MyStuDebt Earns Top Spot at Startup Weekend Stamford
-- Stamford Innovation Center Bursts with New Business Ideas at First Southwestern CT Mashup of Technology, Entrepreneurial & Investment Communities --
Stamford, CT, April 5, 2012 – After 54 hours of innovation, team building, business development and pitching, MyStuDebt earned top honors at Startup Weekend Stamford. Created by two second-year MBA students from The Wharton School who took the bus up from Philadelphia to compete in Stamford, MyStuDebt is a user-friendly web platform that helps students manage and repay their student loans.
The team bested 11 other groups that had been culled from the 48 initial idea pitches that kicked off the Weekend at the Stamford Innovation Center on March 30. The final presentations, judged by a panel of investors and seasoned entrepreneurs, were given at the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut on April 1.
“Startup Weekend Stamford was a tremendous success, with more than 150 people starting the Weekend at the Stamford Innovation Center and then ending it at UConn Stamford,” said Edward Petner, one of the organizers of Stamford Startup Weekend and one of the founders of the Stamford Innovation Center. “The amount of energy that filled both facilities as teams of entrepreneurs, technologists and designers created and polished their business ideas was electrifying. And while we salute the winners, we know that everyone who participated gained immensely from the experience.”
The winners of Startup Weekend Stamford were:
First Place: MyStuDebt -- A user-friendly web-based platform for students to manage and repay their student loans
Prize value: More than $21,000 in services from Wiggin and Dana, Stamford Innovation Center,Edwards Wildman and FML
Second Place Winner: BeBeautiful -- An online clothing exchange
Prize value: more than $4,000 in services from Wiggin and Dana, Stamford Innovation Center and FML):
Third Place: AgriComm Weather -- An aggregator of weather data for commodity traders
Prize Value: More than $2,500 in services from Wiggin and Dana, Stamford Innovation Center and FML.
In addition, two crowd prizes (worth $1,250 in services from FML and Stamford Innovation Center) were awarded to:
The Love Squadron -- Online dating advice (“your personal wingman”)
Risknicity -- A social site for automobile insurance
“We are thrilled to have been selected over so many other outstanding ideas,” said Amee Patel, one of the co-founders of MyStuDebt. “We know that student debt is a problem for both students and schools alike. MyStuDebt simplifies the entire loan process and sets students up for stress-free, default-free financial futures.” (Click here for a photo of the winning team.)
“Our goal for the Weekend was to come up with a website design and user interface that would serve as a basic prototype,” said Michelle Larivee, the other co-founder of MyStuDebt. “There is clearly a need in this space, and we have gotten a lot of interest about our platform from potential customers and users. Now that we have something concrete to show them, it should advance conversations quickly.”
Startup Weekend Stamford was the fourth Startup Weekend to be held in Connecticut, following earlier ones in Hartford, New Haven and Storrs. Connecticut Light & Power and Wiggin and Dana are Platinum Sponsors of these events statewide, while Shipman & Goodwin was a Platinum Sponsor of the Stamford event. The 54-hour Startup Weekend events provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs, centering on action, innovation and education. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, while the other half have business backgrounds.
About the Stamford Innovation Center
The Stamford Innovation Center offers inspiring physical workspaces and startup-centric programs that are built to serve one mission: “Accelerating the Entrepreneur’s Voyage.” Entirely focused on the success of the growing and diverse group of startups that are sprouting up all over southwestern Connecticut, the Center offers an environment where entrepreneurs can tap into the deep expertise, enthusiastic talent, proven service providers and experienced angel and VC investors that live and work in the area. When these products and services are ready, the Center can assist through its connections throughout the tri-state area and at the local, regional and state level of the Connecticut public sector. http://stamfordicenter.com.