Startup Weekend, an organization dedicated to the worldwide education and proliferation of entrepreneurship, has made a name for itself over the last few years with its unique weekend-long events. Over 17,000 participants have attended one of the organization's 120+ global events, from which over 560 new startups have launched. Thanks to a grant announced today from the Kauffman Foundation, Startup Weekend to continue to grow and better educate entrepreneurs in more cities around the globe.
For those unfamiliar with the Startup Weekend model, the 54-hour event takes place, as its name would suggest, over the course of a weekend. On a Friday night, attendees meet up for the first time and pitch their ideas for startups, eventually breaking into groups. For the remainder of the weekend, the groups work to bring their idea to life, wrapping up with a pitch contest at the end of night on Sunday.
This has largely been the extent of the Startup Weekend experience, but with the Kauffman grant, the organization can begin to expand on what it offers to attendees. "Additional resources will allow Startup Weekend to develop relationships and programs designed to increase the resources and support available to entrepreneurs both before and after weekend events," the Kauffman foundation said Wednesday.
The grant money will also make it possible for the organization to expand more efficiently to cities across the globe. Startup Weekend has already hosted events in over 25 countries, including an inspiring collaboration in Tel Aviv between Palestinian and Israeli entrepreneurs.
"This partnership will allow us to harness the potential of our dream and passion that has become Startup Weekend," said Startup Weekend director Marc Nager. "We hope to become one of their most well-known and high-impact partnerships in the early stage startup ecosystem."
Grants such as these, especially from organizations like the Kauffman Foundation - the world's largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship - are nothing but good news for entrepreneurs. With more Startup Weekend events, the opportunity for more brilliant young minds to be exposed to entrepreneurship first-hand grows right along with it. Stop by the Startup Weekend website to see a list of upcoming events - there is likely one in a city near you soon.
Photo by Flickr user mastermaq.