December 10, 2023


Sapiens Digital

Beaufort hosting 54-hour weekend for potential tech startups


The Beaufort Digital Corridor is hosting the City of Beaufort’s first Startup Weekend, a 54-hour foray into the world of tech startups.

Anyone — developers, designers, business developers, marketers, teachers, students — can pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend, said Jess O’Brien, executive director of the Beaufort Digital Corridor.

The competitive Startup Weekend event is a global event and one of Techstars startup programs. Techstars connects startups, investors, corporations and cities.

Groups of participants form teams around ideas Friday evening and work during the weekend to develop a business plan by Sunday evening.

Beaufort is participating for the first time. Participants will gather at the city’s new South Coast Cyber Center, 1100 Boundary St.

Beaufort Digital Corridor.jpg
The Beaufort Digital Corridor at 500 Carteret St. provides office space for tech startups. Paul Nurnberg Paul Nurnberg

There’s still time to sign up, O’Brien said Thursday. Observers can buy tickets for $10, while the charge is $30 for participants. Go to People who just show up can register, too.

Beaufort’s BDC launched in 2017 with the goal of drawing and building high-tech companies and adding jobs.

Startup weekend is a chance to test ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the entrepreneurial community in Beaufort, and possibly launch the next startup, O’Brien said.

Over the course of the weekend, participants will brainstorm startup ideas, form teams and compete to win prizes that may help them launch the startups they create during the weekend. They will work with mentors, investors, co-founders and sponsors who can show them how to get more done faster.

Local judges include Dick Stewart, a serial entrepreneur and investor, and Jason Loia, a tech executive with 20 years of start-up experience in the Silicon Valley.

The lead organizer for the event is Digital Corridor board member Rich Conte. He said Startup Weekend events are opportunities to empower potential entrepreneurs in the community.

“For participants, it’s a great way to connect and collaborate with others and to learn the fundamentals of starting a technology business,” Conte said in a news release.

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Karl Puckett covers the city of Beaufort, town of Port Royal and other communities north of the Broad River for The Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet. The Minnesota native also has worked at newspapers in his home state, Alaska, Wisconsin and Montana.


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