Islander, Local Economy Evangelist Alex Huppenthal Launches Startup Weekend Aspen

Since 2009, Orcas Islander and Aspen business owner Alex Huppenthal has volunteered time to design and develop online services for Islanders that build local community fabric, and strengthen the local economy. Teach by doing and experiential learning is precisely what the public benefit company Islanders Club offers. By reducing the outflow of capital from local communities and by building awareness of local products and services, residents of the community can keep more dollars in the local economy. Since 2009, these basic principles have guided the development of many localizing network services.

Then in late 2012, Pete Grillo, famed Portland entrepreneur and business leader suggested Startup Weekend as yet another way to empower local communities via experiential entrepreneurship. offers 3 day intensive experiences in building local expertise, and business fabric. Portland Startup Weekend was the first event Alex attended.

“I loved Portland Startup Weekend. After struggling in a rural environment to reach critical mass teams for broadband, social networks and other localizing services, I was thrilled to be surrounded by like-minded, entrepreneurs working hard to turn ideas into businesses.” lists the recent event. The Site reads:
“Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.”

Of course now, Startup Weekend as progressed beyond those days.
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Aspen Dot Startup Weekend site will open officially on August 15th.

Alex’s business friends and associates are jumping in with both feet. 30+ individuals have expressed an interest in attending and pre-reregistered. With space for just 80 more entrepreneurs, the October 4, 5, 6 event is likely to sell out.

“This is going to be a magical event. I’ve attended 4 startup weekend events and each has unique character that reflect its environment and attendees. The flexibility is there to encourage entrepreneurs to be inventive and creative. Solving the problem of creating a business in 54 hours takes an entrepreneur through often intense interaction with like minded, positively powerful team members. I’ve found picking your team early, setting your own goals, sharing them with your team to be helpful to maximize the benefit of Startup Weekend.”

This year in Aspen, Alex is joined by well known entrepreneur and sustainability leader Jon Fox-Rubin. Long time Aspenite and local technology leader, the fellow who spec’d and built the hardware for the first Internet Service provider in Aspen, Ward Hauenstein is participating, and long time business owner, inventor and international business expert Harvie Branscomb help the team. Kimberly Pennington, a Linux expert and emerging entrepreneur in her own right is interning and working to assure the technical services work perfectly for attendees. Finally, Dennis Lankes from Telluride is helping remove roadblocks and using his recent experience at Telluride Startup Weekend to help make Aspen’s a great one.

Orcas Island TV will report more on the event, Sponsors, Coaches, Mentors and Judges as we move forward. A Boot Camp will be announced shortly.

“I heartily invite Islanders to reserve a spot at, and get advanced training that will help entrepreneurs accelerate their success.” – Alex Huppenthal

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