Startup Weekend Write Up in the KC Small Business Magazine

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Startup Weekend Write Up in the KC Small Business Magazine Powered By Docstoc
               Buzzes with
 Entrepreneurial Activity                                                                                                                                           Adam Coomes and Dan Melton,
                                                                                                                                                                    co-organizers get things started at
Going from Friday                               Anyone can pitch an idea—there       skills of a developer.                                                         Kansas City’s Start Up Weekend.
                                           were 30 this year. The assembled               Interestingly, however, how
night idea to Monday                       group then votes by a show of hands       quickly teams started and how
                                                                                                                             teams “wowed” the audience and            Oh, and here’s a final hint:
morning start up.                          on the ideas they would like to see       organized they appeared Friday
                                                                                                                             judges in their own way on Sunday      Don’t run a live online social
                                           carried forward to the culmination        night didn’t necessarily correlate

                                                                                                                             night. Who knows which concept         media demo in a room full of IT
     t wasn’t just the coffee, Moun-       of the weekend—a final presentation       with how complete and polished
                                                                                                                             might be the next big start up in      developers who have laptops and
     tain Dew and beer creating a          and judging on Sunday night.              their concept and presentation
                                                                                                                             Kansas City? Like Dan Melton           wireless access. Just sayin’.
     buzz in the room, it was the               Of the 30 ideas pitched this year,   were on Sunday evening.
                                                                                                                             said, Startup weekend is really
energy of aspiring entrepreneurs           nine made it to Sunday night. After            Also, some team “leaders”
                                                                                                                             about networking and connecting
waiting to pitch their                                       the “official vote,”    who pitched a winning idea came
                                                                                                                             with talented people who have a
ideas. In fact, the air                                      the winning ideas       in with much of the work already
                                Learn more about                                                                             passion for entrepreneurism.
was so supercharged                                          are sent to separate    done. Some had business plans
                                Start Up Weekend                                                                                 So, next year bring your
that the dozens of              and the teams, see           areas of the room       and financial projections com-
                                                                                                                             idea to Kansas City Startup
laptops would have             video and photos of           and a kind of speed     plete, while others had already
                                                                                                                             Weekend, and prepare
come to life with or           the weekend events            dating, cocktail        done initial graphic design or
                                                                                                                             for 54 hours of work,
without batteries.             at http://kansascity.         party environment       programming. Again, success on
                                                                                                                             fun, energy, Mountain
It was Friday night             ensues, in which the    Sunday didn’t always correlate
                                                                                                                             Dew, coffee, lack of
and the beginning                                            people who want to      with how much advance work had
                               Follow the weekend                                                                            sleep, inspiration and
of Startup Week-                 through Tweets              work on a project go    been done.
                                                                                                                             connecting with people
end 2010.                        by searching on             talk with the person
    For the uniniti-
                                                                                     Wrapping Up                             who have the skills and
                                                             who pitched a
                             #KCSW at                                      n the end, all the concepts were      talent to help make your
ated (and Start Up                                           winning idea.
                                                                                       pretty amazing and all the            idea a reality.
Weekend seems                                                    Some ideas
very much like an initiation of            attracted people like moths to a
sorts), this 54-hour event brings          light bulb, while others struggled
together a group of entrepreneur-          to find the talent and skills needed
ial-minded people to pitch busi-           to move forward. At least one             Here’s the Pitch                        “The Chosen”
ness ideas and develop them over           idea “died” Friday night, unable          A sampling of ideas pitched on          The nine concepts taken to final presentation:
the weekend. The “goal” is                 to recruit team members inspired          Friday night:                           HerdMap—Winner // Uses location-based social media to show where
to have a product or business              by the concept. So, she took her          Gallery App // Smart Phone app          social “hot spots” are in real time
concept ready to launch on                 idea home—possibly to develop it          to display photography or graphic       1 More Point—Runner Up // Open source game engine for the Android
Monday morning.                            herself, or to try again next year.       design portfolios                       phone platform
    But according to Kansas City co-
organizer Dan Melton, the real value
                                           Jumping In                                Education Station // Online social      Medical Upload // Online tool for medical professionals to share medical
in Startup Weekend is the network-
ing and community building that
                                          B      y 9:00 p.m. (initial pitches
                                                 started promptly at 7:00),
                                           teams were off and running…or
                                                                                     media/collaboration tool for educa-
                                                                                     tors and coaches
                                                                                                                             images easily and securely while protecting patient privacy
                                                                                                                             Like a Top // Online tool to track vehicle mileage, oil changes and routine
happens among the participants.                                                      Loser League // Online progress         maintenance, and send e-mail reminders
                                           walking…or crawling….or, gasping          tracking and competition toward
    “It isn’t always about the suc-                                                                                          Speak Back Now // Social media tool allowing audience interaction/com-
                                           for air. One team with a particularly     weight loss goals with family/friends
cess, it’s okay if the start up fails                                                                                        ments at public forums, conferences, etc.
                                           good mix of talent and skills—IT de-
on Monday morning,” Melton                                                           Startup U // Computer simulation        The Student Stop // A social media networking Web site for students to
                                           velopers, project managers, a graph-
said. “It’s about meeting each                                                       game to teach entrepreneurial skills    meet, interact and share knowledge at the university they attend
                                           ic designer and a finance guy—were
other and connecting.”
                                           already establishing milestones,                                         // Web-based food ordering and crowd-sourced delivery service.
Eclectic Mix of                            setting up a collaboration portal on                                              Your Galileo // Web reference tool that aggregates information from
People and Ideas                           Google Groups and assigning                                                       multiple sources and presents it with one click

I  n the room this Friday night,           roles and responsibilities.                                                       Java Join // Web tool allows users to browse “friends of friends” on social
   ready for the one-minute                “Figuring out what our                                                            media sites and initiate a potential meeting
pitches, are about 75 IT develop-          deliverables are is going
ers, graphic designers, marketers,         to be the hardest part.”
recent college grads, a finance guy        “Where do we want to                                                                 2010 Judges for Start Up Weekend Kansas City
and an Army officer, among others. be on Sunday night?”                                                                         James Clarke, senior porfolio manager, Fiduciary Research
It doesn’t really matter who you are By 9:15, they were                                                                         and Consulting, and a founding investor in Proteon
or where you come from (in fact,           deep into brainstorm-                                                                Therapeutics, LightSpeed Genomics and Orbis Biosciences.
participants came from as far away         ing and strategizing.
                                                                                                                                Herb Sih, co-founder, Clickspeed; founder and president,
as New Jersey). What’s impor-                   The start was
                                                                                                                                Think Big Partners; and vice president Mariner Holdings.
tant is that you have an idea or a         somewhat slower for
dream and/or the desire to put your other teams. At 9:30, one                                                                   Kathy Walker, managing director at OPENAIR Ventures,
knowledge and skills to work in an         “team” still wasn’t a com-                                                           former chief information and network officer for Sprint.
entrepreneurial venture.                   plete team—lacking the critical

               Reprinted with permission of Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc. ©2010, all rights reserved. Appeared in the May 2010 issue of KS Small Business magazine.

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