~posted by Di Z.
One week ago, The Seattle Public Library hosted another successful Startup Weekend EDU Seattle. For the second year in a row, participants gathered at the Central Library throughout the weekend to tackle issues in education and craft amazing presentations for Sunday’s finale.
On Friday evening, nearly 90 participants- college students, educators, designers, engineers, business people, and others- gathered in the Central Library Reading Room to pitch their ideas for a product that would impact education. Participants then formed teams around the 10 strongest ideas and got right to work on crafting a viable product and business model to present to the public on Sunday. These teams worked tirelessly throughout the weekend- including a 15 hour day on Saturday which ended at 11 pm- researching market trends with librarians, validating their ideas by interviewing potential customers and stakeholders, building models and websites, seeking advice from mentors and coaches, and crafting presentations to showcase their ideas. At one point, librarians and coordinators had to wheel around food to participants because they were too focused on their tasks to leave their workstations to snack!
And the presentations? WOW, did they live up to the hype! Each of the 10 presentations was well thought out, creative, and high-quality. Several teams appeared to have created websites and platforms that were fully functional. It was awe-inspiring to see how each team worked together to accomplish so much in just one weekend.
Being that SWEDU was a competition, there had to be winners. The judges at the event awarded third place to Campfire, the crowd favorite, an idea to bring an immersive experience to children’s books. Second place went to Class Volt, a platform where teachers can share ways they successfully use technology in the classroom. Finally, the first place prize went to Floop, a tool that allows students to submit assignments through mobile devices and get instant feedback from their teachers. These top three teams each won prizes to help them continue their business startup journey.
Even though this was a competition, the larger aim of Startup Weekend is for all participants to network, exchange ideas, and learn important skills and concepts for starting a business. Thanks to a grant from The Seattle Public Library Foundation and event sponsorship from NBCUniversal all participants were able to attend SWEDU without any cost to them. Throughout the weekend, coordinators and participants documented the process on Twitter and even web conferenced with other Startup Weekend folks from other parts of the world! We also had visitors from the East coast observing our event, making Startup Weekend EDU Seattle a truly global network.
It was an honor to witness such a seamless, well-planned, and well-coordinated event. None of this would be possible without the wonderfully competent and energetic volunteer organizers, coaches, judges, SPL staff, and sponsoring partners. I highly recommend attending a Startup Weekend near you, even if just to observe. You just might be among the first to witness the start of the next great business idea.
The Most Innovative Teams From Around The World Need Your Vote!
It’s that time of year again! Time to vote for your favorite Global Startup Battle (GSB) team! View their pitches and select the team that you think deserves to be a GSB Champion! Voting starts November 27th, 8am CST and runs through December 4th 12pm CST.