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This is a guest post by, Francois Poirier, Co-Founder of Sobersmart.

Startup Weekend is an awesome platform for everyone, new or serial entrepreneur, to get involved in the startup world. Today, I’m sharing my story and reaching out to fellow Startup Weekenders because we need your help!

In order to make the best possible impression at the Web Summit, Sobersmart – the portable breathalyzer – is in the run to win the World’s Hardest Working Startup and we need your vote! Please click HERE and “LIKE” Sobersmart. One LIKE equals one vote. That’s all we need… It will help us tremendously!


Last February, I went to my very first Startup Weekend, in Montreal. I went there as a way to finally get both feet in the startup world and put the books down for a while. As an industrial designer, I wanted to see if I could get involved with a team who would have an idea that I could help build… and I did!

During those 54 hours, our small team manage to build a prototype of a wireless breathalyzer that communicates with a smartphone to give you a blood alcohol reading (BAC) and the app to interact with it. Our project caught the attention of the judges who added a third prize package in order to recognize our efforts. And we used it well…

We continued to work on our project which became Sobersmart, a tiny, rechargeable, wireless breathalyzer that communicates with you smartphone and takes care of you, or you children, with options like auto-notification of a parent, one-click taxi and geo-notification of a friend. We manage to make our breathalyzer as tiny as your thumb so you can put it on a key chain. This allows a parent to lend our their car and when the child uses Sobersmart, the parent can, directly from his smartphone, send a taxi to pick up his child and even pay for his cab fare from the phone. We also built options to transform your social network into a socially responsible network when you go out to have a drink. It’s not about stopping people from drinking; it’s about doing it responsibly.


After 4 months of hard work, we got the attention of the International Startup Festival and were invited to present our project. Once again, Sobersmart got great support and we managed to win the Grandmother Judges Panel and place Top 3 (out of 300+ start-ups) in the 80k Investment Challenge… so close!

But still, this got us great feedback, contacts and some media attention which got us an invitation to present our project at the next Web Summit that will be held in Dublin next October. This gives us the opportunity to present Sobersmart to over 10,000 influent attendees and, we hope, finally get a little investment to get our project on the market… And all that is because of the great opportunity that the Startup Weekend has given us!