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2013 Startup Weekend Hartford Represents First-Ever Transnational Competition

Sep 06, 2013
MetroHartford Alliance


(Hartford, CT) September 6, 2013
-- The MetroHartford Alliance and its young professionals organization, HYPE, are pleased to organize and announce the opening of registraton for Startup Weekend Hartford, this year a unique experiment linking two cities under the global, grassroots Startup Weekend movement.  The 2013 Startup Weekend event in Hartford will represent the first transnational collaboration, as Hartford organizers have partnered with those in Ottawa, Canada to establish Startup Weekend Hartford-Ottawa, a coordination of virtually connected sets of teams, mentors and organizers during the competition.  The organizers of both cities are also delighted to announce that Jeff Hoffman, co-founder and partner at ColorJar and a former founding team member of Priceline.com, will virtually connect to speak before the event's participants.

Startup Weekend convenes active and empowered entrepreneurs to navigate the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures - all in 54 hours.  The event, held in cities all over the world, convenes local developers, graphic designers, marketing professionals, product/business managers and startup enthusiasts to build viable business plans around entrepreneurial ventures.  Startup Weekend Hartford-Ottawa is scheduled for October 18-20, 2013 and the Hartford base will hold its event at the uniquely equipped Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.  Counterparts in Ottawa have partnered with longtime sponsor and Ottawa-based startup Shopify, where the local event will be held.

“We are proud to partner with the organizers of Startup Weekend Ottawa to establish Startup Weekend Hartford-Ottawa, the first effort of its kind,” said John Shemo, vice president and director of economic development for the MetroHartford Alliance. “Both cities have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and base, and the mechanics of this transnational effort will allow all participants, especially those who opt for the joint opportunity, to harness the most innovative and advanced technologies to connect, create and compete.”

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the Hartford team on this initiative,” said Paul Austin-Menear, Marketing Director for Startup Weekend Ottawa. “We’ve found a great fit with the Startup Weekend Hartford team, both in terms of passion and in the common values that make up the secret sauce of technology entrepreneurship. The pace of change in business and technology continues to make waves in both Canada and the United States, and it’s important to us that the next generation of entrepreneurs be prepared for, and take part in the next leap forward.”

Startup Weekend begins with participants pitching their startup ideas and receiving feedback from peers. Participants are not required to pitch an idea to participate, but all are welcome to do so. Teams are then formed by participants based on the top ideas as voted on by the group.  Over the course of the subsequent 54 hours, each team focuses its energies on creating a business model and on coding, designing, and obtaining market validation for their product or service.  The weekend culminates with presentations in front of entrepreneurs and business community leaders who offer constructive feedback in the competition’s judging process.  This year, three winners will be named.

Startup Weekend Hartford events have previously incorporated speakers of inspiring caliber, including Jeff Hoffman, a founding member of Priceline.com.  Startup Weekend Hartford-Ottawa will feature Hoffman this year.

"Events and gatherings that inspire and support entrepreneurship like Startup Weekend are so vital if we are to continue to innovate, learn and grow," said Hoffman.  "I am delighted to speak again with the entrepreneurs in Hartford and looking forward to sharing the experience with their partners in Ottawa."   

The MetroHartford Alliance along with HYPE, is organizing Startup Weekend again after successfully facilitating two previous events in Hartford.  The 2012 event was the second vertical, or industry-focused event of its kind with an emphasis on health and wellness.  

Registration to participate in the Hartford base for Startup Weekend Hartford-Ottawa is $99 per person. An early bird rate of $75 is available to those registering before September 20.  A discount rate of $25 is available to college students. Meals and refreshments will be provided.

For more information or to register visit http://hartford.startupweekend.org.

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 www.metrohartford.com.

Media Contact: Meredith Gazdzinski / mgazdzinski@metrohartford.com / 860.728.2279