The Countdown Begins: 16 days to Startup Weekend October 3, 2012 RICCentre By: Fatema Fatakdawala Many of us in the Peel Region haven’t heard of or do not fully understand what Startup Weekend is…there are probably several definitions of the event on Google or Wikipedia but my favourite description is as follows: you take a bunch of people with ideas and lock them in a room for 54 hours until the create something (Jay Donovan, Techcrunch). It’s an intense and fun-filled 54 hours but if you play your cards right, it’s also a major opportunity. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a great idea, then use this as an excuse to find new talent for your team. If you feel you have enough talent on your team already; I would use the weekend to build long-lasting relationships with the startup community – I’m sure the people you meet and spend a whole weekend with will remember you! If you have an existing startup that’s on its exponential growth phase, I am guessing you probably have your hands full and weekends booked. But here’s a special shoutout to you (and if you can’t make it, send someone from your team) – I can guarantee that you will walk away with new friends and new lessons by attending Startup Weekend. So for the truly newbies, the event will go something like this: About 100 people will gather in the Main Auditorium of Sheridan College, HMC Campus on Friday, Oct 19th at 6pm. After hearing the kick-off welcome by digital marketer and social media guru, Darrell Keezer and an overview of the weekend by the organizers, teams will get straight down to work. Open mike pitches and idea library generation will be followed by voting and team formation. Over Saturday and Sunday, the multi-talented teams (designers, developers, marketers, entrepreneurs) will focus and get expert mentoring on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. Check out our Mentors here. On Sunday evening, teams will demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from our Judges and one lucky winner will walk away with our $1000 grand prize! Oh, I almost forget to mention; we wil be giving out Peel Startup Weekend exclusive S.W.A.G bags to each participant. I will leave the contents of the bag a surprise for you to find out. See you there! So what are you waiting for? REGISTER NOW. Also, if you’re a student, enter the promotional code ‘student’ and enjoy a 50% discount! Fatema joins the RIC team as the Communications Officer responsible for marketing, social media, event and web management. She is a graduate student pursuing her final year in the Master of Biotechnology program at the University of Toronto Mississauga. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.