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Created In The Corridor

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Created in the Corridor: Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids

Updated: Thursday, February 20 2014, 05:28 AM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) - Every home-grown company featured on Created in the Corridor began with a great idea. But building a business around an idea can't be done in a vacuum.  It takes a network and teamwork to make it real. If you have an idea but don't know where to start, Startup Weekend is coming to Cedar Rapids.

“There’s a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of people interested in entrepreneurship. That conversation has been happening now for a couple of years,” says Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids organizer David Tominsky.  He describes Startup Weekend as the easiest way to try entrepreneurship with very little risk. You simply come with an idea, mobilize into teams and try to make that idea into a viable business...all within fifty-four hours. It's a community-oriented event and Tominsky is looking for a diverse audience; “Technical people, people with an eye for design, idea people, you know people that will go out and seek customer feedback.”

“I went to Startup Weekend not thinking I was going to start another company,” says John Schnipkoweit, who created RecBob - a sports team organizing website - from a Startup Weekend in Iowa City. That company then evolved into the personal fitness tracking site, Nextstep.io. But Schnipkoweit makes it clear that Startup Weekend isn't just for tech geeks. “People are like, well, I don’t know anything about technology, why would I go to a Startup Weekend?  There are people that have done Startup Weekend that have designed a new chair,” says the Corridor CEO.

“This is about being receptive to new ideas,” explains Cedar Rapids City Manager, Jeff Pomeranz. Serving as a judge for the event, Pomeranz says there will also be mentors available for those who attend so no one should
feel intimidated. “This is going to be a great group of individuals that have a lot of business expertise and they’re really there to help at this Startup Weekend;  to listen, to learn, to advise, to mentor, to coach.”

Even if you don't consider yourself an entrepreneur, February 28 through March 2 will be a great weekend to build your network, says Tominsky. “If you’ve got an idea and you don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur, I absolutely encourage that person to come because what we’ll do is we’ll put them around people that are successful entrepreneurs, people that have complementary skills and we’ll figure out if that idea can work.”

The event will take place at the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. Vault Co-Working will give the winning team a three month membership to the space. In addition, Google and Amazon will provide access to technical training.

All the information with the complete schedule for Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids is in the News Links section of this website. Created in the Corridor: Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids


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