What did you do this weekend?

November 21, 2011
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Weekends never seem long enough for all the chores—and let’s be honest, naps—we don’t have time for during the week. Imagine launching a business in the same 54 hours.

Seven teams of enterprising entrepreneurs did just that during the just-wrapped Startup Weekend Indianapolis. The teams pitched their plans to a panel of five judges, and the winning concept will compete against other winners in a global startup battle online. More than 30 cities worldwide hosted events this weekend.

The three-day local competition, held at the Purdue Technology Center near Indianapolis International Airport, attracted dozens of participants who organized themselves into teams after hearing each other’s ideas. Then the work began.

Technology was a common theme among the projects, but winner Awesome Controller took an admittedly old-school approach.

"We're a retro company and we have a retro business model,” team spokesman Kyle Shipley said during the final presentations Sunday. “We make a product, we sell it and people pay us money.”

The product: an adapter that allows video gamers to use modern Bluetooth-enabled controllers—think Nintendo’s Wiimotes—to play vintage game systems like Sega Genesis.

The six-member team promoted its hardware using social media over the weekend and set up an online landing page to gauge consumers’ interest. About half of the gamers who found their way to AwesomeController.com provided an e-mail address to get more information, Shipley said.

A 60-second video explaining Awesome Controller’s product was taped immediately after the event, and it will be posted at www.startupweekend.org along with other winners competing in the global battle.

Other local contenders were:

— SponsorProof, a service that manages, tracks and reports on corporate event sponsorships.
— Owambe, a private social network tied to live events.
— VenuHound, a service that connects small events and undiscovered venues.
— KidPal, a service that provides parents with aggregated data from their kids’ schools.
— Serve Creatively, a service that bring relevant volunteer opportunities to the creative class.
— Readious, a personalized online content aggregator.  

(Click here to watch the final pitches and other videos from the weekend.)

If recent history is any indicator, some of the teams will keep working on their projects and eventually introduce them to the marketplace. But others won’t.

Organizers say the idea is to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in central Indiana. Critics question whether it's even feasible for a real enterprise to emerge from Startup Weekend.

What do you think? If you’ve participated in Startup Weekend, what did you take away from the experience? If you haven't attended, why not?
 

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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