How to launch a business in two days at Charlotte Startup Weekend

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If spending 54 hours with minimal sleep and maximum business talk is your kind of thing, check out Charlotte Startup Weekend.

The event is in its eighth year, and will take over the UNC Charlotte Uptown building starting Friday.

The idea isn’t really to create your billion-dollar company over the weekend — though some businesses launched at Startup Weekend have had lasting success. TagSeats, which let people find their friends at concerts and sporting events, lasted long after the weekend was through. Last year’s winner, Pantrea, is also still still around but has pivoted from its original idea.

Charlotte Startup Weekend is really about learning the skills of an entrepreneur, about pitching, financing, marketing and all that. And meeting new people — perhaps finding the co-founder of your next venture.

“I’ve had people who have gone through it who said they learned more than their entire MBA,” said Juan Garzon, one of the organizers of the event.


Photo from Charlotte Startup Weekend via Facebook

Here’s how it works

The festivities start Friday evening with some quality food. Then everybody who wishes to pitches a startup idea.

The group votes on their favorites, and the six or so ideas with the most votes become the official business projects for Charlotte Startup Weekend. Around 8 p.m., teams will form around those ideas, bringing in people with varying skills (marketing, developing, design, etc.)

On Saturday, the teams go hard on their projects. In the meantime, there are workshops on creating a business model, prototyping and pitching. Things don’t wrap up until 10 p.m. or later.

On Sunday, after another day of work, the teams pitch their final projects with the idea of convincing a panel of judges that they’re worthy of investment.


Photo from Charlotte Startup Weekend via Facebook

Connect with Charlotte Startup Weekend

January 8-10
UNCC Center City
320 E 9th St

Buy tickets ($99 to participate or $20 just hear the pitches at the end and drink cocktails)

Cover image by Charlotte Startup Weekend

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