Phoenix Startup Weekend – February 23, 2014

Last night I had the honor of being a judge for Phoenix Startup Weekend.

For those of you who are not familiar, Startup Weekend is an event that is held over a single weekend that brings together all sorts of entrepreneurs to come up with an idea, assemble a team, build a product demo, business model, and finally present what they built to a judges panel. The top 3 are awarded various prizes.

The beauty of Startup Weekend is that anyone can put one on. Startup Weekend provides the resources and contacts to help facilitate. If you are at all interested in Startup Weekend, I suggest checking out their website and getting in contact. It is well organized and is a global movement.

Last night’s event saw 7 would-be startups taking their first steps together. It was truly impressive to see what each of these teams was able to do in just 54 hours.

Here are the top 3 startups in order, and the rest in no particular order.

  1. Plato
    This idea was the winner of the night. They proposed to move recording university experiments from paper to online. Their product proposed increases in efficiency, sharing, and archiving.
  2. ThinkSync
    This idea came in 2nd place with its innovative approach to threading a conversation around an idea using audio instead of text. By utilizing the sexyness and ease-of-use of mobile apps, they allow an individual or a group of individuals to have a valuable conversation around a topic.
  3. How You See Me
    This idea came in 3rd place. This is one of those ideas that has an extremely high viral coefficient similar to Hot or Not back in the day. The concept here is to send anonymous surveys to your friends so that they can provide feedback on you anonymously. You see the results, but you cannot see who the ratings came from. The concept tested very well with young kids with their desire to know what others think about them. It also has small business and even possibly enterprise applications.
  • Now Boarding
    Now boarding is the Hotel Tonight for flights. They had a very interesting approach by giving you recommendations on last minute flights with the goal of giving you an experience you might not have otherwise thought of. Their app showed flights filtered by various things, ordered by cost, categorized around cities.
  • Forkr
    This idea standardizes health reports for businesses. If you are going to a burrito place and you’d like to know what their latest health inspection results were, Forkr can tell you.
  • relationSHIPPED
    This idea helps strengthen relationships by providing unique experiences on a monthly subscription basis. I really liked this idea because it was well thought out and they had a lot of great ideas implemented in their presentation. The box that you receive each month contains products and instructions for you and your significant other to perform. Painting, cooking, etc., you name it. A clever addition was providing a teaser for next month to help with retention.
  • Cindy’s Big Night
    This idea features advanced technology to bring shoes into the 21st century. Can 3d scanning and 3d printing create a shoe that fits your individual foot? Absolutely it can. This team actually had scans of a foot that they created this past weekend. Loved the idea, but taking down the incumbents is a difficult task.

Big thanks to all the sponsors for helping put together a great event: Coplex, GoDaddy, Blinkist, CoWorking, Co-Hoots, Open Me, Blue Media, and Blind Society.

Read more about this event from the official Phoenix Startup Weekend Blog Post. Click here for pictures from the event.

Phoenix Startup Weekend Details