Local entrepreneurs will have several opportunities to showcase their talents and connect with business resources during a series of events planned for Kickstart Bellingham from Nov. 18-24, organized in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The Port of Bellingham hosts a kickoff event on Monday, Nov. 18, at the Squalicum Boathouse. Keith Carpenter from Wood Stone, manufacturer of specialty cooking equipment and stone hearth ovens, will be the event’s keynote speaker. Carpenter will speaker from 5:15 pm. to 6 p.m. Local organizations that support entrepreneurs will have tables with resources at the event, as well.
Groups organizing Global Entrepreneurship Week in Whatcom County include Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center, WWU’s Front Door to Discovery, the Port of Bellingham, the Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington, the BIG Idea Lab, Sustainable Connections, Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Northwest Innovation Resource Center.
A full list of the week’s activities is available at www.kickstartbellingham.com.
The events will culminate with Startup Weekend Bellingham, from 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, at the BIG Idea Lab on 114 W. Magnolia St., Suite 505. Startup Weekend will combine the knowledge and expertise of entrepreneurs, developers and startup veterans from the community to develop startup ideas from concepts to tangible business campaigns, according to organizers.
Approximately 50 participants, with about half expected to be WWU students, will collaborate with other entrepreneurs, designers, developers and startup enthusiasts to take innovative business ideas from concept to launch in 54 hours. Ideas will be pitched in 60 seconds or less on Friday, and groups will formulate the most popular ideas throughout the rest of the weekend—typically Web and mobile applications—with the help of local CEOs, founders and startup veterans.
By Sunday, teams will be ready to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges who will award prizes, including co-working space and memberships in mentorship programs. Top teams will compete against the winners of seven other Startup Weekend events from Seattle, Portland and Spokane on Dec. 10 at the Northwest Battle in Seattle.
Limited seating and tickets are available for the public to view the final presentations on Sunday. For more information, contact Dan Purdy, director of WWU’s Front Door to Discovery program, at Daniel.Purdy@wwu.edu. More information and tickets are available on the organization’s website, bellingham.startupweekend.org.
For additional information on the full week of events, contact Jennifer Shelton, director of WWU’s Small Business Development Center, at 360-778-1762.