The first-ever High School Startup Weekend will roll Friday through Sunday at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock.
Organized by Little Rock's Noble Impact in partnership with the Clinton School, High School Startup Weekend is an official Startup Weekend event geared specifically for high-school students. In the video below, Noble Impact CEO Eric Wilson explains that the event will not be watered down because of the participants' age or lack of entrepreneurial experience.
Here's an Arkansas Business Q-and-A with Wilson about HSSW from February.
Startup Weekend, a non-profit organization based in Seattle, represents a grassroots entrepreneurial movement to launch local tech-based startup ventures over the course of a weekend. Since 2007, almost 2,000 Startup Weekend events have been held in more than 400 cities around the world. Last year, Startup Weekend events were held in Fayetteville and Little Rock.
The northwest Arkansas event included a contingent of Noble Impact students from Little Rock's eStem High School. That experience led not only to the creation of a student-founded startup, PassionPull, but to Noble Impact co-founders Wilson and Chad Williamson hatching the idea for a high-school version of Startup Weekend.
Two Noble Impact students from eStem may have a leg up on their competition -- or rather, a donut up anyway. Sophomores Sydney Brazil and Jase Burton recently launched a startup venture called The Hole Thing, a gourmet "holery" that creates specialty donut holes and other treats.
The pair currently is negotiating with Mary Beth Ringgold of Copper Grill to use the River Market restaurant's kitchen and even get their products on the dessert menu. The Hole Thing founders bring not only Startup Weekend experience but actual startup experience to this weekend's event.
"I'm really excited to be involved," Sydney said. "Knowing that I will be able to connect and help other kids who want to pursue entrepreneurship is awesome."
(Here's more from Sydney on HSSW and launching a startup.)
More than 80 students from 12 Arkansas schools in grades 9-12 will participate.
Schools participating include eStem High, Hall High, Central High, Episcopal Collegiate and Lisa Academy of Little Rock; North Little Rock High School; Maumelle High School; Fayetteville High School; Springdale Har-Ber High; the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences & the Arts in Hot Springs; and Fort Smith's Southside High and Chaffin Junior High.
More coverage to come from Arkansas Business and Innovate Arkansas. In the meantime, here's more from Wilson:
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