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About STartup 48

As Eau Claire's entrepreneurial scene continued to blossom, community leaders recognized a need for individuals who wanted to learn how to start a business but weren’t ready to become full-fledged entrepreneurs or didn't have fully developed business ideas. There wasn’t an event available where entrepreneurial enthusiasts could spend a few short days and learn what it takes to create a startup, from pitching an idea to presenting to a panel of judges. 

It was then that several members of the Eau Claire community came together – from non-profit, education, and business – to form Startup 48, Eau Claire's very own weekend-long startup event. The first event was a rousing success, and it quickly became apparent that not only did individuals want to learn the steps to turn an idea into a viable business model, but they wanted to connect with industry leaders and resources in their community. 

Since 2015, this annual event has continued to grow and attract entrepreneurs and entrepreneur hopefuls throughout the region. Every year attendees come with no idea how the weekend will roll, nervous because they aren't quite sure the event is for them, and at the same time, super excited for whatever is about to happen. Only 48 short hours later they leave with new friends, connections to industry leaders, access to community resources, and experience on how to start a business!

In addition, Startup 48 is thrilled to announce that we are the Eau Claire qualifier event for the Wisconsin’s Big Idea Tournament!  WBIT is an entrepreneurship competition open to undergraduate and graduate students attending any two- or four-year University of Wisconsin school across the state (except UW-Madison). 

It teaches cutting-edge Lean Startup business development tools, provides business mentorship, and allows participants to compete at a state level for a chance to win seed funding for their idea as well as a chance to compete internationally at the International Business Model Competition (IBMC).


*The winning team must have a University of Wisconsin student to be eligible for the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament. In the event that the winning team does not have a University of Wisconsin student on their team, the top ranking team with a UW student will be qualified for the WBIT.

"Startup 48 is probably the best way to propel your idea from a dream into reality in just a weekend's time. It's fun meeting other people who are just as passionate about their ideas and incredibly valuable to get the feedback of experienced business owners."

--Justin Vajko

Our Mission

We are community leaders wanting to cultivate new entrepreneurs each year.  Our Mission is to encourage innovative business thinkers to stay and make the Chippewa Valley their home because of the opportunity and support they receive while living here.


Our Vision

Accelerating our Startup Community one weekend at a time! 

We Need Your Support Today!

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