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Two great events are happening here in the Valley of the Sun (yes, it’s still 105°F outside here folks) are coming up soon that you should consider taking part in.

Startup Weekend Phoenix

Startup Weekend is a weekend long event (starting on Friday at about 6pm and ending on Sunday at 6pm) where local techies, entrepreneurs, project managers, or interested people of all types gather in teams to actually create companies that could be viable in today’s marketplace.  This isn’t just vapor, past Startup Weekends have actually gotten to the point of initial prototypes, branding, marketing strategies within this weekend.  The goal is to gather the local community brains, have fun, and innovate.  It sounds like a really, really great time.

The event is not a free event, but only costs $39.99 and the funds are going only to directly support the event…the intention is not to ‘make money’ off these registration fees, but cover the costs beyond the sponsors have provided.  This event is not organized by one individual, one organization and there are no hidden agendas by any sponsors.  Local entrepreneurs and community folks are arranging this and excited to try to ignite the innovation in the Phoenix area and come up with something great!

Register hereInfo here.  October 17-19, 2008.

PodcampAZ 2008

I went to this event last year and it was full of energy!  Organized by some great folks, namely Brent Spore, this is the place to be in November if you are involved locally in social media.  The speaker line up is looking fun and Chris Pirillo and iJustine will be in attendance. This event is free and if you are available that weekend you should definitely go to see what is happening in social media in our area.

The event is two days, held at the UAT campus in Tempe/Phoenix (I can never tell exactly where that is located, but it’s close enough to Ted’s BBQ that I call it Tempe).  Come out and join the fun.

Info here.  No registration required.  Only fun is required.  Last year shirts were available with a “This one time, at Podcamp” theme – I can only imagine something equally as sarcastic will be made this year.

It’s fun to see things like this happening in Phoenix.  Let’s get everyone to show up and support our technical communities!

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A new (and great) idea has been making its way across the country.  It’s called Startup Weekend.  What is it?  From their site:

Have you ever wondered what a group of highly talented and motivated people could accomplish in a weekend? Could they start a company from concept to completion?

Startup Weekend answers that question and more. A unique three-day experience, Startup Weekend brings the best and brightest people together in a local office space to select the concept, break into teams, and develop the product, marketing and revenue model. 

Occurring in cities across the world, Startup Weekend is the new way to allow your local entrepreneurial community to come together and incubate a company from concept to completion in just 54 hours. – Source: StartupWeekend.com

Still don’t understand?  Get a bunch of smart people with entrepreneurial spirits, ideas from their brains and those provided by community members, put them in teams, and make the ideas come to life.  Phoenix was recently selected as one of the cities to host one of these weekends.  This isn’t a user group.  So if you think you can show up and sit in the back of the room, my guess is you can’t.  Roll up your sleeves and get ready to collaborate.

You literally take an idea, bring it to a vision, and in some cases get to an implemented 1st cut of a product.  Your team builds a company in a weekend.

Several local sponsors in Phoenix (and other cities where these are happening) have come together to provide the facilities, food, and other forms of sponsorship so the weekend can be successful.  Want more information?  Here’s some links for you:

Still need some convincing?  Local entrepreneur Sean Tierney wrote some of his thoughts when he went to a Startup Weekend in San Francisco:

Let me just say that in every respect this was an amazing event. It condensed a year long product dev and launch cycle into just 2.5 days and it began on a Friday night with a room full of 132 complete strangers. The fact they were able to keep the wheels on the bus and deliver a working alpha by midnight on Sunday was an impressive feat in itself, but what was even more impressive was to see how leaders emerged and groups solved problems."

I’m looking forward to seeing how this event evolves and being a part of it.  It isn’t a free event (but isn’t expensive), but hopefully that will give you more incentive to be serious about it.  It will be a great event for learning, leading, networking and being creative.