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This week in the UP Community:

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From Pitch to Proposal: Iowa Couple Finds Love at Startup Weekend in Silicon Prairie News.

Shannon Thomas‘ pitch last March on the final night of Startup Weekend Des Moines wasn’t quite enough to win over the judges — her startup, Fundle, earned best pitch but didn’t finish among the top three overall* — but it helped her catch the attention of the one person in the room who turned out to matter most of all.



Need some female-powered inspiration? Look no further than Heather Cochran, co-founder of SliceBiz and Hub-Accra.

“I have always had a passion for startups, and that passion was highly accelerated when I met my current business partner – together we began to build SliceBiz, a tech startup with the vision to support other African startups through mobile- and web-based crowdfunding. The roots of our company come from great initiatives like GEW and Startup Weekend. My co-founder and I pitched the idea at Startup Weekend Accra, and with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, we won!”

Read about Heather’s journey, hard work and life-changing success in Africa.




This is how Stefan Broda, founder of BeforeWeDo, opened his pitch on stage in the final round of the 14th Founder Showcase in Silicon Valley.

“Do I have everybody’s attention?”

BeforeWeDo captivated the hearts and minds of judges by offering accurate, painless and private HIV & STD home tests. Noah Doyle of Javelin Ventures said, “This lean approach should be the new model for modern healthcare companies!”

See Stefan’s pitch to the judges and learn more about BeforeWeDo.


Despite Seattle being named the #1 tech city in America by ‘The Atlantic’ and consistently being ranked as one of the most livable cities, Seattle is frequently overlooked as the place to go for people with big talents and ideas. ‘We Make Seattle’ is an initiative aimed at changing this.

Their kickstarter needs a bit less than $10,000 to finish! Watch the below video and help


More Notable Stories:

From Startup To Scale Up: The Next Wave of Innovation – The Coca Cola Company Blog 

Limpag: Startup Builds Platform to Help Medical Students Pay Tuition – Sun Star

Is Academic Research on Entrepreneurship  Worthwhile? – Huffington Post

The Health Tradeoffs of Entrepreneurship – The New York Times

The Startup Revolution and Why It Matters for Startups – SW

Win 30 Round-Trip Tickets with American Air – SW

PS: We’re looking for a design intern to help us building something amazing this year. Want more info? Check out our jobs page!