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Some came with a well thought out plan. Some came with an idea on the back of a cocktail napkin. Still others came in search of a business resource – like a marketing expert or a front-end programmer.  All came out of curiosity and the desire to see if there was another path they could take—a path that didn’t include their current job (and, in some cases, current schooling).  After participating in Startup Weekend Fredericksburg, most everyone walked away more than satisfied.

On September 26-28 of 2014, Startup Weekend Fredericksburg is hosting its third annual event.  Whether you have an idea you want to work on, get some input on, or build a team around, or you want to help someone else build their idea, you’ll want be there.

Win Harrington is a Fredericksburg native who has been programming for government defense contractors for two decades. Win was tired of the commute on I-95 and recognized his quality of life was framed by his windshield as he made the daily trek to and from Northern Virginia. Wanting to connect with people in the area who were pursuing entrepreneurial dreams and visions, Win signed up for the first Startup Weekend in June 2012.  Here’s his experience:

“Frankly, I had never heard of Startup Weekend. I only went because one of the organizers encouraged me to attend and I went with no expectations. By Saturday night, I’d joined a team with a really interesting idea and was coding non-stop.  It was exhausting and exhilarating – exhilarating to be in a great big room packed with people who wanted to meet other people that were also sick of the commute and ready to try something else. I couldn’t believe that in one weekend, nine teams formed and actually built businesses! The best part was on Sunday when the teams pitched their businesses and ideas to real VCs – people who have looked at hundreds and hundreds of deals and gave their honest opinion of the ideas that were pitched.  It wasn’t crazy reality TV like ‘Shark Tank’ – it was honest to goodness business world feedback. And some of the teams actually went on to form LLCs and started generating revenue! Amazing! Oh, and I had no idea that all the meals were going to be included, too – they took care of every little detail the whole weekend.”

To hear from more Startup Weekend Fredericksburg “veterans” and to get on the mailing list to hear about pre-weekend “boot camps” that cover things like what to expect over the weekend, best practices for pitching an idea, advance preparation recommendations, etc., sign-up for our newsletter. We promise not to bombard you with spam and we look forward to having you participate in the third Startup Weekend Fredericksburg this fall – September 26-28.

Andrew Curtis