The Apex Center for Entrepreneurs will host its first-ever Startup Weekend beginning Friday, Sept. 2, at its location on 432 North Main St. Ste 200, Blacksburg. The event will guide students through the steps of launching a startup, from ideation to action. Virginia Tech photo

Over 24 hours, Virginia Tech students from all disciplines will have the opportunity to find out if they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Hosted by the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs, the first-ever Startup Weekend will guide students through the steps of launching a startup, from ideation to action.

“We are always looking for ways to provide students with hands-on ‘lab’ experience in entrepreneurship,” said Derick Maggard, executive director of the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs. “Startup Weekends from outfits like TechStars have a national following among entrepreneurs, so we're thrilled to get back to offering these types of incredible experiences for students.”

Maggard continued, “The Startup Weekend event is a chance for students to get a taste of the entrepreneur's journey in a compressed time frame. This event is particularly fun as we are hosting a cohort of students from the German Fulbright Summer Institute who will participate side-by-side with Virginia Tech students.”

Startup Weekend will kick off on Friday, Sept. 2, at 4 p.m. with a presentation by Pamplin alum and co-founder of ClickUp, Chris Cunningham. Startup ideas will then be developed onsite (no preexisting plans, please) and teams will be formed. On Saturday, Sept. 3, teams will work with entrepreneur mentors to help turn their nascent ideas into action. Awards will be handed out at the end of the Saturday session.

“The event is about learning alongside and from others as you work together to solve interesting problems,” said Sean Collins, managing director of the Startup Hokies program portfolio at the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs. “We've seen these types of experiences change people's career trajectories. Whether that's pursuing their passion full-time through a startup, starting a side hustle, or having something tangible to talk about with recruiters that leads to an internship or a job opportunity.

Collins continued, “It's also where lasting friendships and future collaborations are born. While the event only lasts 24 hours it is an intense experience creating something from nothing. As they say, pressure creates diamonds!”

For more information on Startup Weekend, or to RSVP, please visit the Startup Weekend event page.