Student Entrepreneurs Rock Startup Weekend
Eighty participants worked together in teams to build businesses around aspiring ideas.
ROSEBURG, Oregon – This year’s 4th annual Startup Weekend (SUW) Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs hit Umpqua Community College (UCC) April 21 through 23. Over 80 participants—ranging in age from 15 to 78—gave their business building skills a workout during the 54-hour weekend.
Thirty-seven students from UCC, seven from Roseburg High School, and nine from Wolf Creek Job Corp represented the largest segment of participants at the event. Way to go, Gen Z! The future looks bright for entrepreneurial spirit in Douglas County.
After registration, pizza, and ice breakers Friday night, future entrepreneurs got down to business with 60-second elevator pitches about their product or service. Eight teams coalesced out of 21 total pitches and newly-minted leaders took control of their teams.
Saturday turned into work mode. The entire group went through a practice session in building a business model. This same tool is employed with startup clients working with UCC’s Small Business Development Center. The software takes an idea from startup to development.
With business models defined, teams were ready to hit the pavement. Team members traveled to spots around town completing in-person product surveys. Target outcome: Identify potential customers. Who’s your buyer and how much will they pay for your concept?
On Sunday, teams fine-tuned their final presentations, had their last meal together, and got ready for the awards presentation. Finally, a long weekend of work and discovery would pay off. Judges from the community selected their top three products.
Top prize went to Pocket Potty headed up by former UCC Criminal Justice program student Brian Duclo. His clever invention provides parents a foldable, sanitary child seat to use on commercial toilets. The seat reinforces a child’s consistent potty training routine while away from home.What will next year’s winning idea be? Maybe a student from this year’s event will hone their invention and present again, or maybe it will be someone or something brand new. That’s the great things about ideas—they just keep on coming. Watch the 2017 event’s wrap-up video.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.
Lisa Woods - Contact
Director, Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
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