Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.
Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.
Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.
Why attend a Startup Weekend event?
Call us biased, but we think that there are dozens of reasons why you should come to a Startup Weekend! Since we know your time is valuable, we’ll only list the top eight:
Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.
Build your network:
This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.
We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.
Learn a new skill:
Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
Actually launch a business:
Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
Get face time with thought leaders:
Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
Save money & get stuff:
Startup Weekends typically cost between $75 and $150 (less for students). Startup Weekend Rockford is just $50 ($35 for students) when registering now! Your ticket covers seven (7) meals, snacks, access to exclusive resources from our sponsors, and of course, all the coffee you can drink.
Join a global community:
Join over 45,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.
The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.
Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!
Michael J. Baima is an attorney in Reinhart's Intellectual Property Practice. Prior to becoming a patent attorney, Michael was employed at Watlow Electric Manufacturing as a product engineer, and focused on product development in the semiconductor and food processing industries. While at Watlow Electric in 2005, Michael designed a modular product system, reducing delivery from three weeks to one day.
Michael served in the Illinois Army National Guard for ten years. During that time, he served as a Platoon Leader in an air defense artillery unit, a Company Executive Officer of a combat engineering unit, and an assistant to the Judge Advocate General Corps. Michael also successfully completed U.S. Army Airborne school.
Jeffrey J. Kaney, Sr., is the founder and CEO of the Kaney Group, LLC. The Kaney Group is a collection of inter-related companies, which includes commercial Real Estate (Kaney Aviation Properties, LLC), Aerospace Engineering (Kaney Aerospace, Inc.), Precision Manufacturing (Ardekin Precision, LLC. and Kaney Aerospace Repair Station, LLC.) and Capital Funding (Kaney Capital, LLC.). The Kaney Group has holdings in 8 states and offices in Rockford IL, and Seattle WA.
As a senior manager in Wipfli’s tax practice, Dobbs provides tax planning and compliance services to companies of all sizes, with an emphasis on businesses in the health care and manufacturing industries. He proactively assists his clients with reducing their overall tax exposure while reviewing the cash flow effects on their businesses. Dobbs also provides compensation planning and strategic services to health care entities.
As a certified public accountant and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Dobbs also offers guidance to his individual clients while providing tax, retirement, estate, and risk management planning and working closely with them to determine their current and long-term goals.
Dobbs is a member of the ICPAS, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Financial Planning Association, and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Melissa has over 15 years of Aerospace experience in Contracts and Administration. Her main customer Embraer in Brasilia was her favorite customer and it still is her favorite jet. Her first love is and will always be Aerospace. It is where she was groomed to be the very best. And where many friends still work.
After 15 years in Aerospace, she began a career in Commercial Real Estate where she found tremendous success and developed tremendous relationships.
After 8 years in real estate, she was recruited and enticed into small business banking and further developed her knowledge of real estate by learning about credit and lending to small to medium scale commercial clients in the 0 to 5 million space utilizing consultative selling skills and salesforce leads. She was successful and developed amazing relationships with small business owners who she loves to serve and help.
Now, she is adding business lending to small businesses to her portfolio. She can lend in several counties including Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, Rock, Bureau, and more.
She enjoys leadership activities and serving her community and sits on several boards and committees. She has an MBA from Rockford University.
For fun, she is learning how to golf. She has completed 9 marathons. Leadership Traits: Go Getter, Compassionate, Discerning, Intelligent and her best know trait : kindness to others.
Asterius Media LLC delivers technical and managerial expertise to organizations who are transforming themselves using innovative technology. The issues surrounding new application platforms, delivery models, and torrents of new media and communications channels can be daunting. Most simply do not know what they don’t know.
As the founder and chief consultant, he deliver projects that combine years of experience and expertise in change processes, strategic planning, systems design, and software development. He takes engineering discipline, combine it with business savvy and focus on emerging technologies that affect marketing processes, communications channels, and corporate IT infrastructures.
Whether it’s personalized one-to-one campaigns to customer relationship and experience management, digital asset content management to enterprise systems integration he has done it and can deliver that expertise to new problems.
Sparked by technology and the vast potential it offers, He is an observer, participant, evaluator and contributor of ideas. There is a responsibility to understand the use and application of technology and the effects on society, cultures and life. Technology can be found all around us. These effects have a great and powerful reach ranging to our youth, environmental conditions and even our evolution. He is fascinated by the response and direction individuals move in regards to the advances. Challenges are present in the form of misunderstanding, access, and the digital divide to name a few. These challenges exist within the US and around the world. As an active member of society, he supports the ethical development and deployment of technology to advance our lives and enhance all areas of education, growth and prosperity.