Kat Nelson-Reid, always busy and always engaged in the community, has her work cut out for her the weekend of Nov. 12 - 14. That's the date of the highly anticipated Chicago Startup Weekend, a super intense competition that attracts hundreds of brainy folks to the Illinois Technology Association for a 54-hour business building bonanza. And Kat's going to be one of four judges at the event.
Startup Weekends are held worldwide and attract a dynamic group of individuals from developers and entrepreneurs to business managers, marketers, designers and others for a weekend-long, somewhat sleepless marathon that builds communities, companies and projects.
Startup Weekends generally begin Friday at 7 p.m. as attendees gather and begin discussion about what kind of concepts would be good to develop. At 7 p.m., attendees pitch their product ideas to the group. Then, teams break out; typically, about nine teams form during the weekend, creating nine different products or companies. By 9 p.m. teams have begun to solidify their concept and create an elevator pitch, and at 10 p.m., each group breaks off to conduct in-depth discussions and begin to prototype their application.
Saturday morning, work begins in earnest on strategizing, coding and development, and continues through 8 p.m. Sunday, when each company presents its concept to the panel of judges and a winner is selected.
In addition to Kat, judges are Fred Hoch, president of the Illinois Technology Association; Ed Domain, founder of Flyover Geeks; and Ira Weiss, faculty director at University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-manager of Hyde Park Angels.