Last weekend, btrax was lucky to attend the 54hr startup event called MEGA Startup Weekend where our CEO, Brandon K. Hill, was design mentoring the startup teams. The best way to describe Startup Weekend is an event where entrepreneurs, designers, marketers, developers, enthusiasts work in a weekend-long, hands-on experiences to develop an idea into a reality.
Day1 – Survival of the Most Interesting
The ideas are grouped into three major categories or verticals – Health, Education and Gaming. Only 10 ideas out of each category are selected for development. Each group had around 20 to 30 pitches and it was peer voted to come up with the 10 ideas per category. At that point it just happens. Developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and marketers gravitate to each idea forming small startup groups to develop the idea into a product.
Day 2 – Roll up Your Sleeves
As soon as the ideas were chosen Friday, 30 teams formed to create the ideas from teams of two to over 10. Most teams started to put the ideas into place feasibility, business planning, and product development/implementation. The energy of the people was just amazing. Many teams created quick surveys online to tap into product feature development.
Day 3 – Launch It!
The final day was spent putting the final touches on the product and the getting ready for the product presentations at the end of the day. All the groups in each vertical category present to a panel of Judges familiar with the vertical category. Only one group from each vertical was chosen to present at the wrap-up meeting.
All the ‘idea’preneurs did a great job. Here is a quick summary on the finalists:
Education – ClassParrot
- Class parrot addresses the privacy need of Students and Educators who need to contact each other by providing a firewall between the educator and student.
- Upside: Address issues of privacy and Parental monitoring of contact between educator and student.
- Challenges: Subscription model with micro-payments will require a easy way to sign-up; provide ‘up sell’ value to admins and parents
Gaming – Gablinga
- Gablinga – Uses a social, In-person Gaming Platform for all Mobile Devices
- Upside: Experienced gaming team; Simple concept of modernizing existing party games; Great interactive game for “break-the-ice” events, bar crawl events.
- Challenges: Monetization-advertising, branded games, customized games; upsell to Events/Groups, competition with other social event interaction services.
Health – LiveHomeFree
- A bracelet device to alert through a mobile linked device, e-mail alert, SMS alert to a loved one or family member?
- Upside: Great device to check on older or debilitated members of a family living alone.
- Challenges: Working with Insurance organizations; prove value to health organizations; Interface with Health professionals
The pitching will continue, with each winner receiving a coveted booth at the VentureBeat DEMO Conference on this week, September 12-14th, and a chance to win the Audience Choice Rising Star slot to pitch at Demo.