Nest’s due diligence team were asked to be judges at the StartupWeekend event over the past weekend.
Participants were given 54 hours to find cofounders, build a team, validate a business idea and hack out a prototype.
This was the first university-themed StartupWeekend in HK and was hosted at Hong Kong University. The participants were 75% HKU affiliates and lended a lot to the very tangible energy in the room.
Alongside Alyssa and Jess on the panel were notable HK entrepreneurs Ray Chan, founder of 9Gag and a HKU Alumni as well as Raymond Yip founder of Shopline, who actually formed his all-start team at a previous Startup Weekend event himself.
The teams worked hard to find their cofounders and validate their ideas. Ultimately, four teams out of the thirteen stood out in particular:
1. Business Model Award – #Ask
Team #Ask created a solution to connect tutors and parents. They identified the outdated method by which parents now find tutors for their children as outdated and inefficient. Tutors are similarly unsure of how to reach out to students who require their knowledge and expertise. The key concern from the judging panel revolved around verification and trust, which is often the most important element for parents. With some refinement on this front, this team could be onto something very interesting.
2. Validation Award – Talent4U
Another recruitment-based idea, Talent4U matches freelance copywriters with people requiring their services. Though their manual vetting process might be a ‘bottleneck’ to scaling rapidly, judges saw potential in the other verticals that they could expand into. The validation they had done to differentiate themselves from their competition was impressive, as was the charismatic and well-rehearsed presenter!
3. Execution and Design Award – Spots
What’s a weekend without some drama? The enthusiasm and energy from this team was unrivalled, and they certainly ruffled a few feathers with their idea. Within minutes of their elevator pitch, tweets started pinging in with:
— Douglas Crets (@DouglasCrets) March 15, 2015
— Nayantara Bhat (@scarychica) March 15, 2015
For an app that essentially promotes ‘stalking’ (the founder’s words, not ours!), they had gone through the processes that are encouraged at SW events, testing their app with the market (by spending the night at LKF no less) and building a good mock up of the final product, which earned them the Execution and Design Award.
4. Special mention – CloudBox
CloudBox aimed to improve the lives of shoppers and tourists by providing lockers around Hong Kong and a delivery service for everyday use. Sort of an Uber for shopping crossed with delivery/pickup solutions that are taking off overseas, this team has identified a clear market need that with some more research and thought, could certainly turn into a viable business solution.
A very well done to all the teams who participated. As usual, it has been inspiring to see how much can be achieved in such a short time!
The next StartupWeekend will take place at BluePrint, April 17th. Register here