Columbia Startup Weekend Helps Innovative Business Ideas Thrive

4 years 2 months 1 day ago October 01, 2012 Oct 1, 2012 Monday, October 01 2012 Monday, October 01, 2012 12:54:00 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
COLUMBIA - The Women's Symphony League kicked off the annual Holiday Home Tour, which is its biggest fundraiser of the... More >>
1 hour ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:12:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Jefferson City Fire Department responded to reports of smoke coming from a building in the 200 block... More >>
1 hour ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:57:00 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Following the election of Donald Trump, some students gathered for what they called a "positivity event". KOMU sent... More >>
10 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 7:05:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are proposing bills that would make attacking a law enforcement officer a hate crime.... More >>
12 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:51:13 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers are proposing bills that would make Missouri a right-to-work state. The Springfield News-Leader... More >>
12 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:46:41 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former Kansas City, Missouri, man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his... More >>
13 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:23:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Nixon and his wife Georganne kicked off the holiday season in the state's capital with Friday's... More >>
14 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:36:00 PM CST in News
POPLAR BLUFF (AP) — A Missouri man who spent eight years behind bars for murder has been acquitted in a... More >>
14 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:26:56 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities said fireworks that were mistaken for gunshots led to a standoff near Rockhurst University. ... More >>
14 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:09:14 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The former general manager of a suburban St. Louis car dealership is accused of defrauding the... More >>
14 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:05:38 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The incoming president of the University of Missouri System and officials attending a welcoming ceremony in... More >>
14 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:00:15 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A $2,000 donation will help protect South Callaway residents from potentially deadly house fires. Safeco Insurance's Protecting... More >>
14 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:52:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Fulton woman has pleaded guilty to money-laundering related to distributing synthetic cannabinoids, or K2, at businesses... More >>
14 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:45:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Housing Authority announced today the plan to renovate 90 units in the coming years. The... More >>
15 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:15:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities said a Kansas City man who stole a firearm from a homicide victim has been... More >>
15 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 2:01:43 PM CST in News
PARKVILLE (AP) - A campaign is underway to restore holiday decorations that were removed from trees along a suburban Kansas... More >>
15 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 1:56:25 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A suburban St. Louis school system has shed an unaccredited label that had forced it to... More >>
15 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 1:49:07 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Friday, police identified one of the suspects in the October 31 homicide on Michigan Street. ... More >>
17 hours ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 11:45:00 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
6am 31°
7am 31°
8am 32°
9am 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:30a
On the Money
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today Weekend
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
Paid Program
6:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
It's a Wonderful Life
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld