, were keeping the participant costs to $10 compared with more than $100 in other states where such Startup Weekends are held with backing from Google along with those in 150 countries globally.