Beginning in September 2016, Innovate Fuquay-Varina will host (5) monthly invite-only networking events for registered participants, which will take place on the first Tuesday evening each month.
These networking events are designed to connect participants with registered business mentors (identified by color-coded nametags). The relationships forged and nurtured through these monthly events will help prepare aspiring entrepreneurs (including potential entrepreneurs who didn’t realize they had a viable business “idea”) for InnovateFV Weekend in January.
In addition, each networking event will feature a guest speaker to motivate, educate, and prepare participants on such topics as:
- Making A Perfect Pitch
- Basics of Creating a Business Plan 101
- Business Budgeting/Accounting 101
- Benefits of Socially Responsible Businesses
- Thinking Entrepreneurially and Assessing Your Business Idea
While not all participants will be able to attend all of the workshops and events, it’s our hope that those who can, will be much better prepared to pitch their business ideas and concepts in January of 2017.
What is #InnovateFV Weekend?
The weekend of January 27-29, 2017 will be a historic one for the Town of Fuquay-Varina, NC. Innovate Fuquay-Varina culminates in a weekend of intense planning, preparation, and ultimately, the formation of several startup businesses in Fuquay-Varina.Beginning with a brief networking session Friday evening, the event will transition to the Pitch Phase. Participants wishing to pitch their business ideas will have 1 minute to present their idea to the entire audience, including our esteemed panel of judges. After all ideas have been pitched, the audience is then instructed to find the aspiring entrepreneur(s) they want to contribute their skills to, and Startup Teams will naturally begin to form — thus planting the first startup “seeds” of the weekend. For the remainder of the weekend, each team’s goal is to develop their idea into a viable business model, refine it, and produce a presentation for Sunday evening — Initial Public Launch (IPL) Day.
How Will Work Space Availability & Assignments Be Managed?
As Teams form naturally Friday evening, any team requiring space to work can request space from Innovate Fuquay-Varina, which will have a list of participating venues in town that are donating space for teams to work during the weekend-long event. Venue sponsors are required to have both an appropriate work space, as well as wired/wireless internet. Work space availability is on a “first-come, first-served” basis, and will be managed by Innovate Fuquay-Varina. There are no stipulations as to where each team works, or what hours they should work. They have until 6pm Sunday evening to work on their startup business.
What Are Team Check-ins & Rogue Teams?
Throughout the entire process, participants may choose to depart teams for a variety of reasons. The entire process is extremely fluid. In some cases, “Rogue Teams” may form. These are teams of individuals who didn’t initially form Friday night, but have come up with their own startup idea. All existing teams, including rogue teams, are required to check-in with Innovate Fuquay-Varina at 11am on Saturday and Sunday. This allows Innovate Fuquay-Varina to keep track of which teams currently exist during each phase/day of the weekend.
Progress Updates & Needs Requests
During the 11am check-ins on Saturday and Sunday, all existing teams are required to provide a brief update on their progress (verbal or written), as well as submit any “needs requests” (ie: Developers, Designers, Marketing, etc…). Innovate Fuquay-Varina will announce these needs requests to available participants (including late arrivals) not already assisting a team, in hopes that each team receives the resources they need. Throughout the weekend, there will be plenty of networking opportunities for “freelance participants,” while the various teams are busy building the foundations for their startup businesses.
IPL Day (Startup Presentations)| 6pm, Sunday, Jan. 29th
Initial Public Launch (IPL) Day, will be for some, the accumulation of 5 months worth of networking, learning, and hard dedicated work. Each team still standing by 6pm on Sunday, January 10th will be provided with 5-10 minutes to unveil their new Startup to the public. This is their first official introduction to the Fuquay-Varina Community, as well as the world.
Startup Presentations will be witnessed by a panel of judges who will be looking for the best business startups in terms of both innovation, as well as contribution to the Fuquay-Varina community. Based on judges scores, the top-rated winners from IPL Day will receive prize packages to assist in their startup’s future success.
How Will Startup Ideas Be Judged on IPL Day?
In regards to prizes and judging during #InnovateFV Weekend, participants are encouraged to consider TWO factors when pitching their startup ideas:
- Benefit to the Fuquay-Varina Community