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SWeduPGH

The teams have formed and the heart of Startup Weekend Education Pittsburgh is officially underway! If you’re looking for a little more information on the game plan for Saturday and some tips and insights, this post is for you.

As always, if you need anything, find an organizer or volunteer, or tweet at us: https://twitter.com/swedupgh. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SWeduPGH! And don’t be shy! We’ve all done this before and know what you’re going through.

If you’re getting your team established on social media, be sure to let us know and we’ll spread the word. Also request any team needs on Twitter and we will blast it out through social.

We also sent out codes for Amazon Web Services and your free .co domain, so be sure to check your emails.

Here are the teams so far. We know your name and idea will fluctuate throughout the weekend so let us know of updates!

  1. emrj: online platform to connect students with companies for job shadows
  2. The Wrinkled Brain Project: connect students with scientists to encourage deep thinking in science labs
  3. Imaginate: interactive storytelling to encourage kids to read
  4. Every Penny Counts: kids get rewarded with pennies for answering questions during class
  5. Field Trip: making botany more real-world interactive through teacher-directed initiatives
  6. Root Ed: connecting college mentors with high school students
  7. ClassR: collaboration platform for students in the same class working on projects together
  8. Lunchtime: summer lunches for kids through a non-profit food truck
  9. Pittsburgh Thriving Index: a dynamic real-time dashboard with multidimensional data that reframes education with access points for all
  10. E-lectern: build a better interface for online teaching
  11. The Project Playground: app to give teachers insights on student projects, straight from the kids
  12. Code Trail: helping young kids learn to code through gamification

For Saturday:

ECS will open at 9am! Come grab breakfast in the cafeteria thanks to Square Cafe then get to work.

Hopefully you had a successful brain dump Friday evening so you can hit the ground running on Saturday. Be sure to do lots of research, keep the MVP model in mind and take advantage of the amazing mentors coming in who have volunteered their time. This is when you want to really consider your market and get validation.

Assign roles and tasks to help get everything done. Be agile– know it will be a rollercoaster but that’s ok. And most importantly, have fun!

Mentors will be in from 10am-5pm. For special requests, email: pittsburghedu@startupweekend.org.

Tips: prioritize what your team needs guidance on and spend as much time with those mentors.

  1. List out questions: Time is limited with mentors so make sure you use it wisely.
  2. Be humble and open-minded: Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know.
  3. Be upfront and direct: If you need to pass on a mentor to digest and implement information, let them know.

Education Mentors:
Nina Marie Barbuto– Assemble
Colleen Hannagan– Assistant Principal, North Allegheny School District

Tech Mentors:
Joe Esposito– Development Consultant and Startup Digest PGH
Nikolaus Hruska– VP of Problem Solutions
Sabrina Haskell– Senior Game Designer of Schell Games

Business Mentors:
Adam Kelson– Partner, Saul Ewing LLP
Jesse Council (Youth Mentor)– CEO & Co-Founder, Shy-Way Essentials; National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Finalist
Nikki Navta– CEO, Zulama
Nicole Muise-Kielkucki– Manager of Social Enterprise Initiatives, Idea Foundry
Dan Seitam– Partner & CxO, C-leveled

After lunch from Mad Mex, we’ll be doing a status report where you’ll update us on your progress and any needs you have. Remember, Startup Weekend is about community and collaboration. Teams helping each other out is highly encouraged!

Mentors will be here until 5 pm, and Saturday evening is when you’ll have to start considering how your pitch will go. Volunteers are here to help if this is new to you! We’ll also be sending around the judging criteria in an email to help guide you.

Win 10 is catering dinner and we’ll have an ice cream social from Dream Cream later in the evening. Things can get intense on Saturday but don’t forget to take an occasional break to clear your head and enjoy all the event has to offer.


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Cat Tsavalas