2017-09-07 / Top News

Entrepreneurs Weekend set in Southwest Florida

Local entrepreneurs will build real companies from scratch during Startup Weekend, an entrepreneurial program that already has been held in 700 cities worldwide.

The inaugural Southwest Florida Startup Weekend is set for Oct. 6-8 at Endeavor Innovative Workspaces, an office hub at 8831 Business Park Drive in Fort Myers.

Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business-plan development and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demonstrations and presentations to a seasoned panel of investors and entrepreneurs.

“This is exactly the kind of entrepreneur focused event we envisioned for Endeavor because it already is a hub for more than 50 fast-growing businesses,” Bjorn Rosinus, CEO of Endeavor Innovative Workspaces, said.

To open Startup Weekend, approximately 75 startup entrepreneurs will make one-minute pitches to each other and create 10 to 15 teams after they’ve selected the best ideas to pursue. Experienced entrepreneurs will pitch in to help mentor the teams and provide guidance throughout the weekend.

Startup Weekend is run by local organizers in 700 cities and 150 countries worldwide with help from Techstars, an entrepreneur network that provides a facilitator for each event. Speakers and judges for Startup Weekend in Fort Myers will include Louis Bruno, president of Bruno Air Conditioning; Norman Love, president and founder of Norman Love Confections; and Bud Stoddard, a serial entrepreneur and founding member of Tamiami Angel Funds.

Although venture-capital investors will be present at Startup Weekend, entrepreneurs will not be competing for investments. However, noncash prizes such as branding consultations, website development and office space will be awarded to the winners.

Sponsorships are available from $500 to $10,000. For more information, contact Kenneth Bupp, Endeavor Innovative Workspaces COO, by calling 785- 3399 or emailing ken@endeavorworkspaces.com.

Registration for Startup Weekend is $70 ($25 for students). To reserve a space, go to www.startupweekend.org/ and type “Fort Myers” in the search field. ¦

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