Rockford, Illinois News

Rockford’s third startup scheduled for Sept. 7-9

ROCKFORD – Rockford’s third Startup Weekend will be held at Thinker Ventures from Sept. 7-9.

Startup Weekends are held throughout the country. At these events, entrepreneurs, web developers, computer coders and graphic designers team up to launch a company from scratch over 54 hours.

Multi-million dollar companies such as LootCrate, TripLingo, Zaarly and Zapier all were launched at Startup Weekends.

A number of organizations are sponsoring this year’s event, including EIGERlab, Hinshaw Law, RockTek Workpspace, SolidLine Media, Rockford Public Schools and the city of Rockford. The goal is to build a better entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rockford.

“As a business development company, we’re passionate about helping people with ideas find the right model and become revenue producing,” said Jason Todd, founder and managing director of Thinker Ventures. “Rockford and the Midwest has a lot of talented people. This gets them in a room together with a chance to create something great.”

The teams work with a variety of mentors to sharpen and improve on ideas and then pitch the final plans to an independent panel of judges. The top three ideas win business services to help them build the business. The winning team is eligible to enter the regional Startup Weekend. All of the teams will be eligible for EIGERlab’s 12th annual Fast Pitch competition in October.

The facilitator for Rockford’s Startup Weekend is Michael Ryan Norton of San Diego, California. Norton is the marketing director of Startup San Diego and the founder and senior consultant of Entrepreneurial Innovation.

If you’ve ever had a business idea that you wanted to develop or if you have coding, web development or graphic design skills and wanted to get in on the ground floor of a new company, go to to sign up.

The cost is $55 for professionals and $45 for high school and college students.

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