StartUpWeekendHamilton:3 – Another Great #HamOnt Success!
Once again, it was my pleasure to be involved as one of the Mentors for the weekend just past’s big #HamOnt event – our third StartUpWeekend and what a great success it was too!
Held downtown on James St South, at the popular Radius Cafe building, this event was ably led by our Innovation Factory, Software Hamilton, KiteString agency and Vana Workforce and each of same had their top-notch talent there to present and run the whole event.
With dozens of participants the event was truly a success – and here’s the Press Release on same –
“Hamilton, ON (April 29, 2012) – Last weekend, over 50 developers, designers, marketers, business professionals, animators, and engineers came together at Radius Cafe (venue sponsor) to spend 54 hours trying to launch new startups in Hamilton.
This spring, Innovation Factory, KITESTRING, Software Hamilton and Vana Workforce announced that they had teamed up to bring the international movement of Startup Weekend to Hamilton for the third time since 2011. In addition to a very generous contribution from McMaster University Xerox Centre for Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation (Gold Sponsor), many local companies from across the community showed their support for this exciting initiative – BDC, Ridout & Maybee LLP, City of Hamilton Small Business Enterprise Centre, (Supporting Sponsors), and Big Bee Convenience (Food and Beverage Sponsor).
The 54-‐hour event was designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-‐technical entrepreneurs. Beginning on Friday night, the attendees met, shared their concepts through a series of public pitches, and voted on the most popular ideas before breaking down into 7 teams (they named themselves Walkbug, Fitted, Shelf Spotter, Pastee, RedB, Key Space, and Placement). The teams spent the rest of the weekend on brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, and culminated on Sunday night with demos and presentations. Participants created working startups during the event and were able to collaborate with like-‐minded individuals outside of their daily networks.
The Friday night kickoff party included inspirational speeches by Stephanie McLarty (REfficient), Matt Gartner (Group Notes), and Heather Payne (Ladies Learning Code), while a panel of mentors worked with teams throughout the weekend to help refine their ideas and build better projects. On Sunday afternoon, each team presented to a panel of judges – Carolynn Reid (City of Hamilton), Bill Brown (MaRS), and Justin Hogeterp (Fluid Media) – who selected the winners: Pastee (winner of a 2 hour consultation with Strategic Innovation Works) and Walkbug (Winner of a 1 hour consultation with Strategic Innovation Works, a Net@ccess hosting package, a SEO package from KKTI, and 6 months of office space at Platform 302). Damien Steel (OMERS) gave a closing address about seeking investment as a startup, and the group celebrated with a closing night reception…”
As you can tell, we all had a real treat – watching and learning about the passions that these entrepreneurs brought to their various startup companies – and I personally liked the back-and-forth of ideas and strategies as they occured too!
Big “tip-O-the-hat” to all the sponsoring companies and the superb event operations too! It’s not easy getting such an event off the ground and then running same well – so Kudos to Stephanie, Tammy, Kevin and Ash for their damn fine hard work!
And will there be a StartUpWeekendHamilton:4 ?
I’d bet on it, eh…this kind of an event is good for our city and our new generation of entrepreneurs too!Google