MUNCIE - Budding entrepreneurs will this weekend have a chance to further their ideas at Startup Weekend Muncie. The event, which runs Friday through Sunday, brings together developers, designers, students and business people, who pitch ideas, form teams, and work to start a business over the course of 54 hours. Krystal Geyer, assistant director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University, says 35 participants are currently registered for the event, but they hope to have around 50 before it begins.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Geyer said the second annual Startup Weekend will build on the inaugural event last year.

"We had everyone from seniors in high school to retirees, who came out and pitched events and worked on teams," said Geyer. "One of our organizers kind of got caught up in the Startup Weekend atmosphere. She had no intention of ever pitching an idea but inspiration struck and she ended up getting the most votes and her idea was selected as one to work on for the weekend. So she kind of had to drop out of her organizing duties and be the team leader. They went on to win our Startup Weekend."

The winning business was known as Button Buddy, a device to help alert police to potential sexual assault. Geyer says the team went on to pursue patent protection for the device.

The winning team from this year's event will receive a prize package, which includes space at the Innovation Connector in Muncie, an automatic entry into 1 Million Cups Muncie, as well as business, funding and marketing consultation services. 

Geyer says after the inaugural event, participants called the weekend "life changing."

"It really has helped our participants realize what they can accomplish when they are focused on the singular thing for an extended period of time, when you're kind of free from all of the responsibilities and distractions that we get in our daily lives. So (we're) really empowering them to say, 'I can really make a lot of headway on a business when I'm kind of hunkered down and really focused on it.'"

Geyer says the event is open to everyone beyond Ball State University students and no experience is necessary.

Startup Weekend Muncie will also include remarks from ZOOOM App Founder and President Kyle Armstrong. You can learn more about Startup Weekend Muncie by clicking here.