Hey Entrepreneurs: Buffalo Startup Weekend Is Almost Here!

A lot of us think about starting our own business. We experience a burst of inspiration, a sudden vision about a market gap we could fill. We are almost surprised to realize that we have the market-tested skills to make this work. We stare at the walls of our offices and fantasize about how delicious it would be to stop working for The Man.

Buffalo Startup Weekend offers an opportunity to get a taste of entrepreneurialism before cashing in your 401k. The event is slated to run from Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6 in Davis Hall at the University at Buffalo North Campus.

Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and Buffalo Startup Weekend will then run straight through until 9 p.m. on Sunday. There will be brief interludes for eating and sleeping.

Tickets to Buffalo Startup Weekend are $50. Student tickets are $25. Registration is limited and is currently available online. Over five hundred people are currently registered.

Buffalo Startup Weekend is sponsored by the University at Buffalo and 360 PSG.

The Buffalo Startup Weekend reports that “Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.”

All are welcome at Startup Weekend — programmers, marketers, designers, public relations wonks, accountants, you name it — because anyone with business or creative skills can play a role in the launch of a new business.

Here’s how it works:

Participants show up on Friday night, have dinner, and listen to a series of short pitches for new businesses (if you have an idea, prepare to present your pitch). Everybody votes for the top ideas, and then teams are formed around the winners. The teams get organized and make a game plan for Saturday and Sunday’s work.

Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, the teams work as hard as possible for as long as possible to get their startup launched. Coaches will be available to help work through thorny issues. The work can go as late as necessary…or not stop at all.

The same process on Sunday — but the teams also need to prepare for presentations at 5 p.m. Following presentations, the judges will select winners and award prizes, and you will go home, your head swimming with ideas, connections, and probably enough caffeine to kill a horse.

The top three teams will receive prize packages that include professional web design and hosting, legal advice, marketing assistance, Venture Club memberships, and tickets to Helium Comedy Club, among other items. For a full list of prizes, visit the Buffalo Startup Weekend website.

This year’s judges include John Seman, president and CEO of Launch WNY; noted entrepreneur and advisor Aron Solomon, entrepreneurial law expert Diane McMahon; Brigid Doherty, executive director and secretary of the James H. Cummings Foundation; and Adrian Roselli, vice president of Algonquin Studios.

Buffalo Startup Weekend can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.