6 cool reasons to launch your next startup at Startup Weekend Jackson

03/03/2015 | By Tasha Bibb

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Developers, Designers, Marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to build and DO great things!!!! Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.

Join us for the 4th Annual Startup Weekend Jackson event!

Startup Weekend Jackson

March 27th, 2015

Mississippi College School of Law

151 E. Griffith Street, Jackson, MS 39201

Why should you launch your next startup at Startup Weekend Jackson???  I'm glad you asked :)

1. You’ll meet awesome people!

Entrepreneurs. Developers. Designers. Marketers. Product managers. Startup enthusiasts. Tech guys. They’ll be there, and they want to meet you. Startup Weekend is more than just a place to give your idea wings—it’s a place to plug into a community of talent.When you attend a startup weekend you quickly realize that the sort of people that are willing to give up their weekend and try and do something entrepreneurial are exactly the sort of people you need to be around if you are hoping to start and run a business.

2. Connect with the community of innovators

Starting a business is tough, especially if you are doing it alone. When you attend a Startup Weekend, you then realize that there is a community of people out there who are going through the exact same trials and tribulations. Over the course of the weekend you’ll inevitably hear about all the cool startup events in your city, and you will also find out about the resources available for startups in the area.

3. Validation, validation, validation!

A startup weekend offers you various levels of validation. First, the attendees,(great people by the way.. refer to reason #1) choose which ideas make it through to the “finals.” So immediately, you get feedback on whether or not your roughly pitched idea resonates with others.

Also, chosen teams are encouraged to get out of the building and go and talk to REAL people.  People who represent your target market.  This validation can tell you lots of things, i.e. if several people have the problem that your product solves, how your product would fit into a consumers normal behavior, the value a consumer would place on your product, etc.

Finally, If your idea makes it through, then you will be pitching on Sunday to a panel of judges aka people who have a lot of startup knowledge! Typically, the judges award 1st 2nd and 3rd placings, so if you were to finish in the top 3,  you’d really know you were on to something!

4. You get major face time.

Local tech & startup leaders and resource providers will be at Startup Weekends as mentors and judges.  Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in the Jackson Metro area. Mentors are from various specialities such as finance, marketing, software development, presentation design, etc. The attending mentors  are always an extremely helpful and generally well connected bunch, so be sure to keep in touch with them after the event! Our judging panel usually consists of an investor or two and other successful entrepreneurs.

5. Co-founder dating.

Startups are about more than just an idea—it’s about the team behind it. Startup Weekend is the best way to find someone that you can actually launch a startup with. Thinking about launching a startup with someone right now? Bring ‘em to the event and give the working relationship a test drive. It could save you years of heartache.

6. Less talk, more action! The weekend is not some long, drawn-out business plan that will bore your team to sleep. This is fast paced, get ideas on the table, get them in production, see if they stick, and move on to the next task. Want to learn how to prototype an app? You just might meet someone who can teach you! Want to become a social media maven? This is the place to put that book learning to work. Mentors, fellow participants, tools and the Startup Weekend experience provide a rich hands-on learning experience.

Other perks to consider.....

Of course you get to build and create in a space buzzing with innovation and creativity.  Food. That’s right, you get food at Startup Weekend! Startup Weekend Jackson costs $50 ($25 if you are a student)- early bird pricing- to get involved, but you get a of sweet stuff.  All attendees receive a snazzy T-shirt, headband, free .co domain, $100 Amazon Web Services gift card, and  $300 Google Cloud Platform gift card.  Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

The feedback from Startup Weekend attendees is consistent:

-"It introduces you to a real community that you may not have had access to before."

-" I’ve met great people and hopefully I’ve been able to help them on their startup journey!"

-"Keep an ear to the ground and the next time a SW comes to your town get that ticket right away!"

Hope to see you there.