Startup Weekend, the 54 hour global marathons that bring together developers, designers, marketers and startup enthusiasts, is coming to the Muskoka region of Ontario, otherwise known as cottage country.
The event will be held August 15-17, put on by the Ontario Centres of Excellence, to be held at the Waterloo Summit Centre for Environment, which was formerly built for the 36th G8 Summit, held in Huntsville, Ontario in 2010.
Lead organizer Colin Yates said the initial desire to bring the event to Huntsville stemmed from discussions about whether the region could support an accelerator. “I thought this would be a great way to introduce Muksoka to some of the activities that are going on in Ottawa, Waterloo and Toronto on a frequent basis, and see whether Muskoka would buy into it,” Yates told BetaKit.
But wait- isn’t Muskoka only for relaxing and going to the cottage? Who wants to spend 54 hours coding all weekend? Well, the initiative also stems from the economic transition of sorts Yates said the region is currently experiencing. “We’re trying to use the resources that we have here to excite people to get into entrepreneurialism, and believe it or not, we have some of the technology in Muskoka that’s better than in southern Ontario, particularly in terms of internet connectivity.”
Traditionally an area that has generated much of its income from the cottage and tourism industries, Yates said there’s nothing stopping a new startup ecosystem from growing in the area.
Water technology is a big scientific draw in the area, and if this Startup Weekend goes well the organizers will look to hold a themed event revolving around that area.
As for this event, he said it’ll be a mixed bag of Toronto and Waterloo entrepreneurs as well as locals. “I hope they can kinda feed off each other,” he said.
Judges for the event include longtime Canadian politician Tony Clement, Ryerson Digital Media Zone’s (DMZ) Valerie Fox, Geoff Malleck, an economics professor at the University of Waterloo, Martin Croteau of the Ontario Centres of Excellence and more.
Any interested parties should visit the Eventbright page.