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By Organizer Sarah Lenarcic and Volunteer Silvi Stermasi

Are you constantly daydreaming about quitting your day job? Do you have a great business idea that you’re looking to launch? Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? If your answer is yes, then Startup Weekend might be just the thing for you!

HumberLaunch just hosted Etobicoke’s first Startup Weekend, a 54-hour startup building frenzy, at Humber College Lakeshore Campus. Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.

Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs came together for an exciting, weekend-long event where they pitched ideas, formed teams, built products and launched startups. Energy was high and passion was evident as teams from technical and non-technical backgrounds worked on articulating and validating their business ideas.

Participants started off this weekend by pitching brilliant ideas such as Jogah—a social app for runners and Fuber—an Uber type service platform that delivers food from your favourite restaurants.  After forming teams around the top, the 55 participants spent the rest of the weekend developing their business models and preparing to pitch their final prototypes on Sunday night in front of the judges. Teams were judged on solution validation, business model validation and user experience.

The winners? We’re glad you asked!

Pop-Up Here matches short-term vacant commercial space with entrepreneurs looking to market a service or product for a brief period of time. They won Best Solution Validation.

GoCompello is Carpooling to events, made easy. At Compello, carpooling is a fun, convenient & affordable way to get to and from your next event. The team took home the award for Best MVP

OwnWise is for property managers seeking expertise and convenience. It is the complete solution for integrating security into core rental operations. They won the prize for Best Business Model.

Q.it allows you to post anonymous questions to people within a 2km radius of you. They left with the Diamond in the Rough award.

Winners received in-kind prizes such as office space, legal and accounting services, pitch assistance and many other things to help them continue to develop their businesses after the weekend.

“Meeting and collaborating with people from different backgrounds was by far my favourite part of the weekend. It’s so amazing when you and someone else are facing a problem but approach it in two completely different ways and are able to come up with a collaborative solution,” said Hamza Mortage an energy analyst and participant from Startup Weekend Etobicoke.

All in all, we think the event was a total success and can’t wait to do it all again! If you’re itching to test out an idea or simply looking to network with like-minded individuals you can check out Startup Weekend Toronto – The Internet of Things Edition happening November 21-23. For more information on Startup Weekends happening in a city near you, visit the Startup Weekend website!

Sarah Lenarcic