It’s pretty easy to attend an event where you watch other people pitch their ideas to a large audience. It’s something entirely different when you have no public speaking experience whatsoever, no clue how to start a business, you’re a single mom, working full time, taking classes, and you’re the one about to take the stage! Enter Jessica Parker, founder of Hero of the House, and the mastermind behind one of three winning business ideas from last years 54 hour, Startup Weekend Glacier.
In the fall of 2014, an exhausted Jessica Parker summoned the energy to attend a Startup Weekend pre-rarty because she had an idea mulling around in her head, but she wasn’t sure that she had the time or the energy to pitch it, plan it, or even think about proceeding with it. Facing many fears head on, she pitched an idea for a business that would educate, inspire and empower women with the tools and resources needed to make basic home repairs. After 54 intense hours of brainstorming, researching, action taking and mentorship, Jessica became one of three final winners in the inaugural year of Startup Weekend Glacier.
Together with her business partner Anne Stene, they’ve accomplished quite a bit in one year. I recently asked her what some of the most exciting aspects of starting a business have been and without hesitation she enthusiastically spoke about networking and mentorship.
“It’s been exciting meeting so many other entrepreneurs in the Flathead Valley and learning about what they’ve gone through, having started their own businesses. I feel like there’s a real connection between us and I appreciate that we can all reach out and help each other in a lot of areas.”
By working with a variety of mentors from seasoned professionals to other budding entrepreneurs, Jessica and Anne have been able to streamline the original idea into a very focused business plan with clear objectives and a path to monetize their business. They’re currently working with a local Montana woodworker to create the prototype for a beautiful wooden tool box. They’ve defined the target market for their toolbox and they have plans for selling it.
When asked about the challenges of starting a business, Jessica didn’t have to think twice, “The biggest challenge is finding the time to get everything done on my list. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but someone told me to focus on taking one step every day, which enables me to keep moving forward.”
With their logo designed and their social media sites launched, their next step is the website. “Funding is always an issue, so I’m doing as much as I can by myself, which means that I’m constantly learning something new.”
These ladies are moving forward at a nice, steady pace, and we hope that you’ll join them on Facebook where you can congratulate them on their progress! http://on.fb.me/1KaHc96
In order to succeed a great business idea needs a great business model. So what do we mean when we say “business model” and what does a Business Model Canvas look like?
A business model is nine building blocks that fit together to provide the working foundation of how your business will create product, identify customer segments, deliver that product to various types of customers and generate revenue. Your business model also identifies the key resources, activities, partnerships and costs that are related to product creation and delivery. A business model as a story that explains how your enterprise will create, deliver and capture value. You can use this story to explain your plan to investors, lenders, potential partners or your father-in-law.
A Business Model Canvas is a system for creating a snapshot of how these nine business building blocks fit together that allows you to easily examine different business models and choose the right one for you and your business. It allows you to communicate your business plan in a more concise way than a typical business plan and is easily reworked when you discover that your first (or second or third) idea has a fatal flaw. Teams at Startup Weekend will use the Business Model Canvas to communicate their ideas to one another throughout the weekend and create the business model they will be presenting on Sunday afternoon.
The Business Model Canvas allows you to:
Even if customers love your value propositions (the solution you are providing for their problem), you could fail if your business model is not scalable or financially sustainable. If you don’t have reliable channels to reach your customers or if your infrastructure collapses when your business grows, a good idea can flop. Working through the many possibilities as part of constructing your Business Model Canvas allows you to consider all the segments required to build a successful and sustainable business.
A Business Model Canvas is blueprint for making money. But just like blueprints for building a home, no one model fits all. Business models are widely varied. Sometimes using an unusual business model to deliver a well-known product or service can disrupt the market enough to create a space for your business. Consider the business models of Allegiant Airlines or Keurig coffee machines. A little closer to home we can compare and contrast different business models for print media. Amazon provides a great example of one type of very disruptive business model, while your local main street bookstore provides a different one altogether.
To learn more about the wide variety of business models before Startup Weekend and how to use the Business Model Canvas to map your new business (or identify new opportunities for your existing business), join one of our FREE classes at Montana West Economic Development this September. We encourage anyone who is planning to participate in Startup Weekend Glacier to attend, but the class is open to anyone in the community. Join us for a light lunch Wednesday, September 30th 12:00-1:30 at 44 2nd Avenue West, Kalispell. RSVP to Kim@DoBusinessInMontana.com.
Startup Weekend Great Falls will be rescheduled for a date in the fall, likely in October. Originally scheduled for May 15-17, slower than anticipated participant registration led the organizing team to postpone the event.
While Startup Weekend Great Falls has generated great interest, it has not translated to registrations. The additional time will allow the Startup Weekend organizing team the ability to solicit registrations and continue working with our entrepreneurial and business community to promote and recruit for the event.
Startup Weekend Great Falls is a 100% volunteer and community driven endeavor and has been embraced by our Mentors, Sponsors and Speakers and they remain valued assets as we move forward. The Startup Weekend Great Falls organizing team will continue to introduce the concept as well as continue presenting smaller events such as Startup Fireup! and the upcoming Craft Brewery and Micro Distillery Business Roundtable scheduled for May 12th at the Mighty Mo Brewing Company.
Please follow Startup Weekend Great Falls updates online at greatfalls.up.co as well as facebook.com/swgreatfalls and twitter @swgreatfalls for news and event information. The Fall reschedule date is expected by the end of May.
Formally launched in February 2009, Schedulicity has become the premiere scheduling marketplace in the US and Canada. Targeting small business owners participating in the Relational Economy, Schedulicity’s goal is simple: provide a single destination where consumers can book almost anything.
With businesses in over 50 different verticals accepting appointments in 2400+ cities, that dream is well on its way toward reality. For Start-Up Great Falls’ inaugural event, we’ll welcome Tim Leonhardt, Schedulicity’s VP of Product. Leonhardt has been with Schedulicity since the beginning, and he’ll be sharing hard-won lessons about launching a nation-wide SaaS play from Montana. He’ll cover the challenges of launching a two-side marketplace, the subtle but essential differences between the Relational Economy and the On-Demand Economy, and the benefits (and challenges) of being a small Montana company acting on a national stage. He’ll discuss some of the barriers software start-ups face when launching in Montana, but will also focus on the not-so-obvious benefits that come by birthright to companies hailing from our great state.
From Bozeman, Schedulicity has established itself as a central player in a highly competitive space. Tim will argue that with the advent of cloud computing, mobile devices, and Lean strategies, it is now easier and cheaper than ever to launch your start-up from anywhere.
Leonhardt holds degrees in English from the University of Wyoming and the University of Notre Dame. Though expecting a life in the ivory tower, he has instead found satisfaction in a technology career that has included everything from technical writing to professional training, requirements analysis to product management. He still finds software development magical, digs developers, and is as comfortable arguing the merits of Agile as the layout of a user interface. He is a co-inventor of two patents and specializes in strategy, monetization, and engagement. His latest interests center on data analytics and bringing the power of programmatic advertising to small business.
In a first for Startup Weekend events in Montana, Bozeman’s event included access to Arduino’s, Raspberry Pi’s and 3D printing for all attendees. These devices helped teams build physical electronic products and prototypes quickly and cheaply. A special thanks to John Allwine and the STEAMlab at the Children’s Museum of Bozeman for making this possible.
“The organizing team and I were amazed at the quality of the ideas and the work ethic displayed at Startup Weekend Bozeman 2015. With the generous support of our sponsors, we watched several business ideas be vetted and products be built in just 54 hours. The economic impact of that cannot be understated. I said at the outset of the planning for this event that if one viable business was created that we’d have a win on our hands. While the number of teams that will continue is undetermined, I’ve already spoken to several that intend to do so. That’s a huge success.” – Ken Fichtler, Lead Organizer
“Hard to imagine a better team than that of Startup Weekend Bozeman. Great people, wonderful new friends, and huge asset for the Bozeman community!” – Buzz Bruggeman, Facilitator
Winning Teams / Prizes
1st place: ShareLift – A crowdsourced share riding service for carpooling to the ski slopes. shareliftapp.co
- Meeting with Governor’s Office of Economic Development
- 5 Hours Startup Bozeman Consulting
- 1 Year MeBox
- 5 Hours Legal – Dorsey & Whitney
- Each team member – $20.00 iTunes gift cards
- Book – The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- $200.00 Advertising from UP Bozeman
- Custom Company t-shirts – Lone Mountain Printing
“This has been such an incredible weekend for me because I came with an idea but had no idea of its potential. My team helped me realize the potential and help me grow that into something I want to proceed with and now this is something we know we can go national with.” -Sam Kern, Co-Founder & Project Lead at ShareLift
2nd place: WiseHats – Enriching lives by connecting relevant skills and needs to help you unlock your potential. WiseHats.co
- 3 Hours Startup Bozeman Consulting
- 1 year MeBox
- 3 Hours Legal – Dorsey & Whitney
- Each team member – $10.00 iTunes gift cards
- Custom Company t-shirts – Lone Mountain Printing
3rd place: ScholarshipU – Online platform for students to search for qualifying scholarships easily. ScholarshipU.co
- 1 Hour Startup Bozeman Consulting
- 1 year MeBox
- 1 Hour Legal – Dorsey & Whitney
- Custom Company t-shirts – Lone Mountain Printing
Crowd Favorite: GazeTyper – a Medical device that allows people with Locked-in syndrome to communicate with people using eye gestures. Based on the pupil-labs.com open source platform.
- Book – Business Model Generation
- 1 Year MeBox
Speaker: Doug Warner, Founder DropTrip
Mentors/Coaches: John Allwine, Gary Bishop, Danny Choriki, Jake Cook, Les Craig, Dan Simser, Ryan Stout
Judges: Susan Carstensen, Richard Harjes, Mark Jacobs, Liz Marchi, Will Price
Organizers: Kris Bart, Ken Fichtler, Rick Fink, Cody Sauer
Facilitator: Buzz Bruggeman, Co-Founder at ActiveWords & Board of Directors at Demo Conference
Volunteers: Cece Harris, Lindsay Morse, Nathan Stephens
Local Sponsors: City of Bozeman, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship, Lone Mountain Printing, STEAMlab at the Children’s Museum of Bozeman, Blackstone LaunchPad at Montana State University, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development, F11 Photo, Frontier Fund II, Pepsi – Harrington Bottling Company, and Workiva.
Local Caterers: Food For Thought, Mackenzie River Pizza, MSU Catering
Startup Weekend Bozeman April 17 – 19, 2015
Demo Day Pitch Order
- Burrito Gram
- The Bong Along
- Be Prepared Packs
- The SoapBox
- Each team will have 6 minutes to present.
- When presenting, the room is yours. Use any visual aids you want. Make it interactive if you can. But remember that you have 6 minutes.
- Judges will have 5 minutes to ask questions and get feedback from teams. Judging criteria listed below.
- We will alert you when you have one minute remaining. We will not allow pitches to go long; some of the judging panel members need to leave at a certain time.
- We will be very strict on timing.
- Did the team get out and talk to customers?
- Are they actually solving a problem?
- What’s their clear value proposition to that customer?
- Have they identified a specific target market?
Execution and Design:
- Did they work well as a team?
- Did they have an MVP or prototype (paper is ok) to present?
- How functional was the demo?
- Was the usability of the product easy and friendly? Design Matters!
- Does their solution solve a core need/problem?
- Did they present a value proposition
- Is it unique?
- How will they differentiate themselves from their competition (did they identify competition)?
- What is the go-to-market/launch strategy?
- How will they make money?
- What is the user acquisition model?
Startup Weekend Bozeman Judges:
- Susan Carstensen, Angel Investor and Former CFO of RightNow Technologies
- Richard Harjes, Entrepreneur and Venture Investor
- Mark Jacobs, CEO of MeBox Media and Business Turn-Around Guru
- Liz Marchi, Fund Coordinator at Frontier Angel Fund II
- Will Price, Venture Capitalist and Entrepreneur
Thank you for participating in Startup Weekend Bozeman! We are excited to see how your ideas have developed over the weekend. Good luck!
Startup Weekend Bozeman Organizing Team
Ken, Rick, Kris, and Cody
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Event Name: Startup Weekend Bozeman
Event Date: April 17 – 19, 2015
Event Times: April 17, 6:30 to 10:00 p.m.;
April 18, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and April 19, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Event Location: Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship, Montana State University
Contact: Ken Fichtler, Lead Organizer
Phone Number: (406) 600-3595
What’s happening and who’s it for?
Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! Local CEOs, founders, startup veterans, attorneys, publishers, professors, and economic developers with entrepreneurship, investing, marketing, and technology expertise will be on hand to coach teams.
In a first for the events in Montana, Startup Weekend Bozeman 2015 will include access to Arduino’s and Raspberry Pi’s for all attendees. These devices can be used to build physical electronic products quickly and cheaply. There will be a multitude of sensors available and experts on hand to help teams that use them. We will also have access to 3D Printing.
UP Global currently powers Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Next, Education Entrepreneurs, and more. Entrepreneurship is something that can be both taught and learned, and UP Global is on a mission to ensure the world takes advantage of that.
Startup Weekend Bozeman kicks-off with a keynote address from Startup Weekend Bozeman 2014 alum Doug Warner. Doug is the Founder and CEO of DropTrip a startup reimagining the crowdsourced shipping industry. A cloud technology veteran, Doug has an extensive background in computer science and psychology. He started as one of the original employees at RightNow Technologies and throughout his 13 year tenure was the driving force behind the RightNow Knowledge Foundation, RightNow’s industry leading core technology. Doug left RightNow shortly after Oracle’s $1.5b acquisition and has subsequently built multiple businesses including DropTrip. In his limited free time, Doug is also an accomplished expedition caver.
Alongside members from the local tech and entrepreneur communities, Startup Weekend Bozeman will welcome students from Montana University System’s Blackstone LaunchPad’s at Montana State University. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation knows that entrepreneurship is the single most effective way to spur economic growth and job creation. Through the Blackstone LaunchPad, students will have access to an expanded universe of resources and years of institutional knowledge, helping them launch ventures that can take root locally and strengthen Montana’s economy.
Startup Weekend Bozeman is also excited to announce that the facilitator for the weekend is Buzz Bruggeman. Buzz Bruggeman is one of the co-founders of ActiveWords. He graduated with honors from Coe College and from Duke University Law School. Prior to ActiveWords he spent 30 years as real estate lawyer/litigator. He runs all of the outward facing aspects of ActiveWords, including marketing and partnering, and as such is responsible for evangelizing ActiveWords to everyone he meets. Buzz has spoken at many tech industry events, has been on the advisory board of the Demo Conference, won a Demo god award, and has been featured in books by Dan Gillmor and Robert Scoble. Buzz has been a long time participant in the startup and blogging community, and routinely speaks and consults on using new media tools to market and evangelize software.
Why attend a Startup Weekend event?
- Education — learn by doing.
- Build your network — meet talented entrepreneurs.
- Find cofounder(s)
- Learn a new skill — flex your technical and business muscle.
- Get facetime with thought leaders — local leaders on tap.
- Join a global community of over 45,000+ alumni out to change the world.
How is it done?
Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts. Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend. (Statistics from http://startupweekend.org/about/)
When and where is it?
The detailed Startup Weekend Bozeman 2015 Schedule can be found online at http://www.bozeman.up.co
The general hours of the event are Friday, April 17, 6:30 to 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 18, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and Sunday, April 19, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It will be held at the new Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship building at Montana State University.
How can I sign up?
Interested parties can click on the “Buy Tickets” buttons on the event page to sign up. Student tickets are offered at a discounted price and are limited. Contact event organizers for the student discount code. Registration includes all meals and caffeine. Attendees will also receive a custom team t-shirt and exclusive Startup Weekend perks.
About our local sponsors:
Thanks to our local sponsors City of Bozeman, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship, Lone Mountain Printing, STEAMlab at the Children’s Museum of Bozeman, Blackstone LaunchPad at Montana State University, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development, F11 Photo, Frontier Fund II, Pepsi – Harrington Bottling Company, and Workiva.
Sponsorship opportunities still available, please contact us.
ABOUT STARTUP WEEKEND:
Startup Weekend is a program of UP Global along with Startup Next, Startup Digest and Education Entrepreneurs. UP Global is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, grassroots leadership, and strong communities around the world and in partnership with over 60 leaders and corporations including Google for Entrepreneurs, CocaCola, Amazon Web Services and the Case Foundation. Read UP Global’s White Paper on, ” Fostering A Thriving Startup Ecosystem”
Revised: Sunday, April 19, 2015 12:05 AM
Congratulations to our winners!
1 week pass for each team member to Fountainhead Coworking in Butte
2 weeks of daily coworking passes for each team member to The Shop Helena
Two hour team photo shoot on location of choice by ndigena
$100 Amazon e-gift card
Invest in Success Conference tickets
Feature story on Innovate Montana website
Meeting with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Two startup books
2nd Place: Steritite
- 1 week of daily coworking passes for each team member to The Shop Helena
- Team headshots by ndigena
- $50 Amazon e-gift card
- Two startup books
3rd Place: Big Sky University | https://www.facebook.com/BigSkyU | @bigskyu
1 day coworking pass for each team member to The Shop Helena
Team headshots by ndigena
$50 Amazon e-gift card
One startup book
Crowd Favorite: True Montana | http://truemontana.co/ | https://www.facebook.com/pages/True-Montana/356804541179471 | @TrueMTpodcast
Sticker Mule t-shirts (Thanks Stickermule!)
One startup book
Thanks to everyone who made this event a success!
Keynote Speaker: Martin Butts, Founder at Small Potatoes
Mentors/Coaches: Danny Choriki, Janice Copeland, Patrick Dudley, Wayne Gardella, Andrew Gordon, Julie Jaksha, Dan Lloyd, Ray Rogers, Andy Shirtliff, Joe Willauer, Andy Zdinak
The Judging Panel: Les Craig, Gary Gannon, Paul Gladen, Dawn McGee, Dev Warren
Organizers: Adam Benson, Pam Haxby-Cote, Julie Jaksha, Jennifer and Nathan Stephens
UP Global Team: Marc Nager, Startup Weekend Butte Facilitator and UP Global CEO; Martha Young, UP Global Executive Associate; Lauren Sauser, UP Global Managing Editor
Sponsors: Blackstone LaunchPad Montana, Headwaters RC&D, Butte-Silver Bow, Northwestern Energy, Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Small Business Development Corporation Montana, Montana Food & Agriculture Development Network, Glaicer Bank, Granite Mountain Bank, Lisa Wareham Photography, Fountainhead Coworking, Content Monkeys, Insty-Prints of Butte, KBOW, KOPR, ndigena, Pioneer Technical Services Inc., TicketRiver.com and Yellow8Ball Customs.
The Startup Weekend Great Falls organizing team has announced three pre-events as a lead up to Central Montana’s 1st Startup Weekend May 15-17 at the University of Great Falls (UGF).
An Introduction to Startup Weekend will be held on the evening of Wednesday, April 8th, from 6:00PM to 7:30PM in the UGF Library. The informal event will have SWGreatFalls organizers on hand to answer common questions such as: What is Startup Weekend?; How does it work?; What can I expect?. Attendees will experience a walkthrough of the Startup Weekend components and processes.
Startup Fireup! is an event the team organized specifically for Great Falls and our surrounding communities to show entrepreneurial enthusiasm! Scheduled Tuesday, April 28th from 6:30PM – 8:00PM at Electric City Coffee, 319 Central Avenue, the event is an open mic style evening of sharing ideas that inspire, stories of building our businesses & communities, identifying problems and the potential innovative solutions to address them while making connections with active and empowered entrepreneurs. Four presentations will be scheduled to ‘seed’ the evening discussion while encouraging those in attendance to share their own thoughts and stories. Join and sign-up to present your thoughts and dreams for your idea, business, and community during this no cost event.
With Startup Weekend Great Falls occurring during Craft Beer week, what could be more appropriate than a discussion of the craft brewing industry by those who have started their own brewery (+ we have added Montana’s micro-distillery industry as well)! On Tuesday, May 12th from 7:00PM to 8:30PM Founders and Owners from Bowser Brewery, The Mighty Mo Brewing Co and Montgomery Distillery will share their story of building their respective businesses, the challenges faced and the future of the industry. The craft brewing and micro distillery sectors are a popular and have generated great interest. Questions and audience participation will be encouraged. The event is free to the public and will be held at the Mighty Mo Brewing Co., 412 Central Avenue.
We hope these events will encourage active participation in Startup Weekend Great Falls as a venue to pitch, learn, build and launch an idea into a potential business.
Let me start by saying thank you to the team at Startup Weekend Butte for bringing me out to Montana to share some of my experiences not only starting my own business, but also working with startups all over the country. I know how much work goes into putting events like this on, and the team, as well as Butte as a whole, has made me feel welcome at every turn. Starting a new business can be daunting, and it’s inspiring to see a group of committed individuals doing all they can to support new businesses in their community.
I feel grateful every day that I’ve been able to carve out my own corner of economic sustainability, doing work I love, especially at a time when most metrics were showing that the economy was failing so many people. While big businesses nationwide announce layoffs, cutbacks, and closings one week, and then record profits the next, Americans across the country have been left to fend for themselves in a quickly changing landscape.
And fend for ourselves we have. By starting our own businesses and hiring our neighbors. When the economy left us behind, we’ve built a new economy. An economy where sharing resources is more important than exploiting them. Where experience and a sense of place matter more than finding the cheapest price no matter what the true cost.
As this new economy has emerged, so has a shift in cultural perceptions about the economy. People are realizing that big businesses aren’t the ones creating the majority of jobs in our towns and cities, but that those jobs are being created by small businesses and startups. People are are looking to work with small locally owned businesses because they can see the evidence that doing so is an important part of the solution to improve our communities. We can’t wait around for someone else to solve our problems, and we don’t need to. The solutions are right there in front of us, so long as we have the tools we need to seize them.
Startup Weekend Butte is an opportunity to get an intensive education on the tools needed to take a hold of your future, and I hope that by sharing some of my experiences and trends from the new economy, attendees will be inspired to redefine what success is and how they can achieve it.
I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon. And if you haven’t gotten yourself registered yet, DO IT!
Local Foods Advocate