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Startup Jackpot: $10,000 For D.C. Startup Entrepreneur Comfortable With Failure

03/22/2013 12:54 pm ET

Have a good idea? Ready to talk about where things are going wrong?

Startup Jackpot is a one day event where D.C.entrepreneurs will be pitted against one another in an effort to win up to $10,000.

The event, scheduled for April 13, will have an unusual theme: failure.

"We really wanted to talk more about failure and celebrate that, not for failure's sake but for the purpose of learning and teaching that it's okay to fail," says Noah Karesh, one of the local entrepreneurs who helped to organize the Startup Jackpot -- and who also co-founded a Feastly last year, a startup business that connects chefs who want to charge for a meal with willing eaters. "We really wanted to hear...[w]hat problems are you facing with getting this idea achieved?"

Contestants will also have to explain what they would use that $10,000 for and how it would help them.

The winner will be chosen by a crowd comprised of local entrepreneurs. The money the winner receives will be no strings attached -- except that the winner must relay back to the organizers what they did with the money, if they succeeded or failed and why.

Organizers say they hope the event helps to propel growth in D.C.'s tech startup ecosystem -- one that is small but recently has begun to flourish. (Though D.C.-based start-up Living Social's well-publicized layoffs could indicate that the theme of failure is timely.)

"D.C. does have a tech scene. It's not as big as silicon valley, which is obvious," says Karesh. "But it is growing and getting up there."

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