Don't miss the event that has been called "the most fun you can legally have in 48 hours!" 

--Justin Vajko, 2015 & 2016 participant

Hear what Startup 48 is all about, and what you can expect from this one-of-a-kind event!

The Story of Startup 48

As Eau Claire's entrepreneurial scene continued to blossom, community leaders recognized a need for individuals who wanted to learn how to start a business but weren’t ready to become full-fledged entrepreneurs, or didn't have fully developed business ideas. There wasn’t an event available where entrepreneurial enthusiasts could spend a few short days and learn what it takes to create a startup, from pitching an idea to presenting to a panel of judges. 

It was then that several members of the Eau Claire community came together – from non-profit, education, and business – to form Startup 48, Eau Claire's very own weekend-long startup event. The first event was a rousing success, and it quickly became apparent that not only did individuals want to learn the steps to turn an idea into a viable business model, but they wanted to connect with industry leaders and resources in their community. 

Since 2015, this annual event has continued to grow and attract entrepreneurs and entrepreneur hopefuls throughout the region. Every year attendees come with no idea how the weekend will roll, nervous because they aren't quite sure the event is for them, and at the same time, super excited for whatever is about to happen. Only 48 short hours later they leave with new friends, connections to industry leaders, access to community resources, and experience on how to start a business!

What's included in the ticket:

  • Catered food - 7 meals total

  • Coffee, coffee, coffee

  • Startup 48 Eau Claire Sweatshirt

  • Nifty Startup 48 lunch box to hold all your important food and drink stuff

  • Access to some of the area's best startup mentors

  • Winning team also receives Startup 48 prize package for services

  • An unforgettable experience

  • Qualify for the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament*

Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament

 New for 2018 - Startup 48 is thrilled to announce that we are the Eau Claire qualifier event for the Wisconsin’s Big Idea Tournament! WBIT is an entrepreneurship competition open to undergraduate and graduate students attending any two- or four-year University of Wisconsin school across the state (except UW-Madison).

It teaches cutting-edge Lean Startup business development tools, provides business mentorship, and allows participants to compete at a state level for a chance to win seed funding for their idea as well as a chance to compete internationally at the International Business Model Competition (IBMC).

*The winning team must have a University of Wisconsin student to be eligible for the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament. In the event that the winning team does not have a University of Wisconsin student on their team, the top ranking team with a UW student will be qualified for the WBIT.


Your Organizers & Coaches


Attendees of Startup 48 get to...

... Connect with successful industry leaders

"Startup 48 is probably the best way to propel your idea from a dream into reality in just a weekend's time. It's fun meeting other people who are just as passionate about their ideas and incredibly valuable to get the feedback of experienced business owners." --Justin Vajko, 2015 & 2016 participant


... gain valuable, hands-on  Experience

"If you would like to experience the fun & intensity of working in a startup under unpredictable circumstances then by default startup 48 is the event for you." --Paul Kennings, 2016 participant like-minded peers

"I never met any of the guests until the night of and when choosing a team it felt very natural and the energy was electric. great learning experience." -- Kimberly Williams, 2016 participant


.... access community resources

"I went into Start-Up 48 with just an idea I was passionate about. Throughout the weekend I gained a team, as well as a tremendous amount of knowledge from all the mentors. Leaving the weekend I had a minimal viable project, and all the tools to make my idea a reality. Couldn't be happier and more thankful for all the support we gained in just one weekend. It's an amazing event." -- Sean O'Brien, 2016 participant


“I came into the event not knowing what to expect and I left with a great team, winning first place, and had the basics of a business that we are continuing to work on.”

-- Brandon Cedarblade   |  2015 Participant