The big basket of prizes

Startup Weekend Vancouver is an action-packed weekend of entrepreneurial learning, execution, and fun. With such a short timeframe for teams to build a new idea, it’s amazing to see what they come out with.

That said, Startup Weekend is still a competition to see who can create the best idea, MVP, and present the viable business in the short 54-hour period—and competitions aren’t competition without an awesome basket of prizes to be won. So let’s take a look at what’s up for grabs!

Prizes for the Winning Team

  • 1-year MailChimp PRO account from MailChimp
  • 1-year Premium account from Todoist
  • 1-year account from Zapier
  • $3,000 of accounts services from Smythe
  • Coffee with Mobify Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Peter McLachlan
  • $2,500 worth of legal service (including incorporation) from MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP
  • A month’s supply of free snacks for your office from SPUD
  • 1-year account from Unbounce
  • 1 free pass for a team member to attend the Lean Entrepreneruship Program from Launch Academy
  • 1-month of office space at the wantoo Lounge

Total basket is worth over $10,000 in prizes!

Second & Third Place

  • 1-year Premium account from Todoist
  • 1-year account from Zapier
  • $1,000 worth of legal service (including incorporation) from MLT (2nd place only)

That’s not all, though. We also have some alternate prizes for teams that meet other criteria.

Most Disruptive Idea

PressReader is also offering the team with the “Most Disruptive Idea” a 1-year PressReader membership for the whole team.

Best Impact

Spring is also offering the team with the “Best Impact” one (1) scholarship to Spring’s Kick pre-accelerator program—a 4-week intensive to help you get from concept to clarity by emphasizing lean methodology, idea validation, and customer discovery. The “Best Impact” prize will be awarded to the most promising business concept that looks to create the biggest positive social or environmental change through technology.

Global Startup Battle Prizes

But wait! There’s more!

As our Startup Weekend event is participating in Global Startup Battle, the top 3 teams will also be able to compete in the exclusive Champion’s Track against other winning startups from around the world for even more prizes!

There are also addition tracks open to all teams that compete in Startup Weekend where you can still win some of the awesome prizes.

There are still a small handful of tickets available to Startup Weekend Vancouver on Nov 20-22 so if you don’t have your ticket yet, what are you waiting for?








ConceptKicker Wins Global Startup Battle

ConceptKicker Wins Global Startup Battle 2014

In case you missed our mass tweeting yesterday or haven’t picked up from the headline of this post, ConceptKicker has just beat out the world at Global Startup Battle 2014! It was announced yesterday via this blog post and we couldn’t be happier about the news!

About Global Startup Battle

Global Startup Battle (GSB), is a global event during Global Entrepreneurship Week in which startups that competed in Startup Weekends from around the world compete to show they are the best new idea and win an amazing basket of prizes. It’s the biggest startup competition where over 25,000 entrepreneurs from 83 countries came together to fight for the title.

There are 5 different tracks that the teams could enter, each with their own requirements and rules. The most important one though was the Champions Track. This was an exclusive track only available to those teams who had placed in the top 3 at their local Startup Weekend. It’s the track where we find out who is the best of the best.

The Road to Victory

The battle lasted for two weeks and happened in phases. The first phase required teams to win their regions. For ConceptKicker, this was the US West/Canada region — competing against startups from cities like San Francisco and Toronto (home of last year’s winning team).

To win the region required gathering votes. A lot of votes. ConceptKicker rallied hard though, utilizing social media, personal networks, and anything else they could to get the word out. To their success, all the hard work paid off and they were able to make it into the top two spots needed to make it into the finals.

The finals were to be decided very differently though. This time they were being judged by the experts on the merits of their startup. You know, experts like Daymond John (Shark Tank), Nas (Music Icon & Tech Investor), Dan Martell (Clarity), Chris Hollod (A-Grade Investments), and Lesa Mitchell (Network for Scale). So we waited for the judges to review and announce their decision. That is until yesterday when we finally heard that our Vancouver-based startup, ConceptKicker, was the big winner of Global Startup Battle 2014!!

Excuse me while I cheer uncontrollably for a minute… “WOOHOO!!!!”

Belief in Their Idea

Perhaps the most inspirational story about ConceptKicker is how they came to be. For anyone in the startup world, you always hear sayings like “if you believe in your idea, don’t give up — even if others tell you it’ll never happen or that it will fail”. This is exactly what happened with ConceptKicker at Startup Weekend Vancouver.

On the Friday of the weekend, everyone pitches their idea and then the participants vote on which ideas they liked and wanted to work on for the weekend. The top voted ideas then get teams formed around them. We tell everyone that if your idea isn’t picked that it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea but to join one of the other ideas voted in or, if they can recruit enough people on their idea, then they can still form their team. Usually if you’re not voted in, it’s pretty hard to get support and build a team.

Tony, who pitched the idea of ConceptKicker, was pretty bummed that his idea wasn’t one of the top 15 ideas voted on. I remember him coming to me and asking if he could still build his idea. We understood his determination and told him that if he could get at least another 3 people behind his idea that we’d let him build on it for the weekend.

Tony struggled for a while and had trouble recruiting a team as people were more interested in the other ‘popular’ ideas. However, eventually, he got his small team and so we let him build. And build they did. In fact, between Friday evening and Saturday morning he was able to recruit a team of 9 talented people who would then go on to win Startup Weekend Vancouver — and now Global Startup Battle.

It’s inspiring to think about the determination, persistence, and belief Tony had in his idea. Too many entrepreneurs give up when others tell them “no” or when things get tough. While ConceptKicker is only at the beginning of their already very successful journey, I look forward to seeing them demonstrate more of this entrepreneurial spirit and be an example for other aspiring entrepreneurs — in Vancouver and the world.

Congratulations guys! You’ve worked hard and deserve all the success!








Results from Startup Weekend Vancouver

Results From Startup Weekend Vancouver

Startup Weekend Vancouver was an action packed weekend to say the least. There were lots of great ideas, inspiring moments, and many lost hours of sleep. However, even with the short timeline (Nov 14-16) to build out a company, it was awesome to see such great presentations and business ideas come out of the weekend.

After the 50 ideas from participants were pitched on Friday, everyone voted on their favorites and 15 ideas were picked to form teams. However, during the forming, one idea dissolved and another idea (ConceptKicker) formed – regardless of not being voted as a favorite. More on that in a moment.

Here is the line-up of the teams and ideas that were pitched to judges at the end of the weekend on Sunday:

Applause

A two-way incentive-based sharing system for professional services companies looking to build referrals and repeat consumers. There is a gap in the beauty services market for a user promoted recommendation system and this new app enables high margin services to reward their best customers, while increasing referral traffic.

The next time you have an awesome service encounter at a local salon or store, spread your good cheer with your social circle in return for a discount. Applause! provides you with a platform to collect and redeem consumer-generated coupons from your favorite stores and notifies you when you are near one of the locations.

www.goapplause.co »

Votely

Voter turnout is decreasing at steady pace. The trend is very noticeable for young people; they are participating less than their elders and their willingness to vote is declining over time. In this context, can ICTs revitalize democratic participation? It is from this question that we came up with Votely, a platform aimed at providing electors unbiased and understandable political information. By comparing candidates, Votely helps you to decide who to vote based on the things you care about.

www.votely.org »

BuildingFootprint

A tool that helps Architects design with more sustainable materials by informing them of the environmental impacts of the materials they design with, early in the design process.

www.buildingfootprint.co »

Troogie

A social travel website for sharing trip routes from real travellers. This platform helps to plan a better trip in less time by matching travellers’ interests with relevant routes that have been taken by other like-minded travellers. Troogie allows its online community of independent travellers to search, share and plan trip routes; but also to connect and follow travel friends with similar trip styles.  Trip routes are complete and concise, including a map and insider insights from fellow travellers. The planning tool will help travellers to build trip routes which are accessible via the Troogie mobile app.

www.troogie.com »

My Green Space

A digital gardening planner, helping individuals create their own garden in any space – no experience required. It’s a platform for connecting individuals to seed growers and gardening planners. My Green Space directs individuals step-by-step through the urban gardening process: mapping their garden online, identifying what plants can grow in the space and how to care for them, and shipping packages directly to their door. Delivery options include: individual seeds or a pre-made kits with instructions for plantation and maintenance. My Green Space will remind individuals when to plant, water, and harvest their dream garden.

www.mygreenspace.ca »

Pokemenu

Showing you the best dish in your restaurant and where to find the best X dish in your neighbourhood.

www.pokemenu.com »

Meap.

Meet people with similar hobbies and interests in person. Whether you’re new to the area or want to ask career-related, industry-specific questions, Meap. lets you find other people in your area who like doing the same thing you, and matches you up with other like-minded individuals.

www.meap.co »

NeighbourGood

NeighbourGood allows you to crowdsource social action projects for a local cause — start a beach clean up, a clothing drive, or deliver food to those in need.

www.neighbourgood.co »

NetBy

NetBy helps people connect and network with the right people at conferences and events. We show you who is nearby or at the same event, and allow you to filter other’s based on skills, company background, etc.

Reband

A service that turns internet bandwidth into a commodity that everyone can afford. Reband identifies your unused internet bandwidth and finds someone who needs it and makes it available as a resource.

www.reband.co »

Fame Mob

Intelligently connecting emerging brands & bloggers. Emerging brands and bloggers are looking for the right fit. FameMob makes that happen with our style-smart algorithm. We are the only platform that intelligently connects emerging brands and bloggers.

SponsorSpot

A service that helps sports teams create sponsor proposals, get matched, and get sponsored.

www.sponsorspot.co »

Fix My Screen

A mobile business for repairing broken or damaged phones.

www.fixmyscreen.co »

Inkind

We are Inkind. The platform to connect consumer packaged goods brands with local events. Think of us as Match.com for brands and events. We enable brands to easily build connections with their target markets through a searchable database of events key worded to event type, values, and lifestyles. We also provide insights on how the brand/product was received by the consumer.

ConceptKicker

The world’s only one-stop-shop platform that makes it easy for artists to get their 2D design concepts to market. Artists crowdfund their designs and ConceptKicker will take care of converting the 2D concept art to 3D model, 3D printing the design, and shipping it to the hands of their fans.

www.conceptkicker.co »

The Winning Teams

The battle was fierce and so many of the ideas were great, well thought out, and presented well. The judges had a big task ahead of them to hand out our baskets of prizes.

The results of Startup Weekend Vancouver 2014 were as follows:

First Place: ConceptKicker
Runner-up: My Green Space
Third Place: Votely

Best “Purpose-Driven Idea” (Sponsored by Spring.is): Votely

Best Decentralized Idea (Sponsored by Vancouver Bitcoin Community): Reband

The most amazing and inspirational story of the weekend though had to come from ConceptKicker. Despite being told “No” because the idea was not voted as a favorite on the Friday, Tony Yang was determined to build out his idea. He persevered with his entrepreneurial attitude and was able to form a team. This team then would go on to win the weekend! It’s a complete underdog story but also a prime example of how you cannot give up on your dreams or your idea if you believe in it – even if no one else does.

Congrats to ConceptKicker and all the teams for an awesome weekend!

Photos!

Weren’t able to make the event? Don’t worry!

Whether you were at the event or not, we have lots of pictures so you can feel like you were there (or relive the memories and experience)! Our full library of photos from the event is available for you to view, download, and share!

View Photo Library »








A Big Basket of Prizes for Startup Weekend Vancouver

Startup Weekend is an action packed weekend of entrepreneurial learning, execution, and fun. With such a short timeframe for teams to build a new idea, it’s amazing to see what they come out with.

That said, Startup Weekend is still a competition to see who can create the best idea, MVP, and present the viable business in the short 54-hour period – and competitions aren’t competition without an awesome basket of prizes to be won. So let’s take a look at what’s up for grabs!

Prizes for the Winning Team

Runner-up

That’s not all though. We also have some alternate prizes for teams that meet other criteria.

Best Purpose-Driven Idea

Spring.is is also offering the team with the “Best Purpose-Driven Idea” a full scholarship to their next Kick accelerator cohort, plus a seat to an upcoming Capital Raising for Entrepreneurs workshop. 

Best Use of Crypto-Currency or Decentralized Tech

The team that demonstrates the best use of crypto-currency, decentralized technology, and/or gift economy will be awarded the Decentralized Technology Prize. The prize consists of a 3-month membership at Decentral Vancouver for the entire team. This includes a choice of either a drop-in or premium membership. Included in this package are write ups and tweets in the crypto-spaces most influential blogs and their Startup Bitcoin Launch Pack to help get you better set-up in the crypto space.

Global Startup Battle Prizes

But wait! There’s more!

As our Startup Weekend event is participating in Global Startup Battle, the top 3 teams will also be able to compete in the exclusive Champion’s Track against other winning startups from around the world for even more prizes!

There are also addition tracks open to all teams that compete in Startup Weekend where you can still win some of the awesome prizes.

There are still a small handful of tickets available to Startup Weekend Vancouver on Nov 14-16 so if you don’t have your ticket yet, what are you waiting for?








Words of Wisdom from a Startup Weekend 2013 Champion, Ailton Schoemberger

Written by Charles Yu

Ailton SchoembergerIn June 2013, Ailton Schoemeberger won Startup Weekend Vancouver with Domastay, an “Airbnb for international students seeking homestay.” This year Ailton is back to co-organize Startup Weekend 2014 and share his experience of previous year’s event and the experience of running a startup after the competition.

We took a few moments to ask him some questions on his experience and advice he would give to this year’s participants.

What advice would you give to participants with business or marketing background

Participants with marketing and business backgrounds who aren’t pitching actually have a lot to contribute and have their work cut out for them once they are inducted into a team. Whether it’s validating the idea on the street with complete strangers or helping out with presentation slides and sourcing images and relevant information — marketing and business participants have a full plate.

Speaking of pitching ideas, what suggestions do you have for those looking to pitch their ideas at the event?

There are three factors which I believe makes a successful pitch:

  1. The presenter has to be memorable
  2. The pitch needs relatable examples
  3. and, Post-pitch mingling is a must!

Before attending Startup Weekend 2013, I came to the realization that I might be confused with other individuals who are looking to pitch. In order to differentiate myself, I wore the Brazilian Soccer Jersey on pitch day introduced myself as a Brazilian native and explained my idea.

Another participant by the name of Ed also realized the importance of differentiation by wearing a hat and telling the audience to remember him as “Ed with the hat.” Pitching to the audience using a relatable example such as, “building an Airbnb for international students,” made it much easier for the audience to grasp the big idea.

What kept me in the minds of the audience was I was willing to socialize with all the participants exchanging our thoughts and ideas of how we can take our Airbnb for homestay concept and turn it into a working startup.

What should team leaders focus on to ensure they maximize time at Startup Weekend?

Have a clear mental picture of what you want to build and capitalize all the available resources provided by the organizers at Startup Weekend.

Teams are always excited to get started and will throw out many ideas, some of which will deviate from the original concept. Guide the team with a firm hand, it will be your responsibility to keep the team focused and stay on track.

The event provides many resources. Mentors are there to advise you and share their experience, lawyers can give legal consultation and help to get your team incorporated, and lastly, networking is a huge perk whether it’s fellow participants or sponsors promoting their services. This goes back to the importance of socializing with participants after pitching.

As a founder, you need to understand the experience and background of different individuals and their attitude, amount of passion, and perception of the idea.  Getting to know people in the event may prove to be the key to your startup’s success in the future.

Winning Startup Weekend is a significant step towards taking an idea and making it into a real business. How should teams continue after the competition in order to turn their ideas into a successful start up?

Again, I want to emphasize on team cohesion and focus. They are critical factors in keeping the momentum built during Startup Weekend going. One thing I learned at Institute B’s ChangeMaker Curriculum Course after winning Startup Weekend Vancouver in 2013 was to run a lean team. In the beginning we had a staff of 11 people which made it difficult for us to coordinate nimbly around challenges. We had to let some team members go which was an incredibly difficult experience since they were not employees but partners who shared the entire Startup Weekend experience with me, although it had to be done.

We trimmed the team down to 6 people and then eventually 4. It will be your responsibility to keep the team focused on building upon the foundations which were laid during the competition and not deviate to another idea or become non participants due to personal issues. In short run it like a lean business.








Early Bird Tickets are On Sale!

Over the last couple of months, by far, the most frequently asked question has been when tickets for Startup Weekend Vancouver were going to be available.

Well, as off 9am this morning, we’re happy to say…

Early Bird tickets are open!!!
Get your ticket now!

Be quick though! We’re only releasing 30 (10 of each skill type) of the total 125 tickets as early birds at the special price of $85. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. We will have a waitlist available for people who miss the early bird special to sign-up for the next round of tickets that we release.

 Selecting Your Ticket Type

While everyone wants to get a ticket, please make sure you only select the ticket type for the skill you will be providing during the weekend. For example, if you are a programmer and all the programmer tickets are gone, do not go buying a designer or non-tech ticket.

We will be reviewing all tickets purchased to try and ensure there is an equal representation of all skill types at the event. We want to include everyone but do have to make sure we have an equal number of each skill type for best results of the teams.

We’ll do our best but if you have any questions, let us know! We’re here to make sure everyone has an awesome time and gets the most out of the entrepreneurial workout that is Startup Weekend!