Ottawa’s tech industry is taking off. And we’re helping.

Organized in part by our very own Paul Austin-Menear, Startup Weekend Ottawa is a big idea. It pits local entrepreneurs against one another in a race to create the finest web-based startup possible in an unbelievably short time. The contestants, based out of Ottawa, Ontario and Hartford, Connecticut, will have 54 hours to develop and finalize their ideas.

Ottawa is quickly becoming a hotbed of creative talent, and this event is designed to capitalize on that wealth and show it off. Currently, roughly 50 competitors will be in attendance from backgrounds as varied as Ottawa itself. With that many talented people in one room, you can bet something special will emerge.

It all takes place in Shopify’s lounge room beginning on October 18th and running through the weekend. Ideas are pitched on Friday morning, and teams form organically based on the interests, skills, and strengths of the participants. By the end of the weekend, a team of judges will evaluate the concepts and choose the winner.

The winning team will receive hours of marking consultation at Marketing Breakthroughs Inc, as well as business mentoring from Invest and Ottawa web hosting from Microsoft.

Paul and the rest of the team at Marketing Breakthroughs are excited to see what emerges from this frenzy of entrepreneurship.  We can’t wait to give the winners some valuable marketing advice and we wish the best of luck to all the contestants.

See the press release below for more information.

(Ottawa, ON) September 6, 2013 – The organizing team of Startup Weekend Ottawa is thrilled to announce that SWO4 will be held October 18th – 20th, with a twist!

This fall’s event is unique in the Startup Weekend movement: for the first time ever, the event will be executed with participants collaborating from two cities… in two countries… in realtime! This exciting initiative is a major step forward in nurturing the technology startup ecosystem in Ottawa. Recognizing that globalization and technology will continuously shrink the distance between professionals and businesses around the globe, the SWO4 team has worked with their counterparts in Hartford, CT to expose the next generation of entrepreneurs to valuable experience in remote collaboration and to help build skills that will enable young professionals to think locally, but sell globally in the competitive environment of the 21st century.

The joint event, branded Startup Weekend Hartford­Ottawa, is part of a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who navigate the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures: all in 54 hours! Participants in both Ottawa and Hartford are already expressing strong interest in joining teams that will collaborate remotely during the competition.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the Hartford team on this initiative,” said Paul Austin­Menear, Marketing Director for Startup Weekend Ottawa. “We’ve found a great fit with the SW Hartford team, both in terms of passion and in the common values that make up the secret sauce of technology entrepreneurship. The pace of change in business and technology continues to make waves in both Canada and the United States, and it’s important to us that the next generation of entrepreneurs be prepared for, and take part in the next leap forward.”

“We are proud to partner with the organizers of Startup Weekend Ottawa to establish Startup Weekend Hartford­Ottawa, the first effort of its kind,” said John Shemo, vice president and director of economic development for the MetroHartford Alliance. “Both cities have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and base, and the mechanics of this bi­city effort will allow all participants, especially those who opt for the joint opportunity, to harness the most innovative and advanced technologies to connect, create and compete.”

Registration for the event, which will take place in the Shopify Lounge at 62 York Street, is now open and the organizers encourage all interested participants to register soon. Space is still available for local developers, graphic and web designers, marketing professionals, product/business managers, and startup enthusiasts to participate. Cost for registration is $99 per person, with full­time student tickets available at $49 per person while availability lasts.Startup Weekend begins with participants pitching their startup ideas and receiving feedback from peers. Participants are not required to pitch an idea to participate, but all are welcome to do so. Teams are then formed by participants based on the top ideas as voted on by the group. Over the course of the subsequent 54 hours, each team focuses its energies on creating a business model and on coding, designing, and obtaining market validation for their product or service. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurs and business community leaders who offer constructive feedback in the event’s judging process.

For more information or to register, visit: Media Contact: Paul Austin­Menear / / 613.721.3335