Startup Weekend Goes to Haiti

Startup Weekend to the rescue! Of all the things leveled by last month's earthquake in Haiti, its universities were among the...

Startup Weekend to the rescue! Of all the things leveled by last month's earthquake in Haiti, its universities were among the worst of the wreckage.

The New York Times' "You're the Boss" blog asks: "Could a nation still lacking basic resources and infrastructure and still reeling from a devastating earthquake benefit from entrepreneurial education and cash grants for small businesses?"

Enter Startup Weekend, a nonprofit based out of Seattle, whose mantra of "no talk, all action," has endeavored to take on the challenge.

Next fall's Startup Weekend: Haiti, will use its traditional three-day, 54-hour model to bring together entrepreneurs and designers, developers and marketers to launch ideas. So far, it's spawned nearly 300 ventures like SnapImpact, which utilizes an iPhone app to link volunteers to charitable projects.

One of Startup Weekend's founders, Marc Nager, told the Times that he would consider it a success even "if the event inspires the creation of one company or one job."

But can the Startup Weekend model be tweaked to work in Haiti? Or must plans for innovation and jobs be tabled until basic needs are first being met?

Check out pitch night from an earlier event in the Bay Area where ideas were presented and then voted upon:


Graphic via Startup Weekend.

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