It’s Monday Morning, Now What? Startup Weekend Launches “SW Next”

This article was originally published by John Cook on GeekWire on November 1, 2011.

Startup Weekend has already given thousands of developers, geeks and other tech professionals a taste of what it’s like to start a company.

But, sometimes, you just can’t cram everything into a 54-hour coding marathon.

In order to address those needs, the Kauffman Foundation-backed non-profit is experimenting with a new program in Seattle called SW Next.

Designed for past Startup Weekend attendees, the program provides budding entrepreneurs with additional training and insights into how to turn ideas into reality.

“Consider it like a pre-accelerator, really,” explains Startup Weekend’s Marc Nager.

Unlike TechStars or Y Combinator, however, SW Next will not take an equity stake in the companies that emerge from the program.

“The goal is to create more capable teams by expanding our experiential approach into a longer, more formal program,” Nager tells GeekWire. “People always ask: ‘what’s next?’ We finally have a good answer.”

SW Next will start in Seattle as a pilot program later this month, with plans to go global if it proves successful. It’s designed for those who are thinking about taking the full entrepreneurial leap after Startup Weekend.

Spread over two weekends and three weekday evenings, the program is being touted as an “action based MBA.”  Cost is $289, with applications due by November 11th.

Startup Weekend is limiting the first class to 20 entrepreneurs, said Jennifer Cabala, who is organizing the event.

Other programs like The Founder Institute and TechStars also offer this type of startup bootcamp, but they tend to be longer time frames. At SW Next, attendees will learn the ins and outs of startup legal issues, company formation, team management and other critical elements necessary for building startups.

by Maris