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Startup Weekend is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, USA, that organizes 54-hour weekend events during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening. Startup Weekend has grown into an organization with a global presence. As of April 2013, 1068 events had been held, involving over 100,000 entrepreneurs across more than 400 cities in over 100 countries and over 8190 startups have been created. The Kauffman Foundation, Google and Microsoft are sponsors.
Founded in 2007 in Boulder, Colorado by Andrew Hyde, Startup Weekend was initially created as an event where a group of individuals would brainstorm a single business idea and work to bring that business to fruition over the course of the weekend. Due in large part to complications around ownership and equity sharing brought to light in the later half of 2007 by the second Startup Weekend in Toronto, Ontario, a new company, Startup Weekend LLC, was formed and the idea quickly began to evolve into its current form (see 'The Event Model' below.) In June 2009, Marc Nager and Clint Nelsen took over full ownership and registered the organization as a not-for-profit, relocating to Seattle. As of the acquisition, Startup Weekend had organized approximately 34 events in the USA and Canada. In February 2010, Franck Nouyrigat joined as a Co-Director and CTO. In the fall of 2010, Startup Weekend gained 501c3 status and received a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. By December 2010, the organization was composed of 8 full-time employees, over 15 'Key Facilitators', and more than 100 local organizers. In 2011, Startup Weekend launched the StartUp Foundation Initiative in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In June 2012, Startup Weekend opened its first regional offices in London and Mexico City.
Startup Weekend events span the course of a weekend (approximately 54 hours), and are generally composed of 60-120 participants (although events in the past have averaged 13-300+). In addition to attendees (otherwise known as 'Weekend Warriors'), the event attracts speakers, coaches, panelists (generally well-respected members of the local startup community or notable names in the tech industry), and various sponsors and company representatives.
Global Startup Battle
Startup Weekend launched the Global Startup Battle in 2011 during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The 2012 battle included 10,000+ participants, 1,200+ teams, taking place in 100+ cities around the world. Global Startup Battle has three phases: First, the team must win the local Startup Weekend. Second, the team must win a Facebook popularity contest by receive votes. Only the top 15 teams move on to the final stage. The final stage is a judging panel.
Awards & recognition
In February 2011, Startup Weekend was featured on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine.
In November, 2010, Startup Weekend was listed in Forbes as a "Name You Need to Know In 2011".
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