Reluctant Leader Becomes Startup Weekend Superstar

Cassie Bauer

UCC Computer Information Systems student pitched business idea at 2015 Startup Weekend.

Cassie Bauer had no intention of leading a team at the 2015 Startup Weekend. In fact, she really just wanted to “fly under the radar” and help a team with her computer skills. Life, as it so often goes, had something else in mind.

For Cassie, Startup Weekend was all about stepping out of her comfort zone to pitch her emergency notification phone app that alerts subscribers to hazardous conditions that pose danger or loss of time. The idea involves having one app that has access to natural disaster, traffic, and emergency information, and would use push notifications to alert the subscriber.

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“I pitched something in my field of study at UCC - Computer Information Systems - because that’s where I was comfortable,” Cassie said.

Pitches made, the group voted on ideas that would move forward over the weekend. Before she knew it, a team had rallied around her and she became the reluctant but proud leader she never thought she’d be.

“What was special to me was being voted the leader,” she said. “It’s flattering having everyone rally around you.”

But being the leader also means you have to produce. Producing a great product or business idea at Startup Weekend happens with help from liability, legal, licensing, marketing, and other experts important to entrepreneurial success.

“For me, the weekend was about making my vision the team’s vision and vice versa,” she said.

Cassie’s team made its final pitch that Sunday night. Even though they didn’t take home the win, they left knowing a lot more about themselves and what they could accomplish in 48 hours. It changed their lives. Cassie is no longer the reluctant leader. She’s a leader who is ready to take on the world… or at least the next great idea.

UCC is hosting Startup Weekend from April 21 to 23. The community is invited to participate. To learn more, visit or contact Kemberly Todd at UCC’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at (541) 440-7824.

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.


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