Entrepreneurs build up to Techstars Startup Weekend


Katrina Singleton, News Editor

  CSU Bakersfield will be hosting the annual Techstars Startup Weekend Feb. 21 through Feb. 23 for the second time in its existence. Entrepreneurs are welcomed to this event to pitch business ideas, build protypes, and present their ideas to judges for a chance to win $30,000 in prizes. 

  The event will take place in CSUB’s Student Housing East Multipurpose Room. The event is free, and all ages are welcome to attend and participate. 

  Registration starts at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21. Dinner will be provided for those who attend, and networking will begin shortly after. Attendees will also begin pitching ideas, voting on pitches and forming teams to start working together to create prototypes. Teams can stay on campus working on their ideas until 10 p.m. 

   Working on prototypes begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday Feb. 22. This will be held in the Business Development Center (BDC) classrooms on CSUB’s campus. Teams will be able to meet with coaches during this time to receive advice or have any questions answered. Teams can stay on campus working on their ideas until 10 p.m. 

  Confirmed coaches for the event are as follows: 

  • Shannon LaBare, Purveyor Branding Co. 
  • Vavani Sarma, Software Solution Architect and Entrepreneur (Newport Beach) 
  • Michael Russo, owner of Russo’s Books 
  • Kelly Bearden, director, Small Business Development Center 
  • Jay Thompson, consultant, Small Business Development Center 
  • Elizabeth Hamlin, Small Business Development Center 
  • Angel Cottrell, entrepreneur and coach 
  • Kamal Bhakta and Julissa Bhakta, directors of operations, Capstone Partners Bakersfield 
  • Dani Arnaout, Techstars facilitator 
  • Jeremy Woods and Sumita Sarma of CSUB. 

  Teams will present their prototypes to the judges on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. Judging will start at 7 p.m. The top three teams will win up to $30,000 worth of services from local partners such as: Klein DeNatale Goldner (legal consulting), Barbich Hooper King (accounting consulting), Purveyor Branding Co. (graphic design and brand consulting), Mesh Cowork (coworking space), Amazon Web Services (software services) and many others. 

  For additional information and to register, visit techstars.com/startup-weekend.