Before the pitches started, we had an ice-breaker activity called half-baked. It was actually quite fun. We started by forming random groups, then shouting out random words, mostly adjectives and nouns, as two of the organizers frantically tried to write all those words down on a whiteboard. A couple of my words got up there, including “chicken”. Then each of 14 teams sent a representative up to the board to claim two of the words, and brought those back to the team to create a new product idea. E eave chose the laser-ketchup which removes excess of it when spilt and also is used as a safety weapon under theft. Then was time to pitch the idea. The pitches were in a rapid fire format. 60 seconds to introduce yourself, describe your idea, tell what skills you’re looking for, and give the idea a name for the live voting board. Each person that pitched an idea was given a big sheet of paper with the name of their idea on it, to post on the wall or somewhere in the room where people could see it. Everyone who pitched stood around the room holding up a piece of paper with the name of their idea.
Three sticky notes were given to everyone in the room, and they’d go stick them on the ideas that they liked, essentially serving as a vote. The top 14 ideas with the most votes moved on to become the companies for the weekend. Now it was time for joining a team where the organizers helped force the mingle factor by extolling everyone to get up and relocate to a new random table. They did this 3 more times. Smart move on their part to help break the ice and it definitely helped force the more shy participants to interact.
I listened to the organizers explain the format and rules and chose a team which came up with an app called “Guardian”-this basically is designed for the children’s safety and protection Guardian consists of two components: the wearable waterproof Guardian device itself, and an ISO app. The device can be worn like a bracelet, a pendant or a buckle to child’s clothing, and it communicates with the parents’ phone via Bluetooth Smart. If the child wander (or be taken) away beyond a pre-determined safety perimeter, an alert sounds and appears on the phone.
If the child can’t subsequently be located, a search can be initiated. This will allow parents to check if the child is with other people that they’ve added to their safety network, who are also running the app. Additionally, if the child comes within range of anyone using the paper the location will be sent to the parents via the cloud. What’s more, you’ll get an alert with your child’s location if he or she is close to another person with the Guardian app and it also measures the anxiety and stress levels of the child.
The device is powered by a user-replaceable battery that should last four to 12 months depending on use, and has a maximum range of 230 feet (70 m). The app lets users know when the battery is getting low. We started forming ourselves into teams based on what we needed to present Sunday night. We wanted a semi-working weapon, or at least a mock-up, so we had a heartwarming team, a development team, and a graphics team. We had a lot of business people on our team, probably more than we should have, so I was even more grateful they had let me in despite my lack of development and design expertise.
It’s not that I lack the skills, I just wouldn’t call myself an expert. The developers team as we so coolly called them, didn’t have much to work n to start, because we didn’t have a clear vision yet of what we were going to accomplish. So that was the first task our team set out to establish. While Will, I and Martha who became the “warfare” team, worked on the storyboard for our product demonstration, the business people on the team started brainstorming names and seeing if those domains were available for purchase, One of the graphic designers was drawing up logos.
We identified the first major programming challenge, and the development team dived right in. Meanwhile, Andy directed me to download the trial version off airframe software, and he and started working on the structure Of the website. The team was organically well-organ sized. One of the awesome things about this event was the number of mentors that were available to us. These were people who are specialists in their field. We took full advantage of this, talking to maybe 20 of them throughout the two days. While they all offered great advice, they also posed a challenge.
Nearly all of them were on-board with our original concept, but had their own personal vision on the direction we should take it. The most exhilarating part f the whole weekend was definitely the pitch. My team had planned it to perfection. The first time the audience heard the app talk, they erupted with applause; the feeling was amazing. Our pitch was an overwhelming success. The audience loved the product, the judges loved the pitch and we won Ecstasy Start-up Weekend taking the second place! But winning was just the start of the adventure. 2. ) What did you learn?
NAS: A startup weekend is not about competition; it’s about collaboration. The organizers of this weekend made it easy to see. At pitch bootlace, we supported each other. Giving pitches, We cheered, applauded, high-fifed. And you have to have a team. There’s no way you can do everything on your own. As part of a team, everyone has a different strength. The weekend is not just about creating a viable business idea, complete with marketing, financial figures, as well as the tech end. It’s about knowing what you don’t know, forming good relationships with your team and not being afraid to ask for help.
The connections you make will be amazing. Not only those same big names in regional business and technology, but the creative people working n their startups during the weekend. Exchange cards with everyone you talk to. Support members of other teams you mightiest end up working with them at another startup weekend, or perhaps come across them in the business world. 3. )What did you like MOST about Start-up Weekend? NAS: Startup Weekends what feel is about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go. Stepping outside of your comfort zone.
With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are prefect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or a even an investor. Participants can plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend. You can always pitch at another event. Even if your idea doesn’t make it off the ground, whether in the initial pitch or at the end of the weekend, that’s K.