Orlando Tech Association’s first Weekend Launch event was a success with 75 attendees, 35 pitches, and 12 startups making it to final pitches.
Well Dapt, a men’s grooming startup, took first place at Weekend Launch Sunday evening after judges decided that their final pitch was best. Not only did Well Dapt validate their product over the weekend, they were also able to begin pre-sales as well as develop a 3-D printed prototype.
After pitching ideas and forming teams on Friday night, Weekend Launch participants reconvened at the Orlando Science Center on Saturday morning to learn about the business model canvas, a contemporary approach to for formulating business models. Starter Studio operations director Melissa Wasserman gave the lecture on the business model canvas prior to mentoring the startups, and joining the judges panel on Sunday evening.
The veteran tech and entrepreneurial community came together over the weekend to offer Weekend Launch participants as much advice as they could. flexReceipts CEO Tomas Diaz gave an empowering keynote address on Friday night, and mentors such as Matt McBride (Mend), Keith Armstrong (edu(k)ate), Jeremy Privett, Suneera Madhani (FattMerchant), Colin Forward (Allogy), Shea Glenny (weVENTURE), and Matt Lavoie (PowerDMS), were in and out all weekend, lending their expertise and guiding startups to success. The mentor-attendee experience is often the highlight of Weekend Launch-type events.
The judges panel was comprised of Melissa Wasserman (Operations Manager at Canvs), Carlos Carbonell (CEO of Echo Interaction Group, a mobile application development company, as well as President of OTA), and Kapono Curry (Operations Manager at Florida Angel Nexus, a statewide network of investors, investment groups, and partners). The judges criteria was based on each startups’ business model, customer validation, and execution.
Yo Call Me!, a platform connecting fans with popular eSports gamers, came in second place after Well Dapt, followed by House Band, a collaborative music mobile game. Other ideas included StoreNav, a mobile department store navigator using beacon technology, Flippr, a nightlife/events finder, and Motify, a web platform helping people reach goals through progress tracking and achievement rewards.
Some ideas failed and some ideas worked. While the goal of Weekend Launch was to validate a product and launch a startup idea in three days, the broader and more important goal was education. Over the three days of Weekend Launch, entrepreneurs, developers, designers, and everyone else in attendance learned the importance of customer validation, practical business models, and diligence. Whether it’s first place or last place, education is always a win.
Kicking yourself for missing Weekend Launch? Shoot us a line below!