Pitch it. Work it. Launch it: Startup Weekend returns to Cape Town

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Getting a business off the ground takes time, dedication and the occasional bit of sweat and blood. You should be able to pack that all into fifty-four hours right?

That’s how long people will have to pitch, work and launch their business ideas at Cape Town’s second Startup Weekend. These high-pressure events have been a staple of Silicon Valley for some time now, but are relatively new to the South African scene.

The 54 hour event essentially provides the networking, resources, and incentives for participants to take a business idea from concept to launch ready, in two days.

The event, which takes place on between 31 August and 2 September, is open to anyone, including those with ideas for startups and those without an idea, but interested in working on developing or learning about startups. Attendees include entrepreneurs, developers, designers, enthusiasts, marketing and business professionals and university graduates.

The weekend kicks off on the Friday evening with open mic pitches. Attendees vote for their top pitches. Teams are formed around the best ideas, which then work on the startup ideas through to the Sunday. Presentations are made to a panel of expert judges, and the best startups are awarded prizes ranging from in-kind support from companies and potentially seed capital.

The event organisers are hoping to expand on last year’s iteration, which saw some 20 pitches, with six teams ultimately chosen. In this regard, they’ve teamed up with the newly revamped Telkom Bandwidth Barn to ensure double the participant capacity. Two of the 2011 pitchers Cable & Grain and [Easy2Map] went on to form companies, showing that can pressure can be an effective motivator.

Each participating team will receive gifts from our global sponsors including: Microsoft BizSpark; Cloudmine; .CO; and SendGrid. Registration covers the cost of instruction, mentorship, meals and beverages for the entire weekend, and a Cape Town Startup Weekend goodie bag. Participants are encouraged to register early as tickets are limited.

Anyone interested in taking part can register on the event site.

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