Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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October 07, 2012 | Tom Ballard

AccelNow plans “Start-up Weekend” in mid-November in Johnson City

AccelNow, the Northeast Tennessee regional accelerator, will hold a “Start-up Weekend Tri-Cities” on November 16, 17 and 18.

The weekend event is one of the entrepreneurial approaches that is becoming widely used in Tennessee and other cities.

Dave Lawrence, AccelNow Director, described the three-days as “a hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and those exploring entrepreneurship can find out if their start-up ideas are viable.” Based on national averages, attendees at start-up weekends are evenly divided between those with technical or design backgrounds and those who have business backgrounds.

Lawrence said the “Start-up Weekend Tri-Cities” will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at East Tennessee State University’s College of Business and Technology with registration in Brown Hall Auditorium and sessions in Sam Wilson Hall. The planners are specifically interested in those contemplating web-based or phone app development although all entrepreneurs can attend.

Friday evening’s session kicks-off with open microphone pitches where attendees bring their best ideas and try to inspire others to join their team. Teams form that night before day one adjourns at 10 p.m. During the next two days, the teams will focus on developing customers, validating their ideas, and using LEAN Startup Methodologies to build a minimal viable product.

The event concludes Sunday with teams demonstrating their prototypes and receiving feedback from a panel of experts. The hours on Saturday are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lawrence is looking for volunteers to help plan and execute the program, sponsors and those interested in participating.  He can be reached at AccelNow also has a web page with information at

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