By: Adam Haun, Lead Organizer, Chicago Startup Weekend
No Talk. All Action. That’s the Startup Weekend mantra, and it proved to be effective once again a few weekends ago at the seventh Startup Weekend held in Chicago (the second of 2012).
Things kicked off Friday night at Excelerate Labs in 1871, as Troy Henikoff gave a brief talk on his space, but more importantly, why his space is in Chicago. It was a great way to open our event, especially since 1871 played host to travelers from Pittsburgh, DC, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Champaign, Milwaukee, Iowa City, Omaha, Jacksonville, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Shortly after Troy spoke, former Startup Weekend winner, Mike McGee, gave some pointers to the participants on how to take on the next 54 hours. Mike shared some of his experiences from a few events back when his team took home top prize.
After Mike spoke, our Facilitator for the weekend – Startup Weekend Hall of Famer, Shane Reiser – explained to the participants how the pitching process works. Then, it was show time. Over 60 ideas were pitched from the participants, with 17 being selected. Teams were formed, and projects were being built.
For the next several hours, teams were building their MVPs, holding strategy sessions, coming up with business models, researching their market, and validating customers.
When Sunday night rolled around, it was presentation time. Each team had four minutes to present what they’ve spent all weekend working on to a panel of judges, consisting of VC’s, Angels, a CTO, and a CEO. Presentations were then followed by a three minute Q&A from the judging panel.
After each team presented, the judges determined a winner. Prizes were given away to the top six teams. First place went to WhyDeliver, a same day delivery service of purchases from local merchants, by people in your community. Jimmy Odom and team will now continue on to compete in the Global Startup Battle. You can read about their experience here.
A very special thanks to 1871, the CEC, and all of our amazing sponsors who made this event possible. I’d also like to acknowledge the awesome cast of organizers for their help and support. This remarkable event couldn’t have been done without the help of Mark Bertrand, Chris McKeever, Kit Mueller, Becky Rother, and our incredible facilitator, Shane Reiser.
Visit our site to learn more about Startup Weekend sponsors, judges, venue, coaches, and organizers.