Western students to compete with other entrepreneurs in Seattle's 'Northwest Battle' Dec. 12

The winners of Startup Weekend Bellingham, two entrepreneurial teams led by Western Washington University students, will be competing in the Northwest Battle – Startup Edition at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Showbox Sodo in Seattle.

The Northwest Battle is a competition for entrepreneurial teams to pitch their startup business ideas to judges like Marc Nager, the CEO of Up Global, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs. In order to compete, teams must have won first or second place in one of the seven Startup Weekend events that in various cities throughout the Northwest this fall.

Startup Weekend Bellingham took place from Nov. 22-24 at the BIG Idea Lab in downtown Bellingham. Startup weekends allow anyone to join and pitch an idea for a business. Teams are formed around those ideas and spend the entire weekend building a startup; facilitators, organizers and industry-professional mentors all come together to support the startup teams.

Dan Purdy, Western’s director of The Western Front Door to Discovery and adjunct professor of marketing, co-organized the event with Tyler Byrd of the BIG Idea Lab, Dodd Snodgrass of the Port of Bellingham and Sommer Cronk of the Technology Alliance Northwest. Of the 65 registrants, 39 were students and 26 were community members.

“We were just blown away by the enthusiasm of the community for Startup Weekend,” Purdy said. “The collaboration and support of the community was the key to this success; from the 25 mentors and judges volunteering their time to the sponsors who made it possible to feed 100 people throughout the weekend. We are so proud to send these two teams to Seattle to represent the Bellingham startup community.”

The Almost Gentlemen team, comprised of Western students Joshua Bennett (San Jose, Calif.) and Adam Zerby (Sedro-Woolley), and community members TJ Meyer and Nancy Joseph took first place at Startup Weekend Bellingham. Their startup, Almost Gentlemen, aspires to connect men with quality content to support them in personal growth and refinement. Their business would send their customers a box each month containing very specific products and challenges.

In second place was the 3D Connect team, made up of Western students Alex White (Woodinville), Joe Sturgeon (Woodinville) and Kayla Hall (Sequim) and community members David Katsandres, Steve Stedman and Marilyn Flint. With their startup, 3D Connect, they offer a service that gives the general population a connection to those who own 3D printers, in order to make 3D printing more accessible.

Tickets for the event range from $10 to $15 and can be purchased online at http://bellingham.startupweekend.org/.

For more information, contact Dan Purdy, Western Washington University director of The Western Front Door to Discovery and adjunct professor of Marketing at (360) 739-9078 or daniel.purdy@wwu.edu.