Startup Weekend returns to Ames

Ellen Bombela

After two years, Startup Weekend is returning to Ames.

Startup Weekend Ames is one of over 230 start-up events happening around the globe this weekend. While allowing participants to be creative and share their ideas, the event is also encouraging students to create their businesses in Ames rather than moving to bigger cities such as Des Moines and Omaha, Nebraska.  

The event is being hosted Friday through Sunday in the Gerdin Business Building.

Participants will participate in a “pitchfire” Friday night. They will have 60 seconds to pitch their start-up ideas to the group, according to a press release from Iowa State’s Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. After the top pitches are selected, participants will be able to choose teams and what projects they want to work on.

Teams will work Saturday on their ideas, which will include developing a product and finding customers to invest in the product. Participants will also be learning from and get tips from local mentors.

Sunday will be the final day of the event. Teams will have five minutes to present their ideas to a panel of experts and the audience. Various awards will be given, including consulting and coaching time with professionals.

“I think that the biggest benefit is just being around like-minded people that are really looking to either start something, create a product or create a service,” said Diana Wright, marketing and program coordinator for the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. “It gets people thinking creatively and working in a team environment and really encourages all the entrepreneurs in the Ames community to share things together and build things together.”

Students can register until the start of the event. The student ticket price is $50, and tickets for the professional community are $99. To register, go to