HAYS – Fort Hays State University will host its eighth Kansas Startup from Friday, Nov. 15, to Sunday, Nov. 17.
Led by the university’s W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Kansas Startup Weekend is an event designed for entrepreneurs to meet, share ideas, and launch new businesses. This three-day event, in the Robbins Center on the FHSU campus, is open to anyone, regardless of background, with a great idea and the desire to make that idea a reality.
Henry Schwaller, instructor of management and the founder of Kansas Startup, said the weekend “is a 48-hour, hands-on experience where anyone interested in starting a business can find out if their startup ideas are viable.”
“Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their teams,” he said. “Saturday and Sunday focus on developing the business idea and building a viable product. On Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.”
FHSU hosted its first Kansas Startup in November 2013 and the response was overwhelmingly positive, said Schwaller. Over the first seven events, hundreds of aspiring entepreneurs have participated in one of the largest entrepreneurial events in Kansas.
“Participants create working startups by collaborating with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks,” said Schwaller.
The weekend focuses on action, innovation, and education. Whether the goal is to get feedback on an idea, meet a co-founder, develop specific skill sets, or create a team to help with a launch, Kansas Startup provides hands-on experience in which to test ideas and take the first steps towards launching new ventures.
On Friday evening, a successful local entrepreneur will welcome and challenge participants. On Saturday, a volunteer team of business, legal, and design coaches will provide assistance, advice and feedback to all participants. The event concludes on Sunday evening after participants present their business plans to a panel of judges.
Registration is required for participants. Presentations will be open to the public free of charge at 5 p.m. Sunday. Judging and awards begin at 7 p.m.
For additional information and registration, visit the Kansas Startup website: kansasstartup.com.