Calling wannabe entrepreneurs: Saint John group wants to hear your pitch
TechStars events have already spawned at least 3 small businesses in New Brunswick, including HotSpot Parking
If you think you might have the next big business idea, an event later this month in Saint John could be your chance to pitch to a group of potential investors.
"It's a competition where ... you come together with like-minded individuals and build a business from concept to the actual pitch to investors," said Ashley Frank, a member of the planning committee.
A group of local volunteers and entrepreneurs is behind Techstars New Brunswick. Members organize events to help spark new businesses in the province.
Our ultimate hope here is you come out of the weekend and you have a viable business that you can continue to build.- Ashley Frank
Ashley Frank, a member of the planning committee for the upcoming Techstars startup weekend, said the 54-hour event goes from 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct.1.
"Sometimes [participants] will come prepared with an idea, sometimes you sit down to the person next to you and you actually come up with the idea on the spot and pitch it," he said.
Frank said the weekend is as much about building a business plan, as it is about collaborating.
"Our ultimate hope here is you come out of the weekend and you have a viable business that you can continue to build... but if not you've had a really great experience and know how to build a business."
'Things transform in one weekend'
Frank said HotSpot Parking, a Fredericton-based business that offers a parking app, came out of a similar event.
"So if you have an idea for a dog wash that you want to open or if you have an idea for the next great app — we want you there."
On Sunday afternoon, the public is invited to hear the pitches that are developed over the weekend. The winners will receive services donated by local businesses for things like marketing, accounting and sales.
Frank expects more than 50 people will take part, including college students, business people and retired people.
"You just see things transform in one weekend," he said. "You can have somebody who has a very small idea that can actually turn into a really big concept by the end of the weekend."