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After a day-and-a-half of work, teams at Startup Weekend Albuquerque are getting down to the final few hours in a 54-hour long marathon.

In just one weekend each team is responsible for defining a problem, coming up with a solution, and then breaking it down into a product / company that can be pitched to a team of judges and executed on in the coming weeks and months.

Andre Moore, who is a first time participant, is pitching an idea he’s had in the back of his head for a while. He loves cooking BBQ, and after getting feedback from family and friends who say his ribs are the best in town, he heard about Startup Weekend and decided to try it.

Andre's Ribs tweet

His team started with a broad set of ideas, and is now narrowing down the framework to something they can execute on and that reflects his love for food and cooking for people:

“After a day of looking at the timing we’ve scaled it down to a small food truck build to start, and changed the name from The Ribcage to Andre’s Ribs…we’ve been working on getting things to fit in a way that will work for us and also be unique.”

Nick Williams, who has participated in previous Startup Weekends and is putting together an idea called Catalyst Week, also knows how important it is to narrow down what you’re working on as the weekend comes to a close…

“It’s a tradeoff, you have to stay focused on the presentation and at the same time  incorporate feedback from mentors / coaches…the challenge is doing both, being flexible and focused.”

With intensive customer development completed to see if each idea has traction, other teams are getting the details down and practicing sharing their story / product idea.

MakerBrat, a startup idea initiated by the local Design Thinking Meetup founder Andres Lazo, is focusing on helping kids age 5-12 learn problem solving and design thinking skills via maker activities. His team has identified a gap in elementary and middle school education, and after talking to 60+ people about the idea this weekend he believes workshops / programming for younger children are the precursor to events like Teen Startup Weekend.

Two other teams are hard at work as well, preparing for pitches and figuring out how to tell their story as they build a business: Local Quest, an online role playing game that seeks to connect gamers who are near each other, and Orderfy, a startup that’s focusing on closing the loop between ordering from a food truck and being notified when food is ready.

Alexandra Ximenez, veteran of more than a dozen Startup Weekends and this event’s facilitator / guide, says that it’s about more than just the weekend:

“One of the best things about Startup Weekend is that the framework empowers teams to build an idea / product that will last. Especially for the first time attendees, this event is only the first step in their entrepreneurial journey.”

Each startup will be presenting their idea / product this afternoon beginning at 5pm in the downstairs level auditorium of the CNMStemulus Center in Downtown Albuquerque (corner of 3rd & Copper)

Address: 20 1st Plaza Center NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Joe Cardillo