SWVC 2017 Product Sponsorship by Zebra Technologies

Startup Weekend Ventura County (SWVC) announced that Zebra Technologies, a global leader in providing solutions and services that gives enterprises real-time visibility into their operations, will be SWVC 2017’s product sponsor. SWVC 2017, organized by the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals, will be held at Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo, California on April 21-23, 2017.

SWVC 2017 will bring together entrepreneurs from healthcare and agriculture end-user sponsors (Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals, Ventura County Medical Center, Limoneira, Bonipak and Reiter Affiliated Companies) and team them up with subject matter experts, healthcare professionals, agriculturalists, physicians, farmers and engineering/business students from universities like UCSB, Cal Poly, CSUN, CSUCI and Cal Lutheran. Teams with the most promising ideas addressing the challenges faced by the healthcare and agricultural industries will develop proof of concepts over the weekend and present their work to a judging panel made up of senior executives including Zebra Senior Vice President, Hugh Gagnier. Winning ideas and concepts will then have the opportunity to be funded.

Continue reading: Zebra Sponsorship

SWVC 2017 Technology Sponsorship by Semtech

Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq:SMTC), a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, today announced it is the technology sponsor of Startup Weekend Ventura County 2017 at Rancho Campana High School, April 21-23, in Camarillo, Calif.  The event is focused on providing solutions to healthcare and agricultural challenges specific to the region, as well as stimulating the area’s startup community.

Semtech, headquartered in Camarillo, will provide participants complete developer kits, featuring its LoRa® Devices and Wireless RF Technology for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and LinkCharge™ wireless charging systems, as well as onsite engineering assistance during the 54-hour event. In addition, Semtech will award a $15,000 cash prize, mentorship and resources, to a winning company from each category (agriculture and healthcare).

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SWVC 2017 Cash Awards

Startup Weekend Ventura County (SWVC) announces today that SWVC 2017 will offer two cash awards as seed money, $10,000 to the most likely to succeed startup in healthcare and $10,000 to the most likely to succeed startup in agriculture. The winners will be selected by a panel of judges made up primarily of CEOs of local corporations. The awards will carry no interest or repayment obligations. The winner must incorporate to receive the money.

Continue reading: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/12/prweb13951692.htm

Tackle Challenges provided by End Users

Startup Weekend Ventura County (SWVC) announces today that a list of healthcare challenges and a list of agriculture challenges are now available on Camarillo Chamber’s web site (http://www.camarillochamber.org). These challenges are provided to SWVC by the rank and file of Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals, Ventura County Medical Center, Limoneira, Boniak and Reiter Affiliated Companies. SWVC 2017 will bring intrapreneurs from end user sponsors and team them with entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, healthcare professionals, agriculturalists, physicians, farmers and engineering/business students from nearby universities to address these and other challenges. Teams with innovative solutions will develop proof of concepts over the weekend and present the results of their work to a judge panel. The CEOs of SWVC’s end user sponsors and other technology CEOs will be on this judge panel. The best in class winner will receive an in-kind award book worth over $3,000. The most likely to succeed winner will receive cash prizes of up to $25,000. For details, visit http://www.startupweekendventuracounty.com. SWVC 2017, organized by Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals will be held at Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo, California on April 21-23.

Continue reading: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/02/prweb14060576.htm

Description of a Founder

In an article by Larry Kim, Founder & CTO of Worldstream called “how to build a great tech company that VCs will love“, he quoted Sarah Hodges of Pillar Venture Capital on what she looks for in founders. Three take-away are:
“To be successful, they have to have a clear understanding of what they’re aiming for, and why it matters. It starts with being purposeful about the culture you’re building from day zero, and continues with being intentional about communicating how your business and its needs are changing.”
“Some of the best founders I know are the ones who have a profound understanding of a market and deep empathy for a specific customer pain point.”
“Building a successful company requires getting the right people on board – recruiting employees to join your team, convincing advisors to lend their support, selling to customers. People want to rally behind leaders with an inspiring vision. Successful founders have the ability to sell their mission, developing relationships with people who elevate their game. They’re people who blow through walls in the face of adversity, and actively seeking out advice to broaden their perspectives.”

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Avoid the Regret

Not pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity – inaction – may produce a sense of loss when someone else successfully develops the idea or when the entrepreneur looks back wondering what might have been had that entrepreneur only given it a try. (Economics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, IRMA, 2015, p. 135)

Startups fail every day. The risk of failure is a serious barrier to entry for potential entrepreneurs. In some cases the failure falls squarely on the shoulders of those that had the idea in the first place. CB Insights found that 42% of startups fail because of no market need, also known as a solution looking for a problem. I would imagine the majority of these ideas were never properly validated, and there’s no excuse for skipping that crucial step. As Rudyard Kipling once said “We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.”

Sometimes the idea is fantastic but is executed bigger or better by a competitor. As long as they did everything they could, that’s not the fault of those that failed, it’s just something that happened. According to CB Insights, 19% of startups fail because they get out-competed. As Jean-Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.”

But what about failure to start? How many startups fail because their would-be founder never pursued their idea?

There are so many excuses.

“Someone else is already doing that…”

So what?! Then you should do it better to make sure YOUR idea comes to life in the right way.

“I don’t have time…”

This should actually say “it’s not a priority…”

“I’m the wrong age for that…”

The average age of the founders of Workday, a $1.16 billion, publicly traded, cloud-based financial management and human capital management software company was 52. Vivek Wadhwa and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, the Kauffman Foundation, and the Founder Institute have all done extensive research on this, and they found that founders 55 and older are two times more likely to launch a high-growth startup. Turns out you’re not too old after all.

“I’m afraid to fail…”

We’re all afraid, to differing degrees, of failure. It’s usually not an uplifting experience. Fear of failure is reasonable, but succumbing to it is not. We’re all afraid of something. Richard Branson is “generally a shy person” and is afraid of public speaking. Yes, the same Richard Branson that dressed in drag and served passengers on an Air Asia flight, is SHY and AFRAID of public speaking. Imagine the sheer size of his regret if he hadn’t said to hell with it 50+ years ago.

According to this author on PsyBlog “Regret isn’t just a backward-looking emotion, it also looks forward and it can be a terribly powerful emotion which affects our behavior in the here and now.” They also go on to say that anticipated regret (or how bad you think you’re going to feel if you fail) is usually stronger than the real regret that comes with failure! Because of this, we avoid taking risks, we avoid taking chances, and we play it safe as much and as often as we can.

I’m not telling anyone to go base jumping or squander their life savings on beanie babies, but what I am telling you is that failure happens and it’s OK. In fact, there are so many instances of failure spurring people on to amazing success:

  • J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times by various publishers.
  • Reed Hasting’s first iteration of Netflix was a total failure.
  • Oprah was told she was “too emotional” when she was fired from her first TV job.
  • James Dyson amassed 5,126 failed prototypes before perfecting his vacuum (he’s worth $4.5 billion these days).
  • Colonel Harlan Sanders had to pitch to over 1,000 potential investors before, at the age of 68, he finally hooked one.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a list I’d be happy to count myself a part of.

Eliminate your excuses.

Get a head start on turning your idea into a business.

Get help, get support, and get going. What are you waiting for? 

Register for Startup Weekend Louisville #10 – Right Now!

Help! The Front Range Needs You! Colorado’s Third Smart City / IoT Startup Weekend Returns To Denver.

So the message has spread and every city, community, school and hospital is wanting to be smarter.  The challenge?  Boots on the ground, ideas combining and prototypes to innovate from.  It seems the technology is all here, much is even free and cloud accessible.  The future is here, it’s just patches.  Our goal is to grow, combine and extend these patches into viable startups – businesses, social enterprises, products, services or just pure genius innovation.

The answer? Startup Weekend where we will give the tools, the skills, the coaching and combining of ideas and the deployment of real innovation by exaptation.

last years startup weekend images
The 2016 Winners

Join us at the Third Denver Startup Weekend where we get serious about working on innovation.


To widen the focus from simply being another pitch fest, we are looking to give awards for innovation, team collaboration, technology mastery, adaptation and design.  So your work will be augmented by crucial advice, designs and patterns will be clarified, documented, tested and critiqued by some of the industry’s best minds.  We want your go to market proposition to be strong, scalable and resilient.


Startup Weekend Mobile FAQ

So, it’s like a local Shark Tank?
Not exactly. On Shark Tank, people pitch businesses they’ve been building for a while in the hopes of finding an investor. During Startup Weekend, we’ll help folks figure out how to take their raw ideas and turn them into businesses. Instead of awarding cash, we’ve put together prize packages full of resources like free legal support, web design and coworking space – all the things the winners will need to get their new businesses off the ground.

But what if I don’t have some amazing idea?
Register anyway! The folks who do have amazing ideas are going to need some equally amazing teammates. Jump in with both feet to help them make it happen. It’s a fun challenge, a great learning experience and yields much deeper connections than the average networking event.

So I have to make a PowerPoint or something?
Nope – During the Friday night kickoff, it’s just you, a mic and 60 seconds. Sell us on your idea and tell us what kind of help you need to make it happen. If your idea advances, you and your team will have all weekend to perfect the pitch deck you’ll present during the finals.

What if my idea doesn’t advance into the finals?
Don’t leave! Join another team and get to work. You’ll learn by doing and walk away much better prepared to take another stab at your own idea.

But I don’t really know much about business stuff…
Perfect. This event is where techies and non-techies come together to learn and collaborate. You’ll have great leaders, coaches and teammates who can bring you up to speed on the pieces of the puzzle you’re still missing.

Does it really go all weekend long?
Basically. You’ll go home and sleep in your own bed each night, but you’ll definitely be in the zone the rest of the time. That’s why we supply all your meals and coffee!

So, is it expensive?
Heck no. Just $50 for a fun challenge, solid education and amazing networking with all meals included – really delicious local stuff, too. Register now at bit.ly/2n70Vyz!

Announcing Startup Weekend Maker Edition Keynote Speaker: Ed Colgate, Co-Founder of TANVAS


We are thrilled to announce Ed Colgate as Keynote Speaker for Startup Weekend Maker Edition. Ed has dedicated most of his career to the study of haptic interface, and is considered one of the leading scholars in the field. As a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, Ed has maintained a robust research program that has led to two previous spin-off companies: Cobotics (acquired by The Stanley Works in 2002), and Kinea Design (acquired by HDT Robotics in 2011). He is a prolific inventor with twenty-five issued patents and several more pending. He is recognized for seminal contributions to the design and control of haptic interfaces, and in 2007 was selected as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics. In recent years, he has focused on Surface Haptics and developing the technological foundation for Tanvas

What’s Tanvas? Tanvas technology adds a new dimension; the realistic sense of touch, so you can feel dynamic textures with the swipe of a finger. The major shortcoming of a touchscreen is that it’s a screen—flat, glassy, cold. Tanvas is a new technology that imbues displays with haptics to simulate how the things you see on screen feels in the real world. As Tanvas explains it, all the magic happens between your fingers and the screen. Using electrostatic fields to create friction, the company can simulate different textures like choppy, grainy, fine, and wavy, transforming a touchscreen from something you simply touch into something you can actually feel. Don’t believe me?


Tanvas Video

Join us for Startup Weekend Maker Edition kicking off this Friday at mHUB Chicago! You don’t want to miss out on hearing from one of the World’s leading inventors as he shares his journey to entrepreneurship and the future of Touch! 

Get your tickets here! 

mHUB, Chicago’s Premier Center for Manufacturing Innovation, plays host to Startup Weekend

The newest edition to Chicago’s tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem, mHUB, will play host to Startup Weekend Chicago Maker Edition on March 10-12th! mHUB is an innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing, supported by a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, manufacturers, investors, mentors, engineers, and designers, as well as education and industry partners. You can learn more about mHUB membership here. 

Located in the modest surrounding of 965 W. Chicago Ave, mHUB boasts a state of art facility with 63,000 square feet of creativity and innovation containing fabrication labs and supplies for electronics, plastics, metals, textiles and rapid prototyping. No matter how big or small, mHUB has everything you need to bring to life your product! Whether your idea is in robotics, connected devices, sensors, energy tech, unmanned vehicles or something so revolutionary there isn’t even a name for it yet, mHUB is the place to make it happen! 

This is your chance to launch a hardware startup at Chicago’s premier center for innovation with Startup Weekend Chicago. Don’t wait, Get your tickets today! Startup Weekend Maker Edition begins this Friday March 10th!