Startup Weekend Planned for July 28

Startup Weekend – an intensive, three-day beehive of ideas for entrepreneurs – is returning to Santa Barbara on July 28 at the Impact Hub, 1117 State St.

Startup Weekend organizer Navjot Brar, a recent UCSB graduate, said Impact Hub key investor Paul  Orfalea is scheduled to be the  keynote speaker at the gathering of more than 100 aspiring entrepreneurs, who will meet a team of South Coast mentors and  judges.

The idea is for participants to register as a “hustler, hacker, designer or maker” and come up with ideas for startup businesses.

After a nonstop weekend of inspiring pitches, mentoring, market research and socializing, the top team will go before a panel of judges, including Salty Girl CEO Vanessa Ting, and prizes will be awarded to the winners of the “Shark Tank-like” competition.

The first Santa Barbara Startup Weekend was held at the Synergy business incubator in 2011.

Brar said he was involved in last year’s student Startup Weekend at UCSB. After landing a job as a business analyst at a downtown startup, he decided to spend his spare time organizing the Santa Barbara Startup Weekend with the help of fellow Gauchos Mark and Jillian Cardona and few other friends.

The UCSB event sold out with more than 120 students attending, Brar said. He said he also has been involved in similar events in the Bay area and Silicon Valley.

Brar noted that the July 28 to 30 event offers 50 percent student discounts and up to 80 percent discounts for those participants who identify as a woman, person of color, LGBTQ, or person with a disability.

Another speaker planned to address the event will be from the internationally famous nonprofit organization Direct Relief.

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