Startups to Grow Despite Techstars Takeover

startupThe worldwide phenomenon known as Startup Weekend is expected to proliferate again in 2016, at Jan. 21 panel of experts agreed at Workzones in Santa Barbara.

However, things might be different since a company called Techstars bought the rights to Startup Weekend, which used to be a nonprofit group, said Kyle Ashby, organizer of Thursday night’s panel, which drew a crowd of about 60.

Ashby has been a huge part first and several subsequent Startup Santa Barbara Weekends since the initial event at the Synergy business incubator in 2013. That was a 54-hour beehive of activity that produced several new firms. Ashby said the next Startup Weekend Santa Barbara-related event will be Feb. 4 at Ontraport.

After Techstars’ takeover of the Startup Weekend brand last year, Ashby became a key team member at Impact Hub, a 15,000, three-tier share working space project at 1117 State St. in what used to be a rug store. It’s been gutted and several events have been held in it to showcase the cavernous space, but there are few signs it will open soon.

After a $50,000 crowd-funding campaign came up quite a bit short, Ashby said Jan. 21 he has left the Impact Hub team. He has his own local marketing firm.

On Jan. 21, panelist and Iowa resident Amanda West investors in her state are getting involved in startups. “The country will be better off is everybody’s playing,” he said. In the wake of recent flood in Iowa, startups have brought revitalization to the state.

West is co-founder and CEO of Seed Here Studio, a community building agency focused on “innovation ecosystems in unexpected places.”

Panelist Clint Nelson Startup Weekend is in 135 countries and that number will grow. “That more than Starbucks,” he said. Nelson is a co-founder at Startup Weekend, where he helped to produce more than various 1,200 events in 600 cities. His organized events have brought in more than 500,000 total attendees on a global scale.

The third panelist Alan Macy, founder of the Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology, which supports artist, scientist, technologist collaborations to encourage new fusion models of interaction for design, development and research.