By Kristy Strauss
Carleton University was a hub of creativity and new ideas as 1125@Carleton hosted Startup Weekend Ottawa.
“It’s was an opportunity for entrepreneurs to float new ideas, meet other founders that could be collaborators, and it’s great for community building and networking,” said Jason Daley, an 1125@Carleton Entrepreneur in Residence and Sprott School of Business alumnus.
More than 100 entrepreneurs gathered at 1125@Carleton from June 6 to 8 to take part in the global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs to learn the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.
Startup Weekend was a hackathon, business competition and startup boot camp rolled into one event, and transformed a pitch to a real startup idea presented in front of local entrepreneurial leaders – all packed into 54 hours.
The event kicked off with a networking dinner, and opportunity for participants to approach a microphone and make their pitches. Teams formed around the top ideas, which were determined by popular vote. Once teams were established, they spent the rest of the weekend creating a business model, and coding and designing their startup. Mentors had scheduled office hours for consultations, and participants had time on Sunday to practice their presentations and present their ideas on the event’s final night.
While the top three ideas were awarded to startup ideas MyJam, Timsle and PoliTrack, Daley said that judges recognized all pitches as important at the final event.
As a co-leader of Startup Ottawa and partner at Axia Strategists, Daley’s role at 1125@Carleton is to build valuable connections to the entrepreneurship community in Ottawa and innovation projects across Canada.
He felt the venue was the perfect spot to host the event.
“It’s available to the whole community at large, and it’s an ideal location to host because of its values, philosophy and open space where creative collisions will happen and 1125 will foster them.’’
1125@Carleton is a Living Laboratory that provides a collaborative and innovative 7,500-square-foot workspace. But it’s also a new way of bringing together knowledge to solve real-world problems both locally and globally. It gathers Carleton researchers, faculty and students with business, industry, community and governments at all levels and provides entrepreneurs with the tools they need to take their idea to the world stage.
Mary Herbert-Copley, 1125@Carleton’s executive director, saidthe space in the Human Computer Interaction Building has been ideal to host many activities like Startup Weekend Ottawa.
“We’re taking over both floors of space and have one large space on the fourth floor that’s ideal for problem-solving processes,” she said. “It’s been a meeting ground for all sectors and the campus to get together to problem-solve.”
While entrepreneurship is an important aspect of 1125@Carleton, there is also another side to it, she said.
“We’re encouraging partners from all sectors, not just the entrepreneurial side. A critical part of the equation is the public, not-for-profit and community side.”