By Paul Monies
Copyright © 2014, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
Entrepreneurs, digital developers and designers will come together at Oklahoma City’s Startup Weekend, one of several hundred happening around the world in coming weeks.
The event will be from Friday evening to Sunday evening at The Paramount, 7 N Lee Ave., in Oklahoma City’s Film Row district.
Startup Weekend lets participants learn from each other the basics of entrepreneurship.
The events follow the same standard format: Ideas are pitched on Friday nights, followed by teams forming around the most-popular ideas. Then there’s a “54-hour frenzy of business-model creation, coding, designing and market validation,” organizers said.
The event ends on Sunday with presentations before a panel of judges active in the local entrepreneurship community.
“This not only pulls in developers to build something in a short period of time, but it also pulls in designers and business folks,” said Jason Trout, one of the organizers of Startup OKC. “It’s a lot more valuable experience. You create a prototype, but you have a business sense behind it.
“You’re being asked if you’re really solving a problem for customers and will people really pay for it?”
Work as a team
Trout said participants often come with an idea, or just want to work as part of a team on an idea that appeals to them the first night.
“We don’t push anyone to any particular team,” Trout said. “It just happens organically.”
The keynote speaker on Friday night will be Piyush Patel, founder and CEO of Digital-Tutors, which offers training in digital arts such as computer graphics, visual effects and computer-aided design.
Patel started the Oklahoma City company with just $54 in 2000. He sold Digital-Tutors this year to Utah-based PluralSight for $45 million.
“To have someone in Oklahoma City talking to aspiring entrepreneurs and future founders and letting them know it’s possible outside of Silicon Valley, Seattle, Austin or Denver is just great,” Trout said.
Trout said the best prototypes from Startup Weekend events around the world in the next two weeks are eligible to compete in the Global Startup Battle, which offers prizes and resources to winning teams. Among the categories are those for women, education, innovation and socially conscious ideas.
Registration for Oklahoma City’s Startup Weekend is $75, which helps pays for overhead expenses and meals at the three-day event. Participants can use the discount code “Launch” for 25 percent off the registration fee.
For more information and to register, go online to bit.ly/okcweekend.