Get Moving on Your Idea

The idea behind Rx Interactive, Inc. was one that was simmering in Del-Metri Williams’s mind for years before Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2015. She pitched it, but it didn’t move forward that weekend. She went on to learn how to do a startup over the course of the weekend and later launched it.

The team Del-Metri was on worked on a video question and answer service they called MetaWhat. She applied herself to it fully, aiming to win. Ultimately another team won, and the MetaWhat team didn’t continue working on the idea, but that didn’t detract from the value of the weekend.

MetaWhat team at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016
MetaWhat team at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016

Del-Metri came out of Startup Weekend convinced her idea could work. So she and her husband Rudy launched it. Rx Interactive’s goal is to use game mechanics to engage patients in learning so that they know more about the conditions that affect them and their treatments and ultimately lead to better outcomes. Unsurprisingly, Del-Metri and Rudy met two of the people who would later join the team at Startup Weekend.

Del-Metri says the weekend was a learning experience on how to do a startup, which prepared her for some of the work on Rx Interactive. In particular she said learning to talk to people before building was helpful. Using that approach, she has been able to get in front of people at the companies that will be her target market. Not only does she get information and advice from them to help target the company’s solutions, but she creates a warm market for the future.

Experience Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016, November 4-6. Test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Fort Worth, and launch your next startup all in one weekend. Get your ticket now!








Startup Weekend Is About Much More than the Ideas Pitched

Chris Handy, a local marketing consultant, pitched at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2015 but didn’t get enough support for a full team to work on the idea over the weekend. Of course it’s nice to take your idea all the way, but Chris’s experience illustrates that not all pitches will receive enough support for teams to form and develop them over the weekend. Most won’t. But ultimately, the impact of the weekend isn’t diminished, because the weekend isn’t always about your idea. It is also about learning new skills and getting to know others with similar passions—perhaps even a future cofounder.

Chris came to Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2015 with an idea for a service that would help businesses with their marketing by prompting them to generate content. His was one of 23 pitches Friday. When his pitch didn’t receive enough support, he joined another team. Together, that team developed an idea for an Airbnb-like service for longer-term stays. Out of nine teams, they were awarded first place on Sunday night. Chris found that working on another’s idea was still fun, provided variety, and allowed him to solve problems and learn.

If your idea doesn’t get enough support for a team to develop it over the weekend, don’t worry. As Chris points out, it may not be because the idea lacks merit. The people in the room may just be interested in other things, no matter how well you explain the opportunity.

Chris continued to develop his idea on his own after Startup Weekend. Initially hiring coding help, a CTO has since joined, bringing a depth of technical expertise Chris himself lacks. Given the connections made at Startup Weekend, it is no surprise to us that it was a fellow team member from the winning team. Chris says he knew it was a fit based on his work ethic, how he tackles tough situations, and how he handles pressure, all of which Chris knew well because they worked together over 54 hours at Startup Weekend.

Chris’s experience shows the connections that can be made at Startup Weekend if you come in with more than one goal in mind. We are excited to see what comes from teams in 2016.

Experience Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016, November 4-6. Test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Fort Worth, and launch your next startup all in one weekend. Get your ticket now!








Clinicalsolutions.io got its start at Startup Weekend Fort Worth

Clinicalsolutions.io was recently accepted into Health Wildcatters’ 2016 cohort, but it began as an idea Irving Rivera pitched at Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014.

Participants, judges, and organizers at the conclusion of Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014
Participants, judges, and organizers at the conclusion of Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014

 

The core of the idea hasn’t changed since he first pitched it at Startup Weekend Fort Worth: a marketplace that more efficiently matches potential clinical trial volunteers with medical researchers. Currently it can be expensive and slow for researchers to recruit volunteers for trials, particularly for rare conditions. The application process for patients can be tedious, and acceptance rates are low. If the patient wants to apply for another trial, he or she must complete another application. Clinicalsoultions.io provides a marketplace where patients can enter their medical data once and are then able to apply for any number of trials quickly and easily. It then analyzes applicants’ profiles against the research criteria for each trial, and provides pre-screened profiles to researchers. The service is free for patients. Researchers only pay a fee if they agree that a profile offered as a potential match is a good fit for their trial.

At startup weekend, a team of five came together around the idea. Irving had never met any of them before, but together they validated the market, developed the business plan, and built a mockup over the course of the weekend. At the end of the weekend they were awarded first place.

The team did not continue working on the idea after the weekend, but Irving continued to develop the idea as a class project in design. Later Adam Shed, who was on the Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2014 team with Irving; Stacey Gullen, who had been on the same team as Irving at an earlier startup weekend in Dallas; and Seth Dorris, who Irving had previously served with in the U.S. Army, each joined the team.

From Irving’s point of view, the best part of startup weekend is that everyone has to present. Even if you don’t pitch an idea, you have to talk about your skills and interests in finding a team to be a part of. In that way, startup weekend can sort people by similar interests and help them find useful collaborations.

Having participated in a few startup weekends, Irving suggests that people spend too much of the short time for their pitch focusing on the idea. He recommends giving more information about your background, particularly the insight it gives you to the problem, and the kinds of people you’re looking to have be a part of the team.

Experience Startup Weekend Fort Worth 2016, November 4-6. Test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Fort Worth, and launch your next startup all in one weekend. Get your ticket now!