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Thirty-five participants on six teams started out with ideas on Friday night and by Sunday night had created product concepts, researched markets, and devised business models. Three teams won prizes, but the members of all the teams walked away with new skills, new contacts, new confidence in their ability to create new enterprises.

And now, the results are in. Judges at Startup Weekend Athens (Ohio) selected the winning presentations of the new products and businesses developed over the weekend.

Team "CrateKit" takes home first place during the competition. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)
Team “CrateKit” takes home first place during the competition. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)

First place: CrateKit
Modular, reusable, palletized shipping containers

Inefficient and wasteful shipping methods frustrate skilled installers and cause delays on the job site. Our design meets a gap in current shipping concepts and is modifiable to meet the needs of a given contractor. Our stackable, collapsible containers would be filled as kits, customized to the installer’s job. They would replace the current bulk shipping methods that deliver unsorted parts in cardboard boxes to a contractor’s job site.

This modification is cost effective and will improve installer productivity as it increases efficiency, adds quality control, and reduces product loss through data-driven inventory management. Since this innovation eliminates the bulk-purchasing model and increases accessibility to solar products, it may create a DIY market among homeowners.
Team members Anthony Buchla, Jennifer Dockham, Kevin Johnson, and Michelle Surerus built prototypes, researched the needs of contractors and solar installers, and mocked up a web site, producing a convincing case for the market viability of the CrateKit concept.

Team "Combat Interactions" take home second place in the competition. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)
Team “Combat Interactive” takes home second place in the competition. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)

Second place: Combat Interactive
Have fun with realistic fighting scenarios and martial arts training.

Combat Interactive is a content provider for the emerging virtual and augmented reality market. We are creating a software system that will bring virtual reality (VR) technologies together to provide an immersive and interactive environment that takes user interaction to a new level. Our current objective is providing martial arts themed games and experiences to build an active community and customer base in a content-starved market. This will position us as an established media brand in a rapidly growing segment while laying the groundwork for building an industry-leading disruptive market platform for virtual and augmented reality content/systems.
Martial arts instructor Amy Miller and her teammates, Michael Greive, John Herbert, Zach Perrault, and Peter Shoup, Wilson Taylor, started with the idea of a sensor-based martial arts practice platform and then recast their idea into the emerging world of immersive, three-dimensional gaming.

Team "Laundry Caddy" takes home third place in the competition. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)
Team “Laundry Caddy” takes home third place in the competition. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)

Third Place: Laundry Caddy
Organizing life’s little chores.
Our product conveniently organizes laundry supplies for transportation

The Laundry Caddy team, Lori Bentz, Josh Coury, Patrick Kelly, and Anna Sowash, scoped out the market and designed and produced prototypes for two levels of product to help students and apartment dwellers carry their laundry supplies to their building’s laundry facility or a laundromat.

Laundry Caddy also won the audience-choice voting.

The prize packages, which include goods and services totaling several thousand dollars in value, are shown here: https://blog.up.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Prize-Pack-Flyer-copy.pdf

Startup Weekend Athens participants and organizers pose for a group picture. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)

Startup Weekend Athens participants and organizers pose for a group picture. (©2015 Jillyann Burns/Ohio University)


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Barbara Donohue