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My adventure with Startup Weekend starts now...gulp

A number of the Plate Share start up group work on various parts of the startup‘s ideas in 2013.
A number of the Plate Share start up group work on various parts of the startup‘s ideas in 2013. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

There’s a chance I’ll cry this weekend.

OK, maybe I’m being a little drastic but I’m sure there will be moments of periodic sighing coupled with the occasional sob or whimper.

Starting at 7 p.m. Friday, I’m throwing myself into the trenches of the Charlotte Startup Weekend, touted as a three-day, 54-hour build-a-business competition that draws dozens of witty inventors and entrepreneurial upstarts each year (this is the competition’s seventh year in Charlotte, FYI).

I won’t just be reporting on what’s happening or who’s banging on a conference table in frustration. I’m joining in. That means I’ll be assigned to a team and, together, we’ll birth a business from concept to creation. It culminates on Sunday when we deliver a 3-minute pitch to a panel of judges (cue nervous sweat).

Startup Weekend is a global event that gives people who might not be ready to take the leap a quick crash course in the highs and lows of founding a business. Adam Hill, one of Charlotte Startup Weekend’s organizers, says real businesses have actually formed at the startup weekend – “a relatively intense entrepreneurial experience.”

In a series of tweets, blog entries and videos, I’ll chronicle my experience inside the startup weekend, sharing with you my boot camp-like journey. I asked Adam if I should expect the oft-cited “blood, sweat, tears” associated with being a business owner.

He said: “Yeah, pretty much.”

I’ve been told experience and know-how are not prerequisites (apologies in advance to my soon-to-be teammates).

I won’t be left out in the cold, though. Speakers on tap this weekend include marketing maverick Juan Garzon and Jenifer Daniels, founder and CEO of Good&Smart branding agency.

Jim Van Fleet of It’sBspoke, Christy Harner, co-founder of Binary Ventures, and Wordpress expert Brett Bumeter will be coaching us. And, Binary Ventures co-founder Steve Nolan and Christie Kahil of entrepreneurial hub Queen City Forward program and resource manager, will be judging us.

You can stay up-to-date on the action here on the ShopTalk blog this Friday to Sunday. Follow me on Twitter (@JmcfaddenObsBiz) for real-time tweets, photos and mini-videos. And, check out this Storify you can be a part of by tweeting #csw7 and #shoptalkCLT.

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