Start-up weekend brings ideas to life in Reno |

Start-up weekend brings ideas to life in Reno

Staff Reports
Special to The R-CWomen Inspiring Service and Education board members Trish Vo, Susan Barry, Gail Davis, Vanessa Littrell, Debbie McFadden and Diane Ortenzio-Cooling in October.

The biggest little city will offer local entrepreneurs an opportunity to start a business in 54 hours in a room full of designers, developers, and enthusiasts during the inaugural Startup Weekend Reno running Friday through Sunday.

During the concept-to-launch crunch weekend, local CEOs, founders, and startup veterans will be on hand to provide insight and expertise on the fast-paced world of technology startups in order to motivate and educate participants.

“This is going to be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to build a business but has no solid starting point,” said Daniel Herr, event organizer. “There will be some brilliant entrepreneurs around to give advice and keep the momentum going.”

On Friday, registered attendees will take to an open mic inside the weekend’s venue and begin pitching ideas to the group in 60 seconds or less. Ideas are typically web and mobile applications, and once pitched are voted on to create teams for top ideas.

The weekend is spent making the ideas come to life, and a plethora of resources and advice from regional entrepreneurs is offered to participants. Meals and coffee are included in the ticket price. The deadline to complete the business plan is Sunday evening, when the results are presented and prizes such as office space, marketing support, and hosting are awarded.

The event will take place inside the Southside School, 190 East Liberty St., starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Details can be found at or by calling Herr at (775) 393-9285.

Startup Weekend is a nonprofit based in Seattle, Wash. Founded in 2007 in Boulder, Colo., by Andrew Hyde, the organization has been based out of Seattle since 2009 under the direction of Marc Nager. Supported by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation, Startup Weekend has held more than 325 events around the globe, inspiring nearly 30,000 entrepreneurs to take an idea from concept to launch.

Applications for a $500 scholarship are now being accepted by the Women Inspiring Service and Education organization.

The scholarship will be used for fees and tuition to women students of either Western Nevada College or Truckee Meadows Community College.

Applications are open to all women in the Minden and Gardnerville areas, from high school seniors who are getting ready to attend college for the first time, to existing WNC or TMCC college students, to women already in the workforce looking to complete continuing education and/or branch out in a new career path.

The deadline to submit an application is March 31; scholarships will be awarded on May 3. Applications are available online at

WISE will be holding their monthly meeting and luncheon on Feb. 28 at Carson Valley Inn in Minden.

The monthly meeting is an opportunity for members and guests to meet, greet, and network. In addition to lunch, the group features a speaker or an activity designed to help and grow businesses.

This month’s speaker is Jodi Wass of the Douglas Center for Hope and Healing. Member of the Month is Gail Davis of Qivana, a health supplement system.

Check-in time is 11-11:30 a.m. The meeting begins at 11:45 a.m. and ends promptly at 1 p.m. Cost is $17 for members, $20 for guests. RSVPs are required by Monday at 5 p.m. To make reservations and pay at the luncheon, send your name in an email to with “WISE RSVP” as the subject or visit

WISE is not only a networking organization for local business owners, but also a venue for women to grow personally as well as professionally.

The organization is dedicated to serving the community by offering educational opportunities for women, holding fundraising events for local charities, and sponsoring continuing education rallies.

For more information, contact Vanessa Littrell, WISE president, at (775) 309-6552 or