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Posted on 03.27.2014 10:16 a.m.

Launch Your Business in 54 Hours at Startup Weekend Santa Maria

Source: Sonja Oglesby for Allan Hancock College

Come to campus with an idea on Friday night and leave Sunday with all the tools you need to launch a new business. That’s the concept behind the second Startup Weekend Santa Maria, an event that brings entrepreneurs together for a 54-hour frenzy of business creation April 4-6 on Allan Hancock College’s Santa Maria campus.

“Bring your business idea, and we’ll help make it happen,” said Anne Cremarosa, director of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Center and one of the organizers of the event.

Registration is happening now for Startup Weekend Santa Maria No. 2, which gives participants just 54 hours to pitch their idea, form teams and work together to fine tune their business model before presenting to a panel of judges. Along the way, attendees learn new skills, network and benefit from the experience of mentors and business coaches.

The hurried pace and group cooperation make for an intensely creative environment, according to Guillermo Chavez, the winner of last year’s inaugural Santa Maria Startup Weekend.

“WeGift would not have launched without Startup Weekend and the generous support from the business community,” Chavez said.

Chavez is the CEO of WeGift, a marketing agency that serves local retailers and nonprofits. For retailers, WeGift improves community outreach by leveraging their network of local nonprofits active in the community. The company assists nonprofits by developing creative fundraising strategies that target the nonprofit’s goals and mission.

The services won by WeGift at last year’s Startup Weekend included human resource services from Your People Professionals, business plan coaching from Pre-Beta, six months of coworking space from MIYB Spaces, a Social Media Marketing package from Hub 81 and networking opportunities that led to several key client relationships.

Startup Weekend is the world’s largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with representation in more than 250 cities, in 75 countries, around the world. Sponsored by the Kaufmann Foundation, Startup Weekend is a nonprofit organization that encourages entrepreneurial success. More than 1,000 Startup Weekends were held in the last four years, including events in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. More than 5,000 startup teams have formed globally. Regionally, 12 new businesses have launched as a result of Startup Weekend San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria.

“We’re part of a larger movement that celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and what it can do for an individual and the community they live in,” Cremarosa said. “Startup Weekend is a perfect fit for the Small Business Entrepreneurship Center at Allan Hancock College, and we’re looking forward to again hosting this exciting event.”

Register early, as space is limited. Click here. Regular registration price is $99, but those who register before Wednesday, April 2 using the discount code “SWPR” will only pay $49 to participate. Registration includes seven meals — enough to keep you going all weekend. Participants can register up until the day of the event at full price. For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected].

— Sonja Oglesby is a public affairs technician for Allan Hancock College.

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