Sunday, April 15, 2012

Triangle Startup Weekend - Sunday Final Pitches

Review our live blog from Friday evening and our Saturday update to catch yourself up to speed on the weekend's events and stories thus far. 

1:30 PM --  We're here in the courtyard, chatting with folks about their experiences this weekend. Many report a mixture of accomplishment at what has been achieved in the previous two days. Companies forming, and taking an idea and turning it into a viable prototype. A few companies are reporting to us that their presentations will include a bit more than just a prototype. We await in rapt anticipation. Presentations to begin at 2 PM. Will be livestreamed, if you want to listen in.

2 PM --  Judges walk into the room. We are prepped, set, and ready to go. A murmur runs through the crowd, and I can feel how exited folks are. You wouldn't believe the number of cameras and A/V equipment that is set up so that folks can capture the event.

2:10 PM --  Wendy Overton welcomes the crowd, and says "no matter what happens in the next few hours, you've been through the gauntlet and that is worth something." Overton, who is active in the entrepreneurial community, helps regions throw startup weekend events around the world. This startup weekend is the 468th startup weekend. The stage is set, housekeeping notes are out of the way, and the sponsors got a shout out.

Our Judges:

  • Lee Buck, founder of Blue Bright Ventures
  • Chad Bennett, representing EvoApp
  • Christopher Evans, an entrepreneur who also advises the NC State Entrepreneurship
  • Richard White, a NC State Alumni and founder of UserVoice
  • Vicki Gibbs, a local entrepreneur and investor
  • Bill Spruill, an angel investor with Triangle Angel Partners and member of the CED Board of Directors
2:30 PM -- Let the presentations begin!

Go Haps -- Allows you to find out what is REALLY going on in town and make plans with your friends. Essentially, we're bringing together events and updates from the social web, and pushing that information to your mobile device. Find out what is happening at hot spots, what your friends are looking to do, and stay connected to your city. 

Soul Exchange -- a most-audacious idea from any startup weekend ever. We have developed the most innovative and ridiculous idea with our team of killers. Here's the concept: pretty much every body on this earth believes there is some version of a "soul". So here's the dish: you can place your "soul" on exchange for your friends, investors, enemies, whoever, to invest in, and then your soul value increases  based on the deeds (good or bad) that you do. Here's how they plan to monetize: they'll bring in sponsorship and advertising on top of a "transaction" fee. 

Bookworm College -- A forum that helps college students learn more about the courses in which they are enrolled and the topics in which they are interested. Social integration would enable a greater market reach. Question from the judges: how do you ensure that you have a group of knowledgeable community members who will answer user questions?  

Docster -- The idea for Docster came from a miserable and horrible Sunday night, when at 9 PM, Susan, Docster's founder, realized that there must be a better way to see the right medical professional at the right time. Doctors and dentists will find value in the service, because it will enable them to fill vacant appointments, prevent double-bookings, and increase their client base. The goal of the application is to be an extremely easy-to-use interface for both clients and medical professionals. Question from the judges: since you will most likely be replacing an existing software package, are you going to target new doctors or new offices?

Unfundable -- With the JOBS Act just passed and signed into law, crowd-funding will be a major consideration for any entrepreneur looking to gather funds to build prototypes or proof of concept. The crux of the process is for interested viewers to interact with the company profile and the company themselves.

Field Flag -- Mobile GPS verification software made easy. Helps people easily capture GPS data in a central application. The target market would be GIS professionals, field mapping agents, and professional city or urban planners. Basic web application which enables users to add a new data verification project. Once a project is created, the owner can add users to the project. The users can then work in the field to geo-tag and capture the required information and easily store it on the home server for the account owner to review. Question from the judges: do you sell the product to the field agents, or to the HQ directors and project managers?

Wanderful (formerly: History Hikes) -- Using a mobile device, enables users to view the history of specific buildings or points of interest. Enables a client to set up and manage hiking or walking routes in a specific city, area or region. Plan to partner with existing institutions--museums, chambers of commerce, city councils, etc. Find more at

PhotoSlam (formerly: Fhoto Flip) -- We are turning the camera on your mobile phone into a gaming device. The limitation in the photo meme industry is this: it lacks engagement between all users. PhotoSlam is a game that allows people to participate in photo challenges to compete with their friends. Expect to see more from these guys. Find more at

Truxie --  "Food Truck Ordering Made Easy". Customers want a more convenient way to get the food they want from the trucks they want. Food truck operators want a better way to anticipate customers and get good data on transactions and ingredients. More at

Kick Pass Run -- a social game you play with your friends while at live events or watching from home.  Accumulate points by correctly identifying the next play of a live game.

Dumpster Dating -- there are piles of stuff that people leave at the dumpster that people could (and would) use in their homes. Givers and re-users of stuff do already have access to a variety of "solutions," but there is no solution that is extremely easy for those that are getting rid of stuff. Hence, it "is not dumpster diving, if you have a date." Target market is the typical college student. They plan on launching prior to the college student move out madness about to hit in the next three weeks.

Easy Raffle -- With the tagline "zero to raffle in 5 minutes," the team at Easy Raffle enables nonprofits and organizations to fundraise by enabling easy set-up of raffles and allowing potential users to purchase raffle tickets to win particular prizes awarded by the nonprofit.

Triangle Good -- Have you ever wanted to make a difference in your community? Triangle Good is a platform similar to Kickstarter, except it allows organizations to ask for more than just funds. Volunteers can contribute hours, in-kind equipment or donations, or a dollar amount. A fundamental assumption that the team has made is that people want to contribute to a charity or do volunteer work, they just aren't able to connect with the right opportunities. With a working prototype, look for this team to continue to develop and hone their idea.

DADD -- A Dial-A-Designated-Driver service. Came to Startup Weekend already as an operational company, based in Charlotte, with $150,000 in annual revenue. Yet, founder Ben Lee recognized the need for a extremely simple application that enables the driver-on-demand service, and this is why he is here building a team in the Triangle. Raleigh is one of the target expansion markets. Allows for users to live track the location of their driver.

Hippo: Soundtrack to your Life -- A mobile application that enables users to add audio samples or clips to video, a photo stream, or other types of media.

Clever University -- Empowers people to learn through experience within online communities. At CleverU, people learn through gaming mechanics with a community of other users. Essentially, the idea boils down to helping people access information that enables them to learn more about a particular subject.

ReTrace -- Think of the last time you were really hungover, and you realized that you had lost your keys (this happened to me after a Deadmau5 show in Silver Spring, MD, about eight months ago) and you're not quite sure what could have happened to them. What if you had a really simple way to find your lost item (keys, wallet, etc.) that could help you track down just where you'd been the night before? A wide-open idea that could potentially help people track down their lost items. As a friend of mine just asked, "what happens when I lose my phone?"

SafeU -- A mobile application that will use predictive analysis to prevent date abuse and keeps students on any given college campus safe from potential threats. Will also be adding resources to help provide advice or information to potential victims of date abuse.

And, it's 5 PM. Let's see how the voting plays out. The judges have asked our startups great questions to help prove the viability of their businesses, and now it is time for deliberation.

5:35 PM -- And the winners are...

Honorable Mention -- Dumpster Dating

2nd Place Winners (3-way tie) -- Field Flag, Wanderful, Photo Slam

And the winner is...


Alright, this means that Durham is about to get all crazy with their food trucks.

What a great weekend!

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