Workbar opened the doors of its new Central Square location in May, and is now preparing to welcome in 100 of Boston’s most intrepid innovators. Startup Weekend is returning to the Hub on Friday, complete with coaches and sponsors willing to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into realities, and all within 54 hours.
Although all participants are encouraged to pitch a concept, teams will organically form around the top ideas, which are determined by popular vote. From there, groups have 54 hours to code, design and then validate their business model before stepping in front of a panel of five judges.
This year’s panel includes: Bobbie Carlton, founder of Carlton PR and Marketing; Joe Caruso, owner of the Bantam Group; Andy Miller, director of innovation at Constant Contact; Evonne Johnson, venture investor at Charles River Ventures; and Suhrid Wadekar, an associate at Goodwin Procter.
The bonus of Startup Weekend is that entrepreneurs don’t need to walk away with fully-fledged companies to get the most out of the event. Others leave with future co-founders or a set of skills they wouldn’t have acquired during their typical 9-5.
“Several teams from our last few events applied to, and were accepted into, this year’s MassChallenge class,” said Ethan Bagley, leader of the Startup Weekend organizing team, in a release. “That’s the power Startup Weekend events have—bringing people together to build something amazing.”
Last year’s winner of Startup Weekend was Ashalytics, an early warning system focused on addressing health problems in developing nations through mobile analytics. The team, led by Fulbright Scholar Minhaj Chowdhury, won almost $5,000 worth of final prizes.
This weekend’s festivities kick off on Friday night at 6 p.m. Those looking for transportation to the event can receive $10 off rides through Sidecar. The new on-demand ride-sharing app is offering discounts to Startup Weekend participants through the code “SUWEEKEND.”
Final presentations will take place on Sunday at 6:30 p.m., with judging and awards happening an hour later. Although “Sunday Only” tickets are sold out, the organizing team is still looking for more designers and developers to participate. To register, click here.