Startup Weekend Underway in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - On a sleepy Friday night on Buttonwood Drive, the fun was only beginning for a mid-Missouri's aspiring entrepreneurs.  

Startup Weekend kicked off around 7 p.m. at the Museao, marking the beginning of a 54-hour event aimed to facilitate new business ideas and innovators. After forming more than a dozen groups Friday night, the participants will now work through Sunday to "start up" businesses to last past the weekend. Judges will select a winner at the end of the event, but groups are encouraged to continue building their products throughout the next year and beyond. 

League of Innovators Director Heidi Fuhrman said at the beginning of the event Friday night that 122 people had registered, with more possibly to follow. That's an increase of 46 compared to last year.

The members of last year's winning company -- a data-synching service called -- spoke at the beginning of the event to offer advice to this year's participants. 

"Don't die," co-founder Wade Foster told the crowd.