Launch of Riverside’s First Startup Weekend “Out of the Park”

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

In less than three days, nearly 100 people helped create 10 new businesses that could call Riverside their home. 

Teams worked to create new businesses in less than three days.

Startup Weekend Riverside organizer and founder of Riverside.io, Benjamin Mueller, described this past weekend’s event as “Amazing,” adding that of the four Startup Weekends he has attended in the past, this one was at the top in terms of the quality of each project – “clean development process and strong product types.”

Startup Weekend is a global program that brings 54-hour events to select cities where “developers, coders, designers marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and create startups.”  Typically half of the event attendees have technical backgrounds while the other half have business backgrounds.

Attendees listen to other teams pitch their business idea and plans to event judges on Sunday evening.

Not only are Startup Weekends known for bringing jobs and investment to a community, but according to Mueller, they “Inspire and ignite a passion in the younger, less risk-adverse generation – and that demographic in your startup scene tends to attract more outside investors.”

When Mueller, who is not a native Riversider, was asked why he and his team decided to lead this effort in Riverside, he explained that these endeavors cannot just be built by one person or organization, it really takes a cross-collaboration of leaders from throughout the community that are passionate about entrepreneurialism and startup businesses. He added that, “The way that the City approaches economic development was also key. They don’t try to dictate how businesses should operate, but rather they provide resources and helpful information that enable [businesses] to be successful.”

Mueller credited StartupIE and Riverside.io as the driving forces behind Riverside’s successful inaugural Startup Weekend. His partners, Mike Kennedy and Conley Read, each played integral roles securing the space, sponsors, coaches, food and all other details that made the event a huge success. Participants rewarded their efforts with rave reviews and excitement to continue working on their new business ventures.

Looking ahead the team anticipates organizing two Startup Weekends in Riverside per year, each time adding more elements that build on its special and unique atmosphere. For the next Startup Weekend, which Mueller hopes to take place as early as this fall, the team is focused on bringing in more resources from outside of the area, such as judges, to increase Riverside’s exposure and build credibility.

For more information on the Riverside Startup Weekend, visit their official website at riverside.startupweekend.org.