Startup Weekend coming to Dayton in April



DAYTON — Students, entrepreneurs, and professionals across several disciplines will gather at the Arcade Innovation Hub next month for Launch Dayton’s Startup Weekend, aiming to share ideas and cultivate new small businesses.

Beginning Friday, April 8, participants will gather, pitch ideas, and form teams around the most popular business startup ideas. The rest of the weekend is spent developing the idea, hacking together a “minimum viable product,” and pitching their startups to Dayton-area experts, according to event organizers.

Participating industries include retail and restaurants, as well as potential defense and healthcare applications. Rewards for the best pitch will include services and resources to help their startup grow into a business.

Organizer Matt Veryser, who has conducted similar events at Miami University, Ball State University, and others, said that the event changes the way people think about entrepreneurship.

“They view it as something they can do, instead of watching from the sidelines,” Veryser said. “I love Startup Weekend because it is the single most catalytic entrepreneurial experience that I’ve ever witnessed. Firsthand, I’ve seen it change the career paths of three or four dozen people by changing the way they see the world,” he said.

The event isn’t just for students and independent entrepreneurs. Veryser said working professionals, or “intrapreneurs,” can also benefit from the event by learning new skills, getting a fresh perspective, or finding new ways to innovate on behalf of their organization.

“Intrapreneurs are typically looking for a skillset to lead product development, or building out a new department within their organization,” Veryser said. “They’re sitting on an idea, they don’t know how to prove it out, validate it, and generate the metrics necessary to convince their leadership team to take a risk.”

Emily Cory of Airship Consulting is a mentor participating in Launch Dayton’s Startup Weekend. She works with local startups in advanced manufacturing services and equipment, including developing physical prototypes and scaling up production.

“Dayton has a really vibrant entrepreneur community, and I’m really excited to see events like this happening at The Hub,” Cory said. “The Hub is literally giving a physical home to a community that has been really dispersed throughout the pandemic.”

Many entrepreneurs who have participated in previous Startup Weeks have stayed in the Dayton area, Cory said.

“Having opportunities like this to grow new businesses really helps attract talent from outside our region, as well as keep our homegrown talent building careers locally,” she said. “Dayton has the talent pipeline, the spaces, and a fantastic history of research, development and manufacturing that can really support a thriving startup ecosystem.”

Early-bird tickets are on sale for $50 until March 18, when tickets will go up to $75. Scholarships are available for students and others in need. For more information, visit

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