Aspiring entrepreneurs will have an opportunity in February to turn their startup business ideas into real ventures at an event just for them.

Startup Weekend, a three-day entrepreneurial experience that allows participants to pitch their ideas, vote for the best ones and then work with a team under the tutelage of a business coach to create a new venture, is coming to Spartanburg.

Startup Weekend Spartanburg will be held Feb. 24 through 26 at the University of South Carolina Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics.

The last Startup Weekend, which is named after the Seattle-based nonprofit that founded what has become a global phenomenon in 2007, was held in 2014.

Brady said the upcoming Startup Weekend is a new effort that grew out of his friendship with Parker

The organizing committee is in the process of seeking out sponsorships, coaches, judges and possibly a prominent entrepreneur from Spartanburg to serve as a keynote speaker.

The goal is to have 100 entrepreneurs participate in the event.

The judges so far include Elizabeth Smith, area manager of the Spartanburg SmallBusiness Development Center, and Spartanburg entrepreneur John Bauknight.

Coaches committed to participating as of Jan. 6 include Keith Shields and Josh Tucker, who are partners at the Greenville-based software development company Designli; Design Strategist Drew Stanley; Gil Vassoly, executive vice president and chief operations and financial officer at Spartanburg-based Gibbs International; Katherine Wakefield, a teacher and head of the all-women coding group Web Code Chicks; and Alexandra Eby, a leadership and organizational development specialist.

The event is open to entrepreneurs of all ages. It’s also open to business ideas that are both tech, or related to technology, and non-tech.

The cost of participation ranges from $20 for students up to $75 for entrepreneurs. Those interested can enroll online via the event’s website.

Participants will be able to share photos, video and other posts via social media by using the hashtag #SWSpartanburg17.

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