Techstars to hold Startup Weekend virtually as it shifts event focus to COVID-19 solutions


This week, global accelerator Techstars will host its first-ever online and national Startup Weekend. This time around, the global competition will focus on solutions that can help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe this… virtual edition is the perfect way to unite our country in an inclusive and safe way.”

The event, which is usually run in-person and locally, brings developers, designers, business professionals, and students together to take an idea from conception to early prototype in just 54 hours. For this Startup Weekend, participants are expected to develop a solution from home that can help fight challenges created by COVID-19.

Canada is one of more than 60 countries participating in Startup Weekend, and Techstars has partnered with local and national startup organizations, such as Startup Calgary, Innovate BC, and Next Canada in order to host the competition nationally. The top 20 teams from around the world will go on to participate in Techstars’ Innovation Bootcamp, a three-day program that aims to validate the solutions and help build companies.

“Whether you set out to solve a small-scale local issue or a national or global problem, the Techstars global community can support you,” said the Techstars Startup Weekend Canada organizing team. “We believe this Techstars Startup Weekend COVID-19 virtual edition is the perfect way to unite our country in an inclusive and safe way while creating impactful solutions.”

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Each idea, which should be relevant to the participant’s country, will go through business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation before being presented to tech leaders for feedback.

Startup Weekend is a flagship program of Techstars, a global seed accelerator and mentorship group. During the event, Techstars seeks to provide participants with experiential education, and will let participants to connect with mentors, industry experts, founders, and partners to assist on the project.

Participants in Canada are being asked to submit their ideas 48 hours before Startup Weekend begins. The event is free to attend and will be held from April 24 to 26.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.