Chester County Innovators, Entrepreneurs Gather for TechStars Startup Weekend

For the second year in a row, aspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, and would-be inventors gathered for Chester County Startup weekend, where they had 54 hours to take a new idea from concept to creation.

The three-day event, held at Penn State Great Valley May 31-June 2, was jointly organized by Penn State Great Valley’s REV-UP Center for Entrepreneurship, West Chester University’s Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, and the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Ideas x Innovation Network. Participants experienced the highs, lows, pressure and fun that coincide with launching a product.

The weekend began with participants making 60-second pitches on potential new products and services. Teams then formed organically around topics of interest. With the feedback and support from mentors and coaches, participants worked around-the-clock to develop a prototype or minimum viable product. By Sunday, each team had five minutes to present their final product to judges.

“There is no better way to capture the energy and intensity—and the challenges—that go into starting a new venture,” said Patrick Hayakawa, VP of Innovation & Emerging Technologies at the Chester County Economic Development Council. “Many of these team members just met each other, and a few days later they are practically ready to launch a business.”

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