Georgetown Startup Weekend: In retrospect

CoworkMYR collaborated with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Economic Development for Georgetown County since Spring 2013 to bring Georgetown Startup Weekend to the Grand Strand the weekend of September 27th 2013.

Friday night attendees gathered at Winyah Auditorium in Georgetown, SC. There were over 60 people who participated or visited throughout over the weekend. Participants covered a wide variety of skills, talents and backgrounds, with our youngest participant being 13 years old. Our Startup Weekend Facilitator Jon Rossi from Denver, CO opened the weekend with a “Rock Paper Scissors” Competition as an Icebreaker and from that moment on we knew the competition would be fierce:

Rock, Paper, Scissors ice-breaker

Individuals then pitched their ideas, 26 in total to the crowd. Everyone voted for their favorite ideas, and it was narrowed down to just a few. From there on ideas were eliminated and individuals joined into 6 teams to execute over the weekend. We ended the night with a social at LandsEnd Restaurant on Marina Drive in Georgetown for teams to bond, explore their ideas and network with others.

Friday night pitches

Saturday started bright and early as teams started working on the chosen ideas. They explored their ideas, performed market research and evaluated the competitive landscape as they were coached by business professionals of all backgrounds. Coaches Peter Gasca, Dr. Anthony Robinson and Brad Faircloth were very helpful to teams as they developed their plans. Many teams also surveyed potential customers to better understand their value-propositions. A huge thank you to Beef ‘O’ Brady’s for sponsoring breakfast and Inlet Affairs for sponsoring dinner for our participants and guests.

Sunday began again at 9am. Coffee was flowing after a full work day on Saturday, facing another long day of work. Teams not only had to finish their research, but determine the best path to executing on their idea and demonstrating to the judges that they have the talent to do so.  WPDE’s April Baker stopped by and interviewed a few of the participants. See their coverage.

With the help of coaches and guests, all teams were prepared to present to the judges and audience at 5pm that afternoon.

Thanks to Delectable Occasions for sponsoring Dinner while we got started! Teams were allocated 8 minutes to present, and 5 minutes of Q&A with the judges. Afterwards the judges convened to discuss. It was a difficult decision for the judges but 3 winning teams and a special mention were announced: Wanna, Embr Analytics, goHippo, and CogniScents were announced. See the full writeup of the winning teams for more details.

Very special thanks to our coaches Peter GascaDr. Anthony Robinson and Brad Faircloth and our Judges Ian Taylor, Rob Salvino, Brad Faircloth and Larry Mercado. To all of our sponsors we could not have hosted this weekend without you: Mercom, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Strand Technology Council, Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors, Realstar, Rosemary Coin, The Pier at Garden City, Coastal Carolina University, Palmetto Computer Labs, Ray Antonino, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Inlet Affairs, Delectable Occasions, and Pawleys Island Bakery.

As of Sunday night, Georgetown, SC is now on the map of 478 cities that have hosted an internationally recognized Startup Weekend. We had an impressive attendance, even more impressive financial support from our sponsors and we look forward to watching the presented ideas become businesses.