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Start Us Up

As February comes to a quick and painfully cold close, I am thankful for my ability to remain nimble to accommodate all the vortexes, weather-wise and business-wise, and for the array of offerings from tech to odd to highbrow beginning tomorrow through mid March. While the veteran socialites know to block April with a black Sharpie for pre Derby events and Derby, March is the month in which to plan all the parties and fundraisers and new ideas that universe willing, don’t require hats, fascinators, florals, seersucker or pastel anything.

 Tomorrow, February 28th my eyeballs will be on a television set at that Mexi-Cali heaven in theHighlands, El Camino, to watch my friend Lori Cheek sink or swim on Shark Tank. The business mogul “sharks” on the ABC show will offer her the chance to walk away with a killer deal for her online dating business, Cheek’d, or eat her. Far from an overnight success story, I have watched Lori make a few sacrifices to build her brand and her business over the last four or five years and will be over the moon if she wins.

 Speaking of winning, Startup Weekend kicks off also on February 28th and continues through March 2 in Jeffersonville, Indiana, at Velocity, a mixed use accelerator and co working space created by Tony Schy, its managing director and super engaged in the start up community, according to Charles Buddeke. “He is one of the biggest mentors around,” Buddeke said, himself the chief organizer for Forge, the premiere networking group to bring big speakers or panels here from the venture capital, angel investor, entrepreneur and thinker community.

 Typically groups of four or five compete at Startup Weekend for “cloud” credit at Amazon and gift certificates for projects and a coveted meeting with a Chrysalis Ventures member. Winners also get a pass to start up weekend NEXT, which as its name implies is the next step to getting ideas funded. Buddeke said during initial Startup Weekends “You have a great weekend and it kind of ends. If you continue, Startup Weekend NEXT puts you in touch with great mentors and what you get is amazing.”

 Who isn’t a fan of amazing?

 See you there.