One important thing we say to every attendee (and that they also confirm) is that it’s really all about participating. Whether you have an idea or not, are able to work on your own idea or another, are one of the winners or not … the journey you go through during this weekend is just incredible. That’s why we really want to thank each and every one of you – participants, coaches, judges, etc. – for making Startup Weekend Ghent such a succes.
But we won’t keep you in suspense much longer. The judges have spoken and here is their feedback for the teams.
1 / FirstSave (Best allround startup)
> A network of first responders to help people in need
The jury was really impressed with this idea overall. The first slide of their presentation was very powerful and conveyed the problem clearly. Added to this that they had a very simple solution – with a demo right there – meant that the jury had no questions about functionality. Also, the numbers they showed – even if they were optimistic – were very convincing. Meaning that it was a very close call with the second winner …
2 / for George
> A peer-2-peer platform for lending books, coupled with local partners
The jury was very fond of this idea, even if there was no clear monetisation in it (the team had suggested 3 options which not all jury members believed could work). But the concept and story of the startup was interesting enough to convince the jury to give them the second place.
3 / ERS (Leanest startup)
> Platform for recruiters to easily manage and screen incoming recruits
The jury liked how this idea was the only one that didn’t rely on a huge amount of people to join the platform. Alle they need is one business to buy the product (which they probably have already) and it’s up and running. The problem they’re solving is very common and they’ve brought a good solution. They received the ‘leanest startup’ award because they pivoted their idea completely during the weekend.
The other 4 teams were at a tie so there’s no more ranking here.
> Healthy, easy meals for students
The jury liked this idea; it combines healthy food with convenience for students, which is a real need. The way to tackle this probably needs a bit more thought and the jury even saw potential to take this wider than students.
> Bringing artisans and consumers closer together
This idea was presented really well, they didn’t lose time in showing that there is a real need here. But the jury was not convinced that people would buy artisan objects without seeing them.
Meet me for a cause
> Dating for charity
The jury liked the originality of linking dating with charity. And liked how startups can have a good cause in mind.
Meeting black box (Techiest startup)
> Improvings meeting by using the ‘internet of things’
The jury saw real potential in this startup, but felt that the idea was not yet finished. They would have liked to see what can follow after the analytics solution.
Many of the ideas have potential to really start up right-away, so we’re excited to see what will happen!
A big thank you goes out to all members of the jury for their honest feedback and just opinions. Of course, the teams were very well prepared for their pitches thanks to the coaches who helped them finetune their ideas over the weekend. And last, but not least, we couldn’t have set up this event without the help of our partners.
To give you a preview of what you can expect to see during the pitches on Sunday – you are joining us aren’t you? – we’ll give you a short introduction of what our teams have cooked up.
This team is creating a network of first responders. If you have the app installed and are ever in trouble, you can click one button and a number of volunteers in your area will be warned that you need help.
Sign up on firstsave.org if you want to be part of their demo this Sunday (don’t worry, you don’t actually have to come to the rescue yet :-).
This service will provide a platform to enable recruiters to easily manage and screen incoming recruits. They will enable recruiters to do an automated video pre-screening of candidates allowing them to save time and effort in their busy schedules.
An online community for booklovers where experiences around books are shared. They offer users a way to easily share books with friends, family and strangers. For George will also be partnering with local shops in order to set up a network of places where members can lend books.
Meet me 4 a cause
This is an online platform where people can challenge each other into playing online games. The credits you buy to play the game will of course go to a charity of your choosing.
Out of the box meetings
‘Out of the box meetings’ is developing a ‘6th sense Internet of Things’ solutions to improve group dynamics in meeting rooms for training and internal team meetings.
To enable students to eat healthier, Healthy Plate will provide them with all the ingredients and recipes they need to eat food for a week. They will help them have fun with it by building a community around healthy food and encouraging friends to join in.
This team wil help artisans to sell their hand made creations by providing them with professional services such as photography, a story, an online presence and events. For the customers they provide an appealing way to discover handmade one-of-a-kind curated goods.
Capturing people’s attention is not an easy task, particularly in a very competitive environment as it is during the Startup Weekend. When surrounded by fierce entrepreneurs and disruptive innovators, you’ll have to stand out to gather the best team around you! Therefore, you need to prepare yourself to face the crowd and pitch your business idea. Here are three pieces of advice that will help you make a great first impression.
Be your brand
You have a great idea, you are an awesome entrepreneur, become your brand! Decide who you want to be seen as and become this person. Start with an eye-catching outfit or flyer or object that will help you get the crowd’s attention. Use a simple design that would give a clear vision of your project and helps to define your idea easily. On stage, you’ll begin your branding and lay the foundations for your logo, website and business card. And doing so you will help your audience form opinions about you and start building your reputation.
Get your story ready
Every company is based on a story, so write and use your own story to introduce your mission, core values and vision to your public. Storytelling isn’t making up facts! It is about bringing your business idea to life and explaining why it matters to you and others. Using a story is a clever way to package your message and explore different angles when addressing to different crowds. It is also a good way to create emotions and connect with your target group. Make sure to keep your story interesting and relevant and don’t forget to stay positive, remembering to highlight the benefits of your business or idea.
Pitch like a boss
Make sure you know who you are talking to (future employees, potential clients or investors) and how much they know about you, so that you can adapt your pitch. At the Startup Weekend, likely no-one knows you yet – the challenge is high! Be straight to the point, coherent and clear. Make your target audience know about you, your offer, your characteristics and interact with them to better understand their needs. Practice your speech beforehand so you can develop your story, values and solution in one minute. If you make it, you win!
In a nutshell, train yourself to make a short presentation of your business idea using stories and visual elements to support your speech. At 99designs, we help thousands of entrepreneurs everyday to build their brand identity. Find inspiration on 99designs today and get a free design consultation on your brand identity. We wish you a great first impression during the Startup Weekend and loads of fun!
At Startup Weekend Ghent you’ll pitch your idea to a crowd complete strangers. You’ll have to convince them that your idea is solid, well-researched, and that there’s future in executing it.
So you may want to run your idea past a few experienced entrepreneurs and fellow startup enthusiasts, see what they think and refine your idea (and the way you talk about it).
To help you with that, we’ve teamed up with the westartup community – over 3,600 startup enthusiasts from all over the world – who can check out your idea, ask hard questions and give insightful advice.
You might be concerned that someone would “steal your great business idea” the moment you reveal it. You shouldn’t be. Check out the opinion of Joren De Wachter, Belgium’s leading specialist in intellectual property rights and startups, and (among other things) investor in SparkCentral.
So, ready to share your idea and make it better?
And if you haven’t done so yet, get your ticket for the weekend here. Early bird tickets are available until mid November!
It’s time for the 2nd edition of Startup Weekend Ghent, starting on Friday, December 5th. Just like last year, this event will be held in the iMinds offices and is sure to spark creativity in all participants.
Whether you have an idea or want to contribute in design, development, marketing or business … this is the moment where you build an amazing startup, all over the course of one weekend.
The weekend goes as follows: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback!
We have an amazing set of coaches and jury members this year. Most of them entrepreneurs themselves and very capable to advise you on topics like business development, marketing, financing and ‘why you should just go for it!’.