Like Entrepreneurs? Innovation? Design? Don’t miss StartUp Weekend.

Next weekend, Portland is hosting a second StartUp Weekend. If you think you have an idea, or are a designer, or want to participate in a great event with entrepreneurs, you will love this event.

StartUp Weekend is a global program that brings together people interested in startups, entrepreneurship, design, and innovation over a 54-hour period. People get to pitch ideas, join teams, and get advice from coaches and mentors on building for success. Tens of thousands of people have participated in events across the world and thousands of companies have been started.

But remember, there is no obligation beyond the weekend.  In fact, many people come for the weekend and then go back to their “real job” on Monday. But others, like some from the event this past spring, end up building their company and getting funding.

I love this event. Friday night, people with ideas get 5 minutes to pitch ideas – last time, I thought there might be 20-25 ideas, but there were more than 60!  It was an awesome thing to experience. Then seeing the teams work together over Friday and Saturday and seeing them present to the judges on Saturday made me so proud to be a Mainer. The presentations had incredible energy with awesome ideas!

There are other benefits too, while the winner of the event was from Bangor and is building her company – other participants who didn’t win were introduced to other like-minded attendees and now those folks have started their own company. Those relationships are really powerful and probably wouldn’t have been made without the event.

Did I also mention that throughout the weekend they have amazing food from some of Portland’s best restaurants?

For me, it’s a peak into the bright future of Maine. You get to be with people of all ages and background, all focused on building their own idea and being successful– some are designers, programmers, lawyers; people who work in manufacturing, food, and other creative industries.

What’s more is that anyone can put on a StartUp weekend, so come and experience next weekend and then bring it back to your town. I would love to see these in places like Waterville, Bangor, Skowhegen, or anywhere else that wants to transform their economy.

I can say with confidence that the one principal for all of the attendees from the spring event is that everyone was there to be a part of Maine’s growing startup and entrepreneurship community.  If you think that sounds like fun, don’t miss out.

See more information here.

Jess Knox

About Jess Knox

Jess Knox is a former political consultant and high-ranking SBA official who is passionate about entrepreneurship and Maine. These days he helps companies manage growth through his firm Olympico Strategies.