Editor’s note: The following is part of Startland News’ ongoing coverage of the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Kansas City’s entrepreneur community, as well as how innovation is helping to drive a new normal in the ecosystem. Click here to follow related stories as they develop.
Techstars Startup Weekend is adding new programming in the era of Coronavirus (COVID-19) — calling on innovators nationwide to suit up and use their ideas to fight the global health crisis.
“Geography is no longer a limitation,” Techstars said in announcement of Startup Weekend Remote — a global, online version of Startup Weekend designed to solve problems brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Startup Weekend traditionally is an in-person, team-oriented “three-day long sprint to launch new products and services that solve real-world problems.” The new format builds on that foundation with social distancing necessities in mind.
“You can now build your team and go to launch from the comfort of your quarantine,” Techstars explained Thursday during a press conference about the event, which launches Friday using video conferencing and online collaboration tools.
More than 10,000 people are expected to embark on the global call for startup solutions in such spaces as health, education, vulnerable populations, small business, community, and entertainment — with few topics off limits, the company said.
“We’re super excited for this amazing initiative and for the ideas,” said Steven Rodriquez, regional manager for Techstars’ startup programs in the U.S. and Canada. “We make innovation accessible to everyone everywhere and that’s why we’re excited about this Techstars mobile Startup Weekend.”
Click here to register for the event before at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
To effectively reach U.S. participants on both coasts, Techstars will run east and west sections of the competition — with interested Kansas Citians set to compete in the eastern matchup.
“However we are still running one nation-wide event. You can work in teams with anyone you want, from anywhere in the country,” Techstars said.
Although virtual, Techstars said it’s hopeful participants will still make the event the focus of their weekend and attend all virtual events associated with the program, which will include such virtual versions of such traditional programming as a kickoff celebration and pitch session.
A YouTube Live demo day is set for Sunday.
Beyond the pandemic, the in-person Startup Weekend is expected to return to Kansas City this fall, organizers told Startland News.
Click here to read more about the 2019 showing of Startup Weekend.