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Join past winners, first-timers for Columbia’s third Startup Weekend

Columbia will take its third Startup Weekend spin this week, kicking things off with a party Thursday.

It’s that time of year again, when Columbia’s eager and willing come together for a weekend of unbridled creativity and collaboration channeled to build viable startup ventures.

Entering its third year, Startup Weekend Columbia will once again take place at Museao this week. The weekend—using the formula developed by the international Startup Weekend program—will consist of 54 hours of planning, development, execution and branding of products based off ideas pitched at the beginning of the three-day event. Participation is capped at 125 and roughly 22 teams will assemble. 

The pre-event party will take place Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at Quinton’s in downtown Columbia. Friday will kick off with brainstorming and idea pitches from 6-9 p.m. An idea must be pitched effectively in 60 seconds or less, with most of the teams forming around the most popular ideas. 

On Saturday, teams get down to business—building, coding and designing away with hopes of creating a usable product. Sunday includes finals calls from the teams for expertise, pitch coaching and practice, presentation prep and final presentations to judges before awards are given. 

About 20 mentors will be on hand to help with technological issues, market identification and so on. 

Along with those experienced with the startup scene, participants’ backgrounds run the gamut, from the technical to the non-technical. The event draws a surprising number of students from area schools, such as the University of Missouri, every year, according to Heidi Fuhrman, one of Columbia Startup Weekend’s organizers. 

“We want passionate people who know about their fields,” said Fuhrman, who added the event seeks to “bring in more individuals with different strengths.”

A trend around Startup Weekend Columbia involves past participants returning and helping with subsequent events, such as Zapier, Influence & Co. and Fundrunners—Zapier won in 2011, Fundrunners won last year.

The event is $99 for participants and $49 for students. For further information on registration and more, visit the Startup Weekend Columbia website. For more reasons to attend Startup Weekend Columbia, read adventur.es founder Brent Beshore’s column in the Columbia Daily Tribune.


Credits: Screenshot from Startup Weekend Columbia website.

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