Aspiring entrepreneurs to create startups in Columbia this weekend

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COLUMBIA - Veterans United is hosting a Startup Weekend starting Thursday for people in the community with ideas for a new business.

Startup Weekend is a national non-profit organization that encourages local communities to bring people together who have ideas for potential new businesses. 

This year there are more students going to the event than in years past. 

Alyssa Patzius, lead Startup Weekend organizer, said the event brings members of the community together with people who can help them start their business. 

"It's a great time for people who may have never jumped into the entrepreneurship to take a smaller leap of faith and see what they can do and see where is can take their life."

Greg Bier, director of Mizzou's entrepreneurship alliance, said Columbia is the perfect place for the event because of the people in the area. 

"Here in Columbia we have a great ecosystem to develop entrepreneurs. Startup weekend is a pretty key component where we bring students from all three college campuses and a bunch of community individuals just interested in entrepreneurship and get them to work in one co-working space for the weekend and start businesses," Bier said. 

Patzius agreed. She said people might be surprised to see how well Startup Weekend does in the area compared to other parts of the nation.

"I think because of our ecosystem of bringing together so many universities, you have so many entrepreneurial minded companies and companies that did start as startups here. We are lucky especially with the help of Veteran's United here being very involved in the entrepreneurial community here," Patzius said. 

Bier said events like this one are important for the young generation that is about to enter the workforce. 

"The younger generation doesn't want to work in a cubical for 30 years, they want to control their own destiny. They've seen their parents go through tough economic times and in many cases get laid off. So today the 20 somethings want to be able to control their work schedule," Bier said.

Bier said Startup Weekend is a great for students because it gives them real world experience. 

The event is open to the public and begins Thursday and goes through the weekend at Veterans United on Buttonwood Drive in Columbia. Tickets are $99, or $49 for students. 

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