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Indo-US Chamber, JAX Chamber and iStart Jax to host first Jacksonville Startup Weekend

Attracting the region’s most creative and innovative talent, the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce of Northeast Florida, JAX Chamber and iStart Jax are hosting the first 54-hour Jacksonville Startup Weekend Friday, Jan. 20 through Sunday, Jan. 22 at the University of North Florida (UNF) Student Union Building.

Developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts will come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups.

“Startup Weekend is the best way to find someone, or a team of people, with whom you can actually launch a startup,” said Pramod Jain, president of the Indo-US Chamber. “The event enables entrepreneurs to develop ideas and prepare to take them to market in 54-hours with potential investors secured.”

With partners such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Twillio and the Kauffman Foundation, Startup Weekends occurred in 295 cities worldwide, engaged more than 35,000 entrepreneurs, and helped 2,450 startups launch.

The Jacksonville event begins Friday evening with aspiring entrepreneurs pitching ideas for possible businesses or products. All participants will vote on the top 10-15 ideas and form 10-15 teams to develop each idea. Saturday and Sunday, teams focus on customer development, validate ideas, practice LEAN Startup Methodologies and build a viable product. Teams are mentored by local tech experts and seasoned startup leaders.

Sunday evening, the teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts and investors. Jacksonville Startup Weekend will announce the top three winners who will receive a package of in-kind services to help them launch their new business.

“Startup Weekend will attract our region’s best talent with the most entrepreneurial spirit,” said Sandy Bartow, vice president of JAX Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Growth Division. “We are excited to bring these innovative individuals together to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems.”

Globally, more than 36% of Startup Weekend businesses are still going strong after three months. Approximately 80% of participants continued working with their teams or new startup company after the weekend.

“Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating,” said MJ Charmani, founder and chairman of iStart Jax. “Participants do not just listen to theory; they build their strategy and test it as they go.”

Those who are interested in starting a company or helping build one may register for the event by visiting http://jacksonville.startupweekend.org/ or contacting Lisa Daniel at 904-366-6626. Registration before Dec. 21 is $75. After Dec. 21, the price is $99.


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