Millikin University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, in the Tabor School of Business, will be hosting Decatur’s first Startup Weekend, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, April 22-24.

Startup Weekend is an opportunity for participants to pitch an idea, form a team and become part of the world’s largest entrepreneurship community in 54 hours. Whether you want to pitch an idea and lead a team, or be a founding member for a new product or service, Startup Weekend will provide the right entrepreneurial tools, skills and practices.

Participants will be part of a team that throughout the weekend develops an idea for a business to pitch to a panel of judges on Sunday, April 24. Registration for Startup Weekend is $40 for students, $75 for general and $25 for Demo Day. This includes all meals and prizes.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams are formed based on the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Image via Millikin Center for Entrepreneurship

Julie Shields, Director of Millikin Center for Entrepreneurship

Julie Shields, director of Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship, says, “Startup Weekend is important for businesses. The tools and strategies that make up Startup Weekend are really important to help existing businesses stay competitive. We will look at ideas and determine if they have a market and if they are feasible.”

“The tools and strategies that make up Startup Weekend are really important to help existing businesses stay competitive.”

The event will also be an opportunity for students to learn about developing business ideas. “We are connecting with an international movement for helping people learn how to launch business ideas,” Shields says. “The reason for wanting to do this in Decatur is to invigorate the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

For more information on Startup Weekend, visit startupdecaturil.com or contact Millikin’s Center for Entrepreneurship by phone at (217) 424-6296.

Images via Millikin Center for Entrepreneurship