Day 1 Startup Weekend Toronto #swtoronto – Let the Games (I mean Pitches) Begin

So last night was Startup Weekend Toronto at The Working Group, Chris Eben’s biz. Take 160 devs, designers, and non-technicals and put them in a room and let the best ideas win. I don’t know how many pitches actually happened but I think it was +60 or 70ish. You only have 60 seconds to make an impression on the audience, the hard part is that many people are talking in the background so being in the back it was hard to hear some of the pitches.

After the pitches were said and done it was time for the pitchers to find the votes they would need so they make the final lot to build teams around. There were so many ideas that it was hard to keep track of them all. Once it was down to this stage of the game it was about building teams. Usually at Startup Weekend the non-technicals are the biggest group and they are on the hunt for developers and designers. It is a good idea to take on folks who are jack of all trades because they can fill in the gaps when and where you need it and in a 54 hour project that is gonna be the name of the game.

There were three that I really liked Statalitics which is basically like the movie Moneyball with a heavy dose of statistics but for fantasy sports was pitched by someone with experience in the VC world. Another one I really liked was Groupnotes which is a way to put sticky notes on webpages as you are doing research that is sharable with your group.

This was Matt Gardner’s idea and having previously won another Startup Weekend he came with devs and business folks ready willing and able to get to work. Radius was an idea that took craigslist and added geotagging which I thought was interesting. Menu Wave was a startup that would change how you read menu but they would have to go up against the Just-eats of the world which could be quite daunting.

The idea I chose was GroupNote by Matt Gardner because it is something that I would use. Even as an individual I can see it helping me when I am doing research on subjects. It is hard to choose one idea over another because there are so many, it becomes a crap shoot in a lot of ways. Startup Weekend this year kicks off global entrepreneurship week which celebrates the entrepreneur. At a time when it has never been as easy to do a startup, the volume of noise makes it that much harder to get noticed or have your idea be the one and only.

If that is what sets the scene then what will define who wins and who doesn’t is the execution, whoever executes the best will be the ones to win the battle. So after Matt created the team we started to get together and set out a task list for what needs to done. That is what today is about, so one thing is for certain there will be no sleeping this weekend, it will be time to work it to the grindstone and back again. Good luck everyone and see you at the end of the gauntlet, MVP in hand and presentation pitch perfect, ready, set, go!


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