Build a startup from the ground up.

October 5-7, Siebel Center

54 is a 3-day event where students from different backgrounds come together to form teams and launch a successful startup. No experience required. Just bring yourself, some friends and good ideas. Food and drinks will be provided.


Who should apply?

54 is open to all majors and ages. We strongly believe that entrepreneurship isn’t tied to a major – anyone with a passion to solve a problem can build a startup.

When will I hear back?

We will be sending out acceptances on a rolling basis until the application deadline, which is Friday, September 28th.

Do I have to pitch an idea to participate?

You can still attend 54 even if you don’t pitch an idea; however, the exchange of ideas is what makes 54 great! We highly encourage brainstorming ideas. We want to be inspired by your passion!

What can I do in the meantime?

Think of problems that you personally face every day or see in your community and how you would solve those! We also encourage practicing your pitch! Also, tell your friends and check out our Facebook event and social media links to get updates. :)

During the Weekend

Can I pitch an idea for a startup that’s already in progress?

Yes! This year we'll be accepting in-progress startups. You won't be eligible for normal prizes, but if our Microgrants committee likes your pitch, you may receive a microgrant up to $500 from Founders.

Can I pitch more than one idea?

Depending on the number of ideas pitched, you may be able to pitch two ideas.

What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

No problem! You can still join a team and participate.

Can we see past presentation examples?

Absolutely. Send us a message and we can share some past slide decks with you.


What is 54?

54 is a startup weekend where ideas are turned into a reality. Attendees come in on Friday and pitch ideas, form teams, and learn how to turn their ideas into a business with mentors' guidance over the course of the weekend.

What's in it for you?

54 builds strong friendships and sustainable businesses that last even after the event is over. Startups are powered aircrafts, not projectiles.

Cash Prizes: The top three teams will walk away with some money to help turn their idea into a reality.
Dinner: The top teams get a networking dinner with our sponsors.
Real Startups: Some of our past winners include Amber Waves, Mymetrics, and FreeSkies.

Will there be food?

Absolutely! We will have a constant supply of snacks, coffee, and food – you take care of your startup, we'll take care of you.

Is it overnight?

Nope. You won't need to work overnight to get things done, and we believe people do their best work when they take care of themselves.

I have an idea that I want to pitch! What should I do to prepare?

Awesome! 54 is the perfect place to meet team members that can help bring your idea to life. Practice and do your research; no presentation slides please – you will have 60 seconds to convince attendees to join your team!

I don’t have an idea that I want to pitch :(

Yet! But bring a unique perspective - teams will need members from many different backgrounds!

Are we expected to work on our startup after 54 is over?

We provide cash prizes and a network so you have direction and motivation to continue working on your startup! However, learning how a company is started with your team and mentors is still a great experience on its own, and we understand that not everybody can commit to their own company full-time.

What are past participants up to?

They’ve gone on to win the Cozad New Venture Competition, participate in startup accelerators, participated in fellowships, and raised funding.

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Can I have a pre-formed team?

We highly encourage forming teams at the event to gain new perspectives, though you're free to bring friends and stick together.

When does the event start and end?

Check-in starts at 6 PM on Friday, October 5th. The event ends at 6 PM on Sunday, October 7th, with the networking dinner for finalists at 6:30 PM.

What should I bring?

A laptop, charger, passion, and excitement!

Day 1: Imagine

Pitch Fest
Team Formation

Day 2: Create

Market Research
Business Evaluation

Day 3: Launch


Last Year's Sponsors