Startup Weekend is an international organization that challenges designers, developers, business minded individuals and startup enthusiasts to create and demo a startup in just 54 hours. The not-for-profit organization, which is based out of Seattle, Washington has held more than 1000 events in over 450 cities across the globe since it was founded in 2007.

In Ontario, Startup Weekend events have been held annually in cities such as Waterloo, Hamilton, London and Toronto. Now for the first time ever, Guelph will host its own Startup Weekend from August 15 to 17, 2014.

Beginning on the Friday evening, participants can pitch an idea to the group, as long as the idea is in its very earliest stages of development. Teams then form organically around the top-voted ideas and the real work (fun) begins.

Over the course of the weekend, teams will not only need to ready their product for demo, but also prepare a pitch presentation for the Sunday evening. Chosen by a panel of judges, the top teams take home prizes that are meant to benefit the entrepreneurs (Startup Weekend does not allow cash prizes).

So why is this so important for Guelph?

With booming startup scenes in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo so close by, Guelph needs to demonstrate that it can both attract and retain young entrepreneurs – especially those in the tech sector.

This is an opportunity to showcase the resources that are available to startups in Guelph, including its vibrant roster of mentors. Additionally, it allows creative individuals to network and form working relationships with other individuals. In fact, Startup Weekend boasts that a whopping 80% of participants keep in touch with their startup team members, with 36% of the Startup Weekend startups still going strong three months post event.

Stop talking about that business idea you have and start doing! Launch a startup in 54 hours with Startup Weekend Guelph on August 15-17.

To register for Startup Weekend Guelph or for more information visit their website