Entrepreneurial Dreams Can Begin with Techstars Startup Weekend

Monday, November 04, 2019
Students presenting a concept via Powerpoint

Startup Weekend will allow aspiring entrepreneurs to work together to create prototypes of their innovative ideas and then get critical feedback from Rose-Hulman alumni who have had successful startups.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can exchange ideas, create product prototypes and get critical feedback about their projects during Techstars Startup Weekend, Nov. 8-10, on campus.

During the weekend, event participants can experience the highs and lows, fun-filled atmosphere and pressure-packed situations within the startup culture; learn how to create a company; and meet experienced entrepreneurs, investors, co-founders and sponsors who have had success with a variety of ventures.

Rose-Hulman’s Startup Weekend has been organized by Techstars, the Rose Innovative Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) organization and the ESCALATE program, a learning community at Rose-Hulman that’s focused on integrating entrepreneurship and technical disciplines.

“Startup Weekend brings together creative people to exchange ideas, get critical feedback about their projects and come away with knowledge about how to go forward in their aspirations,” says ESCALATE director Tom James, associate professor of entrepreneurship in Rose-Hulman’s Department of Engineering Management.

The event costs $50 for all participants and advance registration is required. Registration and more information is available here.

Young entrepreneurs can pitch their project ideas and form teams to work on developing prototypes on Friday, Nov. 8, in the Mussallem Union on campus. Passing along advice will be keynote speaker Wes Bolsen, a Rose-Hulman alumnus who is president and chief executive officer (CEO) with Colorado-based Ladera Tech, and project idea facilitator Roger Osorio, an executive coach with IBM and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Project work with experienced mentors will continue throughout Saturday, Nov. 9. Each project team will then make a presentation before a panel of entrepreneurs on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m. Awards will be presented to the top teams following a dinner.

Providing project feedback will be Rose-Hulman alumni entrepreneurs/venture capitalists Gary Bullock, chief technology officer (CTO) with Pierce Aerospace; Tanya Colonna, founder/CEO with BlackTop Labs BV; Chrissy Meyer, partner with Root Ventures; Chris Piedmonte, managing director with NeoTerra Capital; Tony Schy, CEO advisor and executive coach; and Hobey Tam, CTO with BlackTop Labs BV. Another mentor will be John Leschorn, co-founder/chief operating officer with Lucd.

The judging panel will feature Rose-Hulman alumni Virginie Adams, senior technical program manager with Salesforce and founding member of Kolbus and Adams Holdings LLC; Nick Birch, co-founder with PropelUp and a 2019-20 Mitch Daniels Leadership Fellow; Adam Morrison, owner/CEO with Streamline Designs and co-founder/head of engineering and technology with DroneRafts; and Bolsen.

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