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5 Startup Events and News to Watch This Week

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The Senate's epic fail surprises no one as interest rates on Stafford student loans double today, the end of Google Reader is nigh, Independence Day is predicted to be a legendary travel bonanza, according to a recent Orbitz survey, NEXT helps Parisian treps validate their startup ideas, Startup Weekend heads to Amsterdam… This week’s notable news and startup events for young treps:

1. Student loan rates to double: The U.S. Senate has failed to compromise on proposals that would extend the low-interest rates on student loans. The rates will automatically increase today to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. Sen. Richard Burr, (R., N.C.) admits, “Neither party wants to see rates rise next week,” but both parties are reluctant “kick the can down the road” for another year. The Senate will be back in session after the July 4 recess and hope to find a solution at that time.

2. The end of the Google Reader: Google is today expected to leave a large hole in many hearts when it officially shuts the doors on its Reader app. Don’t despair. Here is everything you need to know about transferring your data and getting set up with another service. (Duct Tape Marketing)

3. Independence Day long weekend, a boost for business? According to an Orbitz survey, 66 percent of Americans are making a long weekend out of the Independence Day holiday. With cheap airfare, reasonable hotel rates and a last minute 15 percent off deal from Orbitz, travelers have been enticed to get out and explore this great nation. Top destinations include Orlando, New York and Las Vegas. Likely the travel bug will lead to an uptick in small business sales, says Reuters.

4. NEXT step, validating your business concept: NEXT is a five-week program that uses Steve Blank’s Customer Development methodology to validate business concepts and create proficiency in customer communication. The lessons are a combination of workshop-style class time, supplemental reading and instructor feedback. Classroom lessons aside, this program offers unique access to ecosystem leaders, innovators and peers in an environment where those who excel have the opportunity to get notice and make lasting connections. (Paris, July 03)

5. Startup Weekend in Amsterdam: The well-known global grassroots movement can boast more than 400 successful events in over 100 countries, and now Startup Weekend is coming to Amsterdam. Anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and teams will organically form around the top ideas, which are determined by popular vote. Teams then have 54 hours to validate their startup concepts and present in front of local entrepreneurial leaders. Win or lose everyone is guaranteed to learn, make friends, and have a great time. (Amsterdam, July 5 - 7)

Written By

Brad Crescenzo is a freelance writer in New York.