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While listening to over 62 pitches on opening night and watching them get narrowed down to 15 teams, Rongxin recognized an opportunity to make voting easier.  Over the weekend, he and his team developed polli.me – a free and engaging polling and voting app.

“The idea came across when we thought that there wasn’t an easy, simple or engaging way to do polling. And after pitch of fire only solidified this concept. We identified a few key areas of focus:

  1. Simple set up and voting processes
  2. U.I design
  3. Multi-platform
  4. Fun and engaging enough to grab user’s attention.
So we first started off with thinking about how the voting processes should be, how it can be improved. The processes that we developed, didn’t just focus on making the voting smoother and easier, it also made the creation of polls extremely simple.  It takes less than 60 seconds to create a poll and have it ready to vote.

Then we took a lot of time and research to figure out the look and feel of the site. We wanted it to be eye candy, something that people enjoyed looking at. So thats why we chose the colour schemes and visuals. The visuals also had a huge impact on the way users are going to interact with the device. We took inspirations from real life polling, and came up with a variety of interactive ways to make the voting intuitive and more interactive.

When it was first introduced at the end of the conference, we asked the audience the vote for the top 3 pitches. We had incredible participation and feedback. Out of over 150 participants, 130 voted using the app. People were stuck to their screens as they watched their favorite pitches drop and rise in ranks. Conversations were spreading as people discussed who they thought might win.One of the reasons our app became such a sensation at the conference was because we had live results, people could see how their votes were affecting the results instantly. They could see as more votes came in how rankings changed. The participation rate was 89.6% on the first test demonstration. It was really amazingly fun and enjoyable to see that you brought joy to the audience in the room. And I hope that everyone can have feel this one day.


Startup Weekend is the future, and the future is happening every week. We simply hope to offer a small contribution to make it more enjoyable. […] We are hoping that Startup Weekend could be a starting-point for the seed to grow. Organizers from several countries have been in contact with me and are interested in trying it. However, this is only the start. I envision this as a much bigger revolution. A revolution that will truly bring democracy to our schools, offices, governments and eventually the world.

Startup Weekend has given us and thousands of others a chance to let our creative minds run free. To build amazing products that may one day change the world.”

(From left to right) 
“Gabe Pelegrin – Branding and Design Manager at Startup Weekend, Tom – Programmer from Microsoft (Did not sleep the whole weekend), Rongxin (Me) – Industrial Designer (too much caffeine), Fumi – Graphics designer from Starbucks (6 months pregnant), Brian – Marketing and Business (Huge lakers fan), Daeb – Main Coach (supported and gave us huge support and advice), Heon Jun Park – Programmer ( 17 years old high schooler – not in photograph)”
Claire Topalian Claire Topalian
(@clairetopalian) Blog, Professional Writing, Communications and PR Specialist. I craft compelling, mission-driven content for companies and individuals that amplifies brand awareness, fosters community, and drives engagement. My experience includes work with tech startups, major corporations, and international non-profits. @clairetopalian