Pictou County’s edition of Mash Up weekend is taking place this Friday and Saturday at the Nova Scotia Community College in Stellarton.
The event is designed for anyone who has had a business idea floating around in their head and want to get it out or check the feasibility of their plan.
The Friday night participants with business ideas get 60 seconds to share them with the room then those entrepreneurs present select who they would like to work with for the rest of the weekend. Therefore, the talent and expertise in the room is crowd sourced to the entrepreneurs, explains Amanda Hill with Pulse Pictou County.
The remainder of Friday and all day Saturday the groups work toward developing and moulding business models.
On Saturday afternoon, the business plans are pitched to a panel of judges for feedback and prizes.
“This is for anyone, whether it is a doodle on the back of a napkin, or something they’ve started working on. Anyone with that entrepreneurial itch,” says Jim Proudfoot of Pulse. “And, anyone who wants to be a part of contributing to that process. You don’t have to have an idea to participate. Everybody has a unique perspective to share.”
Meals will be provided throughout the weekend with a registration cost of $45 ($25 for students), which Proudfoot says is a great value to have access to so many experts and support.
“The intense and focused sessions aim to take an idea and turn it into a business in a short amount of time with a network of people in the community.”
“This model is intended to be casual, collaborative and supportive – everyone there wants to bring these business ideas to life,” says Mash Up Lab founder Andrew Button.
Not all ideas may end up becoming viable businesses, but, some of them might.
“Anything that may stimulate the economy or support business growth here in Pictou County is a positive, so we are very excited to be hosting this event and hope people take advantage of this great opportunity,” says Hill.
Pulse is pleased with the interest in the event so far, both from participants and from local businesses who have stepped up to sponsor and be mentors.
Hill and Proudfoot explains, a win out of the weekend is showing that starting a business and being an entrepreneur is possible, not just “something that someone else did.” Mash Up Weekend aims to support and encourage people to take the first steps to exploring and developing an idea and give them the courage and confidence to take action.
“Some people who didn’t initially plan to present an idea end up getting inspired when they get in the room; anything is possible. I always say, what have you got to lose?” says Button.
Pre-registration is encouraged at mashupweekend.com, but participants can register at the door as well.