‘RIT48’ Entrepreneurs Burn the Midnight Oil and Beyond, March 25-27

Participants have one weekend to launch Web-based business ventures

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Most entrepreneurs encounter some sleepless nights trying to get a new business off the ground. Now teams of innovators at Rochester Institute of Technology have a compelling opportunity to take that reality to heart.

RIT48 returns March 25-27. For the second consecutive year, students, alumni and faculty from across campus are challenged to pitch, plan, develop and launch Web start-up companies—all within one 48-hour period.

Multidisciplinary teams—spanning expertise in programming, design and marketing—will create some form of Web-based applications that provide a new service or leverages an existing business opportunity. At last year’s inaugural RIT48, Matt Gardner and his team created a website for designing and sharing résumés.

“It’s a great way to test the waters and actually build something that’s real,” states Gardner, a third-year information technology student and organizer of this year’s RIT48.

Teams compete for cash prizes, and winners will be selected based on evaluations presented by a panel of experts. Judges include Daniel Keywan Hollister, co-founder of 5secondfilms.com; Colin Doody, co-founder of Darkwind Media; Pete Karl, partner at Lion Burger; and Rob Schumann, founder and CEO of DateNight. Doody, Karl and Schumann are also RIT alumni.

“Students will get feedback from people in industry that have tried new things and made them work,” explains Gardner. “Making those kinds of connections is huge.”

Registration for RIT48 gets under way at 9 a.m. March 25, followed by an opening ceremony in the Center for Student Innovation. Pre-established teams and individuals affiliated with RIT who are looking to join a team must register online by March 17.

Go to the RIT48 website for more information.