Sioux Falls Hosts Startup Weekend
by Rachel Skytta, Reporter
November 16, 2013 4:58 PM
Big thinkers with big ambitions are coming together for a weekend of hard work. Sioux Falls is playing host to a global event that could give entrepreneurs their big break.
"Just starting with an idea and trying to execute it in a really short amount of time," said participant, Joel Thompson.
Joel is just one of dozens of hopeful entrepreneurs who are working through the weekend to create what they hope is a masterpiece.
"Startup Weekend is a hands on experience in the process of launching a startup company," said Wendy Overton, event facilitator.
It's all part of a world wide movment called Global Startup Battle. It's designed to give entrepreneurs and creative minds the opportunity to bring their ideas to life.
"People start with just a sliver of an idea. It's a 60 second pitch on Fri. night, they turn it into a full-fledged business model, and potentially even a launchable product and business by Sun. night," said Wendy.
Wendy Overton says the event attracts everyone from business professionals to students, and even teenagers.
"I'm the person that tries to get everybody to work together and make it all mend," said Joel.
24-year-old Joel Thompson's group is working on creating an iPhone app that will make getting dressed in the morning a little less hectic.
"Each morning you have to put on a shirt, and a lot of times you don't know if I should wear this shirt or this shirt. How nice would it be to send a picture of each shirt to a group of people that you trust, and quickly get poll results back," said Joel.
There's still work to be done before any of the six teams are ready to present their finished products.
"Each team has five minutes to pitch their idea to a group of judges, and hopefully have a working demo of what they're doing," said Joel.
From there, the Sioux Falls winner will be part of the global challenge, and has the opportunity to win $500 thousand worth of prizes.
Even if they don't win, this weekend's participants will hopefully walk away with new skills.
"The Startup Weekend allows people to experience the world of being fully responsible for what they accomplish in any given time period. What they choose to spend their time on, and how they work it," said Wendy.
"I think we have a good idea so I wouldn't be surpsied if it started to be a side project for each of us and we kept in touch," said Joel.
You can help Joel's group out by visiting their project's poll
, designed to see how viable their product really is.
You can also vote for the Global Startup Battle winner by visiting, globalstartupbattle.co
. The winner will be announced on Dec. 12.