During a time tense with division and despair, it seems even more vital for the community to foster creativity, collaboration, innovation, and positive change. Enter Startup Weekend Santa Cruz…
Starting on November 18th, 2016, Startup Weekend Santa Cruz will offer a 3 day event for anyone interested in teaming up to bring creative ideas into form and make changes in local and global communities. The event will focus on Sustainable Solutions and Social Impact to encourage attendance from people with diverse backgrounds and different interests and areas of expertise to create and share ideas that can change Santa Cruz or the world for the better. Startup Weekend will provide a unique opportunity for designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and changemakers throughout Santa Cruz County to gain insight and experience for growing a social enterprise, engage with like-minded people, and expand professional resources.
Startup Weekend Santa Cruz is part of Global Startup Weekend, a worldwide event for the best startup ideas created in a weekend. As of 2014, this entrepreneurial community hosted 80,000 past attendees at 905 weekend events in 501 cities within 135 countries. While it is a global franchise, the upcoming Startup Weekend event is organized by a team of volunteers currently living or working in Santa Cruz. These community leaders include Melissa Ott, Kevin Le, Jax Puliatti, Katie Roper, Hasti Afsarifard, Jeffrey Priebe, and Tom Beckett – all passionate advocates for bringing people together to share knowledge and develop new startups that bring about positive change.
The workshop will be held at NextSpace, a community-oriented, shared office space for Santa Cruz professionals. The weekend activities will include startup pitches, prototype building, customer development, and mentor feedback from experts. Those with a social enterprise startup in mind will have 60 seconds to pitch startup ideas (although pitching is not required) around the concept of sustainable solutions and social impact. Participants vote for their favorites, form teams around the ideas, and create working models with the wellbeing of local and global people, ecological resources, and economic vitality in mind.
At 5 pm on Sunday the 20th, the teams that formed on Friday will present their official 5 minute pitches to a panel of judges and an audience at the Museum of Art and History. At this point, anyone interested in supporting social entrepreneurship in Santa Cruz is welcome to attend along with the full weekend participants. Participants have 5 minutes to present their discoveries from the workshop, which will be evaluated by judges based on execution, design, functionality, and feasibility. As judges deliberate at the end, there will be a crowd favorite vote, followed by awards designed to add value to the winning social enterprise startup teams.
There are only 100 tickets available for the workshop (the cost of tickets directly covers the cost of attendance, plus food!) The final pitch series and awards event held at the MAH are FREE to attend for those wishing to vote for the best social enterprise startup.
Startup Weekend Santa Cruz: Sustainable Solutions and Social Impact: November 18 – November 20, 2016.
Visit the Startup Weekend Santa Cruz website for more information and to purchase tickets for the upcoming event.