Lake area entrepreneurs can turn business idea into reality

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's an entrepreneur event hosted in major cities around the United States and world. It's now making its way to Southwest Louisiana.

The event allows aspiring lake area entrepreneurs a chance to take a business idea and turn it into action in just one weekend.

Chris Meaux not only believes in Startup Weekend, but he's lived it. Meaux got his business off the ground after winning at the event in Florida. Now, he's bringing it back to the place he calls home.

"We'd like to see multiple companies come out of Startup Weekend that become operating entities that can help employ people in things from technology to maybe restaurants," said Meaux.

Organizers said the Startup Weekend starts with a pitch. After the pitch, it's 54 hours of business model creation, designing, and marketing.

"You pitch the idea in 60 seconds," said Meaux. "Then the group votes on the top ideas and those team leaders get to form a team that will turn that idea into a minimum product by Sunday afternoon."

The event will be held at the SEED Center. Organizers said with the SEED Center's resources, it's a main reason the event was possible in Southwest Louisiana. Entrepreneurs will get the chance to use the innovation supplies from the center.

"We have access to 3D prototyping printers so if people want to come in and develop an idea more product oriented, we can do that as well," said organizer, Nick Villaume.

And with a company like Google behind the startup name, Meaux said he trusts the process.

"What it says is that Startup Weekend has been successful all around the world and so Google realizes that it's a great way to spread new ideas around the world and the United States," said Meaux.

Ultimately, it's a place for those with ideas to come one step closer to making them a reality.

"By Sunday afternoon those teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and one team will be selected as a winner," said Meaux.

Winners of Startup Weekend will receive a prize package, which includes time at the SEED Center Incubator.

Organizers said not everyone who signs up for the event has to come with an idea, but can come to backup an idea and join a team.

Anyone can still sign up. It costs $28.50 for students and $45.50 for non-students. Organizers are also still looking for sponsors.

Startup Weekend is March 28th-30th.

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