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Event aims to foster new businesses

Startup Weekend at Gonzaga intense

About 50 would-be business owners are jumping into a whirlwind weekend designed to help them start a successful company.

They’re participants in the first Startup Weekend Spokane, a condensed and intense three days of workshops and demonstrations meant to hatch good business ideas through hands-on interaction.

It will be at the Jepson Center at Gonzaga University.

Startup Weekend Spokane was brought in by Brett Noyes, a Spokane resident and managing partner of consulting firm Noyes Limited.

“Theoretically, a well-run group could have a product ready to sell on Monday after the event,” Noyes said.

Day one, starting Friday evening, gave attendees a chance to listen to a range of one-minute pitches from people looking to start a business. The audience votes on its favorite pitches and the batch will be reduced to five to seven company ideas.

Other attendees then will be assigned to company teams.

Today teams will develop a prototype, test the business model and create a marketing plan.

On Sunday teams will build prototypes and work on their final presentation. The event on Sunday includes a presentation by professional poker player Phil Gordon on “Winning in Poker and Business.”

The finale will be a set of presentations by teams to a group of judges, with each team having five minutes to sum up their ideas.

Awards will be given for best mobile app, best overall concept, best development work and best user interface.

Magner Sanborn, Green Cupboards, Launchpad INW, Gonzaga University and Connect Northwest are among the event’s sponsors and supporters.

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