Our amazing event, Startup Weekend Denver | Internet of Things 2.0 [http://denver.up.co/events/7733], took place over May 20th – 22nd, 2016.
But prior to this historic event, was a 3-4 month planning process. For anyone that has not organized any type of an event in years, well, this was an experience. I can only say this on my behalf (Keith). With the help and experience of qualified individuals, we had set up a critical and amazing team that led to the success of this event..
First steps, beside getting everyone involved in the communication channels (Slack, Google Drive, Asana, Hangouts, etc), was communicating with the Denver community. We needed to show our community why their involvement was so important in implementing a successful Startup Weekend. And this we did. Focusing on Denver communities that ranged from companies involved with hardware, software, legal, solar, marketing, branding, logistics, and everything in between, we succeeded in establishing quality and invested sponsors, including the support from the city we live in, the Office of Economic Development.
Little by little, sponsors were onboarding, and the community was being educated on what Startup Weekend is and what it provides to the individuals that attend. And without realizing it, this event was making a difference in our lives too (2016 Startup Weekend Denver Committee).
While sponsorship was being addressed, we all knew we had to involve the community even more. We were able to confirm 14 coaches and mentors, each with specific expertise, 5 extremely credible judges, and 3 keynote speakers that can only be described as present visionaries and legends.
Okay. Now the tough part. Forecasting, budgeting, logistics, food, marketing, supplies, etc. Of course there were headaches with all of these, but we all survived. I need to emphasize the food part here. Have you ever been to an event where you just see an abundance of food and you know so much of it will be thrown away? Kind of heart wrenching since you know there are so many others that would love to have it. Mattison, who was responsible for this endeavor really did an amazing job. There was such little waste and what food was left over, was donated to the Salvation Army. I tip my hat to anyone that is ever involved with organizing food for any event.
All in all, the planning process of our event was amazing, with some glitches of course. I think every single person that was involved in our event gained new friends, new insights on industries they were not personally or professionally involved in, and reflected on themselves and their community in a deeper way because of the event.
Friday night after registration, dinner and networking, Matthew Bailey inspired us with a captivating speech on the potentials for the Internet of Things. Following Matthew’s presentation came the time for people to pitch their ideas. Over 30 people pitched an idea. After those were voted down to the seven that were worked on for the weekend, it came time for those founders to build their teams. Teams built, projects started, it’s Startup Weekend go time. Teams continued to build late into the night.
Saturday morning comes and teams trickle in to continue to work. Around 10:00 am, Gene Rittenhouse gives a detailed presentation about Nordic Semiconductors as well as providing information about the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 DK – Development kit for nRF52832 board that each team received with which to prototype their projects.
Much work and many mentor sessions consumed most of the day. Later that evening at around 7:30 we were inspired by a great speech from Tom Higley, the founder of 101010. The moral of the story, prototyping with hardware is all fun and games, but in the end you need to ask yourself something. SO WHAT? What is the point of your product or company and what problem are you solving.
Sunday came on way too fast. Team scrambled to prototype, validate and develop their pitches. More mentors came to assist in the afternoon with answering a wide array of business and technical questions. Three pm was the Presentation Prep & Tech Check and then dinner.
Final presentations were inspiring from all the teams.
The Colorado IoT (Internet of Things) startup community includes two organizations. The first one is the IoT Colorado Meetup group which was founded on March 1st, 2013. The second and newer community is the TechrIoT community.
A heartfelt thank you to EVERYONE who was involved in making this event a success!
Thank you to our speakers: Matthew Bailey, Tom Higley, and Gene Rittenhouse.
Thank you to our judges: Zack Nies, Nicole Gravagna, Henry Wright, Chris Huxley, and Stacie Shaw.
Thank you to our mentors: Karina Costa, Gene Rittenhouse, Stacie Shaw, Steve Hobbs, Paul Garcia, Mark Radtke, Jennifer Maskrey, Molly Maskrey, Jung Park, Matt Feierstein, Sarah Jordan, Jessie Van Gundel.
Thank you to all of our sponsors: PaySimple, Nordic Semiconductor, CommercialTribe, Meyer Law, Daily Drip, Rubicon Law, Denhac, Modus Law, SendGrid, IEEE, Namaste Solar, Snarf’s, The Delectable Egg, Sticker Giant, DevOpsDays Denver, and the IoT Colorado Meetup group.
Thank you to our event host: INDUSTRY Denver.
Thank you and wonderful job to our facilitator: Jordan Rothenberg.
Much thanks to all of the organizers: Ryan Diebel, Keith Kralik, Mattison Murphy, Aiko Cheslin, Zoe Zuker, Jason Zuker, Matilda Asuzu, Nick Pauly, Michael Maiorano, Caleb Polley and Laurinda Frederick.
And last, but most important, THANK YOU to all of our wonderful participants.
Startup Weekend Song Lyrics
On Friday May 29th, entrepreneurs will gather at Galvanize’s new Platte location for a special Startup Weekend event focused on creating the next generation of Internet of Things companies. In just 54 hours, teams will form, ideas will be discussed, prototypes will be built, markets will be analyzed, and companies will be pitched.
Startup Weekend is one of the largest communities of passionate entrepreneurs, hosting over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world. It’s an amazing organization that has brought thousands of entrepreneurs together with their unique event format.
The upcoming IoT-focused Startup Weekend event is especially exciting because teams will develop their ideas for Internet connected devices and create hardware prototypes. The Internet of Things is an emerging market and presents a massive opportunity for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
If launching an IoT-company in a weekend isn’t enough to get you excited, just wait … there’s more! An incredible group of companies have graciously donated to make this event possible, and their contributions are all to help the Startup Weekend participants succeed. Let’s go through the sponsors so far and see how they’ll make the weekend awesome, and how they’ll help set your company up for success after the event.
Support During the Event
Particle (until most recently known as Spark) has a really cool hardware product that makes creating an Internet connected device a snap. Getting a small microcontroller-powered device on the Internet used to be a huge challenge. Now, with the Particle Core, it takes about five minutes. It’s technology like this that really expands the realm of possibility.
Particle has graciously donated 15 of their Maker Kits, which come complete with a Core + lots of sensors and other goodies. It includes everything you need to get started with building simple Internet connected devices. Each team will get a Maker Kit so they can prototype their idea over the weekend.
Once you get your Particle Core connected to the Internet, now what? One thing you may want to do is integrate a popular web service, like Twitter or Google Drive or Twilio. Temboo provides easy integration with over 100 different APIs so you can program your application lightning fast.
All participants will get free Temboo accounts with three free months of access, so you’ll have a head start on getting your company off the ground.
While getting started with the Particle Core is fairly straightforward, there still are some challenges involved if you’ve never worked with embedded devices. To help get you started, FunGram has offered to run an introductory workshop on Wednesday May 27th. This workshop will give you an overview of the Particle Core devices, what they are capable of, and how to create a simple IoT device.
Let’s say you’ve wired up your Particle Core with some sensors and you’re able to access that data via the Internet. Awesome. But where does that data go? What does it do? That’s where Ubidots comes in. Ubidots provides the infrastructure to make sense of your sensor data. You can watch your data stream in on a real time dashboard, or trigger actions when the sensor value hits a threshold.
Ubidots will provide high usage accounts for all participants during the event, and the three winning teams will each get free starter plan subscriptions for 1 year.
Support After the Event
Galvanize has recently opened up their newest Platte location in Denver, and it’s a great space in a cool location. Not only are they providing the space for this event to take place, but they are also offering a one-month free membership to the winning team. So you get to stick around and keep working on your company!
Chromedia is a web development shop focused on getting startups to launch quickly and smartly. They specialize in turning rough ideas into polished websites, which sounds perfect for Startup Weekend companies! For the winning team, Chromedia will donate 20 hours of website development time so you can share your idea with the world.
Modus Law is the entrepreneurs law firm. They specialize in helping young companies with formation, IP, M&A, general council, litigation, and all the other complicated law-related activities that are best left to the experts. Modus Law will help the winning team with their company formation documents so they structure their company for success.
After Startup Weekend, your team’s idea will likely need some work to take it to the next level. That’s where Boomtown can help. With a 12-week accelerator program in Boulder, Boomtown will help turn your idea into a real company with seed funding, mentors, and experts in design and marketing. The top two teams from the IoT Startup Weekend will receive fast track status for Boomtown’s accelerator program in either the Fall 2015 or Spring 2016 classes!
Are You Ready?
The Internet of Things Startup Weekend event is quickly approaching. Are you ready to take your ideas and create an IoT company in just 54 hours? The emerging IoT market is a HUGE opportunity for the coming years, and one of the best ways to get involved is to dive in head first with your own company.
Even if you don’t continue on with your idea and create the next Nest, the experiences you have and the connections you’ll make are invaluable.
If you haven’t yet signed up, you can still register for the event and purchase tickets.
Title: SWIoT Prototyping Workshop
Summary: A pre-event workshop where attendees will build a connected smart home device with a web app in 3 hours.
Time: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Galvanize – Denver – Platte 1644 Platte Street Denver, CO 80202
Course Details: In 3 hours, participants will learn everything they need to get started building working IoT prototypes. By the end of the course, participants will have built functional prototypes and web apps that will take and display temperature measurements, as well as control lights in real-time. We will be using Particle Core boards and prototyping equipment provided by Hackster.io.
- Introduction to embedded concepts (ex: Interrupts, debugging, logging, memory).
- Hands on examples where participants can read sensors and control an actuator using the Cloud interface provided by Spark Core.
Sasi Movva: Entrepreneur currently building a startup in the Internet of Things domain. Masters (S/W Engg) from CMU, Pittsburgh and MBA(Leeds School of Business), CU Boulder. Extensive software programming experience including embedded software seen in most mobile phones. Loves hiking, biking and camping with his wife and 2 boys.
Shashank Shekhar – 4 years of experience as a startup co-founder. Masters (CS) from CU, Boulder and B.Tech. (EE) from IIT Kanpur, INDIA. Expert at hardware chip design (VLSI). Software development experience ranging from websites (RoR) to embedded software (C). Loves golfing and is working on getting his wife and 2 boys into it.
Requirements & Experience:
- This event is open to Startup Weekend IoT attendees only. If you haven’t signed up yet, do so at bit.do/swiot15
- Attendees will need to bring a Windows PC or Mac laptop, we will supply all prototyping gear thanks to Particle.io and Hackster.io, two of our sponsors.
- Some prior programming experience is required. Non-programmers may attend if they can find a programmer buddy who would let them watch over their shoulders. No prior familiarity/experience with Spark Core or electronics prototyping is required.
- Bring a laptop (Windows or Mac preferably)
- Install Node.js
- Install Spark Dev (http://docs.spark.io/dev/) from https://github.com/spark/spark-dev/releases/latest
- Install Postman – REST Client in chrome or something equivalent in your preferred browser
RSVP: This event is limited to 15 attendees only. Attendees must also be registered for Startup Weekend IoT before the workshop. RSVP for the workshop by following this link. See you there!
Startup Weekend DU is an incredible opportunity for students of different disciplines to join forces and turn ideas into tangible businesses, apps, websites, through real world entrepreneurial experience. Two departments at DU have recognized the value that students get from participating in this 54-hour intensive event and have offered course credit for DU attendees.
Note: All add/drop slips will be collected on Sunday afternoon before final pitches occur. The organizers will make an announcement and will have extra forms for students who didn’t fill them out before the event.
Business elective (2 credits):
Starting a company requires a vision, energy, the ability and willingness to adapt based on feedback, and the ability to present your work in an appealing manor to prospective customers, clients, and investors. By going through Startup Weekend’s curriculum, you will accomplish much of the initial stages of starting a company, and paired with Startup Weekend’s resources, you’ll likely be able to get further than you could on your own. To receive credit, you need to bring a copy of your ticket to Startup Weekend and a course add/drop slip to Dr. Stephen Haag in the Daniels College of Business, who will help you fill out the course information, or you can do this during the event on Sunday afternoon. At the end of the weekend, you will write a 2-3 page reflection of what you set out to do, how you did or didn’t accomplish your initial goals, and what changed along the way. (If nothing changed along the way you did something wrong – how did you incorporate customer feedback? etc.) Submit this paper to Dr. Stephen Haag within 1 week of completing the event (Sunday, March 19th) so that the experience will be fresh in your head.
Continuation of the Business elective (additional 2 credits):
You’ve completed a Startup Weekend! You’re now part of a global network of hundreds of thousands of Startup Weekend alumni! The question every attendee asks their team after the event ends on Sunday night is “So… Now what?” Startup Weekend is a great platform to enable its attendees to develop ideas into the foundation of a company. The next step in the entrepreneur’s journey is continuing to expand on your work from the weekend and set some goals for your new company, take it further than you could in a weekend and run your tests, mockups, adaptations, and iterations on a larger timeline. The second part of this course is structured more as an independent study: at the end of the weekend, decide who on your team is interested in continuing to work on your company, and create a list of goals that you want to accomplish in 5 weeks (or longer!). Bring a 1-2 page outline of how you and your team wish to continue working on your company, what obstacles you encountered over the weekend and how you anticipate overcoming those or other foreseen problems down the road. Describe what you want your company to look like long term (you can use lean canvas to help), then based on your long-term vision, describe where you hope to be in 5 weeks and how you will get there. On May 15th the organizers will host another meetup on campus for the teams that continue, with a couple mentors and/or judges from the event, and we’ll have another round of pitches followed by questions from the audience. If you decide to continue with your idea, you may do 1 of 2 things for written submission: 1) Write a 2-3 page paper after the weekend (as mentioned above), then a second 3-4 page paper describing your continued experience building your company, or 2) Do not write a paper immediately after the weekend, but instead write a 7-8 page paper describing your entire entrepreneurial journey from Startup Weekend to the pitches 5 weeks later. This shall be submitted to Dr. Stephen Haag on Friday, May 22nd.
Computer Science elective (2 credits):
Starting a company requires a vision, energy, the ability and willingness to adapt based on feedback, and the ability to present your work in an appealing manor to prospective customers, clients, and investors. By going through Startup Weekend’s curriculum, you will accomplish much of the initial stages of starting a company, and paired with Startup Weekend’s resources, you’ll likely be able to get further than you could on your own. To receive credit, you need to bring a copy of your ticket to Startup Weekend and a course add/drop slip to Professor Ramki Thurimella, chair of the computer science department, who will help you fill out the course information, or you can do this during the event on Sunday afternoon. To receive credit, you must have created a software prototype of your idea during the weekend. This may be in a variety of forms – and doesn’t have to be perfectly functioning code, but in order to receive full credit, you must comment your code appropriately and have a functioning end product. If your team pivots (changes ideas partially or entirely), KEEP YOUR OLD CODE!! At the end of the weekend you will write a 1-2 page analysis of how you implemented your idea into code, your challenges and successes, and how you were able to implement changes to your product through feedback gathered over the weekend. All project files and the paper should be compressed into a .zip file and submitted to Professor Ramki Thurimella by Sunday, March 17th.
Continuation of Computer Science elective (additional 2 credits):
You’ve completed a Startup Weekend! You’re now part of a global network of hundreds of thousands of Startup Weekend alumni! The question every attendee asks their team after the event ends on Sunday night is “So… Now what?” Startup Weekend is a great platform to enable its attendees to develop ideas into the foundation of a company. The next step in the entrepreneur’s journey is continuing to expand on your work from the weekend and set some goals for your new company, take it further than you could in a weekend and run your tests, mockups, adaptations, and iterations on a larger timeline. The second part of this course is structured more as an independent study: at the end of the weekend, decide who on your team is interested in continuing to work on your company, and create a list of goals that you want to accomplish in 5 weeks (or longer!). Bring a 1-2 page outline of how you and your team wish to continue working on your company, what obstacles you encountered over the weekend and how you anticipate overcoming those or other foreseen problems down the road. Describe what you want your company to look like long term (you can use lean canvas to help), then based on your long-term vision, describe where you hope to be in 5 weeks and how you will get there. If you’re working with a business student, you may use the same plan, but add technical goals for yourself – how will your product manifest the business’s goals? On May 15th the organizers will host another meetup on campus for the teams that continue, with a couple mentors and/or judges from the event, and we’ll have another round of pitches followed by questions from the audience. This round of pitching will include a LIVE DEMO where you can show off your work! You will get a couple minutes during the pitch to talk about the technical aspect of your company, summarizing your challenges and successes during the life of your product. Write a 1 page summary of your developing process, your challenges and iterations, how you incorporated feedback from customers/clients, and how your goals influenced your work style. If you’re working with a business student you can add this to their final report. Please submit your functioning project and final summary to Professor Ramki Thurimella in a .zip file no later than Friday, May 22nd.