Lots of karaoke, laughter, hard work and very little sleep. A total of 94 startup enthusiasts in thirteen different teams worked around the clock last weekend, to come up with the next big startup idea during Startup Weekend Groningen.
The tenth edition of Startup Weekend Groningen was completely sold out, with a record number of 94 participants. On Friday, more than half of them pitched their own startup idea at Het Kwadraat, the office building and soon to be startup hotspot that also houses local newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden. The participants formed 13 different teams and worked around the clock to present their idea on Sunday evening.
For those who aren’t familiar with the kickass concept, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event with editions around the world, where developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, students, marketing gurus and graphic artists get together and collaborate. They pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening, in front of a panel of experts.
Superstition, guardian angel & the gift of giving
“When I say startup, you say weekend!” Facilitator Filippos Protogeridis gets the crowd going, while the first teams gather around the stage to set up their demos and presentation. after two days of very little sleep, the teams finally demoed their prototypes to the audience and a jury of experts in the field. Wielding the hammer of expert judgment this year were Innofest founder Anna van Nunen, entrepreneur and business developer at Airport Eelde Harm Post, pub innovator and Mr. Mofongo owner Patrick Beijk and director of operations at IBM Services center Benelux Carola Bos.
The teams were judged on three things: validation, execution & design and a solid business model. Did they go out and check if there was an actual need for their idea? How far along are they with a working prototype? And how will they make money?
After a long jury deliberation, three teams came out on top. In third place: Noknok, a piece of wood sold as a pendant or bracelet, for the superstitious. But more than a novelty gift, the team also plans to donate the proceedings to plant trees. The team also won the audience choice award.
Custos, Latin for guardian angel, came in second, with their idea of an emergency bracelet. When you feel unsafe, just tap the bracelet, and through an LoRa network, you’re able to send your location to emergency services or friends.
And the big winner? Warmglow, a donation module for auction websites and sites like eBay, where buyers get the option to donate to a charity of their choosing. Warmglow consisted of just two members, because they couldn’t find more people to join on Friday. So they had to work harder than anyone else, but it paid off!
Photo credit: Joost Nuijten