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Chapman to host third Startup Weekend

The 3-day event brings together design, marketing and engineering professionals

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: October 31, 2012 02:45 PM

Chapman University in Orange will host its third annual Startup Weekend Orange County beginning this Friday, Nov. 2, inviting entrepreneurs to bring their ideas for new products to the table for a weekend-long exercise in creating new companies.

The 54-hour event will create teams of individuals across business fields, including marketing, design and engineering, and task them with conceiving a new product, drawing up a business plan and creating a pitch. Seasoned business coaches and mentors will be available to offer advice and answer questions.

Richard Sudek is the director of Chapman’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics, which is hosting the event. He’ll also participate as a mentor during the team sessions and judge for the presentations.

“Participants arrive Friday night and by Sunday evening, they must pitch their idea to venture capitalists and angel investors,” said Sudek, who is also chairman emeritus Tech Coast Angels. “Participants may walk away with a lead on investment money for their idea, however, more importantly, people will experience a transformational entrepreneurial process that that is unlike anything they have experienced,” said Sudek, who is also a mentor and judge for Startup Weekend Orange County.

This is the third year for the Startup Weekend at Chapman, which has sold out for each event. The event has grown into a national and global program, with more than 70,000 individuals gathering in 325 cities to learn about launching startups.

Marc Nager, a Chapman alumnus, is the program’s founder. “It’s a good way to learn how to start a business—it always starts with an idea. Startup Weekend provides a safe forum for these individuals to share their idea and learn what it takes to take that idea to the next level,” said Nager, who is currently based out of Seattle. “While the average age for Startup Weekend participants is 32, we also see people with 10-15 years of corporate experience who, because of the economic downturn, are finally acting on the big idea they have been stewing on.”

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