24-26 February 2012
Westpac Business & Community Hub, Christchurch
“If there is one city that is in the perfect space for entrepreneurship, it’s Christchurch, and I was blown away by the quality and passion of the large number of people who turned out.” – Marc Nager, Startup Weekend CEO
At the end of February I attended to the Christchurch Startup Weekend, the first one to happen there. A great treat was the presence of Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend – he chose Christchurch from 10 other Startup Weekend events happening at the same time worldwide. Together with the other awesome mentors and organizers, Marc was fully hands-on throughout the weekend and kept the teams motivated.
As you might already know, Startup Weekend events have teams formed on Friday night based on pitches, and the teams spend the rest of the weekend creating prototypes, business models, and performing market research to validate their idea. There was a great turnout (over 70 entrepreneurs) with 10 teams formed.
Microsoft is a global sponsor of Startup Weekend, but we also provided local funding and were there the whole weekend to help. I presented to everyone talking about BizSpark, BizSpark Plus, and Microsoft’s commitment to fostering innovation and ensuring a bright future for startups. Our relationship with Startup Weekend is a great way to ensure that happens! The two top teams are now on BizSpark and will receive all the support they need.
The 10 ideas that were chosen for development over the weekend were, by Sunday night pitching order:
1. Dealfreak : Restaurants' quiet times become busy times. Customers get a meal deal blackboard in their pocket.
2. GetItFixed : Giving landlords an easy way to manage tenant issues.
3. Tsk : Helps find the people with the time and skill to do the tasks you can't.
4. Anticounter : Helps manufacturers and consumers fight the war against counterfeit goods.
5. IQnGo : Solving queue issues for drinks and food at events.
6. InstaBeer : Lets you send drink vouchers via text to your friends for them to redeem at their local bar.
7. The Media Mansion : Legitimizing music download.
8. LoVo : Helps you get local insights of "the-places-to-go" from locals. Personalised city tours.
9. BuyNow : Insta-purchase solution, with customer service analytics and service initiatives.
10. Keeping Tabs : Helps family members keep tabs on each other.
The winning team, Tsk, will receive:
· Lots of love from the local BizSpark team as they have joined the program
· $1000 worth of MYOB solutions, and profiled on a regular basis in MYOB client communications
· powerHouse are providing 1 hour mentoring per month for 4 months
· Two, one hour, 1-on-1 planning workshops (via Skype) with Derek Handley
· HyperStart/Webfund are providing an initial $1,000 to the company’s bank account once they have registered with the Companies Office
The second place team, Keeping Tabs, will receive:
· Lots of love from the BizSpark team as they also joined BizSpark!
· 2 hour business plan workshop to define essential input information
· 1 hour follow up meeting to review written business plan
· Arrange introduction meetings with 5 relevant potential Customers
· 1 hour Pitching Presentation and Practice Session
· Arrange introduction meetings with 3 relevant investors
This was a top Startup Weekend event. Innovation events like this are exactly what Christchurch needs to help the city regrow, and Microsoft are dedicated to supporting them. I look forward to the next events!