And, the next one: Challenge 5: Substitute the Disposable by the Sustainable!
What’s one way to eliminate waste? Create less dependence on disposable products!
ChicoBag – a Chico-based company – focuses solely on creating quality bags using recycled materials to replace single-use bags. They also offer co-branding services, so that businesses can sell their own branded, re-usable bags.
What is something that you can replace with a sustainable solution?
Join the Sustainable Revolution with ChicoBag by thinking up your own Sustainable Startup Idea! Buy Your Ticket today!
And here’s Challenge 4: Upcycling!
Can you create a business plan around an idea that takes by-products, waste materials and unwanted products and turn them into something new, useful or inspiring?
Need some ideas? Consider UpcyclePOP.
Upcyclepop is a multi-layered connected shopping experience. A play place for all ages to find creative upcycled pieces of art, fashion, furniture and inventions. Shoppers get to meet and watch artists create.
If you need some inspiration, you’ll have to check out the UpcyclePOP market at the Atrium and join one of their upcoming events – and, yes, this is exactly where Startup Weekend is being hosted!
Join the Sustainable Revolution with UpcyclePop by thinking up your own UpCycling Startup Idea! Purchase your ticket today!
Time for Challenge 3: Extend a product’s lifetime!
How can we reduce waste? How about making the products we buy and resources we use last longer.
Need some inspiration? Consider the RePurpose Team from Davis – the winners of the 2019 Big Ideas Content grand prize.
The RePuprose Team’s idea involved harvesting electric vehicle batteries at the end of their lifecycle and reassembling and redeploying these batteries to provide commercial solar developers with new energy storage solutions – and at half the cost of new battery alternatives.
Which begs the question – what is being thrown away that still has valuable uses?
Check out their winning pitch!
Join the Sustainable Revolution and think up your own Sustainable, User-Business Model:
Now for Challenge 2! Change from a consumer business model to a user business model!
Need some ideas on how you can join the Sustainable Revolution?
You’ve seen them everywhere – Jump’s signature red bikes and scooters is a user business model that sells the service of being able to get around town in an easy, sustainable way. It’s basically a community bicycle sharing – less reliance on vehicles without having to own a bike yourself. Due to the teamwork ofCity of Sacramento, Government,Innovate Sac – City of Sacramento Innovation Team, & JUMP, biking and scootering around Sacramento has never been easier.
Alright, alright – it’s not completely local, but no one can deny the impact that Jump is having on Sacramento’s public transportation. Plus, it perfectly exemplifies Challenge 2.
And then there’s Gig Car Share – another contender in the car sharing arena that makes living without a car easier while giving you access to one when you need it. Use their app, select a car that’s parked nearby, reduce the number of cars on the roads, and rent it.
Simple ideas with seriously sustainable implications. Feeling inspired?
Join the Sustainable Revolution and think up your own Sustainable, User-Business Model: https://buff.ly/2Vkt
Here it is: Challenge 1! Build Eco-Conceived Products and Reverse Planned Obsolescence
Need some ideas on how you can join the Sustainable Revolution?
Look at this local company – Origin Materials – that exemplifies our first challenge.
Origin Materials has developed its own technology to produce water bottles from completely sustainable, renewable materials such as cardboard and sawdust. While bottles made from PET, polyethylene terephthalate, are recyclable, their petroleum-based source materials are not renewable. Origin Materials is a prime example of the Sustainable Revolution taking place in Sacramento.
Join the Sustainable Revolution with Origin Materials by thinking up your own Eco-Conceived Products.
“The entire experience — from opening night pitches to the final presentation in front of the judges — gives you the opportunity to participate in the beginning part of the entrepreneurial life cycle. You’ll learn how to think about an idea and communicate, validate, and work together with your team to make it a reality. The mentors and coaches that are there to guide you through this process have been there and done that (in some cases many times over). You’ll also learn about yourself through the process, discovering your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunity as an entrepreneur.
Every time I work with aspiring entrepreneurs — whether they are just starting or already have a stable initiative — I am amazed by the passion they have for their ideas. This weekend will give you the opportunity to put that passion into action and go through the steps to make it a reality.”
Leo Daiuto, Entrepreneur and Technology Leader
“Techstars Startup Weekend is a great opportunity for anyone who has even thought about starting their own business, whether or not they even have a business idea. Over the course of a weekend participants will learn all the things they have to consider with a startup. They’ll get great advice from mentors and if all works well will have a working business prototype by end of the weekend. We’re really happy to have our REV-UP Center for Entrepreneurship, along with our partners, West Chester University and CCEDC bring this event to Penn State Great Valley.”
Dr. Nemes, Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer at Penn State Great Valley
Kansas City Startup Weekend is such a great place to learn about starting a business, network, being creative, and more. Our sponsors have shared the prizes that they will provide. We are excited to have their support and to announce prize offerings for winning teams. More prizes will be announced in the future.
Prize A from J.E. Dunn: Review of a business plan with JE Dunn Capital Partners, investment arm.
Prize B from Black & Veatch: A consult with Black & Veatch’s Growth Accelerator team
Startup Weekend Columbus: Where it Started
Q&A with the Co-Founders of Speedwell & Yarrow
As former management consultants and working moms in dual-career households, Speedwell & Yarrow co-founders Ashley Lambrix and Lindsey Michaelides understand first-hand the challenges that come with managing busy careers and busy households. They brought their idea for Speedwell & Yarrow to Startup Weekend in February 2018 — an idea to help working parents manage life outside of the office.
The Startup Weekend team spoke with Ashley and Lindsey to learn about their experience with the goal of providing insight into what the weekend is like for prospective attendees and how Startup Weekend can lead to something more.
Let’s start from the beginning. Where did this business idea originate?
The idea was an outgrowth of our own personal experiences as two women who have had intense careers in management consulting and continued those careers in-house. Outside of our professional careers, as members of dual-career households and as working moms we had shared experiences that we talked about as friends and colleagues. The two of us eventually came to each other both struggling with day-to-day, asking, “Is anyone else stressed by this?” So, initially, it really began with the uncovering of a problem that needed to be solved, rather than a specific solution.
You had this idea and you kept talking to people about it, how did you decide to take it to Startup Weekend?
We had gotten to a point through research that we felt confident our problem was relatable and meaningful within our peer group. Lindsey had a connection to Techstars who provided the suggestion that Startup Weekend could be a way for networks outside of ours to give feedback on and validation of our understanding of the problem. We had defined our problem with very little idea of what the solution could be – we wanted to leverage a larger collective brainpower.
You came in with a big goal to Startup Weekend, so can you tell us a bit about your experience with the event and what you experienced over the weekend?
Startup Weekend was the first introduction for both of us to the startup community in Columbus. We had so much fun and were energized by working on the problem, the pace of the weekend and the environment. We didn’t come into the weekend thinking that it’d be a good test case for exploring what entrepreneurship was like. We got it though, which helped us feel more informed when deciding to continue working on the idea after the event. The other unexpected benefit was expanding our thinking outside of our own domain expertise. We didn’t know the role technology could play as a part of a solution, but gained access to the knowledge to figure out where to start in building that out.
For those that might be reading this that have never pitched an idea, can you tell us what it’s like at Startup Weekend?
It was super fun. We put some thought and prep to our pitch in advance – we were probably over prepared. So, we pitched our original idea which went well and then got up and pitched two others because it was so fun. There is such great energy in the room; if you even have an inkling of an idea or a problem that isn’t solved today that could be solved better, you should come and pitch.
Okay, you’ve pitched (More than once!) How was your idea selected?
The scrum of voting was intense. You each have your idea and have to collect votes from peers to determine the crowd’s favorites. We worked our tails off to beg for those votes.
Tell me about your SWCBUS team! How did you select team members? What was the team bonding process like? How did you work together?
We were fortunate in that we tried to be really welcoming to anyone that wanted to be a part of the team and were really clear from the outset about what specific skills we were looking for. It just kind of came together and we didn’t end up turning anyone away.
Describe the Startup Weekend environment: what was it like to build the idea on Saturday and Sunday? Find help from other participants, mentors, volunteers helpful?
We really went into the weekend trying to ensure that the team stayed as energized about the idea as we were. Part of how you do that is engagement and facilitating a process where people feel good about their involvement. We spent a lot of Saturday morning doing team brainstorming on the concept and then dividing and conquering on different fronts like research, development, framing of the pitch. We had a good balance of group activities and dividing and conquering individual tasks which allowed people to use their unique skills.
Would you recommend others attend? Why or why not?
Absolutely attend. By participating you have nothing to lose and so much to gain, whether you have an idea that you’ve actively been thinking about or you just want an opportunity to challenge yourself in a whole new way with a group of people you don’t interact with on a daily basis.
Thanks so much for talking with us! It’s pretty amazing to see how far Speedwell & Yarrow has developed just one year since your first Startup Weekend. We are very excited about your next step with the Techstars Accelerator!
This also just goes to show that the people behind the ideas have power. What are your ideas? What will you create? There’s still time to get your Startup Weekend ticket! See you on Friday!
About Speedwell & Yarrow:
Speedwell & Yarrow helps busy professionals manage life outside of the office. Our service offers employers a new way to retain talent by lightening the mental load for busy professionals, giving them back time and mindshare to focus on what matters most.
As former management consultants and working moms in dual-career households, Speedwell & Yarrow co-founders Ashley Lambrix and Lindsey Michaelides understand first-hand the challenges that come with managing busy careers and busy households. They created Speedwell & Yarrow to support professionals and help them live fuller, more engaged lives – at work and at home.
About the Co-Founders:
Prior to founding Speedwell & Yarrow, Lindsey was a business strategist and management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Lindsey has more than 10 years of experience in business strategy with experience across the healthcare, retail, and media industries. Both as a consultant and corporate strategy leader, Lindsey focused largely on business model transformation and large scale M&A and joint venture creation.
Lindsey has a personal passion for supporting women and helping to create more female leaders. She has an MBA from Duke University and an undergraduate degree from DePauw University. Lindsey is married with two young boys and a crazy dog named Gary.
Ashley is a former management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group and Senior Strategy Advisor for OhioHealth. She has over 10 years of strategy experience and content expertise in growth and partnership opportunities in B2B and B2C spaces. She has experience in recruitment and retention innovation through program and brand development.
Ashley received an MBA from Chicago Booth, an MA in Middle East Studies from the University of Chicago, and a BBA from the Ross School at the University of Michigan. She lives with her husband and their two children.
The Startup Weekend team spoke with Rosemary Garry, a three time Startup Weekend participant, to learn about her experiences with the goal of providing insight into what the weekend is like for perspective attendees.
So if you were looking for a sign if you should get your ticket to Startup Weekend, this is it!
This is your sign to get your ticket to Startup Weekend Columbus – if you’re a newbie or a returning participant.
But really, check out our conversation with Rosemary to see all the benefits you get when participating at Startup Weekend.
Let’s start from the top: Describe the weekend…
Startup Weekends are crazy, really fun events for developing solutions to problems you see in the world. You have something at the end of the weekend that may not be perfect, but it works, and you’re proud of that.
Give me a run-down of your Startup Weekend experiences…
I first participated as a student at Ohio State in 2013. At the time, it was mostly college students and there was this feeling in the air—the energy was really high. We worked on developing an app that pooled together shared expenses and tasks for households in a college environment. We called it Chore Tab.
That first Startup Weekend sticks out because it was just a hilarious, fun collection of memories of my teammates becoming really close friends, one of which ended up becoming a business partner of mine.
So it’s safe to say that you had a remarkable first event. What were your other two Startup Weekend teams?
The second Startup Weekend idea I worked on was an idea called Boozy: an alcoholic milkshake. We actually ended up being able to talk to the one person in the U.S. that has the patent for a bottle design that could freeze without the alcohol and milk separating inside the bottle. We had a licensing proposal for our product when it was all said and done and were even able to make an—albeit small— profit during Weekend 1 from selling samples.
The last idea was a product called Fender-Defender. It was a front and rear camera sensor that could tell you when you were in close proximity to other cars. To test out the idea, we made a sensor using a raspberry pie and asked people to parallel-park.
You worked on three different teams each time, what is it like participating as a member of a team?
It’s legitimately fun to build things with people you’ve joined up with. Part of the team building process is to ensure that you’re on a team that you vibe with, which is critical for having fun and building a MVP (Minimal Viable Product) by the end of a weekend.
Something that you mentioned to us is that not only did you participate with three different ideas, you also won or placed with these teams! Tell us, what’s the secret sauce to winning?
Follow the instructions! It’s surprising how many people don’t read the instructions for presenting to the judges. I’ve seen amazing concepts that would have won if they just included more details around their business plan and put financials in their presentation.
Also, actually make something. The point of Startup Weekend is to make something out of the weekend, to show that you tried. Part of the fun— a lot of teams forget— is creating a product that functions, even if just barely. It is probably going to be terrible and that’s okay!, The point is that you tried something and got your hands dirty.
What kept you coming back to Startup Weekend?
The thing that kept me coming back… it’s so rare to find a room where you have a really, really high chance of working with a team that you’ll get along with and that you can build something with over a weekend. You’ll be having fun and laughing, doing yoga, hanging out, eating chipotle… it’s that environment that kept me coming back.
Would you say that you grew as a participant?
Definitely. You can’t negate that it’s a skill building tool; public speaking and teamwork are the greatest drivers of success in an office setting and Startup Weekend is a training ground for learning how to succeed in that environment.
What are some of your best memories?
During my second weekend when I worked on Boozy, we had a really, really late night trying to make the boozy ice cream/milkshake. We ended up finding a soft serve machine that we were able to borrow and started making ice cream. Making ice cream is really technical and frustrating, but because you’re working with friends it was fun. We had a very, very, very big fail where all of the alcohol and ice cream just exploded from the machine and went all over one of our teammates. In the middle of the event space, she’s just standing there covered in milk and bourbon and it was hilarious.
All of my best memories though are ones that traditionally might have been fails, but because the weekend is all about learning, having fun, and doing something with fellow entrepreneurs, I don’t remember them that way.
If you were talking to someone who was on the fence about attending, what would you say?
There really isn’t an environment that is as forgiving as Startup Weekend. There aren’t expectations, there isn’t a bar you have to hit, or an idea that you have to create something that’s perfect.
There are no limitations, no expectations, and you have the ability to grow in whatever you’re working on. For me, I attended Startup Weekends and really wanted to work on public speaking. There is no other (traditional office) environment where you can be the youngest member of a team and pitch an idea to a board of directors. You just usually don’t get to practice like that unless you’re doing it for real.
Amazing. Thanks for sitting down and talking with us Rosemary! You summed up some of the best takeaways from the weekend: you get to meet incredibly smart people, be in an incredible environment, and challenge yourself to create something you didn’t even think possible.
It’s time. Get your Startup Weekend ticket now.
A little bit about Rosemary Garry – Three time Startup Weekend participant and winner!
As a startup enthusiast, Rosemary served as President of Ohio State University’s student entrepreneurship organization. Founding several of her own concepts throughout college (often through events like Startup Weekend), she discovered her biggest passion in her business consulting startup, specializing in new growth opportunities, consumer insights, and marketing strategies. In addition to her side hustle as a small-scale landlord, she now works as a Strategist an marketing agency specializing in data science optimization.