By Nick Kolobutin

Have you ever encountered a problem and thought to yourself, “there must be a solution for this,” only to find out there isn’t one, brainstorm a fix, and then tell two dozen people about the amazing product idea you had? Well, you are not alone. Many of us get hit with these brilliant strikes of lightning, but don’t implement them due to lack of time, money, or expertise. Or maybe you have always wondered what it would be like to work in a startup and help others get their idea off the ground. Coming January 16–18, Thunder Bay’s first Startup Weekend is your shot to ditch the excuses, catch the entrepreneurship bug, and make your dream come true.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour affair that allows anyone to turn an idea into reality. The event starts on Friday evening, when participants pitch ideas. They then form teams around the top ideas and spend the rest of the weekend validating and building their idea, aided by local mentors. On Sunday evening, teams come together and pitch their newly-launched company to a panel of judges to compete for prizes.

“The event is a prime opportunity to network with individuals who are also entrepreneurial minded and passionate about building on ideas that might just turn into a company,” says Mike Dohan, Startup Weekend organizer. “To participate in Startup Weekend, you do not have to be a techie, as some of the top ideas come from non-technical people who have a real world problem to solve…and could also be a first customer!” So if you have the winter blahs from your job and want to try your hand at something exciting, consider Startup Weekend.

To sign-up, visit