Startup Weekend is no talk, all action and the experience of creating something new in just three days helps participants realize how much is possible with limited time and resources. The compressed timeframe puts the focus on building, measuring and learning, unlike a typical brainstorming session or planning meeting.
About Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Learn more about the organization at www.startupweekend.org.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 608-397-0079
This year, participants could win SXSWEdu tickets via the NBCUniversal Open Possibilities Challenge!
For this OPTIONAL challenge, all teams that address the challenge statement below will be considered for a special prize: 3 tickets to the SXSWedu in Austin, TX.
Challenge: “How might we prepare students for the 21st century workforce and/or to lead 21st century communities?”
[This is a re-blogged post by Karin Hogen, co-founder of EdTech startup DocentEdu. Karin and her co-founders attended Startup Weekend Education in May 2014 where DocentEDU was launched. Since that time, DocentEdu earned finalist honors at the Minnesota Cup, presented at Minnedemo, and is in the hands of thousands of students.]
It all started at Twin Cities Startup Weekend EDU…
May 7, 2014 • Karin Hogen
When the now teammates of DocentEDU showed up to Twin Cities Startup Weekend EDU at the Carlson School of Management on May 2, they all came as strangers. They all came with different ideas to pitch and different goals for the weekend. However, most importantly, they all came to do something great–and that they did. By winning Startup Weekend EDU, the DocentEDU team can now pursue their goal of creating a business which will positively impact education as well as the business world.
After just 52 hours, the 7 teammates went from a group of strangers with diverse goals, to a tight-knit team with one goal: transforming the way we interact with online content by creating the web tool DocentEDU. @Matt Nupen, @Karin Hogen, @Dan Antonson, Wyatt Andersen, Ashish Shrivastava, @Abdulla Malek, and @Derek Persons made up the team. From the minute Matt Nupen gave his pitch, everyone began to focus on how to create the best and most developed product possible in the short amount of time given during the weekend.
Throughout the hectic weekend, the team worked tirelessly. This paid off by the first place win on Sunday night. According to the judge who announced the win, @Jay Haugen, DocentEDU is a rare innovative tool that can transform teaching and learning. He even emphatically said that he wanted DocentEDU in his school district the next day.
The amazingness of the weekend comes from our team members, but we would also like to thank others who made our dream possible. We as a team would like to thank the organizers of Startup Weekend Twin Cities: Steven Wellvang, Christopher Nyren, Kristen Daniels, Seijen Takamura, and Justin Moen. Without their constant encouragement and help, our product wouldn’t have made it as far as it did. We also want to thank all of the mentors and the judges who gave us such great guidance and feedback. Lastly, we want to thank @3M Post-It Products for their great collaboration tools.
Currently, DocentEDU is registering for The Minnesota Cup competition. The team is also exploring the amazing contacts it made during the weekend. We hope to keep working, get some investment, and get a beta version up and running as soon as possible.
We’ve recovered from the Startup Weekend hangover and now have a recap of the inaugural Startup Weekend St. Cloud winners!
Here is a brief rundown of the winners of Startup Weekend St. Cloud:
Special Mention: Dressing Room
Dressing room is a software application that addresses the differences in clothing sizes between brands. With the software that was developed over the weekend, a user can enter his or her body dimensions and Dressing Room will find the exact size you need and also recommend other brands based on what fits you well.
Third Place: Medella
Medella is a website where people can find information on cancer treatment from people who have gone through it. The website allows users to create a profile and connect with people going through the same health issues and share advice and support. Medella also aggregates data on treatments and physicians, giving users another source of information to supplement the official medical studies.
Second Place: Recruit U
Recruit U aims to solve the complicated process of recruiting qualified technical talent. Especially for small to mid-size companies, finding developers can be a real challenge. Using Recruit U’s platform, a developer can take a standardized test and fill out a culture survey. Using the results of the survey and the standardized test, an employer can find the best match and contact the developer directly through the site.
First Place: DibsOnIt.co
DibsOnIt.co wants to solve the issue of throwing out stuff that someone could benefit from. Using the app, users can post their items online through a streamlined process. People can then call “dibs” on the free item and arrange to pick it up. DibsOnIt.co plans to launch a beta at St. Cloud State University this spring.
DibsOnIt.co will receive $1,500 of social media set up from Dayta Marketing to help capture their first customers!
Everyone from the Startup Weekend would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated, coaches, sponsored, or supported this inaugural event. We truly believe we have found our niche and are working hard to boost the entrepreneurship community in St. Cloud. There was a visible transformation in the participants from Friday to Sunday evening, which was extremely exciting to see.
We will be continuing to announce new events throughout the next few months. Please let us know if you’d like to be involved in any way! We’re always looking for new organizers and fresh perspectives. All of these events are completely volunteer-based, so we welcome the help!
We’ll see you next Wednesday at Startup Drinks! All ages welcome!
In just a few short hours, the Startup Weekend teams will be pitching their new companies. The judges will be instructed to evaluate each company on specific Startup Weekend criteria.
The Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighted equally):
- Business Model
- How does the team plan on making this a successful business? Have they thought about (either solved or identified problems) competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, their revenue model etc?
- Customer Validation
- Are teams building something that people actually want? How well does the team understand their customer and their customer’s needs. Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers?
- Execution & Design
- Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (software, hardware, etc.)? *Note: an MVP is the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data. Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Were they able to demo something functional?
Best of luck to all teams pitching tonight! Remember, Startup Weekend is less of a competition and more of an experience. It’s not about winning or losing tonight, it’s about the things you’ve learned, the people you’ve met, and the other intangibles that go along with the Weekend.
Here is a run-through of all the companies being created this weekend. Full disclosure: this was an inventory of the teams taken at 3pm this afternoon–companies have gone through iterations and could be very different on Sunday evening. Catch all of the pitches Sunday, November 8th at 6:30 in the Pellegrene Auditorium on the campus of St. John’s University!
Medella is an application that would allow a user to input their background – diagnosis, treatments, demographics, and other information into the application. Medella would then aggregate and analyze all of the users’ information and present the results to help them make critical decisions.
DibbsShare.com is a green network platform that connects people to local free things to help students find furniture and eliminate good treasures being tossed in the trash. The rating system creates a safe environment for users and keeps everyone accountable.
FitCentives gives you rewards for reaching your personal fitness goals. You’re not competing against others; you’re competing against the person you were yesterday.
Aca.media is a student-to-student coaching platform that brings students who have completed courses together with students currently enrolled with the course material.
AquaVolt will provide hydroelectric to communities living along a river.
Recruit U is a service focused on pooling top tech talent and making it easier for technology companies to recruit.
To Be Named
This company is setting out to capture your night on the town and create a montage featuring the highlights of the evenings.
My name is Kelvin Schutz and I am one of the Startup Weekend St. Cloud Organizers and also a past Startup Weekend participant. From making the decision to attend my first Startup Weekend to putting together my own Startup Weekend event a year and a half later, there are two fundamental things I’ve learned through Startup Weekend:
- You’re gonna have fun, learn, and be challenged, despite your friends trying to convince you that rewatching every season of LOST with them would be a better use of that weekend. (I know, the strength I must have had to say ‘no’)
- Your worldview of how businesses get built and how [insert expletive ‘s’ word] gets done, absolutely changes.
If you’ve done Startup Weekend, the first one is a given. Number two is a challenge to put into words, however. To keep a long self-reflection about how I learned and applied Startup Weekend material to my life, without said reflection turning into a badly parodied Rocky montage, I’ve condensed the golden nuggets of such learning into a list of valuable resources. If there were a playlist akin to the jams one listens to before a serious weightlifting routine, I think I’ve got the perfect mix below. Enjoy!
My Startup Weekend Playlist
The Lean Launchpad – Steve Blank Startup Online Course
80% of Results Come from 20% of the Effort – Understanding the Pareto Principle
The Essentials of Creating a Business in 1 Weekend – A Case-Study with Noah Kagan
How to Build a Web Startup – Using the 10-Step Lean Launchpad Method
13 Ways to $10 Million in Revenue – TechCrunch Teardown
The Pitch Podcast – Hear How Others Pitch Their Startups to Investors
Tim Ferriss & Noah Kagan on Validating Startup Ideas – CreativeLive w/ Tim Ferriss
Ditch the Survey: Customer Development with Empathy Interviewing – Shane Reiser
Steve Blank’s Startup Tools – Mega Resource Website
Rapid Prototyping Tools
Mockingbird – Sometimes, all you need is a mockup to test part of a concept
InVision – When you need a bit of interaction to bring your mockup to life
Unity – If you can learn the basics, it is an EXTREMELY versatile prototyping tool
Unbounce – Prove that people want the solution/concept you are wanting to make
QuickMVP – Like Unbounce, but adds in some customer research tools
MailChimp – Everyone needs an email list… everyone.
We’ll be hosting a pre-event workshop on Tuesday, November 3rd. Rob Weber, CEO and Co-Founder of NativeX, will be giving a presentation on his advice for pitching to investors. After the presentation, we’ll be going over some Startup Weekend basics and giving some tips on how to optimize results during the weekend. It will be a great time to meet people who will be at the event, perfect your pitch (if you have one), and have any questions about Startup Weekend answered.
When: Tuesday, November 3rd 3-5 pm.
Where: The Alumni Room, Atwood Center, St. Cloud State University
This event is not limited to Startup Weekend participants. If you can’t make it, be sure to mark down November 18th on your calendar, when we’ll be having our inaugural Startup Drinks in St. Cloud at the Red Carpet Martini Lounge.
The judging panel has been set for the inaugural Startup Weekend St. Cloud and we couldn’t be more excited. We have an awesome lineup of successful people and great business experience.
Will Imholte is a Founder and Chief Product Designer at Prime. Prime is a technology company that help people communicate about their health by syncing their medical records from their doctors and providing a private and secure way to message family members. Before founding Prime, Will worked as a designer and developer for various startups in the Bay Area. Will has a BFA from SCSU and is a St. Cloud native. Will is also our keynote speaker.
Tom has over 25 years of experience in the medical device industry, including positions as founder, President & CEO, Vice President, marketing management, process development engineer and research and development engineer. Tom is currently the President and CEO of Amphora Medical and founded Entellus Medical (recently went public) and Incubex, LLC. He is an inventor on more than 50 U.S. patents.
Leah is an attorney in the Intellectual Property, Technology and Privacy Practice Group at Gray Plant Mooty. Leah advises clients on trademark and copyright prosecution and enforcement, brand strategy, and privacy and social media issues. She also assists clients in drafting, negotiating, and executing technology, software, licensing, and general corporate agreements. Leah grew up in St. Cloud and went to Apollo High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of St. Thomas and her JD at the University of Minnesota Law School. Leah enjoys traveling, dancing ballet, playing with her adorable puppy, Harper, and being active.
Doug is the Principal of the Entrepreneurial Services and Technology practice groups at Gray Plant Mooty. He cofounded Kipsu, a company leveraging technology for real-time customer engagement. Doug also is an angel investor and founding member of IrishAngels.
Brian Schoenborn practices out of Stinson Leonard Street’s St. Cloud, Minnesota, office, where he focuses on family and closely held businesses. Brian has substantial experience providing general counsel representation to closely held and family businesses within manufacturing, high technology and sports and entertainment industries. This experience includes business acquisitions and sales, business succession planning, real estate development and estate planning.
We’re looking forward to having the judges evaluate all of the pitches on Sunday evening.