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Startup Weekend Buffalo will give budding entrepreneurs a chance to collaborate this weekend on ideas for companies that can take root here.

This is the first time the 54-hour event has taken place at the University at Buffalo, in Davis Hall on the North Campus in Amherst. It starts at 7:30 tonight with “open microphone” pitches of new business ideas. Teams will then form and develop plans on Saturday and Sunday based on what are deemed the best ideas. Business professionals will be on hand to provide coaching.

The teams will make their presentations and prototype demonstrations before a panel of judges Sunday night, where they can win prizes in the form of business services. Among the prizes is a package of Web services offered by 360 PSG.

Along with an opportunity to launch businesses and get expert advice, Startup Weekend Buffalo allows entrepreneurs to network with each other and develop more contacts.

One goal of this edition is to attract a wider audience from across upstate and Southern Ontario, said Jon Spitz, a co-organizer. And it hopes to attract entrepreneurs with interests in a range of business services, not strictly technology.

About 100 to 120 people are expected to register, said Katie Krawczyk, a spokeswoman for the event. Startup Weekend Buffalo is a subsidiary program of Startup Weekend, a global nonprofit organization that promotes connecting entrepreneurs and fostering development of new companies.

For information on Startup Weekend Buffalo, go to www.buffalo.startupweekend.org. Tickets are $25 for full-time students and $50 for the public; the price includes meals.

Earlier this week, the Bright Buffalo Niagara forum brought together startup businesses and potential investors to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

email: mglynn@buffnews.com