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Cougars & Mustangs


Looking to power into the new year? Want to sharpen your creative faculties, while working a room or two? Then get ready to break out of the gates in a mad dash with San Luis Obispo’s first Startup Weekend.

The event, which can be found in 30 nations around the world, will be held Jan. 20-22 on the Cal-Poly campus. Over the course of the weekend, those with entrepreneurial zeal will have a chance to pitch ideas, listen to speakers, form groups, and create a practical business model.

Conceived in 2007 and then later restructured into a 501(c)3 non-profit, Startup Weekends quickly became a virtual laboratory wherein early startup activity brewed up new and exciting business ideas in communities across the nation.

With Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a premier sponsor, the event will likely be a helpful connector between students and other community members. Typically around half of the attendees have technical backgrounds while the other half have business backgrounds.

The event will commence with open pitches wherein attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join the team. Over the next two days, teams focus on customer development, practicing startup methodologies, and building a viable product. Finally the teams demo their prototypes and receive feedback from a panel of experts.

For those looking to pitch a long-held idea, it is important to be prepared. The Startup Weekend website suggests that you do lots of research and prepare your idea to give it a persuasive pitch and to attract a team. You also want to boil down the idea to its basics—60 seconds gives you limited speaking time.

So for all those would-be Steve Jobs in the house, it’s time to unpack that genius idea you’ve been carting around with you since you left for college. Time to step out of the world of ideas and let your imagination take shape. PS: Networking requires that you have to communicate face to face. I know this is not always comfortable for us creative types, but hey, just pretend you’ve finally found your home planet and that you’ll be with your real peeps! ∆

Intern Jason Keedy compiled this week’s Cougars and Mustangs. Send your collegiate news to

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