RVA Startup Weekend Recap



What a weekend! 54 hours of brainstorming, building, researching, local food, fun and some of us did Yoga in the middle of it all! On Friday night we started with 38 pitches and on Sunday night we ended with 8.

All of our teams worked really hard building their start-ups and making the most out of our 15 mentors from within the Richmond community. Between exercises, mentoring sessions, countless sticky notes, who knows how many lines of code, online surveys and talking to people on the street, businesses were validated and pitches were built. In the end, there were four teams who took home prizes.

SimplixityGrand Prize: Simplixity

Simplixity is a system for replacing all of the paper forms you have to fill out at the doctor’s office. This app will allow you to load all of your information to it and send it to your various physicians without having to go in 30 minutes early to fill out paperwork. The Simplixity team didn’t just win prizes from us, one of our judges, Ting Xu, came armed with her checkbook that night. She wrote the team a $10,000 check!

Best in Show and Best MVP: Doctor’s Orders 10665373_595350763909783_8869917156112549243_n

Doctor’s Orders won two prizes Sunday night: Best in Show (Best Design) and Best MVP. Their app helps you remember all of your doctor’s orders through an easy to use interface that sends push notification reminders and keeps track of all of your to dos. Not only did this team come up with a great design, their pitch included demonstrations of what the app looked like as a patient and as a physician.


Most Community Impact: It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village gives parents a platform to help each other with childcare needs. The easy to use app allows you to send requests for things like pick-ups and babysitting out to your contacts and notifies you when someone can help out. Your contacts can also make requests of the community that allow you to help out as needed. It’s really no wonder why they won most community impact – it really does take a village to raise a child and get everything done!

Most Likely to Scale: Occupied

This app, who started as “While I Poo” won Most Likely to Scale but judge Todd Nuckols noted while announcing the win, there were also probably “Most Likely to Catch on Fire”.  Occupied is an app that keeps you… well… occupied in your moments of solitude with things like doodles, anonymous confessions and humorous content. The app originally started as “While I Poo” and after several different ideations became Occupied to cover ALL of you moments of solitude… not just while you’re in the John.


Other Pitches:

Branch, an urban tree planting concept that grows trees upside down to conserve water and save our sidewalks (and the people who have to walk on them) from roots.

Indigo, an Xbox app that uses Xbox Kinnect’s biometric technology to allow you to shop online while suggesting clothes that fit your body type.

Couresly, a college course discovery and review website that helps you choose courses based on peer reviews and other metrics.

It was a long weekend! While all 10 teams didn’t make it pitch night, everyone did a fantastic job!


The RVA Startup Weekend Teams Need Your Help

rvasw-logoOur teams are hard at work doing research to validate their ideas and build their start-ups! Can you give them a hand?

Take a few minutes to provide some customer feedback and be a part of the magic of RVA Startup Weekend!

Doctor’s Orders: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QCBPMS5

Co-Garage: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QWDYZHG

Coursely: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/14SGL-wB8Gz491sE4V2ivH2wP-2Hz6l0eswYc1cZjV8I/viewform

TruckIt: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uVTYPJU4XD7v3YONnb8m0g5oEa4-1KaTgEApyXAJ5a8/viewform

Simplixity: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q3WGF2N

While I Poo: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q26SS9R

Rent-a-Restaurant: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cD53WO-vrohP36DhZ47W1qKxKCkyb_5gAAUrjzNFXuc/viewform

Indigo: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Q5VS596

It Takes a Village: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QPLHM9F

Don’t forget, Sunday night is Pitch Night! Come hear what the teams have built, do some networking, and have some dinner and drinks! Get your ticket today.

Global Sponsor Promo Codes- Amazon Web Services, .Co & Google Cloud

Huge thanks to our global sponsors.  Here are some promo codes to give you an extra boost through the weekend.

  • Google Cloud Platform: $500 of credit to build your web or mobile apps. 

2014 RVA Startup Weekend Prizes

This year’s winning teams are going to have to a tough decision deciding which prize they want to choose! We’ve got a great list of prize sponsors ranging from designers to brand strategists to developers and more…  lots of great talent willing to devote their time and expertise to helping the winning team.

Our judges will choose five teams to take home prizes in the following categories:Prizes!

  1. Grand Prize
  2. Best in Show
  3. Best MVP
  4. Most Likely to Scale
  5. Most Likely to Impact the Local Community

Each team will draw numbers 1-5 and that will be the order they get to pick prizes. The grand prize winner will pick first. Here are the amazing prizes we have lined up this year.


BrandVox™: Messaging Workshop (1/2 Day)
In this custom workshop, you’ll work with a messaging expert to help you craft language that will help you connect with customers, investors, and potential employees. You’ll learn simple and effective techniques for developing a stand-out brand personality that shines in today’s competitive marketplace.

GroundWork Design:
3 Hours of Digital Communication Consultation ($450 Value)
GroundWork Design is offering the winning team 3x 1 hour consultation sessions with Greg Hofbauer, Digital Strategist & Interactive Storyteller. These sessions may include a range of topics from leading your team in a brainstorming exercise to website or application information architecture consulting based on the winning team’s needs. Offer valid for up to 3 months after the 2014 RVA Startup Weekend and the first meeting must be scheduled within 30 days.
Nimble Pitch: 3-Month License of Digital Storytelling Platform ($600 Value)
NimblePitch is offering the winning team 3 months use of our award-winning web publishing system. Create highly interactive and engaging websites, minisites, product demos, and more using our cloud-based publisher. This package also includes training on how to use our platform. The NimblePitch® platform consists of three components:   Web Environment – Public/private interactive rich-media websites;  Content Editor – Manage and publish content to web environment; and Insights Dashboard – Review activity as viewers engage with web environment. Offer must be claimed within 30 days after the 2014 RVA Startup Weekend.

804RVA: Coworking Membership for your Team
Coworking at 804RVA is more than having a place to work– you get to be part of the wolf pack and join our awesome community of startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs.  Choosing this package as a prize will give you 6 months of the best days of your life for you and your team.

Threshold Counsel: Legal Package

–  Forming a business entity
–  Co-owners’ operating / shareholder agreement
–  Drafting and discussion of one or two customer or client contracts and vendor or subcontractor agreements
–  Identification of key intellectual property and strategy to clear and protect that IP

(Prize does not include filing fees, applications for protection of IP or working with investor(s) for funding transactions.)

Campfire and Co: Startup Brand Adventure

Let us guide you on the mountainous terrain of startup land!  Our discovery session will chart the course. We will supply your team with our (fun) design questionnaire. From there, we will put together a schematic presentation which explores potential directions for your brand. We will gather examples and inspiration for two potential brand personas and include preliminary logo options, typeface choices, colors and iconography to test these directions.

In our hands-on consultation we will discuss your initial reactions and design preferences. We will listen carefully to your opinions and ideas and recommend next steps.

After this session you will have a direction for your company’s identity and can choose to continue the adventure with Campfire & Co. by your side. We will put together a proposal for your specific branding needs. This will include your logo, colors & typefaces, PLUS some sturdy gear for your social media outposts, a handy Brand Guide and business cards for your team.
Lighthouse Labs: Power Networking
Lighthouse Labs offers the opportunity for select introductions to our mentor community to take your idea to the next level.  First, you will sit down with the managing director of the program and determine who can be of help to move your concept forward.  Personal introductions will follow to key founders, mentors and friends in the startup community that you can invite to your personal network of greatness!

One Duck Creative: One Minute Animated Video
A one minute motion-graphics animated video to go along with the script your team develops. The video must be for promoting the winning startup.

Emergent Social Solutions: One Hour Strategy Session

Your one hour strategy session will include:

·      An assessment of your current social media profiles

·      Social media goal setting

·      A discussion about platforms to use

·      Social media strategy development

·      Content plan development

Coshx LabsHalf Day Planning Workshop from Coshx Labs – In this workshop, we dig deep into your primary product goals, and construct prioritized user stories that align the development plan with your product goals. The results from this workshop can be used as an RFP to solicit bids, or as a project plan to build an MVP in a cost effective manner.
Big Spoon: Strategy Ideation
Your team will recieve four hours total of strategy ideation to help you organize your foundational plan moving forward. This will include a one hour initial meeting, followed by two hours’ worth of strategic planning on our end and a final hour session to present our ideas to you with a packet of recommendations.

Artup: Photo Session
ArtUp will be providing a one hour photo session to the winning team for use in their promotional materials.

CopyShoppy: “Business Name, Tagline & Available Domain!” contest
CopyShoppy’s copywriting community will compete to provide you with a powerful business name, a memorable tagline, and a catchy available domain name to match, setting the foundation for your brands growth all at once. Expect around 30 options to choose from.

Recurve: One Day BrightLine Workshop
Our one-day BrightLine Workshop is aimed at helping the participant create a rapid path to progress. We will guide the participant from goal setting and research to actionable strategy and testing. We will help the winner formulate experiments aimed at solving business challenges and provide an implementation plan and success metrics.

DesignModo: The Bricks Bundle Pack Add-on

The Bricks is a set of user interface components and elements (PSD) united by four add-ons Forms, Elements, E-commerce and Words. Beautiful and clear elements can be easily combined using groupings of similar style elements. The pack contains hundreds of web elements which can be used in a variety of projects.



Best in Show Winner

The team who wins Best in Show will win one copy of the Adobe Creative Cloud (the Complete Plan) for one year! The 2014 release of Creative Cloud includes all-new versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro.

The complete plan includes:

  • Latest Photoshop, Illustrator, and more, plus cloud features
  • ProSite portfolio website
  • Typekit desktop and web fonts
  • 20 GB of cloud storage

RVASW – This Is What It's All About

This post was submitted by Elliot Roth.


It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and Startup Weekend is here! Are you ready for a 54-hour non-stop business-building extravaganza? Are you ready for food, beer, friends, and creating the next Facebook meets pets meets dating site? Get your hoodies and socks/sandals combos ready, this weekend is going to be one of the fastest and most rewarding weekends of your life.

Whether you have an idea, or you’re searching for a soulmate to code with, RVA Startup Weekend takes any and all who have a passion for starting stuff. This year’s RVA Startup weekend will be held in the center of Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus, one of the epicenters for good ideas (and bad drunken follies) for the city. We’ll start the weekend off with a pitch night where you have a minute to convince the audience that your idea is going to be the next big thing. Next, we’ll split up into teams based on the ideas that rise to the top, and immediately dive into building.

You’ll be given the next two days to turn your ideas into reality. Don’t worry – you’ll be given plenty of help over the weekend from fabulous mentors across the community that have been deeply involved in the startup and business scene. You’ll also have access to some of the best reference resources available on the interwebz.

At the end of the weekend, exhausted and happy, you’ll get together one final time for a pitch night in which you can win some outstanding prizes to carry your business idea forward even more.

So sign up today for an incredible experience with outstanding people. It’s going to be an amazing and unforgettable weekend!

Want a discount code for RVA Startup Weekend?

Hey designers, developers and women in technology: We’ve got spots for RVA Startup Weekend that are waiting to be filled by you! Every team needs a great designer and a strong developer to help take a great idea and turn it into an awesome start-up. If you were Adobe-Prizeon the fence about coming to this year’s Startup Weekend here’s your incentive to come!

If you are a designer or developer who wants to participate, click here to receive 50% off your ticket.

We support women in technology and want to encourage female tech founders to participate in Startup Weekend so we’re giving away extra discounts for female attendees. If you are a lady looking to participate this year, click here for 75% off your ticket.

What does your ticket to Startup Weekend get you? Three days of networking, learning and team mentoring, Three days of amazing local meals, three days of local craft beer, and lots of fun activities (including yoga). Startup Weekend is an incredible experience. Don’t miss out.

Lessons from RVA Startup Weekend 2013


At last year’s RVA Startup Weekend, a street food spotter app attempting to address the issue of Richmond’s food desserts took home the winning prize. Eddie O’Leary, president of CO+LAB, offers his perspective of being part of the team.

“Whether you win or lose, Startup Weekend is a thrilling and scary experience,” O’Leary said. “I ended up joining (Startup Weekend) on a dare, but enjoyed the challenge of presenting our group’s ideas.”

To bring their idea to life, the team met with local vendors, immersed themselves in local food truck culture, and even invited food truck owners to attend the final presentation. The payoff? Winning top honors and a membership to co-working space 804RVA.

Participants like O’Leary see the direct impact of Startup Weekend’s benefits on their companies and businesses. The lessons O’Leary took back to the office made his team more cohesive when tackling bigger projects.

“People need to be willing to work together,” O’Leary said. “It’s not about who’s in charge, but how well you work as a team. The event was a great opportunity to collaborate hands-on.”

Join a team. Take the plunge. Get your tickets today.

This Year's Color Pallette

largeHave you noticed that the RVA Startup Weekend color palette is a little… purple? Very different from last year’s green! That’s because we chose to use the 2014 Pantone Color of the year: Radiant Orchard.

“Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.08.14 PMand magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.”

How could we say no to a color that “intrigues the eye and sparks imagination”!? This year’s images are all thanks to the team at Campfire & Co. Feel free to share them, and don’t forget to get our Twibbon!

sticker_purple-yellowStartup Weekend TwibbonGet-Twibbon:


7 Reasons You Should Attend the Startup Weekend Pre-Party

You can’t hold a Startup Weekend event without hosting a pre-party! This year your Startup Weekend organizers have partnered with the 804RVA Tech Meetup Group to bring you one heck of a pre-party. Our pre-party will be held at 804RVA on Wednesday, August 27th. Why should you attend? Here are 7 great reasons!

1. Get a leg up on the competition by getting your networking started early. The Startup Weekend Pre-party is a great way to meet people before you spend 56 hours with them.

2. You’ll get a chance to brush up on your pitching skills in our speed pitching session.

3. Hear some insights for making the most of your weekend from our speakers.

4. You’ll get to meet a ton of past attendees and mentors who’ve already been through the process. Come with questions, leave with answers and tips.

5. If you’ve never been to a Startup Weeked, this event is perfect for getting a preview of what it’s like.

6. This is a party designed to show you some Startup Weekend fun! All of this fun will be fueled by snacks and beverages in true Startup Weekend fashion.

7. Win prizes (including free tickets to Startup Weekend, one on one pitch practice from the Lighthouse Labs directors, and coworking memberships)!

Oh yeah, it’s also free to attend.

Are you convinced yet? Click here to RSVP

tweet-buttonStartup Weekend Pre-party at 804RVA

Wednesday, August 27th at 6:00pm

1657 West Broad Street #3a



The RVA Startup Weekend Experience


As the organizing team for RVA Startup Weekend prepares for the big weekend in September, we thought we’d share some insights from a 2013 attendee (who is also currently on the organizing team this year).

If spending 56 hours over the course of a weekend working with complete strangers to build a start-up sounds crazy to you then you are not alone. It is crazy! But it’s a fun experience that will teach you so much more than you can read online. It’s hands on, fast paced and exciting.

Last year, Elliot had no idea what he was getting into. His initial pitch wasn’t picked, and the team he joined didn’t win but he sure did learn a lot. If you’re thinking about registering for Startup Weekend in September, read about Elliot’s experience and take notes on his advice!

Here are Elliot’s posts:

Convinced and ready to register? Get tickets here.

Also, be sure to RSVP for the Startup Weekend Pre-party happening August 27th. RSVP here.