Have an app, invention, program or other bright idea you’re sure will light up the market? You might want to check out Kirkland’s first Startup Weekend Nov. 9-11, organized by the Chamber of Commerce to encourage new technology businesses.
“Kirkland is where it all started, with cellular technology and Craig McCaw,” said of the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, referring to the founder of McCaw Cellular, now part of AT&T and Clearwire.
“He was at the beginning of technological development, right at Carillon Point. Kirkland is a place where great ideas are born.”
Startup Weekend is a global organization that organizes 54-hour competitions, where entrepreneurs share ideas, form teams and work with marketers and product managers to help launch startups. A panel of judges evaluate the team’s products and select the top three. In 2011, some 400 startup events were organized in 100 countries around the world.
The Kirkland event is at the Woodmark Hotel, and judges include Janis M. Machala, Dean of Bellevue College's Continuing Education Program; ., a former assistant to Bill Gates and former AOL chief of technology; and Rahul Sood, general manager of the Bing Fund. The major speaker will be Peter Wilson, engineering director of Facebook.
The event is co-sponsored by Microsoft, Google, Kenworth, the Woodmark and other companies.
“These things start with a kernel of an idea, and it's the job of the developer to convince the judges their product is worthwhile,” Wynn said. “It’s a great way to vet talent. The judges are looking for the best and brightest ideas out there.”
Entrepreneurs present their idea, form teams and then get to work on a business plan. At the end of the weekend, teams present what they have developed to the judges, who have been there and know what it takes to launch a startup. Prizes and acknowledgement are awarded to the top ideas and startup plans.
The fee is $99. For more information, see Kirkland Startup Weekend.