Yesterday the Vienna edition of Startup Weekend kicked-off and our space was buzzing with excitement. All throughout the afternoon participants kept us updated on their travels and we had our hands full with the last preparations – Do we have enough hot dogs? Where are all those post-its we once had? Where do we put that PageStrip banner?
After a rather flawless registration process we could differentiate the mentors from the participants, and beers and hot dogs (or ‘hot veggies’) could be consumed.
Our moderator-for-the-weekend Adrian Pica then called us all together to introduce the team behind Startup Weekend Vienna, the sponsors – thank you Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development, Wirtschaftsagentur, PageStrip, inventures, wemakeit, FounderTalks and Back-Bone Marketing GmbH! – and first introduced the mentors.
Martin Bittner, frontman of Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (a high-profile incubator program conducted at sektor5), then shared his entrepreneurial failures for the audience to learn from. And giggle about.
Next Adrian started a game of Half Baked, where freshly formed teams needed to choose two random words from a flip-over, not knowing this would be their startup name and they’d have to come up with a pitch for that product. Space Travel as a Service, Banana Headphones, Database Wishlist… one tough cookie!
From renting out cats to stressed-to-the-bone university students to sending your peers an actual cloud-in-a-box, and a lemonade drink that will ‘hack you into a better person’, the pitches were anything but boring.
And with this bit of practice in the proverbial pocket it was time for the participants to pitch the startup idea they’d want to work on over the weekend. Eighteen out of sixty attendees lined up to pitch.
QR codes on food indicating just how fresh it is, an Uber for butlers, finding local activities, offers and interests targeted to your social media profiles, easier work shifts planning, a smart heart monitor, teaching ex-convicts to code… ideas were plenty.
A hectic 15 minutes of voting followed and Fence Me, Hey Beauty, Bat Suite, Heart Monitor, My Smart Bike, Ideal Roomie, Joy, Snapcard and Second Chance received the highest number of ‘green dots’. Next it was up to the winners to network and assemble a team around them.
Ideal Roomie and My Smart Bike recruited the highest number of team members (10 and 9 respectively). Impressive friends-making-skills, but we all know that in the end it’s all about that one (or two) ground-shaking idea(s) and highly efficient team.
We’re super excited to see where this weekend will take us.
And, because we never get enough of embedding tweets, our favorite moments so far:
Today Fence Me, Hey Beauty, Bat Suite, Heart Monitor, My Smart Bike, Ideal Roomie, Joy, Snapcard and Second Chance are working on their MVP’s. More on those tomorrow morning!