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Startup Weekend Stavanger Autumn 2014 participants [Photo: Suganthan Mohanadasan]
Startup Weekend Stavanger Autumn 2014 participants [Photo: Suganthan
Mohanadasan]
Startup Weekend Stavanger Autumn 2014 kicked off with an exciting evening of pitches on Friday and a total of 8 teams being voted into the next phase. With startup ideas ranging from drone technology products to beer truck service delivering beer 24/7 and a property business involving the conversion of a boat into student apartments, the final night of the weekend was going to be interesting!

Saturday raced by with each team working against the clock to develop their ideas, validate their customer base and ensure that their business concepts would meet the criteria of the judging panel.

With teams eager to take action and use every hour provided during the weekend to develop their startup business, almost every participant arrived bang on 8.30am to grab a quick breakfast and gather their teams together for the final stage of Startup Weekend.

Teams continue working on ideas before the final presentations to judges [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
Teams continue working on ideas before the final presentations to judges [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
The day unfolded with more sessions with mentors and some time to practice presentations and get feedback before the judges arrived. As the clock approached 4:00pm, the energy was building in the room and teams remained separated in small groups to eat some dinner and use the extra time for one final practice of their presentations.

Teams working on ideas before the final presentations to judges [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
Teams working on ideas before the final presentations to judges [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
As the time for final presentations arrived , over 90 guests, including the participants, gathered in the room to experience the final presentations to judges. Local media also arrived to take photos and capture the event with their own interpretation of the startup ideas being presented.

The presentations began with “Health Cloud”, who presented a product that would store your medical records using Cloud technology. The next seven presentations followed and included “Thumb Up”, who proposed an app to reduce traffic congestion problems in Stavanger with the revival of the hitchhiking concept; “Ungdoms Bedrifter”, who proposed a platform for youth entrepreneurs to build business ideas; “Food for Thought”, who proposed a healthy food business concept to provide improved menus for those with a food intolerance; “Homeboat”, who proposed a floating apartment concept to address the shortage of accommodation for students in Stavanger; “On Stavanger”, who proposed a digital culture guide for Stavanger; and finally, “Industreye”, who proposed a drone technology product for offshore exploration.

As soon as final presentations were completed, the judging panel of three left the room. The judges, which included Geir Arve Vika (IT Director at Lyse Group), Lasse Andersen (Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer at ForgeRock), and Øystein Lunde Ohna (Office Manager at TD Veen), were now tasked with digesting the 8 business proposals and deliberating the top three startup ideas of the weekend.

With an hour allocated for judging, a guest speaker, Sjur Svaboe, (Chairman of Biolink Group AS), was invited to present his own personal journey as an entrepreneur and offer some final thoughts for the event participants.

Following Sjur’s fascinating memoirs about his journey to secure finance for his biotechnology products in a country that is predominantly focused on investing in oil and gas initiatives, the event’s Lead Organizers, Natalie Hilton and Nina Meldahl, gave a final keynote to the participants for the Autumn 2014 event and thanked each team member of the Organizing Team by name.

After much discussion among the judges, it was finally time to announce the winning teams! The judges started with 3rd place, which was awarded to Thumb Up. The next award was given for 2nd place, which was awarded to “Health Cloud”. Finally, the winning team that was awarded 1st place was announced! Applause filled the room as the team, “Industreye”, were invited to shake hands with the judges and receive their first prize.

[From Clockwise] Startup Weekend Stavanger winning teams were Thumb Up (3rd place), Health Cloud (2nd place), and the team leader and full team for 1st place Industreye. [Photos: Natalie Hilton]
[From Clockwise] Startup Weekend Stavanger winning teams were Thumb Up (3rd place), Health Cloud (2nd place), and the team leader and full team for 1st place Industreye. [Photos: Natalie Hilton]
The 1st place prize included  a VIP box experience at The Oilers ice-hockey game and time with the VP of DNB bank to provide banking solutions; a review of investor presentations with Proventure; a novelty search including patents and market analysis and consulting on business concepts with Prekubator TTO; a half day workshop with Lyse; and a session on accounting and finance with accountancy firm, KPMG.

The 2nd place prize included office space for 6 months for one person (assuming admission in Ipark Inkubator) from Ipark; a half day workshop with Halogen and a half day workshop with activities tailored to your business by visCO. The 3rd place prizes included a photography session worth 8000 kr with Andrea Rocha Work Photography and free attendance to a course for the team with Skape.

Whilst Industreye impressed the judges with their drone technology product, the judges also took a moment to offer each and every team some valuable feedback and encouraged the winning teams to progress their ideas beyond the event weekend.

With the winning teams announced, all that was left to do was gather everyone together for a group photo to capture the moment that 65 people took action and signed up for Startup Weekend to explore the possibility of new ideas.

As an organizer for Startup Weekend, you join a global network of people who are passionate about entrepreneurship and starting something great. You gather a great team of like-minded people including the organizing team, the mentors, judges, speakers, and Facilitator who each share your passion and vision to create the best event and the most engaging experience you possibly can for the entrepreneurs and inspired people in your city.

Startup Weekend Stavanger's Event Organizing Team for Autumn 2014 [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
Startup Weekend Stavanger’s Event Organizing Team for Autumn 2014 [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
The final ingredient in all this team work, effort and creativity is the people who come to the event on the actual weekend. The participants are the ones who put the Startup Weekend theory into practice and complete the final piece in this global event concept that has evolved to become one of the biggest startup communities in the world.

Great participants came to be a part of Startup Weekend Stavanger’s Autumn 2014 event and every one of these participants made all the planning and preparation come together for one memorable weekend of fun, creativity, passion, hard work, and enthusiasm to start something new.

Congratulations to Industreye, 1st place winners of Startup Weekend Stavanger Autumn 2014 [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
Industreye accept their prizes as 1st place winners of Startup Weekend Stavanger Autumn 2014 [Photo: Andrea Rocha]
What happens beyond this weekend is now up to the participants. They have experienced the excitement of coming together to make something happen and only time will tell if what they have started has the potential to thrive and grow beyond one idea that was shared in just one minute and inspired a team to come together and go on a journey to explore what is possible in just 54-hours at Startup Weekend.

Startup Weekend Stavanger