Startup Weekend Detroit 2010 is officially in the books. The weekend saw almost fifty hungry would-be entrepreneurs taking on the challenge of transforming business concepts to actionable ideas in 54 hours. As the 5 p.m. judging deadline loomed, the weary participants put the finishing touches on their presentations in hopes of winning the title of “Million Dollar Idea.”
Several interesting things happened this weekend. Ideas that were voted on to move forward earlier in the weekend evolved from concept to presentation. Websites, blogs and Twitter accounts were created. Logos sprung up and programming databases ensued. Teams solidified, creative juices flowed and the participants walked away with at least an appreciation for how hard starting a business from scratch can be.
Among the businesses created:
Cause Crazy, a business that raises money for non-profit organizations by having people donate to watch friends or local celebrities perform stunts on camera.
Salt Codes, an idea that uses QR technology to help bars identify the communities that patronize them while connecting with their new patrons.
Winsphere, a way to track your progress on goals and allow you to update your friends as well.
Blitz Battle combined football, internet chat and geo-location games like Foursquare to give football fans the feeling of hanging out in a sports bar from the comfort of their own couch.
Reframe Detroit, a social marketing organization aiming to change the basic conditions of Detroiters.
NakedDetroit, a 24-hour news network about Detroit with user-generated content.
SiteFog, a cloud computing solution that does not require companies to lease expensive server space.
The judges, which included representatives from The Kaufman Foundation and Bill Highway, awarded the titles of “Most Fun Business” to Cause Crazy and the “Million Dollar Idea” to SiteFog.
Winning a title was important for bragging rights, but Startup Weekend has the potential to do so much more. It was a chance for several people to work together to get their flex their creative muscles while learning what it will take to get a business off the ground. It was also an opportunity for those participating to prepare for a business pitch, a critical step in attracting investment into a business idea.
Perhaps most importantly, it was a sign that Metro Detroit is on its way to reclaiming the title “Innovation Capital.”Editor’s Note: The Detroit Regional News Hub was a sponsor of this event.