After an intense 54 hours, the 4th annual Startup Weekend Stamford has come to a close.
Participants made some new friends, created some fantastic companies, and learned a lot about building a startup from the ground up. Spending a weekend working hard as a team is a good bonding experience, and I love seeing what sorts of relationships come out of these events.
We had 120 people attend Friday night kickoff.
Nine startup teams ranging from 5 to 8 people in each team worked together all weekend to turn great ideas into viable businesses. Want a play-by-play of the weekend? Check out the official @SWStamford twitter account. The entire weekend was live tweeted, and many participants hopped on the #SWStamford hashtag to share photos and memories.
Startup Weekend Stamford 2015 Teams:
- FIRST SS SlipShare: “AirBnB for boats” An app to help seafarers find dock space and dining after days or weeks of cruising distant shores
- SECOND CollegeXchange: An online exchange to help student-run businesses connect
- THIRD Punctual Payments: Reengineering business cash flow with an app to help small businesses collect invoices
- MOST PATENTABLE PROCESS: CollegeXchange wins provisional patent drafting and application filing from Wasserbauer Law
- Tree’s Clothing: Online fashion platform to create and buy your own clothes
- Hawk Analytics: Doctor to patient communication using smart devices for chronic care
- Plastic is Precious:Eliminating plastic waste by recycling it into biofuel
- Focus Point: An application to help people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia read text
- Rate the Debate: A platform for open and honest debate among opinionated people
- Jiffy: Social networking app for friends and family to connect based on proximity
SlipShare, the winners of this years #SWStamford, will receive six months of coworking at the Stamford Innovation Center (and we look forward to seeing our new coworkers), marketing strategy and brand development from Launch Unlimited LLC (led by SWStamford’s own lead organizer, Sharland Blanchard), dinner hosted by angel investor Tracy Chadwell with all 4 judges, patent assistance from Life in Mobile and a Promotional Video created in Hedgeye Studios.
The second place team won trademarking or provisional patent package from Jonathan Winter at SSJ&R (St. Onge Steward Johnston & Reens LLC), three free months coworking space at the SIC, Brand Development Consulting from Launch Unlimited LLC. Promotional Video produced by Hedgeye.
The third place team won one free month coworking space with us, Brand Consulting from Launch Unlimited, and Promotional Video produced by Hedgeye.
All Top 3 teams are invited to cocktails with the judges for more feedback and to celebrate their victory.
Every team attendee receives 1 week of free coworking space at the Innovation Center. To find out more about coworking at the Stamford Innovation Center, check out our workspace website, or call us at 203-226-8701.
We are so thankful to Sharland Blanchard of Launch Unlimited, who rounded up this amazing mix of prizes, and brought in an outstanding line-up of judges, coaches and volunteer organizers for this year’s event. Many thanks also to returning organizer Will Haire for his support of Sharland and ensuring the legacy of Quinnipiac University’s support of SUWE by sending such high-caliber attendees to this event.
As for the judges: Wow! This year, they were more engaged than ever.
They were so impressed by the caliber of business models pitched on Sunday night that they stayed to give more feedback to the teams! Startup Weekend Stamford 2015 judging panel included Angel Investor Tracy Chadwell, CEO and co-founder of Madd Gear Brian Anderson, CEO of The Calendar Group and co-founder of Nothin’ But Foods Steve Laitmon, and Daryl Jones of Hedgeye and co-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes. The judges have offered to come back for a follow up should the other teams want more input and assistance smoothing out any wrinkles in their newly minted companies. Contact StartupWeekends@gmail.com if you are interested in attending a follow-up session and getting some free Branding tips on May 5th.
Coaches – Another amazing aspect of Startup Weekend 2015.
All of this year’s coaches were either serial entrepreneurs, successful founders of businesses that have scaled online, or become standouts in their industry. Every team had an opportunity to gain insights and guidance from coaches who’ve had to engage customers, gain market share, and scale their businesses online and off. They came from a variety of industries. We were so impressed by this year’s coaches Samuel Rockwell, Josh Aferzon, Janis Collins, Linda Singh, Doug Campbell, David Tomczyk, Jerry Grammont, Allison Malloy, and Jonathan Yarmis who devoted their Saturday and Sunday to supporting these aspiring founders. The attendees, organizing team and we are so appreciative of your efforts.
We were also blown away by the food!
Truly, the generosity of many sponsors was appreciated. You really made sure the teams were well fed and enjoyed themselves. During such an intensive weekend it is so important to be well fed and hydrated, and a little comfort food always helps. We noticed you had Sponsors for every meal, and tons of snacks and beverages. I can’t tell you how grateful the attendees were. Not an easy feat with such a large group. Clearly, it brought out the best in them because the ideas were flowing, and they had the juice to shift gears when they ran into challenges validating or monetizing their ideas. Every meal was delicious and healthy.
Many thanks to the Sponsors who made this possible:
#SWStamford’s top sponsors this year were Launch Unlimited LLC and Stamford Innovation Center.
Platinum level sponsors included Damian Wasserbauer and Jonathan Winter of SSJR, who both hosted meals and contributed valuable in-kind intellectual property services to winning teams – Provisional Patent & Trademark Counsel, Search and Filing.
Startup Weekend had some marvelous silver level sponsors as well: Half Full Brewery donated beer for our Friday night kickoff. Saturday’s hot eggs and bacon breakfast donated by Seasons’ restaurant was just the fortification teams needed to get them started with the next 40 hours of business building. Sunday’s breakfast was an absolute treat thanks to WaffleWaffle donating fresh Belgian waffles and Whole Foods of Greenwich donating fresh fruit toppings. HedgeEye (whose founder was one of our judges), First Niagra Bank, Ohlandt Greeley Ruggiero & Perle LLP, Ron & Allison Malloy all sponsored meals and beverages as well. New Sun Cookies sent us healthy, figure friendly fiber and energy cookies. Fairfield Pizza also gave us a great discount on Friday night’s pizzas!
Speaking of energy: UFC Gym Stamford hosted a special class for attendees in addition to their donation of 1-week passes to all attendees. Neighbors FastSigns of Stamford and Sir Speedy supported this year’s SUWE by comping a number of printed items, and Hotel Zero Degrees gave attendees great rates on accommodations and a special donation. Life in Mobile donated with in-kind consulting to a winning team. The Ferguson Library opened access to their databases for team research. We are so overwhelmed by your generosity and would like to thank you on behalf of the organizers and attendees.
Many, Many thanks!
We’d also like to take a moment to thank our fabulous organizers for putting together a really memorable weekend. The weekend was executed very smoothly and you all deserve a round of applause.
Thank you to Sharland Blanchard for leading the charge, making sure every last detail was ironed out, and for bringing together such a dynamic team of volunteer organizers. Your vision, focus and endless hours developing this year’s event will not be forgotten. We were so appreciative of your passion to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and draw in so many new people to the weekend and the center! We were so thankful for your team and how well things were taken care of during the weekend.
Thank you John Malloy for the heavy lifting and lining up every meal and beverage setup with the help of Marcela Guaman and Lisy Pitruzella. Thank you Will Haire and Alan Tan for stepping up to work on Startup Weekend again– yay alumns! It was amazing to have your tireless support in all the preparations and running logistics during the event.
Thank you Mia Schipani, Laurie Heiss, Larry Perlstein, Marcela Guaman, Bob Trinka, Chris Higbie, Susan Dallas, Diana and Kristen Ackerly and for helping to complete so many of the communications and outreach efforts required to draw and inform sponsors and attendees – an integral part of pulling together such a big event.
Many thanks to the photographers who covered this event and donated images: Jadu Durrans, Simon Silverleaf, and videographers Eric Psihoules, Christopher Spaide and Matt Szatkowski – amazing work! You all really went above and beyond.
Thank you Derek Koch, this year’s Startup Weekend Facilitator!
Startup Weekend Stamford Hosting Sponsors:
- Launch Unlimited LLC, Sharland Blanchard 203-663-6640
- DigiServices, Will Haire 860-307-9944
- Tan International, Alan Tan 888-407-2990 x 101
- Stamford Innovation Center, 175 Atlantic St. Stamford, CT
Press articles about this year’s Startup Weekend:
- CT Post: Startup Weekend for April 10-12
- CT Post: Startup Weekend Stamford Posts Prizes
- Stamford Advocate: Venture Capital Funding on Fumes
- Fairfield County Business Journal: Stamford Innovation Center Hosts Startup Competition
- Organizer recap video: Startup Weekend Stamford 2015
- It’s Relevant: Startup Weekend Stamford Comes to a Close
- CT Post: SlipShare Wins Startup Weekend
- Stamford Advocate: Startup Winners Already Facing Competition