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Tech Startup Ideas Can Take Root at Pittsburgh Startup Weekend

This weekend budding entrepreneurs and those curious about launching a startup will gather in Pittsburgh for Startup Weekend. It’s part of a global grassroots movement that follows a basic model: participants pitch their startup ideas and they get feedback from peers. Teams form around topic ideas which are determined by votes and then comes 54 hours of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation.

“About a hundred designers, developers, storytellers and other startup enthusiasts get together, pitch ideas, vote on those ideas and work on the best of the breed throughout the weekend and get mentorship, culminating in a final pitch session on Sunday to investors, serial entrepreneurs and startup leaders,” said co-organizer Kit Mueller.

The event is open for anyone who is interested.

“It’s really for people that have been kind of talking about this idea forever and have never done anything about it,” said Mueller, “for the people who’ve always wondered what entrepreneurship would be like, for people that do the same thing over and over at work and want to flex  different muscle, or for people who just want to find out what this crazy thing called startup is.”

It’s mostly tech ideas at Startup Weekends, because of the time constraints. This is the fourth time it’s been held in Pittsburgh, but its reach goes beyond.

“Startup Weekends happen across the country and the world,” said Mueller, “everywhere from here to Afghanistan, Iraq, and they all have the same format and they all have the same intent.”

That intent is to build the startup community in host cities.

“More important than the companies that are born out of it or any investments that are made, it gets people to work together,” said Mueller. “A crazy amount of people over a 54 hour period come together, work together and really show what entrepreneurship is – the best of the breed.”

Since 2011 the Seattle-based Startup Weekend organization has held more than 400 events in 100 countries. Pittsburgh Startup Weekend runs Friday October 18 through Sunday October 20, there is a cost to attend and registration is required.