The third annual Notre Dame Startup Weekend is April 4-6 at Innovation Park at Notre Dame. Organizers hope to attract at least 100 people, including about 40 to pitch new ideas. The 54-hour event includes talks by entrepreneurship experts and idea development by teams formed by participants on the spot.
The program is developed by Startup Weekend, a global network supported by Google that supplies a facilitator, says ESTEEM student Shaylyn Sikorski, who led a team of six other ESTEEM students to organize the weekend. “It is really well-organized,” she says. “We have a lot of support and a lot of resources. We have to get sponsors from the community and the University.”
Individuals with ideas they have not previously developed will give pitches on Friday night, and members of the audience will sign up to join their teams for the weekend. Ten teams will give final pitches on Sunday, when a winning team is chosen. Last year’s winner was led by an ESTEEM student.
“It’s open to all students, undergrad, grad students, professors in the university, and people in the community,” Sikorski says. “There was a big presence from the community last year, and we’re hoping for the same this year. Each team is looking for developers and designers and some technical people – anybody who wants to pitch in and help out for the weekend.”
Sikorski, a 2013 Notre Dame graduate in Biological Sciences, made the decision to join ESTEEM after she visited last year’s Startup Weekend at ESTEEM director David Murphy’s suggestion. “I thought it was such a cool thing that I immediately committed to ESTEEM that Sunday,” she says. “I was really interested in being involved this year with startup weekend because it had such a great impact on me last year.”
For more information, visit notredame.startupweekend.org.