Startup Weekend ends spate of entrepreneur events

Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center has combined resources with other organizations to sponsor Global Entrepreneurship Week, which ends Nov. 24, to celebrate Whatcom County’s entrepreneurs and showcase local talent and resources.

Entrepreneurs are invited to join the week-long activities designed to celebrate, support and grow their business and start-up ideas. The week began with a kickoff event at the Port of Bellingham Monday and ends with the Startup Weekend Nov. 22 to 24. All events during Global Entrepreneurship Week are free, with the exception of Startup Weekend.

Groups organizing Global Entrepreneurship Week in Whatcom County are Western’s Front Door to Discovery, Western’s Small Business Development Center, the Port of Bellingham, Technology Alliance Group, the BIG Idea Lab, Sustainable Connections, Bellingham Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and the NW Innovation Resource Center.

Western’s Small Business Development Center is part of the most comprehensive small-business alliance in the U.S., with more than 1,000 active SBDC programs across the country. Western’s SBDC receives support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham. Since 1983, Western’s SBDC has given back to the business community, and helped shape the economic future of Whatcom County by providing free, confidential advising, technical assistance and research to business owners and managers in an effort to help businesses thrive.

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

For a list of the week's activities, visit the website at The Startup Bellingham website is at