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2019 Startup 48 dates Announced!

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Eau Claire's annual weekend-long startup event is scheduled for October 18th-20th at JAMF Software, located in downtown Eau Claire

Startup 48 teams form and work together for 48 hours to create a Minimal Viable Product - gaining hands-on experience and connecting with community resources along the way! Also - coffee. So.Much.Coffee.

This year’s Startup 48 is October 18-20. The event will be held at JAMF Software, right in the downtown of Eau Claire across from Phoenix Park.

Startup 48 is a weekend-long event where individuals come together and learn what it takes to create and run a startup business. During this 48-hour long event, you will start with an idea and create a minimal viable product (something that is ready to be introduced to market). If you have ever been curious about building a startup business, or creating a product for a startup, this is the event for you.

This event is open to anyone, of any age, who is interested in entrepreneurship and wants to meet like-minded individuals in our community. Startup 48 attendees come with a wide variety of backgrounds - including developers, coders, designers, marketers, financiers, and business owners. Regardless of your background, everyone from serial entrepreneurs to those who are just curious about startups are encouraged to attend! 

"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

Friday afternoon all attendees show up and get to know each other over dinner. Then everyone has the opportunity to pitch their idea to the group. Each person is encouraged to pitch an idea, but it is not a requirement. Since the goal is to create a minimal viable product within 48 hours, most ideas for Startup 48 center on web services, apps, and technology. After everyone has the opportunity to pitch an idea, all the participants then vote on their favorite ideas and form teams around the top voted ideas.

Friday night through Sunday, the teams work towards creating a minimal viable product. Sunday evening all the teams present their startup ideas to a panel of local judges that could include business owners, experienced entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. The winning team receives a prize package to help them further their idea – last year the prize package included marketing, branding, web development, and office space.

"If you would like to experience the fun & intensity of working in a startup under unpredictable circumstances then by default startup 48 is the event for you." --Paul Kennings

Why 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!

Qualify for something HUGE!

Startup 48 is thrilled to 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.

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