Don’t be surprised if you’re wandering around the El Cortez this weekend and run into a couple of frazzled mobile application developers who want your opinion on their user interface designs.
More than 75 entrepreneurs with little more than laptops and dreams of starting the next Instagram or Facebook converge on the downtown casino tonight for the 6 p.m. kick-off of Startup Weekend, a 54-hour marathon of tech startup development. The goal is to take an idea from pitch to launch in one weekend.
“It’s such a pressure cooker,” organizer Shavonnah Tiera said.
Tiera brought Startup Weekend to Las Vegas in June to encourage the growth of a tech community in the city. The first event June 24-26 drew 100 entrepreneurs to the El Cortez and launched a handful of companies, including the team behind garage sale iPhone application Rumgr.
The weekend’s format is the same this time around. Web developers, app developers, designers and other tech-minded folks will gather to share ideas, form teams and pitch their projects in 60 seconds on Friday night. Some 50 ideas will be winnowed down to about 10 projects.
Saturday, teams will build projects and talk to potential customers. Final presentations on Sunday are delivered to the judges, including local investors Bill Payne and Kevin Fong and Texts From Last Night co-founder Lauren Leto.
The winner receives $1,000 to incorporate and launch their business, plus entry into the Global Startup Battle.
David Williams, part-time instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and CEO of Explorateur Ventures, advises that startups identify a “pain point,” or a problem, find a solution, then present that solution in a unique way.
There are thousands of tech startups in the world, but the ones that make it have teams that execute their ideas better than anyone else, he said.
Entrepreneurs can register for $99 onsite tonight. For more information, go to lasvegas.startupweekend.org.
Contact reporter Caitlin McGarry at cmcgarry@review
journal.com or 702-387-5273.