You’ve heard of crowd sourcing and meetups. At Triangle Startup Weekend, tech entrepreneurs will be competing to see who can develop a company from concept to demonstration in a scant 54 hours.

Are you game?

Here is a compilation of frequently asked questions and answers from the event’s organizers to help you decide whether you should take a turn in the arena of ideas and, potentially, produce a real company.

When and where is Triangle Startup Weekend?

April 13-15 at the NCSU Centennial Campus, College of Engineering Building II.

Who should attend?

Triangle Startup Weekend is for anyone with an idea for a tech-based company that can go from concept to demo in 54 hours. Teams – typically 8-10 people – consist of hackers with IT skills and evangelists with business and marketing backgrounds. Roving mentors with specialized skills will be available to help teams throughout the weekend.

I don’t live in the Triangle. Can I come?

If you can get here and stay the weekend, you are welcome to join us! Email Scott Klein (scootklein@gmail.com) for a place to stay.

I only have an idea for a company. Should I come?

Yes! Triangle Startup Weekend is designed for idea stage concepts. No previous experience in starting a company is necessary.

I already have a startup. Can we enroll as a team?

Each person will need to sign up individually. You can pitch your startup Friday night, and if it’s selected, your group can work as a team – perhaps joined by a few volunteers and mentors.

Can I pitch more than one idea?

Nope, you just get one shot under the spotlight, so bring your a-game.

How long do the pitches last?

On Friday night, everyone who wants to pitch gets one minute to explain your new startup concept.

On Sunday, final presentations will last five minutes, then have a three minute Q&A with the judges panel.

What is the format for the pitches?

You are the format. You stand up on a stage and give a one minute pitch. There is no audiovisual support, and although we highly suggest you don’t do it, you of course could bring some kind of prop if you had to.

How are the startups chosen?

Anyone with an idea to pitch will have a chance to do so Friday night. A popular vote of those in the audience will decide the top 10 startups that will be developed over the weekend.

What if my idea doesn’t get enough votes?

Join a different team! It’s all about learning and making connections.

Who owns the idea? Should I be concerned about my intellectual property?

Startup Weekend doesn’t retain or claim ownership to any ideas, that’s up to the teams. The issue of patents, copyrights and the like is obviously an important one. It’s also one that is a question of risk and reward for you. If your concepts are so unique and complete that you’ll benefit from not sharing them in an open forum then we suggest you participate, and keep your best ideas close to the vest. If your concepts need input from the who’s who of the local startup community and from a number of technical and marketing geniuses, you’ll likely find more benefit from sharing them at #TSW2011 to gain perspective and potentially flesh them out through rapid iteration, than by holding on to them until someone else brings the idea to market first.

Will there be food?

Yes. Meals, drinks, and snacks will be provided throughout the weekend, starting with Friday dinner and ending with lunch on Sunday.

Should I plan to stay at the event all weekend?

Teams working on companies can stay as late as they like, but most people do go home to sleep. If you’re coming in from out of town and need a place to stay, contact Scott Klein (scootklein@gmail.com)

Can I work on my own idea independently?

Totally.

Who decides the winner?

A panel of judges consisting of investors and entrepreneurs will pick the winners.

What do we win?

You get a bunch of cool stuff to start your business.

What else happens if I win?

You’ll be featured in a news release and stories posted on the Triangle Startup Weekend and CED websites, among others.

How can I get more information?

Come to the event!

THE ORGANIZERS

Here are bios of the organizers:

  • Arik Abel: He is the VP of Digital Services for French West Vaughan, the southeast’s largest independent public relations firm. In his spare time he is an organizer of Triangle Startup Weekend, the VP and Chief Creative Officer of the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association, the creator and host of the Fullsteam Viral Video Festival, creator and teacher of Going Viral: Making and Distributing Online Video, Co-Founder of Triangle Innovation Project with Mital Patel, and an all around arbiter of innovation and design thinking in the community.
  • Kathryn James: I’m excited to be actively involved again a fantastic community of entrepreneurs through my position at CED, the oldest and largest entrepreneurial support organization in the country. Founded in 1984 as a private, non-profit organization we provide the entrepreneurial community in the RTP region with the necessary tools, connections and resources to start something new – from an idea, to a company or even a relationship. CED’s extensive range of initiatives from mentoring to educational programs and conferences empower entrepreneurs to transform ideas into businesses and to take existing businesses to the next level.
  • Mital Patel: My boutique law practice focuses on serving entrepreneurs, business owners / executives, and technology startup companies. I started my career as an entrepreneur, computer programmer and web designer while majoring in Computer Science at NC State University, then studied as a Charter member of the Elon University School of Law before launching Triangle Business Law.
  • Joan Siefert Rose: I joined the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), the oldest and largest entrepreneurial support organization in the country, in August 2008. Prior to joining CED as president, I served on the board. My transition to CED followed a long career in commercial and public broadcasting, as well as four years in planning and marketing at an academic medical center. The common theme has been an interest in learning new roles and responsibilities while helping to take an organization to the next level.
  • Janet Kennedy: Director of Marketing and Digital Strategy for Market Vue Partners, a marketing research & services firm based in Durham, NC. She is the immediate Past-President and current Treasurer for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association. A passionate community supporter and volunteer she also founded “5 Bucks is Change” encouraging micro-giving by friends.
  • Scott Klein: Scott co-founded his first startup SoundAround with his brother before graduating college. SoundAround was purchased some short months after officially launching by Durham based ReverbNation, where Scott assumed roles as a mobile developer and product manager. He recently left ReverbNation, and has been working full time with online payments startup Spreedly.
  • Melissa Kennedy: I am an entrepreneur and results-oriented, innovative marketing consultant at my company Ester Mae Marketing. From set-up to sustainability, I help clients transform marketing to connect with their target audience, build relationships and sell more. My career spans a variety of organizations including local television, Discovery Channel, a political campaign, NC State, a technology start-up and Cisco Systems, where I served as an “intrapreneur” that offered innovation in every role.