Startup Weekend Columbus Takes Place January 14-16

A 54-hour event intended to foster business creation kicks off Jan. 14 at The Ohio State University.

Founded four years ago, Startup Weekend Columbus draws an array of participants, from developers and business managers to marketing professionals and graphic artists. However, there is a tie that binds.

“This is an event that brings a select subset of the community together: those who are interested in starting companies,” says Nick Seguin, one of Startup Weekend Columbus’s organizers.

“It provides introductions, a chance to see how people work and lead, and can be instrumental in what we call ‘founder dating,’ finding someone you want to start a company with. You can also find some great talent and employees.”

Additionally, the weekend gives participants a block of time for getting an idea off the ground, working on or finishing a project, or rallying others behind a concept that you know needs input and feedback, he says.

“We’re absolutely looking for launched demos and prototypes along with business plans at the end of the weekend,” he adds.

Local companies whose roots can be traced back to Startup Weekend include ChumpDump, Clearwish, EventStart, and Milton.

The weekend also allows participants to stretch their mental muscles.

“You might have a great job that you’re happy with,” Seguin says. “However, sometimes you need a change of pace. You can come in for a weekend, lend your skills to a group, and exercise your brain for a weekend.”

This year, about 60 people are expected to attend the event, which will be held at OSU’s Gerlach Hall, located at 2108 Neil Ave.

“Friday night will be a kickoff– talking about startups in general and some perspective on the weekend,” he says. “On Saturday, our speaker will talk about prototyping and some of the lean startup mentality. On Sunday evening, we’ll ask questions to our diverse panel on topics such as when to seek legal representation for your startup, when and if to look for investment, boostrapping, team building, and more.”

Saturday’s speaker is Dan Rockwell of Lextant. Sunday’s panelists are Matt Carbonara of Reservoir Venture Partners, Rob Emrich of BULX, Dave Gillespie of The Gillespie Law Group Ltd., and Pam Springer of Manta.

The event carries a $75 fee ($40 for students), which helps cover the cost of seven meals and snacks.

Registration is open now through Jan. 14.

To learn more about Startup Weekend Columbus, visit

Photo provided by Jason Blanton, taken during Startup Weekend Columbus 2008.