In case you haven’t heard, Startup Weekend is coming to Des Moines this weekend. The event begins November 18 at 6:30pm, and will be held at Startup City in downtown Des Moines.

Whether you’ve started 100 companies before or you’re a student looking to gain valuable experience, here are our top 5 reasons you don’t want to miss Startup Weekend Des Moines:

1. You can network with other local developers, marketers and designers.

This is hands-down one of the best networking opportunities you’ll find in Des Moines. Regardless of your interests and background, you’ll meet dozens of new people and likely make some new friends along the way. What sets Startup Weekend apart from most other networking events is that you’ll learn so much more than just what your new acquaintances do for a living – you’ll hear their creative ideas and passions, you’ll see how they work under pressure and you’ll learn and grow right along with them.

2. You have the chance to build something awesome.

You and a team of peers will have 54 hours to build a kickass company. The intense deadline forces you to work harder than you ever have before and actually get things done. You’ll find out what the important things and you’ll have to budget your time and resources accordingly. It’s intense and hard, but so fulfilling and very much fun. I mean, how many of your office friends can say they built the next Facebook, Google or Zynga – in a weekend?

3. You will definitely learn something new.

No matter how much you know coming into the weekend, it’s guaranteed that you will learn plenty of new things. You’ll get first-hand experience building a company from the ground up, and you’ll learn everything it takes to make it happen along the way.

4. This event could change your life.

The tech industry is booming in the Silicon Prairie and there’s no time better than the Startup Weekend to get involved. Not only will you be meeting a lot of awesome new people and learning how to do some kick ass things, you could also be creating your next career. If you build a company that you’re really proud of (and trust us, by the end of the weekend, you will be) you’re encouraged to keep going and fulfill your wildest entrepreneurial dreams.

5. Startup City wants to help you build your company after the weekend.

This is quite possibly the biggest reason you should consider attending Startup Weekend. All companies formed during the event that do not compete with current Startup City companies will be invited back on Monday for Startup Boot Camp DSM. Startup City doesn’t want you to work your ass off all weekend and then forget everything as you quietly go back to your office job. They want you to keep the momentum going with mentors, office space and all the internets and coffee you can consume for the coming weeks.

Startup Weekend starts tonight, and you really should be there. You’ll see so many fresh faces and learn so many things, and you might even build yourself a new career. Worst case scenario, you’ll spend a weekend with some interesting new friends. So, what do you have to lose? Get your ticket here.