Brookings Startup Weekend Crafting Big Ideas

The teams have formed and everyone is working furiously to define their goals, perform marketing analysis, talk with potential customers, and design the user experience for their products and services. Out of almost 30 attendees, we had 8 ideas pitched, 6 ideas with the highest number of votes, and 5 teams formed. The ideas range from a building a fresh, new deli in town to building an augmented reality game for multiple players across the world.

“New Deli”

This team is focused on building a new deli in downtown Brookings. They are actively surveying the Brookings community through Facebook friends, groups, and communities to determine whether their message resonates with our community. So far, they’ve gathering lots of feedback – both positive and negative. They had well over 20 responses from the community within the first 15 minutes of posting their survey! In addition, the team is focused on investigating their potential competition in our community and surrounding communities. They’ve started looking at prices by location, by product, and by venue to determine the sweet spot for setting up shop downtown. Their goals for the judges tomorrow are to have a menu, the results of the survey, a logo, a competitive analysis, and a website or Facebook page.
“Actigation – Active Virtual Investigation”
Team Actigation is building an augmented reality experience to investigate why our universe has collided with another. Players can work together locally or across the globe virtually to look for clues, fight off enemies, and determine why the universes have collided. While the story is focused on the collision of universes, their more down-to-earth goals are to use technology to make players more active and to get outside with their friends and family. They will even be including a count of calories burned through gameplay! Their goals for today are to do some competitive analysis (they’ve been playing some fun augmented reality games), get a logo done, shoot some video for the game trailer, and start some coding. By the end of the weekend, they will have a presentation built with the game trailer, the logo, and an interactive game demo ready to show off.
“Underbeat” (for now)
Looking for a way to fund your favorite indie bands? Want to be the first to learn about a new band and having bragging rights? The Underbeat streaming music platform is for you. This team is looking to build a platform that will allow you to listen to random playlists of bands by genre and then donate a dollar or two for that band to achieve their current goal. That could be to fund their tour, to pay for food while on tour, to get into the studio, or to buy a new instrument. Whatever the case may be, as a user of the platform, you will be helping your favorite indie bands or new indie bands make it further in their careers. The platform will include artist profiles and tracking of locations where bands’ music is being played the most. This will allow the bands to plan their touring schedule around their active audiences. Today, the team wants to validate their ideas with the local Brookings community and with some local indie bands. They’ll be walking around downtown asking people about services that they currently use and their willingness to donate a dollar or two based on hearing a song from a new indie band. They will also work on finalizing the name for the platform and starting work on the UI for the app.
“Room Boom”
The team behind Room Boom is working on building a platform for hotels and corporate travelers that provides the traveler with more control over which types of maid services they use. The platform will be exposed through a mobile app that allows you to interact with your maid staff to let them know whether you need service for your room and, if so, which specific services you need. Maybe you only need new towels? Perhaps you only need more soap? The goal is not only allow the traveler more control, but to also allow the more environmentally conscientious traveler to participate in sustainability programs being offered by the hotel. Today, the team will be working on redefining the features for the app, researching the needs of their target audience, and putting together interactive wireframes of the user experience. These wireframes will then be shared with business travelers to get feedback on the user experience.
“Oil at Home”
Wish you could sit in the comfort of your home or office and have someone come to you to change your oil? Would this be better than trying to find time in your schedule to take your car for an oil change? The team from “Oil at Home” are working on solving that problem by building a service that comes to you to change the oil in your vehicles. You can schedule regular appointments that that happen on a recurring basis. This keeps you from having to worry about not only taking your car for the oil change, but also scheduling the appointments. Today, the team is working on analyzing costs associated with providing the service, developing a basic business model, and talking to some potential customers. They will be walking around downtown talking to people of all ages to determine if this is a useful service for the Brookings area. By the end of the weekend, they hope to have a full market analysis completed with plans on addressing the problem via multiple service offerings.
For the rest of the day, the teams will be focused on defining the implementation of the user interface for their platforms, services, and products. They will also be walking around the local community getting feedback from their target buying audience and redefining their user experience based on feedback from this research. By tomorrow morning, the teams will working on buttoning up their offerings, defining how they will market themselves, and preparing for their final pitch.