By Libby Hopkins

Thomas Edison once said, “The value of an idea lives in the using of it.” Many people have ideas about starting a business, but many never come to life. This happens because they may not know how to express their ideas or know how to start their own small business.

Trey Steinhoff graduated from the University of South Florida in May of 2015. He works for a local startup company called Kite Desk in Ybor City.

“I studied economics and entrepreneurship,” Steinhoff said. “There I was exposed to entrepreneurship in a class called creativity and innovation in entrepreneurship that was taught by a couple of incredible locals, Brent Britton and Reuben Pressman. They recommended I attend my first startup weekend in the summer of 2014 and I fell in love.”

Startup weekends started back in July of 2007 in Boulder, Colorado when Andrew Hyde brought together 70 entrepreneurs to try to create a startup in just 54 hours. Since then startup events have taken place in over 135 countries, involving more than 210,000 entrepreneurs.

“These days, startup weekends are 54-hour weekend events, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus and graphic artists pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening,” Steinhoff said. “On Sunday evening they pitch their new business to a panel of esteemed professionals from around the area.”

Steinhoff and his colleagues really wanted to celebrate the local beverage scene in Tampa, so they are hosting Startup Weekend Tampa: Beverage Edition on May 20-21 at the Entrepreneurial Collaborative Center located in Ybor City.

“We have so many awesome breweries, coffee shops, tea lounges and new drink joints popping up in Tampa, it seemed like a great idea,” Steinhoff said. “People have told us that startup weekend was a life changing experience. There is something electric about bringing together passionate people and then watching them tackle a challenge head on in just 54 hours.”

To be a part of Startup Weekend Tampa: Beverage Edition, visit bit.ly/1VCbkBg or email Steinhoff at trey.cas3@gmail.com. The Entrepreneurial Collaborative Center is located at 2102 E. Palm Ave. in Ybor City.