Congratulations to all who took part in Startup Weekend Christchurch 2017, and a big thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.
May 19 – 21 saw EPIC buzzing with energy at all hours as 120+ participants, mentors, organisers, and volunteers packed out the space to pitch startup ideas and turn them into real businesses, all in the space of a weekend.
Friday night was off to a running start with 54 individuals pitching their startup ideas, teams were formed, and coffee was drunk. The proverbial brown stuff may have hit the fan for many teams throughout Saturday as they engaged with their target market and learnt the dreaded word ‘pivot’.
Ultimately 13 teams delivered the goods at the final pitch battle in front of the public and our esteemed judges, with Binder taking out first place and bragging rights as the winners of Startup Weekend Christchurch 2017.
Binder NZ (Winner)
Binder is a wedding planning site, that provides everything a couple needs to plan their wedding. From venue, to photography, budget, and timeline Binder provides the complete wedding planning service.
Team: Daniel, Fionna, Hannah, Henry, Yanwei
Buzz Keeper (2nd place)
Buzz Keeper is a security device built into beehives that enables bee keepers to track stolen beehives and alert them of thefts.
Team: Kirsten, Simon, Ruby, Inder, Stephen, Nicole, Ryan, Michael
Freeze My Glass Off (3rd Place)
Freeze My Glass Off is a car defrosting system that defrosts frozen windscreens during winter months.
Team: Georgia, Peter, Callum, William
BetterKiwi helps New Zealanders be less apathetic about choosing the most appropriate KiwiSaver fund for their personal situation.
Team: Glendon, Rikki, Matt, Jason, Stephen
Make My Day!
Make My Day! is a mobile app that lists and recommends activities and nearby businesses to help make your day.
Team: Alex, Kerry, Peiyi, Taner, Margot, Thomas, Anna
TopCrop provides rentable and serviced vertical vegetable gardens for workplaces, contributing to a healthier and more productive workplace.
Team: Duncan, Pali, Stephan, Carl, Chris, James, Robina
Lakuna matches people with things needed to be stored with people that have available space.
Team: Edwin, Nathan, Ashling, Sarah, Ashley, Edwin, Izadora, Simon
Upto is an event promotion platform helping you find the best local activities and events to attend with your friends
Team: Arron, Matthew, James, Ben, Michel, Peter, Cameron, Stephanie
GapFinder helps local governments connect with their communities to understand what they want for their cities.
Team: Christopher, Ollie, Daniel, Mike, Tony, Dorj, Olivia
Heart Sync produces a pillow that helps adults sleep and provides anxiety relief by playing the sound of heart beats.
Team: Ged, Leo, Olivia
Helping young people learn about the world and envisage their future using Virtual Reality technology.
Team: Danny, Deborah, Chris, Joe, Sridhar, Alex, Paris, Raj, Daniel, Sakthi
Journey is an app that lets visitors have a great travel experience, including localised stories, nearby attractions and information on places to eat and where to get petrol.
Team: Carl, Charles, Mitchell, Huey, Jake, Munir, Keryn
Revival of the Craft
Revival of the Craft matches people wanting to learn a craft with a community run workshop.
Team: Timo, Terry, David, Daisuke, Kerry
Startup Weekends are truly community events, so we’d love to thank our sponsors who believe in investing into their local community.
Startup Weekend is dangerous. It gives you a chance to sample what running a start-up is like, and once you are hooked you might start questioning some assumptions about the things that you are good at and your prospects in your current role.
This is exactly what happened to me. I met my co-founder Chris Saunders at last year’s start-up weekend and 2 weeks later we had set up Inductive (inductive.co.nz).
Last year, Chris and I competed in different teams and Chris still ribs me that his team won! We’ve now built our first product chesschecker.com – a website that helps chess players improve at chess by converting paper records of the game into a digital format (so drop me a line if you play chess!).
If you attend Startup Weekend this year, you will almost certainly work like a banshee, learn something new about yourself, make some new friends, and have an insane amount of fun.
Guest post by Andrew Masters
This is the story of Swoppy, a protective case that turns your smartphone into a handheld console.
It all began when Regina, the founder and Chief Unicorn Wrangler at Swoppy, found a rubber phone case that looked like a GameBoy online. She couldn’t resist buying one. From the day she had it on her phone, it was a major conversation starter with strangers as well as friends. Regina found herself pushing buttons (a lot) and dreaming about playing right there on her phone. She planned it out in her head, thought through a few ways of making it a reality and bought a ticket to the 2016 Startup Weekend in Christchurch.
The weekend exceeded her expectations by far. A talented team of incredibly passionate individuals formed around her and within the first 20 hours they had a working prototype, talked to many people on the street and had a decent amount of survey feedback that validated the idea. They even made their first sale on that Saturday. More followed on Sunday and eventually team PGC (now Swoppy) became runner up of the weekend. Astonishing to see what can be achieved with a focused, dedicated team, inspiring mentors and a bit of fun in just one weekend.
Over the course of 54 hours, valuable connections were made! A room full of inspiring, driven and passionate people led to great opportunity to learn and establish new relationships. The original team walked their different ways to work on other projects or went back to their day jobs but Aydin, another Startup Weekend attendee, came on board.
Aydin, Swoppy’s Lord Commander of Hacking All Things, is a passionate gamer with a great technical mind. They made a plan towards a Kickstarter campaign and started working on it. There were legal hurdles to jump, tricky prototyping issues, lots of R&D on the material, IP and branding alongside many other challenges. One lesson that almost every entrepreneur faces on their journey, did not go past those two – It has taken nearly double the time than expected to fulfil the plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign. But it was surely worth the wait!
The Swoppy phone case is well designed to protect your phone and to enhance your mobile gaming experience. It will be available for all recent iPhone models as well as popular Android phones. Every case comes with an emulator that emulates the GameBoy games you own using Dropbox integration. It will also run web based games. There is also an open source developer kit in the making.
Head along to EPIC INNOVATION to support the launch of the Kickstarter campaign on the 24th of February, at 12:30pm. There will be your favourite retro consoles to play, craft beer, and snacks to kick things off with a bang!
To launch your idea, meet co-founders, and grow your network sign up for Startup Weekend Christchurch 2017 on May 19th-21st!