Ohio University’s Innovation Center Startup Weekend is back and ready for more creative and inventive entrepreneur action.

The event begins Friday and goes through Sunday.

“It’s not just about the idea, it’s about the team,” said Jennifer Simon, director of the OU Innovation Center in a news release. “Startup Weekend is hands-down the best way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, participants can build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.”

Participants in Startup Weekend begin Friday evening by pitching their original ideas to those in attendance and/or listening to other proposed concepts. Teams are then formed around the ideas presented and spend the day Saturday contemplating the business strategy and developing the idea from the ground up.

Coaches with varying expertise are on hand during the weekend to help teams strategize and assist the team on its way to meeting goals and overcoming obstacles that present themselves.

Sunday night, demonstrations are made and presentations are judged. Prizes are then awarded to the top three teams.

Last year’s top prize went to a team who developed the idea of linking tenants to those who may want to sublease their space. The simple leasing philosophy was designed to help students find someone to rent their space as they head off to internships or leave the area for the summer. A website would list available spaces by location and have a search function. Payments could be made through the website. It was estimated that $39,000 could be made in the first year with a hope of $172,000 in year two.

Registration is $50 and includes the program activities plus meals during the weekend. Check-in is at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Innovation Center at 340 W. State St. The event concludes at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25.

This year’s speaker is Mike Blackwell, former CEO of ShareThis. Judges include Carl Wooten, CEO of Dovetail Health, Larry Triplett, co-founder of Resource Systems, Stacia Taylor, CEO of ATW Business Inc., Vic Matta, an associate professor in the College of Business at OU, Jennifer L’Heureux, owner of Nelsonville Emporium and Ben Lachman, a principal of Nice Mohawk Limited.

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