Columbia Startup Weekend focuses on collaboration

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COLUMBIA - Creativity, collaboration and teamwork were on the table Saturday at the seventh annual Columbia Startup Weekend.

A total of 125 participants were working together to potentially turn a business idea into a reality.

The group convened on Friday night, when individuals pitched their ideas. Participants then voted and narrowed it down to about 13 teams. 

Each team then spends the weekend validating the idea, seeing if anyone would be interested in it and potentially even making revenue, lead organizer Alyssa Patzius said.

Some groups may also find out 10 other people are already doing their idea, but the focus was getting passionate people into one place, she said.

"How do we get people in a room that may be too busy with their job or their schoolwork to just focus and see how much they can get done to hopefully set themselves up for a great project or maybe even their next job after this?" she said.

Ian Sage, an MU student, said he enjoyed the networking at the event the ability to put ideas into motion.

"Being a business major, I don't necessarily know how you start a business, and this gives a real good insight about everything that goes into creating a business," Sage said.

He was working with a group of 12 people on "Audio Articles," an app that would summarize scholarly articles in audio form, so students could do other things will listening to the articles.

On Saturday afternoon, the group was creating its app and conducting market research. The group's goal was to have a sample podcast ready by Sunday night, Sage said.

The public is invited to see each of the group's final presentations, where the top three winners will be determined. It begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday at Veterans United Home Loans, 3500 Buttonwood Drive.

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