Startup Weekend Denton: Maker Edition

The hardest part of starting up is starting out.

The weekend of Nov. 13 to 15 marks the 3rd annual Startup Weekend Denton. After existing in Dallas for years, we brought this event up to Denton in 2013, and it has grown exponentially every year since. Startup Weekend invites designers, developers, marketers, and students into an ideal environment for sparking that startup magic.

We support anyone who has an idea, from seasoned entrepreneurs to garage founders, to pitch and build their startup in only 54 hours with access to the best tools, experienced mentors, and surround you with smart, passionate people.

54 hours doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it’s just enough to focus one idea over the course of a weekend. We start on Friday night, giving you 60 seconds to pitch your idea to a room full of strangers, then form a team, build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), research and produce a business plan, and pitch to a panel of judges on Sunday night for various prizes, bragging rights, and ideally, with a well-rounded foundation to potentially launch your startup on Monday.

We’re incredibly passionate about supporting the community in starting companies and building great products, and Startup Weekend gives you 54 hour test drive of entrepreneurship. It’s not just about writing code, building business plans or designing logos — it’s about exploring your ideas and finding others in your community you can connect with.

Maybe you’ll meet your next co-founder or a potential investor — the possibilities are endless.

This particular weekend is a little different than previous years. In the past, we’ve organized a number of generic Startup Weekend events throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area that are open to any category of ideas. Recently, we started introducing vertical themed events like Health and Women, but because we’re Denton, we have something a little different in mind. In light of the increased maker activity here, such as a group pursuing to build a local makespace, organizing the first Denton Mini Maker Faire, and a local startup, Kubos, building nano-satellites to go into space, it was only appropriate that we kick off our first Maker edition, the first in North Texas.

Startup Weekend will be hosted at The Factory, the University of North Texas’ on-campus makerspace that provides students with access to 3D printers, hardware components, plug-n-play microprocessors and tools to help them build their own hardware projects, and they are happily opening up.

On top of this, we also will have the support of incredible sponsors providing hardware and services like Intel, Softlayer, PolyPrinter, and a Dallas startup that recently raised $6.5 million for its connected car device, Vinli. To say the least, we’ll have a lot of resources to build with over the weekend.

We’re also one of the many events around the globe kicking off the Global Startup Battle that is happening during Global Entrepreneurship Week, which starts Nov. 16. Not only will we have prizes locally, but also teams can compete in a specific track by uploading a 60-second video of their startup that will get voted on at a regional and global level. Some of these tracks focus on mobile-based apps, disrupting products, and companies focused on improving the lives of others.

Earlier this year, TechStars acquired UP Global, the organization that owns Startup Weekend and a number of other programs, adding value to their already incredible set of resources that empowers and educates entrepreneurs all over the world. TechStars is known for its three-month mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides capital for equity, similar to Dallas based TechWildcatters. This is incredibly exciting for all Startup Weekend attendees because if you have a really great idea, you definitely will get noticed and are one step closer to raising capital.

We’ll see you this weekend, Nov. 13-15 at The Factory at UNT. You can register for a ticket at http://denton.up.co or talk to your local tech meet-up organizers for a discount code. Currently, it’s $99 to participate and $25 to watch the demonstrations Sunday.

For LaunchDFW readers, you can use the code LDFW for 25% off your ticket!

Originally published at DentonRC.com on November 11, 2015.

Sarah White
sarah@zerologic.com