Startup Weekend Comes to the Upstate: Press Release


Startup Weekend Comes to the Upstate: Launch a Startup in 54 hours
Spartanburg, South Carolina, February 21-23 2014

Startup Weekend, a global event where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs come together to launch companies in 54 hours, is coming to the Grain District of downtown Spartanburg.

Startup Weekends happen all over the world, and they all follow roughly the same model. Anyone can pitch a startup idea on Friday night. The crowd votes on their favorite ideas, and the top five are chosen. All participants self select into teams and hustle to build as much of the startup as possible over the course of the weekend. The weekend culminates in a pitch on Sunday evening to seasoned investors and entrepreneurs.

From apps to hot dog stands, you can pitch whatever you want, but you also don’t have to pitch an idea to participate. “The only rule is that each idea has to be brand new. You can’t pitch something you’ve worked on previously, which really helps to even the playing field” said Roy Schmidt, a Startup Weekend organizer who recently moved to Greenville, SC from Seattle, where Startup Weekend originated.

Once participants break into teams, the frenzy of business model creation, development, design, and customer validation is set in motion and the wheels don’t stop turning for 54 hours. Throughout the weekend, all the food, beer, and ping pong participants need to charge and recharge their batteries is provided by the organizing team, which frees up the teams to really go full tilt. “We will have some sweet swag from Amazon and Google and tons of local food and brews,” says organizer Cate Ryba, “This is going to be a great event for Spartanburg.”

Kate McCarthy, Program Director for The Iron Yard’s Accelerators and an organizer shares, “It’s really a sprint to the finish. It’s not uncommon for teams to sleep only a few hours each night. That’s what hackathons and Startup Weekends are all about- that awesome energy.”

Each judge on this year’s panel brings deep experience in startups, early stage investing, and growing strong businesses. Judges include Matt Dunbar, Managing Director of Upstate Carolina Angel Network, Scott Cochran, Dean of The Space at Wofford College, Peter Barth, CEO of The Iron Yard, and Jack McBride, CEO of Contec. While one company will walk away the winner, all companies will receive valuable feedback on their businesses.

The event will take place at The Iron Yard’s Spartanburg location at 151 South Daniel Morgan Avenue, 29306. Sunday night’s pitch event will be directly upstairs at HUB-BUB. For tickets, go to
or drop by HUB-BUB at 149 S. Daniel Morgan Ave to purchase them in person. If you’re coming in from out of town, you can receive a discounted room at The Marriott by mentioning The Iron Yard. Ticket prices go up after January 31st, so grab yours now.

Kate McCarthy,