Startup Weekend returns to Jackson with a health care emphasis

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(Ridgeland, Miss.) – Innovate Mississippi announced that Startup Weekend Jackson will take place May 16-18 at Millsaps College. Startup Weekend is an intense 54-hour event powered by Google for Entrepreneurs that operates worldwide and brings together entrepreneurs, programmers, coders, developers and other business-minded individuals for a weekend of company creation.

In addition to the traditional mobile and tech-related startup ideas, this year Startup Weekend Jackson is placing an added emphasis on the medical and telehealth industry with a special health care track sponsored by Humana.

“This is the most fun startup event we host because it shortcuts the process between ideas and implementation,” said Tony Jeff, president and CEO of Innovate Mississippi. “It’s great to see simple concepts on Friday night that sometimes transform into businesses with real customers by Sunday.”

The event begins with aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their proposals Friday night to the group, who then votes for the most promising 10 to 15 ideas. The group will divide into small teams who each spend the rest of the weekend focusing on a single business idea and developing a proof of concept, demo or finished product. Mentors help fine-tune the idea into a “working company” with potential profits. A panel of seasoned professionals evaluates each group’s created company and their chances of real-world success, and the event concludes Sunday with an awards ceremony where the top three teams receive in-kind prizes from local service providers.

“Startup Weekend organizes a system for people of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels to put their business ideas to the test,” said Josh Mabus, founder of the Mabus Agency and experienced coach with Startup Weekend. “As a coach, it is wonderful to work alongside visionaries to help them test and hone their ideas. Startup Weekend is a positive environment that nurtures and enhances the earliest stages of entrepreneurship: ideation.”

Startup Weekend Jackson is currently looking for participants, financial and in-kind sponsors, and mentors to work closely with individual teams and provide feedback and encouragement.

Startup Weekend Jackson is organized by the employees of Innovate Mississippi. Contact Tasha Bibb at tbibb@innovate.ms or visit www.jackson.startupweekend.org for more information and to purchase tickets, which include all events and meals for the weekend. Students receive 50 percent off ticket prices. Follow all Startup Weekend Mississippi events on Twitter via @SWmississippi or visit their Facebook and LinkedIn pages by searching Startup Weekend Mississippi.

Innovate Mississippi is a nonprofit organization with the mission to drive innovation and technology-based economic development for the State of Mississippi. Visit www.innovate.ms to learn more.