Youth Startup Weekend: Taking Business from an idea to reality in one weekend

youth startup weekend

With the growth and opportunity taking place in Rochester these days, it’s no surprise that even our youth are displaying an entrepreneurial spirit.

Young innovators will unite for Rochester’s first Youth Startup Weekend, integrating elements of art, design, science, technology, engineering, and math with business and entrepreneurship, at the University Center Rochester on March 18­-20.

Youth build business in a weekend, from idea to reality. And it’s free.

Startup Weekend is intended to connect middle and high school age students with community experts skilled in operating a business, a connection that doesn’t typically occur organically.

“External experts with business and technical experience will help mentor teams, however, students will be forced to push the limits of their comfort zone and learn new skills,” said Rachelle Oribio, Techstars++ Program Director, and co-­organizer of Startup Weekend. The event culminates in a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition where teams present their business and demonstrate their prototype to a panel of local entrepreneur judges.

One of the goals for DMC’s Discovery Square sub-district is to commercialize new medical discoveries and businesses throughout the state. According to organizers, Startup Weekend is a “grassroots effort that provides a platform for creativity, technical expertise, and innovation to launch new business ideas.” Events like this can strengthen the startup community in Rochester and ultimately help DMC achieve its long-term vision.

Whether you are interested in being a mentor, coach, or judge or registering your son or daughter for the event, get involved and help support the DMC vision of developing the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs today.

Students can register at

Interested volunteers can learn more at

Sponsors for the event are Mayo Clinic Ventures, Techstars++, SBDC Minnesota, Intel, Rochester Community and Technical College, and Rochester Public Schools.