The UMass Dartmouth Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) will host a Startup Weekend for student innovators and entrepreneurs on November 13-15 at the new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Fall River. Students from all colleges are invited to attend.
Startup Weekends, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, are 54-hour, weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend's attendees have technical or design backgrounds, and the other half have business backgrounds.
A team made up of students earning their MBAs, a Computer Engineering PhD student, and a young professional won first place at the inaugural Startup Weekend organized last year at UMass Dartmouth. The team designed a new digital dice, Infinity Qube, which the group hopes will replace the need for multiple dice for gamers. The second place team was Friend In Need, which designed an app to allow students to connect with their peers looking for services such as babysitting, driving, or cleaning. The third place team Galaxy Inn designed a travel app connecting travelers with families in other countries willing to provide housing and culture immersion services.
Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, participants bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday, teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of industry experts.
The CIE relaunched this month to expand its outreach to southeastern Massachusetts entrepreneurs, including those among the faculty and students at UMass Dartmouth. Over the next three years, the CIE expects to incubate 25companies on-site and another 30 off-site. The CIE wants to graduate 10 companies, create and sustain 150 high wage jobs, and generate $24 million of economic activity for the region.