DC’s 2014 Spring Startup Weekend: Recap and Winners

Looking for the next Airbnb? You just might find it at Startup Weekend DC. This past weekend at WeWork DC – Wonder Bread Factory, 13 new startups were created, money was made, $25k was invested, and three months of rent was waved away for one lucky startup.

The Judges Panel:

Benjamin Wald @benjaminswald – Managing Partner at Spartan Systems

Ben Wan @WanB – Serial Entrepreneur, retired VC, co-founder of Breue (an online community for product feedback)

Minh Nguyen @minhn21 – CEO at AppPress, Founder of Plaxo

Aaron Saunders @aaronksaunders – CEO at Clearly Innovative


The Startups:

Idea Vine “Pitch ideas to the world” – is where users can share their ideas, contribute to other ideas, and validate their ideas. Grow your ideas with feedback, discover ideas that are in demand, and turn your ideas into realities. Possible enterprise application as an internal company feedback system.

Brand Forge – helps you quickly test new brand names for availability across domains and social media platforms.

Speakstr (@speakkstr) – is real-time automated data visualization for meetings. Often, meetings get off track, there’s no general consensus about what to do, and most people do not respond well to just plain audio learning. Experience visualization of keywords, stay on track, export your visuals, have a consensus for meetings and generate next steps. A speech to text to data to visual converter. Customers include organizations with billable labor (ex: government), organizations transitioning to agile, and startups! A personal account is free and a business account is $99/yr. Future add-ons: recordable meeting notes, sentiment analysis.

oRate (@oRate_dc) – is the next generation for public speakers. Unqualified speakers get a free service, qualified speakers get a free service and commission, paid speakers pay $10/month. Note: The average speaker member of the National Speakers Association has a pre-tax salary of $125k.

Perfecto Shot DC (@perfectoshot) – helps you discover the heart of the city. Navigate to your perfecto location with a perfecto map, obtain tips, and take a perfecto picture with a perfecto picture taking guide. $1.99 downloadable working android app. Currently partnering with visitor centers.

SocialTranslate – translates foreign content you want into your preferred language. Utilize the power of community-translated versions because machine translations are just not up to par. Revenue model: subscriptions, cost per click for recommendations.

whimTIX (@whimTIX) – provides experience-seekers with access to today’s best deals to see live shows. Connecting unsold venue seats with buyers seeking immediate local deals. Initial test results: 26 email signups, 65% subscribed, 65% open rate, 0 unsubscribed, sold two theatre tickets ($15 each) on Saturday night for 75% off! It’s a “Whim Whim” Situation!!

Game Plans “Painless project management” – is a web-based standard Project Management documentation tool that will engage users in a self-guided process resulting in elegant project documentation. Utilize multiple documents, host project questions, and generate project charters. Potential customer industries: Federal, Construction, Software Development.

Lens – is the most intuitive way to interact with the world around you. Ever go to a theatre just to find out that the tickets are sold out? Or ever go to a hotel to disappointingly find that they’re fully booked? No more with the help of Lens’ augmented reality!

datasembly – is a platform for sharing raw research data. Use it to manage your lab’s data, share and collaborate with students and other researchers, and find data from around the world. Capitalize on Obama’s 2013 Open Data Executive Order: U.S. government data to be made open, free and available.

CoLab (@DCCoLab)  “Collaborate, play and learn” – is a system that generates storylines into collaborative games. $10 per user account and $35/yr or $3.50 per month for platform developers. Market research showed that 78% would buy.

OmniEYE – is a system for tracking comprehensive facial analysis in real-time. OmniEYE is a software-based analytics aggregator which generates behavioral and emotional analysis. It’s been shown that sometimes it takes 45 minutes for locations to respond to a threat. Think proactive instead of reactive!

Finfit “Here to get your finances in shape” – is a proactive solution that motivates long-term beneficial financial behavioral changes. Poll data: women would pay $5 to 10 a month for this type of product, men would not pay, women considered students loans more important, men valued rent and/or mortgage. Finfit will use a 5-10-15 model… the more you save, the less you pay. The top 10 who have saved the most will get free membership.

The Results:

1st Place: oRate- won $25k from Spartan Systems and 3 months rent from WeWork DC
2nd Place: Brand Forge
3rd Place: WinTIX

WinTIX – won the popular vote
Idea Vine – honorable mention

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Written by:
Jeff Tong is a social media strategist in Washington DC and has been a long-time contributor at Tech Cocktail. You'll find Jeff at tech events, foodie hangouts, and possibly snorkeling somewhere tropical. Contact Jeff online at @gundamwing4132 or jefftong@tech.co.
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