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Kids have no limits when it comes to thinking outside the box. A swimming pool made of rubber? An oven in your car? How about a body-pillow that massages you?


Along with help from MOZ and Started in Seattle, I was able to organize a one-of-a-kind Startup Weekend (SW) on Saturday, Dec. 7th., deemed “Startup Saturday.”

Twenty middle-schoolers showed up to the one-day SW event at Giaudrone Middle School, prepared with pitches in hand. Like their elder entrepreneurial counterparts, they articulated their business ideas to a room full of their peers, and then to a panel of judges.


The judges included: Zeek Edmond, Giaudrone’s principal; Michael Gilbert, a Giaudrone teacher; Kathleen Cooper, a business writer with The News Tribune in Tacoma; and Andrew McDonald, executive vice president of Columbia Bank.


My mother, Roselee Sauser, is a teacher at Giaudrone, and played an integral part in organizing the event on behalf of the students. Leading up to Startup Saturday, she hosted several after-school crash courses on startups, prototype brainstorming, and pitching. The event demonstrated the importance of good ideas, but emphasized the idea that success comes from teamwork and commitment – evidenced by a student who was too shy to pitch initially, but eventually won first place at Startup Saturday.


Above all, the event emphasized that sometimes it’s not so much about the idea as it is about the team and the passion — as a young girl who was too shy to pitch initially ended up winning First Place at Startup Weekend Kids.

1st Place | Comfort Pillow; a customizable body-pillow that you can control from your smart phone. Adjust different massage and heat levels, different colors and patterns, and choose music based on your mood.

2nd Place | Help Me Out; an app that “helps you out”! Targeted towards the blind, this app will troubleshoot issues that disabled people face on a daily basis.


  • Ultra Pool
  • Engine Oven
  • Zone In

Check out this video highlighting Startup Saturday Kids!

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