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Startup Challenge

Title image for Spring 2024 Startup Challenge

Attendees of Startup Challenge

Startup Challenge Overview

The Startup Challenge is a crazy-fun, high-energy competition where you get in a room with creative people for an entire weekend, and experience what it’s like to launch a startup from just an idea — by actually doing it.

It’s not a weekend of talk. It’s a weekend of DOING.

We gather together on Friday night, we have dinner, we talk, we network, and we get to know all the amazing entrepreneurs in the Sacramento ecosystem.

And then we kick the event off, which is where things start to get wild.

Anyone who wants to pitch an idea gets 60 seconds at the microphone.

We’re talking brand new ideas.  You can have thought about it as much as you want or researched it as much as you want, but you can’t have any work product: no websites, products, customers, logos,

Don't want to pitch an idea? You don't have to!

We encourage you to pitch one, because it’s way more fun than you think, but it’s not a requirement.  You can just come to learn and join another team.

After all the pitches, you vote on the ones you like, and then we form teams around the most popular ideas.

Not every pitch will form a team, so you might end up working on someone else’s idea during the weekend — and that’s ok.

Startup Challenge Testimonial

They’re about the execution: so now that you have an idea and a team, it’s time to get to work. You have from Friday night to Sunday night to turn those ideas into a real business.

That’s less than 48 hours.

If this sounds hard or scary, that’s fantastic. In fact, you might even be thinking, “holy cow, that’s a crap-ton of work, and I have no idea what I’m doing!”

And you’re probably right! That’s why the Startup Challenge is for you.

Support from Mentors and Facilitators

We’ve got a great team of facilitators and mentors to demystify the entire startup process and help you make rapid forward progress during the weekend, including:

  • Seasoned entrepreneurs to ensure you’re on the right track
  • Coaches and subject matter experts to answer your questions
  • Free resources that you can use
  • and more!

Seriously, we’ve got everything — you go home to sleep, but otherwise we provide all the food, coffee, snacks, and mentorship that you need to power through.Startup Challenge Facilitators: Laura Good, Josh David Miller,& Cameron Law

And your team’s hard work culminates Sunday night, where you’ll present your new business in front of a panel of judges for some amazing prizes — including cash!

It’s not about pitching “good ideas” (whatever that even means). Whoever gets the most traction wins.

So let's recap

We begin by forming teams around brand new ideas.

  • Anyone’s welcome to participate — even if you don’t have an idea.
  • Teams have just one weekend to turn the idea into a real business, and you’ll learn how by doing it.
  • We have all the resources you need to succeed.
  • No business knowledge or special skills required.

If you’re wondering if the Startup Challenge is right for you, then it probably is!

Our Team


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