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Technology startups invited to be part of Wichita competition

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, March 25, 2013, at 11:19 a.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 7:26 a.m.

Wichita will host its first ever Startup Weekend, a competition aimed at boosting technology start-up businesses.

The weekend will be May 31-June 2 at the Labor Party, 216 N. Mosley.

Startup Weekend is an international nonprofit group that has designed the format used by entrepreneurs, designers, developers and start-up enthusiasts who gather for 54 hours to move from innovative ideas to a business ready to launch.

The local group is seeking attendees/competitors. Go to www.eventbrite.com/event/5413632320# for tickets.

The Startup Weekend format has been used in 400 events around the world

The event follows a set formula: brainstorming and then grouping around the best ideas on Friday; developing the ideas into workable products with targeted markets on Saturday and Sunday; and then ending Sunday with presentations and a vote for the best business.

The events tend to be technology focused, said local organizer Kenton Hansen.

“The Startup Weekend is less business plan-oriented and more nuts and bolts,” he said. “We’re at a point in history where it’s possible that with the right technology and the right idea you can turn $100 into a $1 million idea.”

The event will be held at the Labor Party, a collective of small creative and technology-oriented businesses in Old Town. Hansen said he expects between 45 and 75 people to pay for the chance to participate.

Wichita has occasionally produced technology startups over the years, Hansen said, and has many of the components needed for a tech start-up culture. Startup Weekend now and in the future has the potential to pull those pieces together and add something new to accelerate the development of a technology sector in Wichita, he said.

“I think the X factor is confidence,” he said.

Reach Dan Voorhis at 316-268-6577 or dvoorhis@wichitaeagle.com.

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