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Startup Weekend Breathes Life into “Big Ideas

Sep 21, 2012
MetroHartford Alliance

News Release
Contact: Jessica Lyon | 860.676.4400

(Hartford, CT) August 22, 2012 --  The MetroHartford Alliance and its young professionals organization, HYPE, is pleased to be the organizer of 2012 Startup Weekend Hartford, part of a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.  This event brings together local software developers, graphic designers, marketers, product/business managers and startup enthusiasts to design a mobile app or build a viable business plan.

Startup Weekend Hartford is scheduled for the weekend of September 21-23 at the Hartford Public Library, located at 500 Main Street in Hartford. An Information Session for those interested in attending the event will be held at the Hartford Public Library on Wednesday, August 29 at 6:00 p.m.

This year the event will focus on health and wellness and participants are encouraged to focus on enhancing the health care experience or streamlining a personal approach to wellness. This makes Hartford only the second city in the world to organize an event focused on health care.

“We thought it advantageous to host a vertical event because of the depth and diversity of the health care industry we have in the Hartford Region,” said John Shemo, vice president and director of economic development for the MetroHartford Alliance. “Between healthcare providers, insurers and medical manufacturers and the upcoming launch of Connecticut Health Council in November, we think this format will provide local entrepreneurs a unique and focused opportunity to get involved in an industry that is growing and thriving.”


The event begins with participants pitching their startups and receiving feedback from their peers. One is not required to pitch an idea to participate. The group then forms teams around the top ideas. Over the course of the next 54 hours, each team focuses its energies on creating a business model plus coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders who offer constructive feedback.  Three winners will be named in the following categories: Judges Award, People’s Choice Award and Social Enterprise Award.


The MetroHartford Alliance along with HYPE, is pleased to organize the event again after successfully facilitating an inaugural Startup Weekend in Hartford last year. Approximately 75 participants from the Metro Hartford Region came out to participate. Last year’s winner, Ryan Rose, VP of Technology at Fathom, said Startup Weekend was one of the best experiences of his career and is continuing to hone his app, “SmallTalk,” which allows people attending live events to start conversations over social media to break the ice.

Registration for Startup Weekend Hartford is $99 per person. An early bird rate of $75 is available to those registering before August 30.  A discount rate of $25 is available to college students. Meals and refreshments will be provided. This event is sponsored by Connecticut, Light & Power, Yankee Gas; Updike, Kelly  & Spellacy, P.C.; Day Pitney, LLP; Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina, LLP; University of Connecticut; Wiggin and Dana, LLP; Universal Connectivity; and Black Bear Saloon. 

For more information or to register visit

About MetroHartford Alliance

As the Region’s economic development leader and the City’s Chamber of Commerce, the MetroHartford Alliance ensures that the Hartford Region competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital and talent.  An advocate for the continued growth of Hartford and the surrounding Region, the Alliance is actively engaged in executing its four-year strategic plan which builds upon its significant accomplishments over the past four years.  Among the plan’s areas of focus are: fostering a climate for job creation and infrastructure investment; retaining, developing, recruiting and engaging a diverse and talented pool of employees and entrepreneurs; promoting the stability and expansion of specific industry sectors with a link to support small business growth; marketing the Region’s assets to retain and attract businesses; and, ensuring that the Capital City is the dynamic urban core of the region.  For more information, visit the newly redesigned