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To maintain a balance of technical and business experience among participants, Founder Dating is selective about who may attend.Entrepreneurs must fill out an online application, answering questions about their experience, interests, and area of expertise.Participants, who typically pay from to each, present 60-second pitches in hopes of recruiting a start-up team.The attendees vote for their favorites and then break into teams to help the entrepreneurs with the top business ideas."You have to make sure that person works with your extended support network." Six months after they met, Choudhary and Ossareh incorporated their company, Rah, and began working on it full time.In some cases, one's first match may not be a good fit.During the three-hour gatherings, entrepreneurs form groups based on their area of interest—say, enterprise software or mobile applications.
Jameson Detweiler and his partners, Stephen Gill and Dave Drager, worked throughout the first night of Philadelphia's Startup Weekend, held in January, in order to open Launch Rock, a service that creates souped-up "launching soon" webpages for start-up customers. "By pumping it out, we could get feedback that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise," Detweiler says.
Most events aim to provide participants with a pool of potential partners, rather than immediate, one-to-one matches.
"You don't expect to leave the event perfectly matched," Alter says.
Over the course of the weekend, the groups refine business models, create mockups, and often launch actual businesses.
Since 2009, Startup Weekend events, which are held in 120 cities worldwide, have spawned more than 180 companies.