August 11, 2013

Recent Boston Startup Weekend a Success

It’s chaos. One hundred aspiring entrepreneurs. Half who have an idea they want to turn into reality in less than 54 hours.

And that’s just the beginning. When the dust settled, new companies working in custom trail mixes (TrailMixr), learning languages (ATW Vocab), and question asking (Ask More) landed on the podium.


One of the final rounds of Team Rock Paper Scissors

On July 26th, Startup Weekend Boston returned for it’s first event at Workbar’s new location in Cambridge. Many are familiar with Workbar’s downtown location on Atlantic Ave., and this was the first large-scale event Workbar held in their new space. More than 100 people packed the café on Friday evening to pitch, work, create, and collaborate. With a mix of backgrounds and skills, and more than forty pitches from attendees, the weekend started on an energetic note that carried through until Sunday night’s judging panel presentations.

Bradley Ericson (alum of Startup Institute: Boston) talks with another attendee

By the end of Friday evening, 17 teams (read: 17 potential new companies) had formed, and each set off to validate their ideas, pivot, and build their product or service over the course of the next 48 hours.

Startup Weekend’s approach is broad: rather than focusing on building product, or market research, teams are best-served by taking a holistic perspective of their concepts and balancing each aspect of their new company with the resources they have at hand.

Teams hard at work at Workbar!

To be successful at a Startup Weekend event, you’ve got to do your best with the time and team you have with you, whether you’re working on your own idea, or supporting someone else’s. In turn, you should expect that those who you’re working with will do the same. When polled after the event, a handful of the seventeen teams decided to continue working together on their new business ideas. Though they may not have an impact right away, the teams and ideas could become infinitely successful - Startup Weekend helped provide the spark!

The winning team was TrailMixr, a concept that offers customized trail mix in a vending machine format.  The two runners-up were ATW Vocabulary, an online peer-based language learning solution and Ask More an event based question-sourcing web and mobile application.

The next Startup Weekend will likely be held during Global Entrepreneurship Week, from November 15th – 17th, so please stay tuned to our Facebook page or Twitter () feed if you’re interested in attending, mentoring, or sponsoring our upcoming event!

Ethan Bagley is the CEO of USpin and C. Todd Lombardo is the Principal Innovation Catalyst at Constant Contact. Both are Organizers of Boston Startup Weekend.

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