Monday, October 27, 2014

Startup Weekend Buffalo - Judging and FinalsOctober 2014 - Part 2

Startup Weekend Buffalo - October 2014

Well in my first blog post I covered the initial pitches and how the actual first night goes. I couldn't be there on Saturday due to my son being in his last Volleyball Tournament of the year which his team made it to the finals but lost. But I did make it back for the finals which include 5 minute pitch's and Q&A from the judges, with the conclusion and announcement of the Winners!

So a quick recap of what has transpired so far - 43 teams pitched an idea on Friday and 18 teams formed from those 43 ideas! So lets go see what happened!

So the stage was set, this picture below shows Dan Miner from the Buffalo Business First as well as we had WGRZ covering some of the finals as well. The winning team also made it on WingingIt TV too! What great exposure!

Pat Whalen, COO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus was also here, and I am glad he supports this kind of event taking place here in WNY.

So Jon Spitz got it started and the format is very simple, 5 minutes to explain your ideas with props and presentations and then 5 minutes of Q&A from the judges so they can get an understanding of the idea and then they score each one based on Business Model/Customer Validation, User Experience, Product Execution, and then bring those totals together. 

The 5 judges are people you would want to help evaluate your business idea and they were great. We had Marnie Lavigne of Launch NY, Mitchell Patterson founder of HackUpstate, Dan Penberthy of Rand Capital Corp, Michael Weisman founder of Campus Labs and Dr. Bob Genco Professor at SUNY Buffalo. I was impressed to see these distinguished guests as judges.  

 Jessica Edwards the Curator of DIG Buffalo made sure everything was perfect and this venue made the event so much better! Thank you Jessica and DIG!

It was "Standing Room Only" for this event!

Dan Magnuszewski laid the ground rules for the pitches and he was one of the time keepers along with Steve Poland.

 And with that the judges were ready to hear the 18 business ideas!

I am not going to cover each idea pitched but here are the company names -, Tender App, Givengi, iFlourish, BAG – Buffalo Automation Group, three square meals, Skills Repo,        Buy BLOCAL, BEST Channel, Community Canvas, Med$, SheMay..,‘Betes Buster, Beautiful Brains,LLC, Pawraiser, Zealotic, Go Go Local. Some were better than others, but my personal favorite was Med$ an App that can help you find a medical procedure based on cost. I also liked the Sol Warrior Bag too. 

The organizers were strict to give each team only 5 minutes and they made it fair for all participants. So not only would the contestants who have worked for 54 hours have to lay it on the line in front of a live audience and explain their business plan for 5 minutes and then face a Q&A for 5 minutes from the judges. What a competition!! 

Neil Carroll of Nickel City Graphics does such a great job, I can't wait till he gets the videos done!

Finally the pitches and Q&A are done and now the judges need to deliberate and come up with the winners!

And the winners - 3rd place Buffalo Automation Group

2nd prize Pawraiser

1st place Three Square Meals!

And the 4th Buffalo Startup Weekend comes to a great end! Get involved, get motivated, build something, grow your community and amazing things will happen this weekend sure did prove that to me.

Here is the article from the BUFFALO NEWS about the winning teams for a little more details.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!