Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 4, 2014

Startup Weekend approaches

TRAVERSE CITY – Entrepreneurs and hopefuls will gather in Traverse City this month to spend three days collaborating to develop new businesses.

Those creative minds will meet at Traverse City Startup Weekend, one of many Startup Weekend events held around the world that promote business innovation.

“It’s to build connections between talented individuals that have the drive to start something,” said organizer Eric Misterovich. “We hope to bring a lot of people together, to put them in a room and see what they can create. The underlying message is to learn how to work, to learn how to make these connections.”

Entrepreneurs and tech experts will pitch ideas and form teams to collaborate on the best.

Teams present their ideas to a panel of judges at the end of the weekend, then judges award three winning teams with prizes such as legal advice and business consulting.

John Di Giacomo, who helped organize the Traverse City event, said more than 30 percent of Startup Weekend projects continue after the weekend events, and many become real businesses.

Di Giacomo said the event will help shed light on the local tech sector.

He hopes it will lead to more technology-based businesses starting or relocating here.

“We have a hard time attracting talent,” Di Giacomo said. “Traverse City is beautiful, but we don’t have a research university here. We need to do things like this to get that engineering talent to see Traverse City is a place to do these types of businesses.”

The Traverse City event runs June 13-15. Ted Serbinski, a partner at Detroit Venture Partners will be the keynote speaker.

Serbinski, Joel Mueller of MacUpdate, Jordan Breighner of Cool House Labs and Jared Stasik of Detroit Venture Partners will judge the ideas. Mary Rogers of Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, Gary Brooks of Cloud Access and Chris Moulthrup of MidMichigan Innovation Center will coach participants.

More information is available at

Registration is open until the event begins.

Team presentations will be held at the Hagerty Center on June 15 at 5 p.m. and are free and open to the public.



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