Startup Weekend Orlando: Building a Stronger Tech Community

The first Startup Weekend Orlando brought together a sold out group of 115 developers, designer, and entrepreneurs who will try to develop a variable business in 54 hours at the University of Central Florida.  Startup Weekend is a global organization that host similar events all around the globe to encourage education, networking, and passion to develop entrepreneurship in the community. The organizers responsible for Startup Weekend Orlando were Orrett Davis and Tom Cannon. They brought together mentors, speakers, and sponsors to help make the weekend successful and guide the teams along with support.

No Talk. All Action.

Friday is the kickoff to the weekend, when teams and ideas start to form. The 49 pitches had 60 seconds to present their idea to the crowd. Attendees then voted on their top pitches to turn into teams for the weekend. 17 pitches were selected and teams began to form based on needs, such as developers, designers, and those business minded.

Top Pitches:

Bitcoin Gift Card – An easy way to convey cash into digital currency, which can be sent anywhere in the world, instantly.
http://lovebitcoins.org

In Touch – Develop mobile app / web site that remind you to call important people that you haven’t talked to in a while.

Standing Offer – We make it easy to share your adventures by polling your friends to see when they are available.
http://standingoffer.herokuapp.com

Stuffnet – We make a marketplace for “transferable credits” that companies can issue and sell to consumers in order to get working capital. We’ll use decentralized transaction technology based on Bitcoin and Ripple to make this online marketplace secure and easy to use.
stuffnet.info

Optimal Learning Environment – A company to provide products and services designed to quantitatively optimize the learning environment. This will lead to higher test scores, increased motivation, lower dropout rates, and greater educational accountability. Because this will positively change the way humans learn forever, it will make a substantial contribution to society and national competitiveness.

Picstory – Pictures with a voice. www.Picstory.us

I Gotta Pee – A mobile app for moms on the go with geo location and rating services that identify clean, kid-friendly bathrooms

Date-A-Base – Date-A-Base: The website/mobile application that has all of your bases covered, to ensure you hit a home run on your next date!

Mole Shopper – Mystery shopping can be frustrating when you are asked to remember long and complicated surveys. Mole Shopper allows mystery shoppers to record accurate data on site while conducting shops. http://moleshopper.com

OpenBuyer.com – Simplifying the B2B purchasing process. Buyers create a request for quote(RFQ) online. Vendors reply with a quote online. No commitment to buy, no auctions no transaction fees. Buyers find the right vendor. Vendors find the right buyer. Both save time, money and expand their options. http://www.openbuyer.com/

WITH -Scalable social gaming on mobile devices using geolocation technologies.

MentorMatch – Language learning with a few core beliefs that have influenced the design of MentorMatch: 1) Motivation is a per-requisite to sustained engagement in a learning program. 2) There’s no one-size-fits all when it comes to learning – multi-pronged approaches improve student performance. 3) It’s always best to learn from a native speaker.

TouchBase – A web application that enables users to create hyper local marketplaces within their school, business, organization, or event.

TVto.Mobi – Learn more about what you are watching. By providing additional content, we help TV viewers engage with the shows that they love. We sync what’s on your TV to your mobile device by providing apps for your smart TVs, media boxes, and smartphones. http://www.tvto.mobi/

Saturday is when teams kick it in full gear to develop a business plan, research their markets, and great a product they can showcase. The various stages of group development could be seen throughout the team, with some teams forming and some teams storming. This day is probably the most intense since many of the participants didn’t know each other before this weekend.

Throughout the weekend teams had a chance to work with a variety of mentors from various backgrounds to help them solidify their products or prefect their pitches. I was a first time mentor that tried to help teams think outside the box, what resources they could use already available, and how they could improve upon their product and pitch before Sunday evening. Also, various speakers talked about everything from marketing a startup to legal aspect of the business. This helped participates to get a little more educated about real world experience with startup companies.

Startup Weekend Orlando Pitch

Sunday was the final gut check for teams. They scrambled put together their pitches and make final modification to their products. Each team had an opportunity to setup a tech check in the presentation room and select their presentation order. Around 5 p.m. it was time to kick off the final presentation to sell their business idea to the judges. It’s key to have a great presentation down with a great product, as with many startup companies, you only get one try to impress an investor.

After careful debate the judges have selected the top teams of Startup Weekend Orlando!

The top three of Startup Weekend Orlando:

1. MoleShopper (Watch an interview with winner Mole Shopper)

2. PicStory

3. Tamposh:

Followed by:

4. StuffNet:

5. Date-A-Base

6. I Gotta Pee

The top three teams will each receive $5,000 in seed funding from Startup Orange County, three months of incubation at the UCF Venture Lab and 4 months of internet marketing and social media consulting by Pro2Go Designs.

The top team Mole Shopper will also receive 2 months of legal services by The Entrepreneurship Law Firm, $500 credit for VoiceBunny and a subscription to Startup Threads.

The top six teams will also gain access to the resources of Startup Orange County and the UCF Venture Lab

(Watch an interview with Jack Henkel and Cody Swain of the UCF Venture Lab)

Interested in getting more involved in the Orlando tech community?

Round two of Startup Weekend Orlando will take place in the next 6-8 months. If you are looking for other Startup Weekend events to attend visit http://startupweekend.org/events/. Startup Weekend Tampa is coming up April 13th-15th for more information visit http://tampa.startupweekend.org/.

What I’m most excited about is the possibility of Startup Weekend Edu coming to Orlando. Be on the lookout for an education-specific vertical of Startup Weekend coming to Orlandohttp://edu.startupweekend.org/. More info will be announced soon!

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