Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Charlotte Startup Weekend is this weekend, May 4-6, and it's where you'll find techies, from software and hardware developers and designers to marketers, managers, graphic artists, and people who just love seeing ideas come together, huddled up over the course of 54 hours. Startup Weekend was founded in 2007 by a techie named Andrew Hyde in Boulder, Colorado; two years later it became a not-for-profit organization and relocated to Seattle. It's grown tremendously since its inception, now held in more than 120 cities, funded by the Kauffman Foundation in addition to support by companies like Google and Microsoft. This is Charlotte's fourth Startup Weekend, and participants say it's gotten bigger and better each year.

A team at work during last year's Charlotte Startup Weekend.

Led by local organizers and sponsors, Charlotte Startup Weekend is taking place again at Packard Place in Uptown, which is a hub for entrepreneurs and startups itself. The weekend kicks off with dinner and networking Friday at 5:30 p.m., and later that evening the pitches will start. Teams will form that night, and Saturday morning at 8 a.m. they'll get to work on their ideas. Sunday night, the teams will make their presentations. According to national organizers, about 80 percent of participants continue working with their team or startup after the weekend has ended, and 36 percent of them are still working together after three months..

Early bird registration has ended, but even now at the regular price of $99, the all-inclusive ticket is still a great deal. It covers seven meals, snacks, beers, and a T-shirt. For complete details, visit

May is National Inventors Month
This is like a month filled with ingenuity and innovation. In recognition of National Inventors Month, Edison Nation, a Charlotte-based idea-to-shelf product development company, is leading a Twitter campaign by promoting the hashtags #IfICouldInvent and #InventorsMonth throughout May. And they're giving you the chance to win prizes. If you tweet "#IfICouldInvent... " and complete that statement with your own thought (for example: #IfICouldInvent a time machine I would go back to my sophomore year in college and ask that girl for her phone number), you could be among the tweets they select for prize giveaways. Follow @EdisonNation.


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