Startup Weekends are 54-hour events that happen all over the world. We had our own startup fest here in Austin March 30-April 1 (two remote Bees, Ryan Campbell and myself, have the pleasure of living here). Like the BeMyApp weekend CloudBees sponsored in February, Startup Weekends give participants a chance to come up with a great idea, form teams, and launch a viable company in a weekend!
I had the delightful honor of judging the teams’ results at Austin Startup Weekend, which had an impressive turnout. The group gave more than 40 pitches originally, which distilled into 10 solid teams who presented at the end. I think we were all blown away by the amount each team accomplished in a little more than 2 days.
We were instructed to judge the teams on exactly the right things you should look for in a startup:
- Customer validation – have they done extensive market validation? Interviewed potential customers? Iterated feedback into their product?
- Business model – is this a realistic way to make money? What’s their differentiation? What’s the customer acquisition/rollout strategy?
- Technical execution – did they create a functional prototype? Execute well as a team?
I found it interesting that Customer Validation and Business Model were listed first… not Technical Execution. You have to demonstrate a viable market and a way to make it succeed in order to win.
So congratulations to the winners – competition was fierce and they did a fabulous job!
- First place: TrainerLink (also check out the team lead’s blog about the experience)
- Second place: HostFamily
- Third place: TrailerQ
In addition, teams were recognized for
- Best Technical Execution – TrailerQ
- Most Creative Presentation – Talent Genuity
If you want to get an even better feel for the weekend, check out this blog by Joey Aquino joeyaquino.wordpress.com, one of the StartupWeekend organizers. And if you’re brave and want to sign up for a challenging learning opportunity, check out a Startup Weekend in your city!
— Lisa Wells, Marketing Bee
At Startup Weekends, you don’t have time to waste! CloudBees is the perfect platform for building and launching Java apps in the cloud, fast! Worry about writing great code, not setting up infrastructure.