Day 2 of Startup Weekend is all about getting ready for judgment day on Sunday night.
The teams that were formed Friday night spend all day working together and with mentors to improve upon their idea.
I sat in on Gabinja’s team meeting for close to an hour. Gabinja is an Internet platform that connects South Korean corporations with English speakers that provide multi-faceted and specific evaluations of their workforce and performance. Gabinja started on Friday with three people, Michael Bernasek of Fairfield, Bobby Morse of Scituate, R.I., and Sarah Krikorian of Tampa, FL., all of whom once lived in South Korea. Arlen Bitsky, who works for an E-Learning website in Westport, joined the team on Friday.
“If all we get out of this is Arlen working on our team then it’s worth it,” Krikorian said.
And aside from the prizes that’s what this weekend is all about — networking and finding the people to fill in the company holes.
Update: Date Hint becomes Love Squadron… for now
The renamed Love Squadron will allow users to seek the advice of their friends about where to go for a date.
“If you’re going to go on a date you’re going to trust your friends the most,” founder Matt Murphy said. “Our platform will simplify that by pinging everyone about the date at once.”
Including advice from expert match makers and event planners has also been discussed.
The team also has an idea in place that would give Love Squadron a game aspect to it. For example, if a friend suggests a certain restaurant but the food is terrible that friend can receive a thumbs down and others would know that he or she may not be the best person to listen to.
So far, online and in-person surveys have been positive for Love Squadron as most people asked said they would be interested in using the service.
The team is not convinced that Love Squadron is the name that will stick, though. They have also been toying with playing off the word “wingman” in some capacity.
Update 2: Challenge Good aims to combine self-improvement and charity
The pitch for Challenge Good was one of the most impressive ones given on Friday night. To me it seemed like something that would interest a lot of people.
Challenge Good is a social fundraising challenge aiming to make money for charity and see people achieve personal goals. The idea is this: say someone wants to quit smoking, they can share that goal with friends and family who can then pledge money to a charity for successful completion of that goal which in turn helps motivate the smoker.
My favorite part of their idea is something they’re referring to as “Photo Fails” which adds a gaming element to the challenge. For instance, the person who is supposed to be attempting to quit smoking could get photographed in the act and the donator could upload the photo to the site, adding a little bit of fun to the process.
The Challenge Good team of Adrian Lanning from Norwalk, Jessica Lokaj from New York and Alex Au, who traveled up from Washington DC, is still tweaking the idea a bit but as far as I can tell they have something solid in the works.
Update 3: Father and Son tackle self-promotion
The first pitch from Friday night was for MyWebKard.com, by the father and son duo of Alex and 22-year-old Ryan Virvo. Alex worked at ADV Marketing Group in Stamford for 27 years and Ryan is a junior studying psychology at UConn Storrs.
MyWebKard.com wants to challenge what Ryan called the “corporate look” of LinkedIn or Facebook where you know what you’re going to get as far as design is concerned. MyWebKard would provide the template making it as easy for the user as adding text, uploading photos and changing the color scheme.
“Our slogan is ‘My Page, My Way,’ it’s about getting your own personality on a non-scrolling screen,” Ryan said.
For revenue purposes, the MyWebKard team has included a premium site in their plan. The idea is for a fee users would be able to add tabbed pages and widgets to their WebKard.
I’ll have more tomorrow.
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