Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to be involved in the 4th Sydney Start Up Weekend. The idea is something that was kicked off by local entrepreneur Bart Jellema and with 3 Sydney & 2 Melbourne based Start Up Weekend events behind him already (although he claimed we would all learn as we went) it was clear his energy and passion would keep the teams on track for the weekend! With the extra support of Patrick Driessen, owner of Seed Accelerator to further support the teams with his business acumen and ensure things moved along according to schedule.
On Friday night, things kicked off at 6pm and people were grouped into teams with strangers. By 11pm that night, each person had pitched an idea and then the teams each picked their favourite and kicked of development! Not much sleep was had between then and Sunday night! I spent a few hours with the teams midway through Saturday and got to chat to them all about Microsoft BizSpark, then hear the initial pitches being practiced as the ideas & the applications started to come together.
1 Day in:
The teams each then had to put together a Press release & deliver it to press by Saturday night! Less than 24 hours since their idea development had commenced.
The results of this can be seen on Bart’s blog here:
DealPinch Press Release: Stealing the deals so you don’t have to
MyMediStats Press Release: Take Control of Your Health Records
uInfluence.me Press Release: Get a recommendation at uinfluence.me
DateRate Press Release: Feedback from your Dates, Learn to Read Minds
TrendingLimit Press Release: Startup provides innovative solution to information overload problem
iapps4.me Press Release: iapps4.me launches a platform to turn fantastic iphone app ideas into reality
Gradega.me Press Release: Life is a game – where do you stand?
(I cant seem to spot the PR releases for QRmeHere or PolyCloset? If someone has a link please feel free to add it in the comments! )
By the 2pm Sunday the teams pitched their working applications to a full room and panel of Judges that included Venture Capitalists, a HP Executive and me! :)
In the end, I have to say how impressed I was with the quality of the applications that were built, and the thought & planning that went into how to monetize the business ideas around the applications themselves. Seeing the changes over the 2 days as the ideas were refined & the applications developed was a testament to the idea of Start Up Camp. The teams improved with each of the many pitches they delivered.
It was a tough call, but after much animated discussions the 6 judges decided the winners. Even I was nervous about reading the winners out as I know how much work every single person put in over the weekend!
The top 3 and the Best Pitch winners will present at Sydney Start Up Networking event this week in Sydney that is occurring as part of Web Week.
Ultimately, the results were as follows:
1st Place. PolyCloset.com
2nd Place. QRmeHere.com
3rd Place. MyMediStats.com
Best Pitch – and certainly the most entertaining: http://daterate.com
Best Site Design: http://DealPinch.com
Overall some of the solutions were a bit “tongue-in-Cheek” but all showed amazing potential considering the time they had!
Not being a journalist myself, I think its best I now link to some great articles that have been published on the event by others: