Report by Francesca Guerrera
Startup Weekend at Talent Garden Brescia: my very first one!
Few weeks ago Mario and I went to Brescia for the Startup Weekend, on a mission, from Startupbusiness.
It wasn’t something people every now and then do on weekends, such as going to discover new little towns. It was something great, it was going where smart and curious minds meet and work together for 54 hours in a row to develop ideas and give them the shape of startups, at their early stage of course, but somehow ready to be presented in front of investors.
Some of you probably already got what I’m talking about. Startup Weekend Brescia, the ideas-come-true event hosted by the co-working space Talent Garden (TAG).
Everything started on Friday evening, with all the pitches from the participants. They voted the most effective ones and then formed the teams, 13 teams.
Our role was to meet every team and give them advice on the financial, strategic and communicative aspects.
We found that the teams were pretty well matched, each one with software and web developers, designers, business and marketing experts. Working with them was challenging and rewarding at the same time: in a place that by itself is designed to help people work together and share ideas and skills, we found the perfect equilibrium in between mentoring every team and observing their work organically grow from one day to the next one, up o the final presentations!
Going back home on Saturday night, while we were on the train, we couldn’t stop talking about how satisfying had been during the day to get to talk to motivated people, working hard on their ideas to concretely get the most out of that 54 hours team-working.
They did a great job even on Sunday, presenting their ideas to the judges and the investors, neglectful of any tiredness.
I want to give you a brief overlook on each one of the ideas the teams worked on.
CONTACI – A mobile app to count how many people there are in a crowded event or circumstance. It will use multiple mobile technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and even augmented reality to localize people. These guys aim to become the new Google Analytics for events.
GITUP In commit we trust – An online product designed to offer to Git Hub users (a developers gathering platform and very active community) the opportunity of giving other users incentives (aka money!) to quickly fix bugs or implement the features they need.
KULRAM – A visual paradigm for spread sheets, a new way to use Excel on your tablet without dealing with columns and columns of data: you will see only what you need to see (and show). It also works as a complete mapping of functions from visuals to .xls files and it’s designed for both iPad and Windows 8.
THE ADVISOR.CO – The online place where startups and advisors can find each other and cooperate to develop new businesses. A new idea for a business-dating online meeting place.
HASHFAIL Never fail again – We can learn from each other’s mistakes by sharing them, so we don’t have to make them again. Especially if you already have a business or if you are working on a new business idea, this might really be time saving.
CROWDBUILDING The real estate crowd funding – If you own a house with some other people, how difficult is it to sell it or swap it? The new formula could be make an architect design a house, and people who like it could buy it together and create a network of houses, so they can also swap it at some point if they feel like it.
TABLE BLIND The social meating app – If you live in a big city, you might sometimes feel the desire of: a) find people to eat with over lunch/dinner time; b) find someone to share your interests with/go on a date. Table Blind will allow you to fill both gaps, deciding who you would like to meet, where do you want to meet, what do you want to talk about (i.e.: business, research, travels). Special feature: you can choose not to know who your guest can be. The modern way to call it a “blind date”.
TRIVIAL ONE – Have you ever thought of how the consumers perceive your brand or your products? You can get to know it better using this gaming platform that allows you to send quizzes and games to the users. The goal for your company will be to “inform, give knowledge and promote” while the users will “play, learn and win”.
FOODLE – Easy to use, creative, eco-social, fun, time saving. This is the augmented reality based app that will take a pic of what’s in your fridge and then suggest you what to cook. A lot of business opportunities are related to this idea: e-commerce, market researches and sponsorships with brands.
CHEAP AROUND – Based on the user’s commodities sectors preferences, this app uses geo-localization systems to help you find the products you may like the most. If you like shopping, you will love it.
RECY FUN! – How to recycle in an efficient yet fun way the waste we produce at home? Recy Fun! wants to improve and spread the re-use culture, also establishing partnerships with local and public administrations.
MOVIDA Smart Fun Community – Social multiplatform focused on young consumers that offers real-time, flexible and geo-localized deals, using features such as augmented reality, shop online, integration with Passbook and Microsoft tag.
FAZROOM – In the need of a gardener, a plumber or a mechanic? Match your demand for private services with the offer: by filling a form, users post what their needs are, providers place their offer, the user sees what he got and decides who’s going to be his provider. Fazroom offers a virtual chessboard where users can rank the offers, so as to stimulate the competition between providers.
A lot of these projects have interesting elements to evaluate. Can you guess which ones got the jury’s awards?
Microsoft BizSpark, sponsor of the event, assigned its 3 awards to:
2nd Table Blind
while the 3 Startup Weekend awards went to:
3rd Trivial One
No need to say how incredibly happy was the Kulram team of being awarded as the best project twice within few minutes!
As for us, it has been a great chance of seeing a very collaborative, vivid and bright environment and try ourselves out.
Now, we look forward for Startup Weekend Verona (coming up on November 16th -18th)!
See you there!
Here some videos of the event.