Columbia Startup Weekend Helps Innovative Business Ideas Thrive

3 years ago October 01, 2012 Oct 1, 2012 Monday, October 01 2012 Monday, October 01, 2012 12:54:26 PM CDT in News
By: Mengti Xu

COLUMBIA - One hundred twenty-five people gathered the weekend of Sept. 28, spending 54 hours in 19 teams to work on their innovative business ideas and build web-based applications or other product types. Startup Weekend, a non-profit organization, lets people participate in business brainstorming events in more than 200 cities around the world. Columbia launched its first Startup Weekend last year with 76 participants in 10 teams.

Bryan Helmig, Wade Foster, and Mike Knoop, founders of Zapier, a data transfer company, were the first prize winners last year. They now locate their company in Mountain View, Calif. Their product helps make it easy for small businesses to connect the softwares they are using and sync data between web applications.

Recalling the experience he had last year, Foster, as a mentor for the event this year, said the gathering gave the participants an important and precious experience they need.

"It was a big deal because, by the end of the weekend, we had a functional product type," said Foster. "It was enough that we had a few people interested in what we were doing and able to kick-start our business just that much more quickly."

Foster also explained how a group actually built a product within a weekend. Foster said, for instance, when a group wants to build a software for football coaches, the team members will call up the coaches, find out the things they would like and then build that for the coaches. So, by the end of the weekend, they will have an application the coaches can use to track their players' data. 

Heidi Fuhrman, the director of the League of Innovators, which hosted the event, said participants could take advantage of the event during the weekend since there were so many resources around helping give advices on business strategy with marketing, financial side, technical side, etc.

At the end of the weekend, each team gave a five-minute presentation in front of five judges and other people. Judges evaluated each product based on customer validation, business model and execution, and then chose the top three teams.

During the final presentations, members of each team tried their best to impress the judges. Some of them engaged the judges by letting them immediately have an experience with their product. Judges also asked multiple questions of the participants.

Two Douglass High School students also participated in the event as a team, which received high praise from others.

The final winner was "Fundrunners," founded by six people who knew each other before coming to the event.

"It's a tool set to help people organize and put on running events for causes they deem worthy," co-founder Jamie Canine said.

Canine said his team wants to use the application to help users recruit people to participate, make it easy for users to raise money and get the word out to the general public about what they are raising money for.

Canine also said people can go to Fundrunners.org to sign up in no more than 30 seconds, and start their events within five minutes. 

The first prize winning team received a gift card-based $2000 it can use for its business. The second prize was $1000 and the third was $600.

Canine said his team was very happy to receive the prize. Since all the team members have full-time jobs, they want to build the project in a quality manner and keep the project going. 

Canine also said although the team has to charge a small percent of the funds raised by every event, the primary purpose of the product is not to make money. The short-term goal of the team is to get the product out to the general public, have people test it and raise $1 million in the next 12 months for local charities.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - The Callaway County Sheriff's Office arrested a man early Sunday morning after actively seeking him for two warrants... More >>
2 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 7:25:50 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ranked 47th in the nation by Business Insider, Missouri’s seemingly stagnant economy has been a talking point... More >>
2 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 7:16:13 PM CST in Continuous News
KIRKWOOD, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis area police officer has been hospitalized after being hit by a car. ... More >>
4 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 5:41:49 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Grocery stores see an increase in customers during Super Bowl weekend. The National Retail Federation reports total customer... More >>
5 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 4:51:48 PM CST in Continuous News
RAYTOWN, Mo. (AP) — An early morning fire in a Kansas City area apartment has killed a child and injured... More >>
6 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 3:01:02 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The new leader of the Missouri State NAACP says he plans to build a younger, more... More >>
7 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 2:47:03 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Jefferson City man has b een placed on unsupervised probation after he pleaded guilty to... More >>
8 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 1:37:31 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A second-floor porch in St. Louis collapsed, injuring five people, two seriously. Fire Department Capt.... More >>
8 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 1:31:14 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri state Rep. Genise Montecillo is talking about her suicide attempt in hopes of helping others... More >>
8 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 1:22:48 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Some Columbia pizza companies deliver hundreds of pizza on Superbowl Sunday with as few as three drivers. ... More >>
8 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 1:07:46 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police arrested two men Sunday for stealing from West Middle School. Officers along with a CPD... More >>
9 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 12:00:28 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police confirmed reports of shots fired in north Columbia early Sunday morning. Officers were dispatched to... More >>
10 hours ago February 07, 2016 Feb 7, 2016 Sunday, February 07 2016 Sunday, February 07, 2016 11:35:02 AM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The third annual Black Men Rock event at Columbia College honored leaders in the black community Saturday afternoon.... More >>
1 day ago February 06, 2016 Feb 6, 2016 Saturday, February 06 2016 Saturday, February 06, 2016 6:54:12 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Police responded to a report of shots fired around 5 p.m. near Olympic Boulevard and Danbury Court in... More >>
1 day ago February 06, 2016 Feb 6, 2016 Saturday, February 06 2016 Saturday, February 06, 2016 6:31:44 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker says he's pleased that a colleague dropped a restraining order against him, but... More >>
1 day ago February 06, 2016 Feb 6, 2016 Saturday, February 06 2016 Saturday, February 06, 2016 5:28:16 PM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The fifth annual Lunafest made its way to mid-Missouri Saturday. The festival took place at Stephens College... More >>
1 day ago February 06, 2016 Feb 6, 2016 Saturday, February 06 2016 Saturday, February 06, 2016 5:19:10 PM CST in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - A hearing is scheduled in the Missouri Senate Transportation, Infrastructure, and Public Safety Committee for four bills... More >>
1 day ago February 06, 2016 Feb 6, 2016 Saturday, February 06 2016 Saturday, February 06, 2016 4:55:18 PM CST in Continuous News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — The surviving suspect in a multistate crime spree has been booked into a Florida jail. ... More >>
1 day ago February 06, 2016 Feb 6, 2016 Saturday, February 06 2016 Saturday, February 06, 2016 3:39:43 PM CST in Continuous News
Interactive Radar Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
10pm 39°
11pm 38°
12am 36°
1am 34°
Select a station to view its upcoming show schedule: KOMU 8 CW Mid-Missouri's CW

Coming Up Next

7:30 pmPitch Perfect
10:00 pmKOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35 pmSports Extra with Chris Gervino

Tonight's Schedule

6:00 pmDateline NBC
7:30 pmPitch Perfect

Coming Up Next

9:30 pmCougar Town
10:00 pmThe Hustle
12:00 amCommunity

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pmAnother 48 Hrs.
9:00 pmKOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30 pmCougar Town