August 22, 2011
While many of you were outside enjoying the beautiful weekend, Santa Monica’s premier coworking space, Coloft, played host to Startup Weekend LA as more than 100 developers, designers, marketers & product managers convened to launch startups in just 54 hours!
Notwithstanding a bit of excitement of whether there would be another surprise celebrity drop in this year (you might remember that last year’s winner, Zaarly.com, received funding from notable drop-in Ashton Kutcher), the atmosphere for the duration of the weekend can only be described as electric. Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday evening, attendees pitched ideas with hopes of inspiring others to join their team.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday, highly caffeinated teams focused on idea development and validation via LEAN Startup Methodologies to build minimal viable products. Last night, teams demoed their prototypes in front of a standing room only crowd with thousands of streaming onlookers and a panel of renowned experts including Scott Sangster (President, LA Tech Coast Angels) and Farhad Mohit (gri.pe/BizRate/Shopzilla).
Results were as follows:
1st Place (and audience vote) – Look.io – An innovative solution for in app live support for iphone applications, Look.io provides functionality enabling companies to help you navigate your screen with ease. Expect to find Look.io integration within your apps in the very near future.
2nd Place – Skilloop – Craigslist and coffee shop community boards should keep an eye on Skilloop, a community marketplace for lessons/experiences by locals with a very slick UX/UI.
3rd Place – Omaze.co – Win once-in-a-lifetime experiences money can’t buy. Launching with an opportunity to hang out with X Prize Founder Peter Diamondis, Omaze.co is both live and cash flow positive. Get in on the action at http://beta.omaze.co
Honorable Mention – Swadar – Notifying businesses when online influencers walk through their doors
Notwithstanding the accolades, this weekend gave rise to several innovative startups, many of which have tentative plans to continue development. They include:
- Drugkick.com – Find the right drug/alcohol program to kick your habit
- CompanyIs – Directory of simple company descriptions, all 120 characters or less
- Catch Tags – Game based video chat on twitter trending topics
- Escrow Snap – Simplifying the escrow process
- Habitful – How long can you keep habits up
- Healthy Surprise – A healthy snack subscription service
- Hand Job – Mobile job searching
- Insiter – Competitive web analysis
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