Editions Month 2016: Winners, Judges and More!

During May 2016, we held the second annual Editions Month. This initiative was created to highlight new editions of Startup Weekend, focusing on industries, themes and audiences.

Editions of Startup Weekend bring together entrepreneurs and industry experts for all kinds of innovation and community building – they are an invaluable tool for Community Leaders to foster the diversity required for thriving entrepreneurial communities. With ideas from all around the world, this year’s Editions Month spotlighted the unique talents and resources of communities in 49 Cities and in 49 countries around the world.

Throughout the initiative, we ran a contest with our organizers, where we encouraged them to tell us the story of their events to win funds for building their local startup community. The entries were judged by a committee of Facilitators and other Organizers, who decided on the winners based on the following criteria:

  • Impact
  • Creativity
  • Inspiration & Passion

Judges praised on all entries with comments such as, “I really liked the approach of telling the stories and showing examples of experiences during the event, which highlights the most of any event and how it impacts people, and the most important part, the community.”

We are proud to announce this year’s winners!

Startup Weekend Education Nairobi – The One and Only in East Africa

Nairobi, East Africa

SWEDU2016_genderequality_2-1-565x378


Discovering Yuma — America’s Winter Salad Bowl

Arizona, USA

Yuma, Az

Making a dent in the universe – Environment First

Beirut, Lebanon

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Moda, Tecnologia e Startups (Fashion, Technology and Startups)

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Brazil

Thank you! To our community leaders, organizers, mentors and local judges, who for each event take the time and dedication in order to improve their communities and who work as volunteers for the cause of bringing entrepreneurship to every corner of the world. Also, thanks to our sponsors for supporting our events around the world and making them possible.

We’d also like to give a special thank you to the amazing judges of Editions Month 2016!

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 18.48.53 Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 18.49.00








Startup Weekend Winners: A Q&A with Orate Co-Founder Sara Capra

Sara Capra is the co-founder of Orate – a DC-based startup that makes it simple for event organizers to find speakers within their budgets.

Orate’s story began last year at Startup Weekend DC – an event where participants launch startups in less than 54 hours. Orate took first place in that weekend’s competition – even though Capra had taken a chance to be there in the first place.

Capra entered Startup Weekend with some concerns that her idea wouldn’t resonate with event participants. She was quickly proved wrong — she and Orate co-founder Veronica Eklund ended up building the largest team, which developed a mock-up of the future platform.

Sara shared Orate’s journey with Startup Weekend DC’s Elvina Kamalova. Answers have been edited for length and clarity:

Tell us about Orate.

Orate is an online platform that simplifies the process of finding, vetting, and booking public speakers simple. Our mission is twofold: 1) Make it easy to find quality speakers on any budget; and 2) Assist speakers in more effectively marketing themselves and getting them in front of the right audiences.

What was the role of Startup Weekend in starting and developing your project?

The Orate journey began at Startup Weekend DC in 2014. It was the launch pad for what Orate has become, and sparked the initial evolution of the concept. We began with an idea to alleviate the stress of filling last minute speaking cancellations. That resonated with many people, but through the feedback process over the weekend, we decided the business model around that was not one that would be sustainable.

Through our mentors, sending out surveys, and in-depth conversations with the team, we decided the business model needed to be based on more than that. Startup Weekend helped to give us the ecosystem and structure we needed to take our first big step in understanding how to test and validate our ideas.

How did you build your team?

Building the team during startup weekend was mostly organic. Initially, I was concerned there wouldn’t be enough interest. One of the great things about Startup Weekend is that you only need two people to work on an idea. My co-founder attended and joined my team, so we would be able to explore the idea no matter what. It turns out there was quite a bit of interest, and we ended up with the largest team in the competition. I thought our most important team member would be a developer, ideally one who knew front and back end since this was meant to be a web and mobile app.

One of the most important lessons I learned that weekend was how much you can do with a little bit of resourcefulness and creativity, when there’s a lack of technical expertise. We had a wonderful graphic designer.

As opposed to trying to build out any applications over the weekend, she instead mocked up what we wanted the website to look like. That way, we could walk the audience through the customer journey, without getting too bogged down with feature aspirations and technical details. After all, it was just the beginning! We knew if so much could change in one weekend, there were many more changes to come.

What are the biggest challenges in your startup journey?

The biggest challenges have shifted over time. Initially it was staying focused. There were so many things to be excited about – potential partnerships, big ideas, ideas within those ideas, the way you envision the company 1, 2, 3 years down the road.

The challenge is taking that long-term vision and working backward to map out your trajectory starting with today, and breaking down steps for initial short-term growth. We’re over a year in and have now seen a lot of our early ideas come to fruition. We are still constantly brainstorming, but we’re much more skilled at capturing ideas for a future state, and continuing to stay focused on the short-term execution to make them happen.

The other challenge we face is getting into the heads of our customers. Collectively, we’ve conducted hundreds of formal and informal interviews, feedback surveys, and tests. While there are times that what users say and what they do are parallel, we have found that monitoring their actions is most effective.

Did you have technical skills coming to SW?

Aside from some basic HTML (we all had MySpace, right?), I didn’t have any experience with coding going into Startup Weekend DC. However, attending the event and launching the company inspired me to spend more time learning about software development, and gave me the ability to discuss the basics of other languages when I need to.

Tell us how you realized your goal for building your venture.

I’m still getting there! We are in the middle of fundraising to get to our next phase. We have achieved a lot so far. We’ve scaled our speaker database extensively, had only positive feedback from clients, and launched a new website and subscription service. While I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, we don’t rest on our laurels. We have big plans moving forward and the wonderful team me and my co-founder have built is at the core of making those happen.

How did you raise your first funding?

We socialized Orate early and often. We pitched a lot, organized the data and financial information we had to help us have informed conversations, and put all of our cards and chips on the table. Our initial round was mostly from angel investors, and some funding came from the accelerator program Orate participated in called The Startup Factory.

What would be your advice to starting entrepreneurs?

Sharpen your communication skills. Entrepreneurs must always be networking and selling, even if their title or job responsibilities don’t formally include it. Entrepreneurs have to effectively communicate with and motivate their team to execute on the vision. They need to be good role models, and inspire the team to be brand advocates. Establishing and growing relationships are crucial to starting a company. Being a genuine, impactful, and effective communicator, is instrumental in that process.

It’s also important to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Take the “no’s,” the risk, the ambiguity, self-doubt, and constant change, and learn from it all. After you learn from it, embrace it. Two of the best things about life are that almost nothing is final and the possibilities are endless. Reflect on the lessons you learned, what led you there, and use them to make better, more informed decisions moving forward. This is one of the reasons it’s crucial to have good advisors and mentors. You need a brain trust that can help you step back, put things in perspective, and work through challenges.

To start your own startup story, join us for Startup Weekend on September 25-27. Register here and buy your tickets today!








Here is what happened at the Startup Weekend in BLK71 in San Francisco

They came, they pitched, they presented, they won.

The winning teams of Startup Weekend Asia-America!
The winning teams of Startup Weekend Asia-America!

They are the 4 winning teams who just slogged through 54 hours non-stop over the weekend of July 17th to 19th at the recently concluded Startup Weekend Asia-America held at Block71 San Francisco. In line with the theme, the venue was chosen because of its history – a collaborative initiative between three iconic Singapore organizations – NUS Enterprise, Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) and Singtel Innov8, as well as its mission to connect entrepreneurs from both Asia and America.

The crowd favorite is OFF/Packers, a travel platform that promises to connect local guides with travelers who are travelling to an unfamiliar place. Hoping to capitalize on the on-demand trend, OFF/Packers specializes in on-demand guides for nature and outdoor experiences.

Coming in 3rd place, Givfolio aims to solve the huge paperwork and bureaucratic burden surrounding dollar-for-dollar matching corporate donation programs through an app that manages the employee’s donations and automates the reporting on the corporate side. The brainchild of an ex-Disney employee who experienced the problem herself, Givfolio can potentially help employees and charities take full advantage of the donation budget set aside by companies.

First runner-up is Seeker, a platform built on top of LinkedIn that solves the biggest headache of recruiters – how do we know when a person is open and looking for new opportunities in their career? Through monitoring changes in a person’s LinkedIn profile, Seeker hopes to identify active and passive job seekers and provide this information to HR recruiters.

Top prize winner of Startup Weekend Asia-America - Food to Fame
Top prize winner of Startup Weekend Asia-America – Food to Fame

And finally, the winner of Startup Weekend Asia-America goes to Food to Fame. The team beat out 11 other teams to clinch the top prize of a Startup Exhibition Alley booth at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 worth $1995, among other prizes worth a total of $6000. Food to Fame aims to help food brands market their products through Instagram influencers, helping influencers monetize their social value at the same time.

Team leader, Sylvia Look, was pleasantly surprised to know that her team won. The National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate currently on NUS’s Overseas College Silicon Valley (NCSV) program competed against teams with experienced working professionals, some of whom work in the Bay Area’s top tech companies.

It was a close call, as the point difference between the 3 winning teams were just fractions of a point from each other. The event certainly saw a lot of well-thought-out ideas and the coaches who attended commented on the high quality of work they saw this weekend.

While not everybody won prizes, everyone certainly got something out of the event. Some made new friends from a new country. OFF/Packers truly lived up to the spirit of the event as a multi-national team made up of members from Brazil, Switzerland, Austria and America. Connections with Venture Capital (VC) firms were made and the VCs got to know about some interesting startups. Last, but not least, everyone had fun!


TechCrunch is a platinum sponsor of Startup Weekend Asia-America. For more information on tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015, click here.








Get inspired by winners of Startup Weekend of this year!

Startup Weekend Eindhoven is coming up in three weeks. One of the questions you might have is: Does Startup Weekend produce any real interesting… well… Startups? One could say simply yes, and point to our own Eindhoven success story of Proxible.

Old news? So let’s see what new startups have been created at other startup weekends around the world in 2015. And wow, there are some amazingly simple but brilliant ideas. We did some research and found some really cool ones! Read some of them below, with a question to get your own stream of ideas flowing.

 

Startup Weekend Stamford winner is SlipShare.

8 Great Reasons to Attend SWStamford

One that could have been Dutch: They created an app to help yacht owners find dock space while cruising the coast. So, while still sailing they can reserve a spot in the marina. This app exists for car parks but with a small change they made one for boats, but hey, why didn’t you think of that?

What great existing idea can you introduce into another market?

From Startup Weekend Charlotte comes Pantrea.

SW_Charlottesville

Pantrea aims to provide meal plans and grocery lists tailored by dieticians for individuals’ health needs. Health is a growing potential market. Not only do more and more people suffer from allergies to milk, many people prefer to eat vegetarian, but also the amount of people that are fasting is increasing. Obesity is on the rise; the amount of diabetes are patients growing. These are big trends which have been there for a couple of years but apparently no “foody” has really acted!

Which health trends can you think of and what technology can connect with that?

At Startup Weekend Grand Rapids Hex was born.

 

Hex is a weather resistant Bluetooth controller. It has large rubber controls tied in with a rugged but simple design that gives you very discernible feedback from the buttons. It allows you to easily access all your music or phone controls without removing your device from your pocket. Solving the problem of using fragile, high tech devices in sticky, phone destroying, situations!

Which great technical solution could use some extra usability?

 

Startup Weekend Eindhoven
We could really use that Hex in the Dutch weather (not recently with all that sun). But there’s more reasons why we like it: it’s technically simple and well designed. Hey, isn’t that what Eindhoven is all about? Next edition especially?








StartupWeekend Space: Bremen announces the winners

StartupWeekend Space

Bremen, 15 April 2015

StartupWeekend Space: Bremen, an event that was designed to create lean startup concepts through interdisciplinary cooperation, officially announced three winning teams on Sunday.

The first-of-its-kind event in Europe took place at the “Bremer Innovations- und Technologiezentrum BITZ” between the 10th and 12th of April. The first, second and third ranked teams were awarded with prizes that shall help them advancing their presented business concepts.

First place was won by the team USB-I, which has designed a universal adapter to connect a vast number of payloads with every type of satellite bus systems. This shall enable significant cost savings in the production of satellites and space systems. From the judges’ point of view, the team presented a strong product and a scalable business model.

USB-i has won coaching from Claudia Kessler, CEO of HE-Space. Over the course of 12 months, she will support the team in business proposal writing and business formation. Following these 12 months, Chad Anderson, Managing Director of Space Angels Network, will take over. He will prepare the group to present their business plan to promising investors.

The second place prize was won by the team satsearch. The team developed a search engine for space electronic components to support space engineers with the search for suitable components during the hardware development. As the second-placed team, they have won a one-day presenting and on-camera training course with Hill Media in Bremen. Additionally, the team will have the opportunity to pitch their idea in Berlin at “Startupbootcamp Smart Transportation & Energy Accelerator Speed Summit” and to join the accelerator program for a week.

Third place went to the team Art For Space. Art For Space shall promote awareness of the environment and space while supporting local artists through a new cultural partnership. Artworks shall be flown in space, and be sold at art auctions after their return. The European Space Agency (ESA), together with the International Astronautical Federation, has donated the prize to be received by the third place team. Two members of the team will participate at the Global Space Innovation Conference (GLIC 2015) in Munich. There, they will be able to connect with other participants and employees of the ESA Business Incubation Center (BIC).

StartupWeekend Space: Bremen was a complete success, for the participants as well as for the organizers and sponsors. The demand for tickets was very high, with all 80 tickets selling out well in advance. The registered participants came from 13 countries in Europe and represented 18 nationalities, among them Germany, Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia and the United States. For many participants, this cultural diversity contributed to the success of the event and in the development of innovative and groundbreaking business ideas. 27 business ideas were pitched in total, from which 11 business concepts were generated and presented to the judging panel. All of the teams enjoyed the creative atmosphere in BITZ and some even worked through the night to refine business models, produce websites and print 3D prototypes within those three days.

Among the notable guests who participated personally or via video connection were Bremen’s State Council of the Senator for Economic Affairs, Employment and Ports, Dr. Heiner Heseler; the head of the Technology Transfer Programme from ESA, Frank Maximilian Salzgeber; the founder and CEO of Mansat, Christopher Stott, the co-founder and technical lead of Planet Labs, Chris Boshuizen; and the founder and CEO of Zero2Infinity José Mariano López-Urdiales.

Click here for more information about the event. You can also gain an overview of the social media impressions of the event with the hashtags #BeSpacial and #SWSpace. Additionally, there is a complete recording of the event’s highlights as a livestream.

StartupWeekend Space: Bremen was supported by the City of Bremen, Airbus Defence and Space, HE-Space, Design & Data, Space Angels Network, ESA, Startupbootcamp Smart Transportation & Energy, Hill Media, Center of Applied Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) and by Up Global, a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Seattle, which connects a global community of enterprises across all topics and is considered as pivot of the space industry.

Direct quotes:

Ran Qedar from team USB-i (Winner of the first prize) rejoices over the prize and describes the StartupWeekend Space as a fantastic experience:

“StartupWeekend Space in Bremen presented me and my team a great opportunity to combine two of our passions: Space and Innovation. We had an exciting time learning from industry experts and connecting to other space enthusiast.  I would personally recommend anyone who has a space dream to join the next event and make it a reality. We thank the organizing team for their work and the judges for selecting us to be the most promising startup of this event. We look forward to be coached on developing a business model by Ms. Kessler of HE Space and to be given a chance to present to investors with Chad Anderson of the Space Angels Network.”

Dr. Kai Krieger from team Art For Space (Winner of the third prize) is delighted that he, as a participant without a background in space, was able to thrill participants and jury with his idea:

“I would have never thought that I, as an artist, could move something at the StartupWeekend Space, not to mention winning a prize. I pitched my idea on Friday and was completely surprised to be chosen. Following that, together with my team, we gave our best to develop a viable business concept from the original idea. It is unbelievable how much you can achieve during a single weekend. It was a fantastic experience which I can warmly recommend to anyone. We will continue working on Art for Space.”

Manfred Jaumann from Airbus  Defence and Space (Judge and sponsor of the event) was positively surprised by the quality of the presented business models:

“All presented business models without exception had a high quality. If you consider that the participants just had two days to organize themselves as a team, this is a remarkable performance. We as jury did not have an easy task selecting the three best business concepts.

Overall it was an awesome event and a great initiative. My compliments to the organizers. I hope there will be a sequel.“

Contact:
Sebastian Marcu
Co-Lead: Bremen
Tel: +49 176 1756 6909
Mail: sebastian.marcu@startupweekendspace.co

Hans-Georg Tschupke
WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH
Tel: +49 421 96 00 10
Mail: h.g.tschupke@wfb-bremen.de








Female adventure travel startup team wins Summit County Startup

History repeated itself this weekend in Summit County. The winning team of Startup Weekend – Adrenaline Escapes – came from behind to win the business event. The same scenario happened last year for Gr8tful Giveback, the winning team of the first Startup Weekend.

DSC_0352
Shawna Henderson from Adrenaline Escapes puts the finishing touches on her pitch for the Sunday night judging event at Summit County Startup Weekend

Shawna Henderson, the visionary behind Adrenaline Escapes, pitched her idea on Friday. She wasn’t voted into the top six ideas in the first round. But, like a true entrepreneur, she heard “no,” persisted and morphed her idea with the help of her fiery teammate and now CFO Kimberly Swank. The two of them spent all weekend working alongside four other teams to emerge as the winner of the final pitch on Sunday night.

Startup Weekend is an event designed to help entrepreneurs, visionaries and dreamers bring their ideas to life and launch a business in a weekend. Summit County Startup Weekend was hosted from April 10 to 12 at two new coworking spaces in Frisco – ELEVATE coSPACE and evo3 Workspace – and attracted about 50 people. The weekend helped to launch five new business ideas.

DSC_0480
Photo by Amy Kemp

All five of the teams are planning to continue their work, said Larry Sullivan, lead organizer. According to Sullivan, all five of the teams had viable ideas and businesses. Needless to say, it was a difficult decision for the judges.

The winners – selected for customer validation, business model and execution/design – of Summit County Startup Weekend were:

1st place: Adrenaline Escapes with Shawna Henderson and Kimberly Swank

An app to connect adventure travel visitors to local guides to help them push their limits, find the local stashes and elevate their trip

2nd place: Malaria Detection Systems led by Scott Byker

A software system that connects with a digital microscope to detect malaria in blood samples much faster and much more accurately to help prevent malaria deaths

DSC_0461
Merrily Talbott from Team Savvy pitches to the judges on Sunday night during Summit County Startup Weekend.

3rd place: Savvy led by Merrily Talbott

A counseling program to help college-age students (and other young adults) get real-time advice and support from trained counselors through text messages and phone calls

The other teams who will continue pursuing their businesses are:

Eazy Shade led by Bobby Gibbs

A retractable sun shade that easily mounts to your windshield and can be printed/branded with company or sports team logos

Skillit led by Michael Lazarus

An app geared toward young men who don’t know how to cook. The app offers step-by-step professionally produced videos of specific recipes, a recipe finder and how to videos

Congrats to all of the teams. For more information about Startup Weekend, follow us on social: https://www.facebook.com/SummitCountyStartupWeekend or @summitcountysw.

 








Transcending Boundaries. The 2014 Global Startup Battle

The 2014 Global Startup Battle shattered records for all aspects of participation. We saw more than 25,000 participants creating amazing things in 250 communities around the world. Not only did #GSB2014 transcend all previous benchmarks, it also transcended a host of other boundaries.

The round-up:

Age
Generation Startup. – GSB participant ages ranged from a 77 year old woman in Spain to a group of 13-year-olds from Denver.

Global Startup battle, Startup Weekend, UP Global


Race
What unites us is far greater than what divides us. – A St. Louis-area entrepreneur and winner of Startup Weekend responded to the recent tragic events in Ferguson — and developed an app to help organizations diversify.

Global Startup Battle, GSB, UP Global, Startup Weekend


Politics
Doing what politics has been unable to do. – The Startup Weekend Armenia-Turkey not only spread entrepreneurial education in the region, it also bridged the diplomacy gap between the two countries.


Expectations
Standing room only. – 900 people showed up on Friday night for the Shenzen, China Mega Startup Weekend. Even though there were only 150 participant tickets, the community was undaunted. 1,000 returned to watch the Sunday night presentations.

Global Startup Battle, Startup Weekend, UP Global, GSB


Resources
Rethinking the supply chain. – Startup Weekend team, EntoBento, replaces traditional meat found in dog treats with mealworm flour. Mealworms contain more protein than chicken or fish and twice the calcium of most meats, and only require 10 gallons of water per pound of production versus 1,700 gallons of water for typical dog food.

UP Global, Startup Weekend, Global Startup Battle


Reach
A first ever Startup Weekend for Bali. – “Will they be the next big thing? Time will only tell. We certainly had no shortage of enthusiasm and energy this weekend. It was really magical. I’d say, expect big things to come out of Bali in the coming years!” – Peter Wall

UP Global, Startup Weekend, Global Startup Battle

 

While some of these transcendent efforts were intentional, the rest occurred as byproducts of GSB activity. Together, they underscore the true power of community to push limits and reimagine boundaries.

Congratulations again to all the organizers, facilitators, partners, mentors, and teams. We can’t wait to see what great community achievements will unfold in 2015!

#GSB2014








Presenting the 2014 Global Startup Battle Champions

In 83 countries across every time zone, 25,000 of you came together to be a part of Global Startup Battle 2014. You created, innovated, built new companies, forged new bonds, and worked around the clock! Thank you to every team who participated in GSB 2014. Each and every one of you helped in making GSB the biggest startup battle in the world.

While there were many impressive submissions, we are now ready to congratulate and announce the final Global Startup Battle Champions and Themed Track winners. These teams made it through a grueling process of Startup Weekend voting, judging, and pulled through to be your champions!

A round of applause for…

The Champions Track

Winner: ConceptKicker from Vancouver, B.C., Canada

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ConceptKicker is the world’s only one-stop-shop platform that makes it easy for artists to get their 2D design concepts to market. Artists crowdfund their designs and ConceptKicker will take care of converting the 2D concept art to 3D model, 3D printing the design, and shipping it to the hands of their fans.

1st Runner UP: Agendafy

2nd Runner UP: Attendalytics

 

The Do The KIND Thing Track

Winner: DoNation from Kansas City, USA

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DoNation makes it easy to donate to your favorite cause, while still maintaining the same level of personal fulfillment. All the while, giving you, the donor, more control.

Here’s how it works: Once you setup a DoNation account, we’ll use a secure banking service to check your account for new transactions. When a new transaction is detected, it rounds up your spare change to the next dollar and donates that change to the cause of your choice. It’s that simple.

1st Runner UP: LUX Technology

2nd Runner UP: Kelyati, nsmiles.club

 

Startup Women Track

Winner: Magicbook from Detroit, USA

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MagicBook is a mobile app that makes paper books come alive. Created by four people who value social capital, we want to help kids develop a lifelong love for books and reading. Using augmented reality, MagicBook allows kids to use the technology they love to engage with books right off their shelf, in a whole new way. Vote for us and help us help the next generation of kids to grow up loving the magic that is in books. Learn more at getmagicbook.co.

1st Runner UP: Yum

2nd Runner UP: Local Fresh Market

 

Innovators Track

Winner: Vello from Toronto, ON, Canada

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VELLO brings comfort and elegance to your home. VELLO is a simple and smart connected-device for your living spaces. Through a host of smart sensors, VELLO learns where and when you want air to flow throughout your living space. VELLO has been carefully designed as a simple, easy-to-use device that fits seamlessly into your existing vent system. You also control VELLO with your smartphone using the VELLO app.

1st Runner UP: Agendafy

2nd Runner UP: Street Explorer

 

Education, Empowered Track

Winner: Lighthouse from Seattle, USA

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Lighthouse is a smart solution for special needs students and teachers. It provides confidence students are where they are supposed to be and alerts you when they’re not.

A small device is attached to the student, uniquely identifying them to the teacher. The teacher uses the Lighthouse app to keep track of their students while they are on school grounds, during school hours. If a student wanders off or is with the wrong person, an alert is sent to their teacher. When a teacher requires assistance to bring a student back to class, they can notify all faculty with information about the student.

1st Runner UP: MagicBook

2nd Runner UP: FinanceU

 








Fensens wins Kirkland Startup Weekend 2014 with every car owner's dream

Image of Fensens Team from Kirkland Startup Weekend Makers Edition 2014

The organizers of Startup Weekend Kirkland have a pretty clear idea what made our event awesome, and why Fensens won first place, but we thought it would be far more interesting to hear from the winners themselves.

Fensens realized that nearly every driver has a problem, with crowded parking lots, blind driveways, and the tragic stories you hear about parents driving into their children playing on their driveways. They wanted to prevent these accidents, and after conducting research, they pulled up some staggering figures-that 80% of cars don’t have sensors, and there are 15,000 injuries per year due to slow-speed accidents, according to the NHTSA.

Their solution was a first-in-class, smart, wireless solution for vehicles on a universal standard mount, which would provide visual, audible and tactile feedback.

During the 54 hours of Kirkland Startup Weekend Maker’s Edition, members of the Fensens team surveyed 120 people, including 100 at Safeway, Costco, and Bellevue Square as well as other Startup Weekend participants. They also reached out to people on Facebook, LinkedIn and through Survey Monkey. Of those surveyed, 82% don’t have sensors in their vehicles, and the majority were willing to pay $100.00 for the Fensens device. Some were wiling to pay as much as $500 to $1,000!

At the end of the day, everyone thought the idea was not just awesome, but could also save lives, reduce insurance costs, and give car users peace of mind.  Thus, the tagline, “A World Without Fender Benders.”

Congratulations to the Winning Team

Henry Wong (Founder)  |  Ben Foster (Engineering) | Mohammad Juma (Engineering) | Miki Nguyen (Management) | Charlie Yan (Mobile Development) | Phongsakorn Liewsrisuk (Engineering) | Jian Ma (Engineering) | Alex Ching (Mechanical/PCB) | Shanika Weerasundara (Marketing) | Ngoc-Khuyen (Quinn) Tran (Marketing) | Jennifer Commodore (Marketing) | Misaki Yamashita (Marketing).


Henry Wong, Founder, Fensens

How Does it Feel to Win a Lottery?

When asked to describe the experience, Henry Wong, Fensens founder, had this to say:

No, I did not get rich but I am on cloud 9 – and that is priceless!

On November 14-16, 2014, I attended Startup Weekend Maker’s Edition at Kirkland, WA. I’ve had an itch to take some ideas in my brain and make it into a product/business. My reason for participating was to taste the start-up from ground zero, see what does it feel like, and for fun. I had no expectation going into it, and frankly I was not aware it was a competition till the second day. I thought it was just a group of random people working together to build something from scratch – and that experience itself is why I signed up.

About 140 attendees, 45 ideas pitched, and 15 teams formed. The top 3 winners were judged by a group of very successful panels in the technology industry.

No one on my team, including myself, expected we would win, let alone come in first place because there were also other great ideas, and talented people and teams.

To see the expression and smile on my team’s face when they announced “Fensens” as the 1st place winner was a truly unbelievable feeling and experience. I am still speechless, stoked, excited, happy, and smiling (big) this week. I am sure everyone on my team is having the same feeling too.

This past weekend has to be one of the best memorable experience in my life! I want to thank my team in believing in my idea and the product. We focused, executed, and nailed the pitch and demo. I hope to be on cloud 9 as long as I can from this weekend.


We asked Henry why he thought his team came first

My 17+ years of diverse experience in technology and consumer electronics industry really helped.  I had a well thought-out idea and product in mind and an understanding of the market for this product. Finally, I was lucky enough to have a really good team to execute the idea and the product.

We think he’s right.  Henry tells us that being the founder of the product and the team has been a bit stressful because you have to think about EVERYTHING.  But that hasn’t stopped him. His team is thinking about doing a KickStarter campaign early in 2015.  We think they have a winning product.

If you would like to contact Henry you can!  on Twitter at @tech_henrywong or on LinkedIn.


We also want to congratulate our other winners

In second place the Connected Backpack team designed a “modern backpack for tech gear” that brings the standard backpack into the 21st century.

The Team

Jan Wanot | Dan Echo | Nicky Li | Surya Jakhotia | Nick Franklin | Chris Williams | Andrew Rangel | Andrew Vincent | Shea O’Leary | Philip Roe


Our third place winner, EsperLINQ! developed a wearable device that provides on-the-go support for people in recovery. This team has promised to move forward with their product so that more people can successfully manage their program.

The Team

Daniela Tudor | Jodi Lasky | Ian Lenny | Scott Doerrie | Jacob Kukuk | Jen Mallory | Martin Ishihara | Jimmy Taylor | Andrea Repka | Dan Tebbs | Jason Jastillana









VRroom wint Startup Weekend Eindhoven 2014

Startup Weekend EindhovenBekijk elke aanschaf vooraf in 3D in je eigen huiskamer

VRroom heeft de vijfde editie van Startup Weekend Eindhoven gewonnen met een startup die je producten laat bekijken in 3D in je eigen omgeving. Het team onder leiding van Bart Burg heeft hiermee de jury weten te overtuigen in een vlammende pitch. Zij waren één van de tien teams die in het weekend van 28 tot en met 30 november 2014 een idee tot startup hebben omgezet.

Startup Weekend Eindhoven - VRroom - Winnaars 2014
VRroom – Winnaars Startup Weekend Eindhoven 2014

De jury met daarin Nick Kalliagkopoulos (RIF), Fancy van der Vorst (Gemeente Eindhoven), Brian Park (Philips), Eugene Kaerts (NextOEM), Patrick Gabriëls (Partner EY), Bert-Jan Woertman (High Tech Campus) was lovend: ‘Ze hebben het goede moment te pakken: de benodigde VR technologie is nu beschikbaar voor het grote publiek, compleet met bruikbare apps. Hoe VRroom het voor elkaar heeft gekregen om in 54 uur een werkende demo live te krijgen, nagedacht heeft over hoe ze de markt op gaan en zelfs de tijd hebben gevonden om het business model te valideren is simpelweg indrukwekkend. Na lancering zal de competitie zwaar zijn. Als ze erin blijven geloven en hard werken, gaan we nog veel van ze horen.’

Eindhoven blijft Startup City: volgende editie in voorjaar 2015

Voor Eindhoven was dit alweer de vijfde editie van Startup Weekend waarmee de stad haar naam als Startup-city hoog weet te houden. Met 65 deelnemers uit heel Nederland en een kleine vertegenwoordiging uit Duitsland, België en Engeland, 22 mentoren, 32 pitches en uiteindelijk 10 startups in de dop is de organisatie onder leiding van Victoria Martinez meer dan tevreden.

Startup Weekend Eindhoven - Group picture 2014
Alle deelnemers, crew, mentoren en de jury van Startup Weekend Eindhoven 2014

De organisatie wil daarnaast ook alle sponsoren bedanken. De BOM, Gemeente Eindhoven, High Tech Campus, Shapeways, Dutch Accounting House, Brainport Development, Fiware, EY, Esri en Font. Een bijzonder dankwoord voor de sprekers: Hugo Ploegmakers van Shapeways, Shinjan Dasgupta (Proxible) en Ana Mihail (Blackbox).

De volgende editie staat alweer in de steigers, de organisatie is op zoek naar een geschikt moment in het voorjaar van 2015. Meer informatie volgt snel op www.sweindhoven.com.