Maine Startup & Create Week is upon us.

There are more than 600 people registered and nearly 160 speakers taking part in the week-long celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Maine, as I reported in yesterday’s Maine Sunday Telegram.

I’ll be blogging about the week’s events, encounters and experiences, so bookmark The Startup Line and check back often. Some of the Portland Press Herald’s other business staffers will also likely chime in with their own posts.

You can also follow the event on Twitter. My account is @whit_richardson. The event’s hashtag is #MSCW.

This is a quick post to provide some essential details to people who are interested in checking out an event or taking part in the entire week.

First off, the official Maine Startup and Create Week website is a good place to start. The week’s schedule can be found here.

An entire week’s pass is $600, while day passes are $149. If you’re only interested in attending one event, a single-panel pass can be had for $20. All the events are in the downtown area, including the Portland Public Library and the Masonic Temple on Congress Street. The event HQ is at One City Center. Go there to register or to pick up your pass.

To kick things off, a group of speakers sought to enervate the crowd at the “Think Big” kick-off bash yesterday evening at Port City Music Hall. The speakers included former Obama Cabinet member Karen Gordon Mills, UMaine hockey coach Red Gendron and Portland’s own Adam Burk, co-founder of the Treehouse Institute and the TEDxDirigo event. They each riffed on the idea of thinking big.

Gendron pointed out that he has two Stanley Cup rings for his time with the New Jersey Devils’ operation, but he’s also been fired three times. His lesson? Failure is often part of success. You can’t have one without the other.

Rich Brooks from flyte new media also spoke. “Dream bigger dreams,” he urged. “Have more audacious goals.”

Another notable speaker was Franck Nouyrigat, a co-founder of Startup Weekend, which has become a global phenomenon in which groups of people get together all over the world to launch startup companies in 54 hours.

Portland wrapped up its third Startup Weekend on Sunday. The winning team was the Rwanda Coffee Co. Next weekend there’ll be a Startup Weekend in Gaza, Palestine.

“We’re in more countries than Starbucks,” Nouyrigat said.

Nouyrigat began his talk with a short rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” before encouraging the crowd to discard excuses and to think big. He pointed out that the average age for someone starting a new business is 44 years old in the United States, so age certainly shouldn’t be an excuse. The average startup capital needed for a high-growth company is $25,000, so lack of capital can’t be an excuse.

His point? Excuses are just that — excuses.

“You guys have no excuse to not be amazing,” he said.

Enjoy the week and make sure to introduce yourself if you see me.

Here’s a photo of Franck Nouyrigat I posted on Instagram last night: