FARMINGTON — Establishing an independent business is the dream of many individuals, but the challenge of getting started can cause would-be entrepreneurs to delay -- or completely abandon -- pursuing their dream.
The Four Corners Startup Weekend, held November 15 through 17 and hosted by the San Juan College Enterprise Center, is designed to teach the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures, according to a San Juan College press release.
The basic idea is to bring potential entrepreneurs alongside business development individuals for a weekend-long experiential workshop to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies. It is designed to allow budding entrepreneurs to test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, and launch a business.
The event is open to anyone in the Four Corners including students, entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, and anyone who merely has a good idea they would like to develop.
Startup Weekend is a non-profit group based in Seattle, Wash., that organizes 54-hour events in cities around the world, all of which help educate, support and empower people to become entrepreneurs. While this will be the county's first Startup Weekend, the event is actually the result of a global grassroots movement, and the group says more than 1,000 events worldwide have resulted in more than 8,000 new startup businesses.
Judy Castleberry, San Juan College Enterprise Center director, said she and other organizers are hoping the event will help build a stronger base of locally-grown businesses within the Four Corners.
"We were looking for ways to educate and support people interested in developing a business concept, product or service," explains Castleberry. "We are excited about Startup Weekend because of the successes it has had in other areas."
Castleberry said this won't be the typical "boring" business conference, but instead will be about becoming part of a team and pitching ideas. She says the weekend will be packed with energy and excitement.
"I think people will have fun and become very engaged," she said. "There's a real intensity about it, because people will truly be trying to see if they can pull together a business in a weekend. It will be a great networking event, and people can present their ideas and see if they're viable."
Castleberry said participants do not need to come with a developed business plan; rather, the event is for people at the concept or idea phase of business development. She said there will be prizes for participants, who will present their ideas to a panel of judges.
"One prize is a free period of time to use the Enterprise Center," she said.
Castleberry is encouraging anyone interested to register now.
"The weekend will be a great way for people to get into the mix," she said.
What: Four Corners Startup Weekend
When: November 15 through 17
Where: San Juan College’s Quality Center for Business, 4601 College Boulevard, Farmington
Cost: $75 for the general public and $25 for students with an ID from any of the surrounding colleges or high schools. All meals are included in the cost.