The first day of Startup Weekend Stamford is in the books (for me at least, as I’m sure newly-formed teams are still working on their business plans as I write this).
With the goal being to start a company in 54 hours I expected the process to be fast-paced but it was even more intense than I anticipated.
“Startup Weekend is a ton of energy and excitement,” Derek Koch, a volunteer facilitator, said. Koch is the founder and CEO of Independent Software and has participated in previous Startup Weekends so he’s there to make sure things run smoothly for the first-timers.
Then the excitement began with 48 company pitches. Each presenter was only given a strict 60 seconds to present their idea. Then the various designers, developers and other participants voted for the companies they thought were best. The 12 companies receiving the most votes became finalists and then began to build their team. Pitchers who didn’t make the cut became free to join other teams.
There were a few pitching techniques used but the most interesting (and surprising) came from Matthew Murphy, a MBA candidate at Babson College, who sang his pitch.
“With 40-plus pitchers today you have to do something to stand out,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s pitch was for a company called Date Hint, a date planning website. His plan to stand out certainly worked as he received enough votes to be one of the 12 finalists. Date Hint now has a team of 8 going into tomorrow.
It didn’t go quite as well for Adam Gagliardo, who grew up in Hebron. His idea, Salon Seek, did not make the cut. Salon Seek is an idea for a website and an app that allows users to read salon reviews, find nearby salons and book appointments immediately.
“I think I underestimated the presentation aspect,” Gagliardo said. “It’s a learning experience.”
The other finalists are: Risknicity, BeBeautiful, ChallengeGood, Dragon Tongue, Enerknd, MyStuDebt, Caregiver Roadmap, AgriComm, Gabinja, Paloba and KL Studio. More on them in a later post, as I’ll be sitting in on each team during Day Two.
By the way…
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