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Startup Weekend Detroit
November 6th, 2015

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What a weekend! We kicked off our first ever Startup Weekend Detroit for Youth event at the Techstars office in Ford Field. We welcomed over 65 kids between the ages of 9-18 on Friday night. We built marshmallow towers, played half-baked, were silly, and ate… a lot.

Kids who returned on Saturday morning jumped into the day by pitching themselves to the group (giving their personal pitch) or pitching one of their business ideas. We had 30 pitches on Saturday morning! Ten teams were quickly formed and everyone got to work.

Teams worked diligently at validating their ideas, developing their business models, and building prototypes. And, when the time came on Sunday, they were ready!

Meet the 10 teams who presented on Sunday!!

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White Room: an app that allows young artists to create, distribute, and merchandise custom pieces of art.

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Commusic: a community-based musical environment where aspiring young artists can share their music and receive feedback.

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H-Pen: a pen that makes designing easier for busy business people and visualizing conversations through a holographic feature.

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I.N. SPACE: a platform that trains DJs online to produce world class sounds and offer them the opportunity to sign with big name record labels.

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OHNO.co: a blogging and communication platform where young girls can go to get advice on what to do in certain situations and how to solve problems.

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Primal Instinct: an indie artist promotional company created to represent young independent artists.

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SuperPower Reading: an app that allows users to create literature with marginalized characters.

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InfinityFLY: a game that uses a connected flying “Golden Snitch” as a way to compete with other users through a connected app.

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GWR: an app for users to request lawn services on demand.

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Smart Wash: a washer/dryer unit in one that is connected to users devices and can be controlled remotely.

These teams were evaluated on their business model, customer validation, and execution and design.

We did things a bit different from the typical adult Startup Weekend and we offered several prizes:

1st Place Overall Best in Class: Will have excelled in all three of the criteria above

Runner Up, Business Models: This team developed a sound business model, but may not have been able to fully validate their idea or a minimum viable product

Runner Up, Validated Customers: This team demonstrated strong customer validation, but may not have been able to fully develop their business model or a minimum viable product

Runner Up, MVP’s: This team developed a strong minimum viable product, but may not have been able to fully validate their idea or a business model

Community Favorite: This team was awarded based on popular vote

Entrepreneurial Spirit: This participant was recognized by his/her peers and coaches as the most entrepreneurial


The winning teams in these five categories were:

1st Place Overall Best in Class: SuperPower Reading

Runner Up, Business Models: InfinityFly

Runner Up, Validated Customers: Primal Instincts

Runner Up, MVP’s: White Room

Community Favorite: SuperPower Reading

BIG congrats to all of our amazing teams! They truly stepped up and out of their comfort zone this weekend!

BIG thanks to all of our sponsors: Techstars, Magna International, Einstein by Design, Code Fellows, TechTown Detroit, DTX, Digerati Girls, Digerati Kids, Kidpreneur, Dum Dums, Wet House, Shinola, Google, Forgive Me Not Photos by Taurise, and Bizdom.

BIG thanks to all of our coaches, volunteers, and judges for taking time out of their weekend to support our event!

BIG thanks to all of the organizers: Monica Wheat, Chelsea Smallish, Grace Montero, Anamarie Sabbagh, Jay Rayford, and Zain Ismail.

That’s a wrap!

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Nicole Mangis