Area entrepreneurs invited to pitch ideas at third Startup Weekend at NMSU

Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University will host its third Startup Weekend Las Cruces event for current and future entrepreneurs hoping to receive feedback on their startup business idea.
Headshot of Estela Hartley.
Innovation strategist Estela Hartley will be the featured speaker at this year’s Startup Weekend Las Cruces event. (Courtesy photo)

This year’s event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and culminate with judging and awards on Nov. 15 at Arrowhead Park, 4605 Research Park Circle in Las Cruces. Tickets are $75, and tickets for high school and college students are $25. Cost includes meals, refreshments and prizes. Startup Weekend Las Cruces is the only startup event taking place in Southern New Mexico. Participants from around the region are welcome to attend.

The Startup Weekend event features teams forming around top ideas and spending 54 hours creating business models, code, design and market validation. Each team will then present their project before a panel of judges, including Bobby Lutz, NMSU alumnus, CFO and owner of G.L. Seaman and Company, and member of the NMSU Foundation Board and the Arrowhead Advisory Council; John Hummer, co-founder, executive board member and President of The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Albuquerque business owner Amy Bigbee.

The event’s featured speaker on Saturday is Estela Hartley, an innovation strategist who works with startups, established businesses and nonprofit organizations to solve complex problems and design meaningful businesses, products, and services using new frameworks, tools and practices. She will speak about customer interviews.

Hartley specializes in collecting consumer insights and designing business models and customer experiences that create new value and significantly improve outcomes for all stakeholders.
She is a native New Mexican and earned a bachelor of community health from NMSU before studying healthcare interior design at The Illinois Institute of Art – Chicago. She earned an MBA in design strategy from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Public Health Sciences at NMSU.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) is donating a $1,000 prize to the ultimate statewide winner, who will then be eligible to compete at the Global Startup Battle.

Participants may include software developers, designers and people with a background in business, marketing and public relations.

Zetdi Runyan Sloan, director of the Arrowhead Technology Incubator and lead organizer for Startup Weekend Las Cruces, said the winner of the statewide competition will not only receive regional press coverage, but national recognition as well.

“This year’s organizing team, made up of volunteers from the public and private sector, are thrilled to see so much support extended by the Las Cruces business community,” Sloan said. “Restaurantpreneurs, realtors, technologists, nonprofits and others have all recognized the benefit of encouraging entrepreneurism through events like Startup Weekend, and are actively contributing to its success as sponsors, volunteers and supporters. NMEDD’s support of this year’s Startup Weekend is very unique and, to our knowledge, is the first of its kind. We’re excited to have an opportunity like this extended to our local entrepreneurs.”

To register for Startup Weekend Las Cruces, or for more information, visithttp://lascruces.startupweekend.org. The NMSU College of Engineering has made eight scholarships available for students to attend this year’s event. For information about discounts, scholarships and sponsorships, contact Sloan at 575-646-7833 or zrunyan@nmsu.edu.

Similar events will be hosted in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of community leaders and entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. The nonprofit organization is headquartered in Seattle, but Startup Weekend organizers can be found in cities around the world.




Las Cruces joining statewide Startup Weekend

LAS CRUCES — It’s billed as 54 hours of intense training for entrepreneurs and, if you are up for the marathon, there is a chance it could launch a career.

Las Cruces is among three cities taking part in New Mexico’s Statewide Startup Weekend, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday night. This year, the third year Las Cruces has participated along wtih Albuquerque and Santa Fe, marks a change from previous years as experts from around the state and country use technology to share information among all three cities simultaneously. The event will connect all three cities, with sessions to be held at the Santa Fe Business Incubator in Santa Fe; Fat Pipe, Eipcenter & ABQid in Albuquerque; and Arrowhead Center on New Mexico State University’s campus in Las Cruces.

“Unique this year is New Mexico will be the first and only integrated statewide startup weekend,” said Zetdi Sloan, director of the technology incubator at the NMSU Arrowhead Center.

Sloan said collaboration between speakers at the three statewide events and the use of technology will bring an opportunity for all participants to benefit from the shared knowledge of the speakers presenting this weekend.

“The keynote speaker will be in northern New Mexico and webcast to all participants across the state,” Sloan said. “Santa Fe, Albuquerque, we’ll have some other guest speakers over the course of the weekend.”

Participants will begin Friday evening with brainstorming sessions to pitch ideas for development. Through a voting process, top candidates will be selected and teams formed to develop a business plan and pitch it.

The top project for each city will be selected Sunday night and will immediately go before a panel of judges. The winner will receive $2,000 in development assistance from the state’s Economic Development Department.




Etsy co-founder to speak at Las Cruces’ second annual Startup Weekend

Do you have an idea for an app, service or product that you want to explore? Get a chance to pitch the next big thing to top entrepreneurs and hear from the co-founder of one of the Internet’s most successful online marketplaces at the second annual Startup Weekend Las Cruces event Oct. 24 to 26 at New Mexico State University. 

Jared Tarbell, co-founder of the online store Etsy and a New Mexico State University graduate, will be the featured speaker for the Startup Weekend event, which will take place at the university’s Arrowhead Park and will be sponsored by Arrowhead Center, Arrowhead Development Corporation, the city of Las Cruces, General Genetics Corporation, Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, the New Mexico Economic Development Department, and many contributing sponsors.

A New Mexico native, Tarbell received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from NMSU and co-founded Etsy, an online marketplace to buy and sell handmade goods, in 2005. Located in New York, Etsy was named one of the most valuable startups in 2013 by Business Insider. The company raised $40 million to expand its international reach in 2012, and was valued at $700 million. Etsy has more than a million sellers who made $895 million on goods last year, according to Business Insider.

Tarbell also opened a high-tech toy factory earlier this month in Albuquerque called Levitated, which manufactures intricate structures from paper and wood.

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of community leaders and entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. The nonprofit organization is headquartered in Seattle, but Startup Weekend organizers can be found in cities around the world.

Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas, as determined by popular vote, and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Participants include software developers, designers and people with a background in business, marketing and public relations.

NMSU graduate student Taylor Burgett participated at the first Startup Weekend Las Cruces event in 2013. Burgett, who is pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering, won third prize with his team after creating an app to detect open parking spaces to save time finding the optimal parking at NMSU.

“Startup Weekend Las Cruces is an exciting and fun way to polish your skills,” Burgett said. “You can network with the local community and have a chance of making a real business.”

Burgett was one of several students who joined Studio G, the first university student business incubator in New Mexico, after participating in Startup Weekend.

Zetdi Runyan Sloan, program manager at Arrowhead Technology Incubator and lead organizer for Startup Weekend Las Cruces, said the purpose of the event is to create a strong culture within the community of entrepreneurship and innovation.

“A large part of our effort is just bringing the community together to build upon an already strong entrepreneurial community,” she said. “It’s an exciting event that is guaranteed to be taken to the next level with our lineup of special guests, experienced investors and serial entrepreneurs.”

Cost to attend Startup Weekend is $75 through Oct. 16 and $99 after that date. To register for Startup Weekend Las Cruces, or for more information, visit http://www.up.co/communities/usa/las-cruces/startup-weekend/4145. Students can attend for a discounted $50 entry fee. A limited number of scholarships and sponsorships are available for students and community entrepreneurs. For information about discounts, scholarships and sponsorships, contact Sloan at 575-646-7833 or zrunyan@nmsu.edu.

 

Samuel Horstman | 575.646.3082 | shorstma@nmsu.edu

 




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