Ever wonder what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Find out March 18-20 during Startup Weekend Athens, where the next great business idea could take flight.

“Startup Weekend is hands-down the best way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with,” said Jennifer Simon, director of the Ohio University Innovation Center. “For example, four strangers became the winning team, CrateKit, at our October event. They developed a new packaging system concept, 3D printed a prototype and built out a product website in just one weekend. More importantly, all of the participants established long-lasting relationships and developed professional, career-altering skills.”

Participants kick off the weekend Friday night by pitching an original idea or listening to proposed concepts. Teams form around the most popular ideas and spend the rest of the weekend building the business from the ground up. Expert coaches are on hand to help teams strategize, meet goals and overcome obstacles. Startup Weekend culminates with Sunday night demos and judged presentations. Prizes are awarded to the top three teams.

The registration fee of $50 includes the program activities, seven meals and the opportunity to use Ohio University’s CREATE_space and/or Athensworks on Saturday.

Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m., Friday, March 18 at the Innovation Center, and the event ends at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 20. The Innovation Center is located at 340 W. State St. in Athens.

The event is open to all community members. Discount codes are available for some Ohio University students to receive $25 off the registration fee. Russ College of Engineering and Technology students, College of Business students and College of Fine Arts students should enter promotional codes RUSS, COB or FINEARTS, respectively, upon registering. On-site registration will not be permitted. Details and registration can be found at athens-oh.up.co.

The sponsors of Startup Weekend Athens are TechGROWTH Ohio, WesBanco, AWH, Business Remixed, Extra Nerds, Root Deeper Marketing, the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, Athensworks, and various entities within Ohio University: the Innovation Center, CREATE_space, Center for Entrepreneurship, Scripps Innovation Challenge within the Scripps College of Communication, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, and the Consulting Fellows.