Entrepreneurial team aims to build a new social media platform that connects conscious consumers with socially responsible companies.
Dan Balgooyen, Lindsay Balgooyen, and Kyle DeFauw of Steamboat Springs received the top recognition at the Inaugural Breckenridge Startup Weekend held at the Colorado Mountain College Breckenridge Campus this past weekend.
The team says its winning innovation, Gr8ful Giveback, is a credible mobile platform that promotes and facilitates charitable giving campaigns and bridges a missing connection between companies, charitable organizations, and consumers.
“Businesses get recognized for their philanthropy efforts while building a social media presence, non-profits benefit by gaining new widespread exposure and funding, and end users win by receiving promotional discounts, and gratification of making a difference,” say team leader Dan Balgooyen.
Other top finishers of Startup Weekend included Jared Manske of Breckenridge who developed a safety device designed to improve home window blind safety, and Brian Costanza of Denver developed the Awesome Timer. The Awesome Timer is a mobile app that asks users to reset the timer every time they do something awesome.
At total of 18 participants pitched their ideas to the judges and an audience of 60 on Friday night. From there, five selected pitches were given 54 hours to create teams to design, research, analyze, and further develop their business plans. The teams presented their final pitches Sunday evening. Judges included Myra Michelle Eby, local entrepreneur, and founder of MyChelle Dermaceuticals; Ross Iverson, president and CEO of the Vail Leadership Institute, and Jose Vietez, of Boomtown.
“Several attendees expressed their gratitude that an event like Startup Weekend was available in our incredible environment, for many it was a life changing experience,” says Thomas Gerber, local volunteer organizer of the Breck Startup Weekend.
Gerber adds, “Now is the time to start co-creating the next Start-up Weekend and High Country Accelerators for those who want to make a positive difference with a business that is birthed and grows in the High Country.”