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Startup Weekend Denton to help attendees test their business ideas

Over the course of 54 hours, attendees at Startup Weekend Denton will build the foundations for the next big company. 

Startup Weekend is designed to bring together developers, marketers and entrepreneurs to take an idea and figure out how to turn it into a business. The event starts Friday, Nov. 10.

"We say it's the best way to test entrepreneurship," the event's founder Kyle Taylor said. "A lot of people think they have to already be an entrepreneur or work in tech, and that's totally not the case. If you have an idea for something, and you don't know if it will work or not, show up." 

The way the event works is everyone gets together Friday evening and anyone can spend 60 seconds pitching their big idea. Once everyone goes, attendees vote for three ideas they'd want to work on. Event staff pick the top 10 or 12 ideas, and people pick what idea they want to support and be on the team to help turn the idea into a business. 

Teams then flesh out the idea all weekend, whether it's building a watch or the back-end of a website. On Saturday, mentors will be available to help teams with some guidance on what to do next. By Sunday, teams will give a five-minute presentation on their business plan. 

"It's hard to describe the amount of experience one person gets going through the event because it exposes you to so many different aspects of what it takes to create a company," Taylor said. "It shows you actually how much work you have to do for it, and you ask people to buy your product."

Previous projects that have come out of the event include FiveOh, a mobile app to help users find food near them that costs less than $5, and Game Time Giving, a platform for nonprofits to raise money at sporting events. 

At the end of the weekend, teams present their businesses to a panel of local judges who pick the winners. Prizes include software licenses and consulting time from local marketing and branding agencies Swash Labs and Square205. Plus, winning teams advance to the regional competition and can advance all the way up to the global challenge. 

Tickets for the event are $99 for the general population and $50 for students. Readers can use the discount code DRC at checkout to get 25 percent off. For tickets and more information, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-weekend-denton-tickets-36514931142.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889.