Anyone with a brain who has ever experienced the healthcare system or life science industry (i.e. all of us!) has probably said to themselves at one point or another “Wouldn’t it be great if…” followed by some new idea. This weekend St. Louis offers the chance to channel that impulse into creating something sustainable and great by working in a proven hackathon-style event with like-minded innovators.
Startup Weekend: HEALTHbio St. Louis is the Midwest’s very first Startup Weekend specifically focused on healthcare, life science, and related technologies and services. It unites aspiring entrepreneurs, helpers and doers through the common goal of creating real, viable startup business models in just 54 hours. The event, open to all, will be held at CIC St. Louis, 4240 Duncan Avenue #200, from Friday, February 6 – Sunday, February 8, 2015.
Startup Weekened: HEALTHbio gives local individuals the opportunity to share ideas, combine, build and hone innovations into viable business concepts through a proven crowd-sourced process. Fifty or more innovators will collaborate in this “Group Jam” with the goal of creating viable business models benefiting sectors of health, biotech, life science, and more. Some of the area’s top thinkers, creators, and innovators — fueled by St. Louis’ thriving science and healthcare business ecosystem — will participate.
The event builds on the proven formula and format offered by SartupWeekend.org (Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs). This organization has led over 1,500 events in 726 cities creating over 13,000 startups through the efforts of 123,000 entrepreneurs. Yet even with all that experience, this event is brand new as it will be the first ever such event in the Midwest – and one of the few globally – applied to innovation in the life-sciences, agriculture, animal health and healthcare.
Startup Weekend: HEALTHbio St. Louis is a 54-hour structured jam session of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. All are welcome to attend, pitch their ideas and/or pitch in as a team member on others’ ideas. Diversity is key and the success of the event will driven not only by experts in healthcare and life science and experienced entrepreneurs but also by coders, designers, marketers, end-users and innovators of all description. Throughout the weekend, participants work in teams through a structured process to select and refine top concepts and then create basic prototypes and business plans. The event culminates in Sunday night demos, where teams receive critical feedback and suggested “next steps” from local entrepreneurial leaders and funders. Winning concepts will be recognized and prizes (free business consulting and other expertise) will be awarded.
A hands-on experience, Startup Weekend: HEALTHbio St. Louis gives aspiring entrepreneurs a “deep immersion” opportunity to learn, challenge themselves, form and test ideas, and connect with their community. Attendees also receive meals and snacks, access to exclusive resources, and (of course) lots and lots of coffee. The whole weekend costs just $75 ($50 for students).