Startup Weekend event canceled

Organizers shift plans to potential May or June dates

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer

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Clark County’s up-and-coming startup culture has a slight glitch.

Organizer Dave Barcos canceled this weekend’s Startup Weekend, the three-day crash course for entrepreneurs, citing low registrations and conflicting schedules for volunteers.

Barcos blamed the tepid registration on the flukes of snow and ice and Super Bowl weekend.

“I talked with a few people that were going to register and wouldn’t because of (Super Bowl),” he said. He added that the snow didn’t help.

“It just kind of spun people. It was interesting trying to do business in general, with everybody impacted by it. I think we lost a lot of momentum in general,” he said.

Barcos, a regular among Vancouver’s burgeoning tech scene, hopes to reorganize and launch the event in May or June.

Entrepreneurial events such as Startup Weekend have broken out in such large, tech-driven cities as San Francisco and Austin, Texas. They aim to teach would-be entrepreneurs how to take a product from concept to market, and introduce them to mentors and potential investors.

The local edition, in its second year, was scheduled for this weekend back in October, Barcos said. The 54-hour event would have preceded Portland Startup Week, scheduled for Monday through Feb. 10. Clark College was slated to host, with sponsors such as Workforce Southwest Washington and iQ Credit Union. Cost was $100 per person.

Barcos added that a low turnout would have been a bad deal for sponsors and local vendors who planned to make the food.

“Everybody waits until the last minute for events like this,” he said. “We weren’t going to hit that goal in time to give our vendors enough time (to prepare).”

Last year’s event had around 25 people, a turnout he hoped to double this year.