SWLou Teams Chosen and Going Strong

We have eleven (11) teams that have formed and are competing this weekend at Startup Weekend Louisville #8.  For a quick recap of the weekend so far, check out pictures and updates on Twitter (@SWLouisville and #SWLou).  Interested in watching the pitches? Join us at 5pm on Sunday at our host, UofL College of Business (Harry Frazier Hall, 110 W. Brandeis Ave., Louisville, Kentucky 40292)

  • Socrates, an anonymous question asking application for the classroon
  • Ali Khushub, makes wooden accessories out of historic wood
  • Fun Gym, improves the gym experience for begginners
  • Aqui, a quantitative faculty and student attendance tracker
  • Moonshine Energy, connects Kentuckians with renewable resources
  • Outdoor Tailgating Game, a new game, kind of like cornhole
  • Lists, a coupon app associated with your grocery list
  • We Care/Notify, notifications for companies when employees or families when people pass away
  • Biblio Shop, facilitates college students selling items to each other within a certain area
  • Stundent Loan Payment App, an app that transfers micro amounts out of your accounts and actually makes student loan payments
  • Snap Hunt, helps you find snapchat users

Visualizing the Hustle

It takes more than an idea. Starting a business requires ambition, intelligence, passion, and a plan. It takes long nights of deep thinking, weekends spent glued to a computer, and the stomach to handle all the unexpected success and failure entrepreneurship brings.

Most of all, it takes hustle.

CEO and founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick, spoke to a crowd of entrepreneurs at 2010’s Tech Cocktail Startup Mixology Conference. While there, he shared a nugget of entrepreneurial wisdom that helped ease the uncertainty that so often clouds startup development:

“Fear is the disease. Hustle is the antidote.”

For Startup Weekend Louisville’s 8th iteration, Forest Giant distilled Kalanick’s message into a design that reflected the spirit of Louisville’s entrepreneur community: hustle. Check out the video below featuring Creative Director Jon Shaw’s inspiration for the 2016 design.


Forest Giant is company of designers, developers, and strategists driven by opportunities to solve complex problems using software and technology. Learn more about our latest project, Helm, at www.gohelm.io or view our work at www.forestgiant.com/work. Forest Giant is proudly based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Louisville’s Startup Weekend Announces Speaker, Judges, & Sponsors

LOUISVILLE, KY – Startup Weekend Louisville returns March 11 – 13 at UofL College of Business with an impressive lineup of local experts and sponsors. This bi-annual event connects Louisville entrepreneurs, developers, designers and startup enthusiasts with mentors and resources. Throughout the course of this 54-hour event, attendees share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.

Startup veterans and mentors will be on hand throughout the weekend to provide expertise and give talks on their experiences in the fast-paced world of technology startups. The weekend will start off with an opening talk by entrepreneur and Capture HigherEd CEO, Steve Huey. Sunday’s closing judges include Stacy Griggs, CEO of El Toro; Jackie Willmot, COO of XLerateHealth (& UofL MBA); and Moses Icyishaka, Analyst at Chrysalis Ventures.

“Startup Weekend is a valuable asset to the city of Louisville. It brings the city together in support of entrepreneurship and innovation.” says new Lead Organizer Austin Lopesilvero. “The Software Guild, first-time signature sponsor, has played a significant role in making this weekend a reality. Forest Giant and Composable Systems have also stepped up to the plate, bringing both financial support and promotional material, including this year’s t-shirt design.”

Here’s how it works: On Friday night, attendees will take the open mic to pitch their ideas to the group in 60 seconds or less. After groups form, the rest of the weekend will be spent formulating the most popular ideas with the help of mentors and seasoned startup entrepreneurs. By Sunday, teams will be ready to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges who will award prizes, including legal services, pre-accelerators and more, all of which are targeted to continue to help teams build their startups after the weekend.

Other sponsors of the weekend include Humana, UPS, New2Lou, Connecting Things, The Mayor’s Summerworks Program, Fort Phelps Legal and Business Counsel, LaunchIt by Nucleus, and Derby Wars. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.StartupWeekendLouisville.org. Tickets are still available for purchase via Eventbrite.

About Startup Weekend Louisville: Startup Weekend Louisville is an intense 54-hour event where local entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers, product managers, startup enthusiasts and anyone interested in building a business will come together to share ideas, form teams, and launch a startup. Follow us on Twitter @SWLouisville.

About Startup Weekend: Startup Weekend™ supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship through events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. Startup Weekend has built a network of nearly 200,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer organizers and 100 trained facilitators spread across more than 300 cities in 150 countries. Kauffman Foundation, Google, Microsoft, .Co, Sendgrid and Cloudmine are sponsors. For more information, visit www.startupweekend.org or follow us on Twitter @startupweekend.


A Word from Our Sponsor: Forest Giant

Forest Giant will be sponsoring the eighth iteration of Startup Weekend Louisville to help develop the city’s growing business community. Founder and CEO Dave Durand has been an active participant from the start and recalls the early days before Startup Weekend Louisville began.

“When I moved to Louisville in 2004 there was a small entrepreneurial community. The web hadn’t blown up with chatter about startups; no one knew what a VC or a term sheet was. In 2010 we got involved with bringing accelerators to Louisville. Although the city really struggled to support those startups once they graduated, they empowered the startup community to see that there are outlets for them to learn and engage in building businesses. From that time period Startup Weekend emerged.”

Since the very beginning, Durand and the Forest Giant team have set out to innovate and inspire. Ranging from city-enhancing projects like Resurfaced to city-centric apps like Louisville Love, Forest Giant has played an active role in developing and representing the city. Sponsoring an event like Startup Weekend Louisville is in the same vein: making Louisville better, together.

During Startup Weekend Louisville’s inaugural event in 2012, the Forest Giant founder played a dual role as mentor and participant. Durand collaborated with three other local tech and business professionals to create CityAnchor, a blog aggregator that showcased the best Louisville-centric blogs in one place. Although competition was fierce, the team won.

“I have a special place in my heart for Startup Weekend to not only teach new entrepreneurs, but creatives, developers, and all minds alike. Startup Weekend is an essential piece for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Louisville. I am really excited that we have it here and am honored to play a part in helping to push the effort forward.”

Forest Giant is proud to be a part of the growth of entrepreneurs in the city of Louisville. The growth, energy, and good that will come from this year’s event and the events for years to come is something we are delighted to be a part of.

About Forest Giant

Forest Giant is company of designers, developers, and strategists driven by opportunities to solve complex problems using software and technology. Learn more about our latest project, Helm, or view our work at www.forestgiant.com. Forest Giant is proudly based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hustle, Tips to Generating Revenue with Startup Weekend

About the author: Glenn Vicary participated in Louisville’s 7th Startup Weekend in 2015..

Startup weekend might be competition, but the experiences you gain are the real prize. It’s a great weekend full of new experiences and connections. This year, startup weekend is located at the University of Louisville College of Business, a great place with history of entrepreneurship. Everyone can read books and talk about achieving their ideas, but why not spend two days making it a reality? Start-up weekend is a crazy blur of working on an idea with people and help making it happen. Each person is unique, which is why startup weekend groups people into three categories; hustler, programmer and designer. This way, individuals can use their strengths, or develop new ones.

Do you know how to convince a stranger to buy a new product? Your widget will need a great website and a way to accept payment. How about making cold calls to find experts to give input in your business’s formation? Now what about within a 48-hour period?

We finally settled on creating a pizza Priceline service. By the end of the weekend, we had created a website, developed a working contract with local pizzerias, received angry phone calls from hotels for soliciting their customers, and most importantly, sold pizzas to people GENERATING REVENUE! More importantly, we had developed a tremendous network of friends and contacts.

It’s a great process, because you are given the opportunity to pitch your own ideas, but also choose which team you would like to work with. Additionally, they always have great mentors who are there to help you develop your project and and skillset. I highly recommend participate in this rewarding opportunity.

RSVP for Startup Weekend #8 today!
Note: Early bird pricing ends Friday, February 12 at 11:59PM.

If you read this post after March 11-13, 2016, always visit http://www.louisvillestartupweekend.org for the next event.

Startup Weekend Louisville Returns On March 11-13

During the weekend of March 11 – 13, Louisville will once again become a hotbed of startup activity.  Startup Weekend Louisville is a 54-hour event with a place for almost anyone – entrepreneurs, product developers, designers, makers, students, artists, engineers, marketers and inventors.  At Startup Weekend they’ll connect with peers, resources and mentors to help them jumpstart their business ideas. The College of Business at the University of Louisville, home to nationally ranked entrepreneurial programs, will host Startup Weekend Louisville.

How Startup Weekend Works

A Startup Weekend is unique – there’s nothing else like it. It’s not a pitch contest, it’s not a hackathon and it’s not a business plan competition. On Friday night attendees with new, undeveloped business ideas can make a 60-second pitch to the audience. After choosing the most popular ideas through a voting process, teams form organically around them. Then it’s a frenzy of business model creation, market validation with customers, and building a minimally viable product. Entrepreneurial leaders from the community offer support and critical feedback on Saturday and Sunday, and on Sunday evening each startup team presents to a panel of judges who select a winner. To help foster the nonstop startup experience, Startup Weekend includes meals and snacks for participants.

Like most startups, Startup Weekend Louisville runs on a shoestring budget – all of the organizers, mentors and judges are volunteers, and local sponsors contribute money, goods or services to help offset the cost of the event.  Participants can register by visiting StartupWeekendLouisville.org

Louisville’s First Startup Weekend at The University of Louisville

Startup Weekend Louisville will be hosted at the University of Louisville College of Business.  “UofL College of Business students, alumni and faculty share a rich history of entrepreneurship and are frequently recognized in national and international rankings.  We are honored to host Startup Weekend’s budding entrepreneurs and look forward to what they create during the weekend event,” commented Interim Dean Dr. Rohan Christie-David.

Suzanne Bergmeister, a Startup Weekend volunteer, mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Louisville added.  “As the Entrepreneur in Residence, I share with students that no business plan or idea survives first interaction with customers.  Startup Weekend’s format teaches rapid feedback from potential customers so that the ideas can be quickly refined and improved.”

About Startup Weekend

Since its founding in Boulder, CO in 2007 over 1,500 Startup Weekends have been held in over 400 cities around the world. Over 100,000 entrepreneurs have been involved, and over 8,000 startups have been created. Google, Amazon Web Services and Coca-Cola are sponsors.

First Harrison attends & sponsors Startup Weekend

Guest post By Adrian Brown, First Harrison Bank, Director of Business Development

First Harrison Bank

I attended my third local Startup Weekend event in March at First Build. When I tell people that, I usually get the question, ‘What is a business banker doing spending time at an event with companies that are less than 72 hours old?’ After my initial snarky comment that bankers are cheap and will do anything for a free t-shirt, I give them the real answer.

The main reason I go is to see entrepreneurship at its core. It is fun and exciting which is an energizer to anyone that attends. The energy and creativity in the room make a room of 65 seem like 300. The objectives don’t appear to be to get rich but to solve problems and makes people’s lives easier. The ideas are unique and it is always amazing to see the real progress they make on an idea in a short period of time.

First Harrison Bank has been a sponsor of the last three Louisville Startup Weekend events. We feel the local start up community is vital to the culture and future economy of our community. The organizers, local start up leaders Daniel Johnsen, Kelby Price, Joanna Cruz, and others do a fantastic job. This event has many moving parts and they pull it off seamlessly.

There are great things happening locally in the startup community. I encourage local established businesses to support these efforts as, in time, the ROI will be off the charts.

Note from the Startup Weekend organizing team:
As you build your business relationships are key. There are 5 key relationships you should have: a banker, insurance agent, lawyer, accountant and marketer. Select and nurture the relationships that work for you and your business. First Harrision is a multi-event sponsor for Startup Weekend Louisville in addition to being involved in banking solutions for individuals, businesses and investors.

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Bourbon

RowdMap was proud to sponsor Startup Weekend Louisville, we were pleased to join other entrepreneurs and forward-thinking individuals for this innovation filled event. We are very excited to see this happening right in our backyard – smack in the middle of “Cane-tuck-e” especially at the heels of presenting at several national conferences including South by Southwest.

The impressive bunch of participants at Startup Weekend Louisville provided the entrepreneurial spirit and we provided America’s oldest spirit – bourbon. There is a lot entrepreneurs can learn from the Bourbon industry – Bourbon was once an old southern man’s drink, and now it’s one of the fastest growing spirits in the country and significantly increasing its audience.

It’s important for any business, and disproportionately important for start-ups, to know their markets – converting a vodka drinker to a bourbon drinker isn’t the same as converting an Evan Williams drinker to a Wild Turkey drinker: in any industry different markets have different kinds of people and they need to be treated accordingly.

Start-ups should have a deep understanding of the underlying factors driving their and their competitors’ business in the geographies they operate to first get a sense of the lay of the land and then predict their own risk- readiness. As an entrepreneur, ask yourself – are the systemic drivers of my markets creating headwinds or tailwinds for my business, and how am I equipped to face them?

At RowdMap, we like to say that everyone in the healthcare industry is now a Start-Up thanks to the mass of amount of data now available and the significant changes happening in the industry specifically the move to pay-for-value payment models, and we have built a Risk-Readiness Platform that helps payers and providers measure themselves against national and regional benchmarks and negotiate the best risk arrangements for their organizations.

Not only must you know your market, but you have to invest in talent. Talent can come from unexpected places, like the administrative assistant who became a Master taster at one of the leading bourbon distilleries. Change how you think about talent and invest heavily in it (psst we noticed all the talent at Start-up Louisville Weekend and wanted to remind people we are hiring).

Finally, industries are always changing. You need to be ready to make changes to stay relevant. Several bourbon brands have done this to gain market share and go from a low-class brand to the best bourbon for the value. Find where you fit and don’t be afraid to change if necessary.
It was fun sharing a glass of bourbon with you all at Startup Weekend Louisville and remember we are always hiring… analysts, client strategists, sales, feng shui and consultants.


For more information on RowdMap visit: www.rowdmap.com
Or visit Rowdmap on Twitter: @RowdMap

Moov — an Uber for pickup trucks — wins Startup Weekend Louisville

Startup Weekend Louisville

March 6th, 2015

From Insider Louisville

magine you’re at an antique store and you’ve stumbled across the perfect dining room table at the right price, but your Volkswagen Jetta just ain’t having it. Pull up the Moov app on your phone and find an available person with a pickup truck and summon them with a click.

Moov — an Uber for pickup trucks — overwhelmingly won the sixth Startup Weekend Louisville this past weekend. The judges’ favorite by a wide margin, the company also almost swept the audience vote. None of the other nine companies that pitched on Sunday afternoon earned more than single-digit votes. Moov received 41.

By the end of the weekend, the Moov team had a beautifully designed working app, added 17 Moov’rs — people with pickups who signed up to participate — and performed one successful “Moov.” They’d also signed up one affiliate consignment shop whose owner told them that she’d put Moov on “speed dial.” Mayor Greg Fischer visited Startup Weekend on Saturday afternoon and was so impressed he gave them their first dollar.

Like Uber, Moov splits its fees and gives 80 percent to the driver. The driver can see on the app who is requesting a Moov, how much they’re willing to pay, and some details about the item being moved and its destination.

It wasn’t the only emergent business from Startup Weekend, which began at 6 p.m. on Friday with tours of the host facility — FirstBuild, the GE-affiliated microfactory at U of L. Designer Katie Bush kicked off the presentations with a keynote speech about living in Louisville and working in Silicon Valley.

Bill Kenney, an entrepreneur from Essex, Ct., came to town to facilitate the event, which drew 64 registrants. Twenty-eight of them presented one-minute pitches for new startups. Nine of those pitches advanced to compete.

Here are the other eight:

  • MarketSpring matches students with employers who need projects to be completed. Employers bid on projects, and students (or groups of students) compete to fulfill them. Employers and students rate their experience and students develop a portfolio of work. Seventy percent of college students are unemployed, the team noted, and the majority of those who have a job are working in service positions that do not enhance their resumes.
  • PromoSavvy spent the bulk of the weekend testing business models and pivoting. A freshman at Berea College who was a team member noted, “We started out as a nonprofit doing something about compost … and ended up as an ad agency.” The final product resembled Groupon but was more time-sensitive.
  • MixxThis is a phone app that allows you to select an alcoholic beverage you’d like to order at a bar and show it to the bartender on your phone in big bold letters. This helps combat crowding, loud music and generally noisy bars. The team tested it at 15 bars with 25 bartenders to excellent reviews. They also talked to a marketing representative for Jack Daniel’s who gave the app positive feedback and said they would consider sponsorship.
  • Solarband came in second place. Its product is a wearable technology that measures UV rays and alerts you before you get sunburned. Using a 3-D printer, they created a wristband prototype, conducted customer discovery at an area swim meet and talked to more than 40 parents, many of whom said that they would buy one for their kids for about $40. The team also considered taking resorts and amusement parks as clients — venues that would rent the devices out for a day.
  • EverAlert had a working prototype that alerts you via text message or email if your sump pump fails or your power goes out. Sump pumps typically have buzzer alerts, but that does you no good if you’re not home.
  • Tetherall is a small beacon locator that vibrates when it gets too far away from its partner. The team said that there are a lot of devices that help you locate something you lost. The Tetherall, however, stops you from losing things in the first place. If you’re at a restaurant and your car keys slip from your pocket, for instance, as long as a Tetherall device is attached, you’ll get a buzz on your phone.
  • Optimum Furniture is modular furniture designed for a small apartment or one of the increasingly popular “tiny homes.” The two-person team built a prototype in the woodshop at FirstBuild. The three-piece structure could serve as a stool, a stepstool, a coffee table, a shadow box or a piece of art. It was designed to be hung on a wall.
  • TechTrigger is a device that you can place on a live-trap mousetrap (or any size trap) that will send you a text message when the trap has been sprung. It also has a locator that will beep so you can find the device. Not only is this good for pest control, but it can be used to track hunting traps as well. The team built and demonstrated a working prototype and 3-D-printed a plastic mouse to use as an example.

The winning team won a gift certificate to Heine Brothers, a trophy created by FirstBuild and six months of co-working space at Velocity, among other prizes. The next Startup Weekend will be in September or October of this year. The judges were Trisha Finnegan, ‎Vice President of Community Leadership at Community Foundation of Louisville; Ross Jordan, Senior Associate at Yearling Fund LP; and Kayla Mount, CEO of SuperfanU.

SWLOU #6 Kicks off and we have 9 teams in the running …

We have (9) teams that have formed and are competing this weekend at Startup Weekend Louisville #6.  For a quick recap of the weekend so far, check out pictures and updates on Twitter. * Interested in watching the pitches? Join us at 5pm on Sunday at our host, FirstBuild (333 East Brandeis Ave, Louisville, KY 40208)

  1. SolarBand, a sunburn tracker for families
  2. OPTMM Furniture Company, modular furniture for small spaces
  3. TechTrigger a better no-kill mouse trap, IoT style
  4. EverAlert, power outage notification for circuits in the home
  5. MarketSpring, crowdsource your marketing department
  6. TetherAll, phone loss detection device
  7. MixxThis, connecting through the noise in packed places
  8. PromoSavvy, turn your food scraps into money
  9. Moov, Uber for your friend’s truck

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