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Startup event kicks off Friday

Weekend aims to turn great ideas into real-world companies

Posted: October 4, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 4, 2012 2:00 a.m.

This photo posted on Sharypic, shows members of Startup Weekend London, which was held on March 23 through March 25, working on building startup companies. Mobile app dating service ElimiDate won the grand prize.

SCV Startup is holding its Startup Weekend in a retail store front on Town Center Drive this weekend.

The 54-hour long, non-stop weekend event, which has been held in cities throughout the country, begins with pitches for ideas for startup companies.

After the most promising ideas are selected, teams of developers, designers, programmers, marketing specialists and more are formed to begin work on building the actual company throughout the weekend. By Sunday evening, a winning startup is selected.

“Startup Weekends are like lightening in a bottle,” said Dan Wu, partner with Silicon Valley-based Fortis Counsel LLP — a sponsoring firm of the weekend event.

Organized by Erick Arndt and Brian Tippy of SCV Startup, the event is sold out save for a few openings for designers and programmers. As of the kick-off on Friday at 6 p.m., the event will be streamed live by Santa-Clarita based company Influxis.

“The Pasadena Angels and a law firm in Los Angeles, Fortis, really stepped up as financial sponsors,” Arndt said. “Westfield saved the day with the venue.”

And TCAST Communications moved some things around to get our Internet up in a hurry, he said. That is no small task as the event needed a Herculean connection to ensure all teams can operate and never have technical issues, he said.

“These guys came through the door and we didn’t even hesitate,” Lee Howard, president of Santa Clarita-based TCAST Communications said. “It’s to everyone’s best benefit to help businesses grow and retain jobs.”

There need to be good jobs in the Santa Clarita Valley that pay well, Howard said. Those jobs create customers who can buy services and shop locally. If employees are paid well enough that they can afford to live here — everyone in the community benefits, he said.

Fortis Counsel, with offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Silicon Valley, has sponsored several Startup Weekends since 2009 in Los Angeles, Orange County and even Las Vegas, said Wu.

Because the events sell out, each time a new event is announced they tend to attract people from all over the region as well as from other states.

Wu’s firm supports a lot of emerging technology companies, he said. It’s a natural fit to support the communities the companies are based in. And tech entrepreneurs are now spreading throughout Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Pasadena and now in Orange County.

“Supporting these companies is important,” Wu said. “The small, first-time entrepreneurs need the correct legal representation because some companies come out of these events immediately raising $250,000 to $500,000 to $1 million.”

When startups get the wrong attorney, one not experienced in protecting startups, Wu said his firm often spends a lot of time cleaning things up which slows down the growth process for the startup company and investors.

The SCV event is going to attract people from Los Angeles and beyond, he said, because these events sell out so fast not everyone can go. It’s a very grass roots type of event, sponsored by a global organization — Startup Weekend — backed by the Kauffman Foundation and with supporters like Google and Microsoft.

“It’s such a fun weekend,” Wu said. “You start the seeds for future collaboration with everyone.”

Friday night pitches and award presentations on Sunday night for the Startup Weekend will be streamed lived by Influxis at online at

The cool thing is that our live streaming app allows for live social chat as well,” said Collin Lee, marketing director with Influxis. “People will be able to sign in with their Twitter handle or Facebook ID or even anonymously and chat about the live streaming, all in real-time.”

The event is being held in the former location of Diane’s Beachwear at 24251 Town Center Drive, #145 in Valencia.




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