Published by The Starting Gate, The Miami Herald
South Florida hosted two Startup Weekends this weekend. Here is the first dispatch — from Startup Weekend in Boca Raton by guest blogger Deb Griffith.
By Deb Griffith
It’s 6 pm on a Friday night, and where is the best place to be in Boca? The College of Business at
FAU probably isn’t your first guess. But you’d be wrong, and here’s why.
Friday, October 12 was Day 1 of the first Startup Weekend Boca event, hosted at FAU’s Adam Center for Entrepreneurship and sponsored locally by the Enterprise Development Corporation’s Technology Business Incubator in the Research Park at FAU. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that brings together coders, developers and business innovators to create, conceive and build a new business idea, all in the scope of just a weekend.
Friday evening brought together nearly 100 participants that networked, motivated one another and pitched ideas for projects to develop. Of the 30 ideas floated, 10 were voted on and teams were formed. Oh yes, and then we adjourned for cocktails, inspiration and ping-pong!
Saturday morning, 9:00 am. Came a little early, after all that, uh, ping-pong. But the 10 teams started to gel, build and refine their products. One developer even stayed until 4:30 am – that’s dedication! The magic has begun!
Sunday morning, time to start freaking out. The teams are building, planning and creating their presentations. Demo at 5:00! The participating start-ups include: Kitchen Grown, Racksi, Lucidity 360, Snapshop, Examby, Optigistix, Stanford Consulting, HulaSync, BetaKarma and Hyper Duino.
And the grand prize winner is… service provider customer notification platform Optigistix. Rounding out the other finalists are: Racksi, BetaKarma and SnapShop. Optigistix team members include: Petra Person, Michael Miller Jr, Kristin Delaney, Brandon West, Kevin Hawker and Jay Jeffries.
Thank you to the sponsors, judges and mentors who so generously lent their time, expertise, products and cold hard cash to make the event work: New Frontier Nomads, Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, Enterprise Development Corporation, FAU Adams Center for Entrepreneurship, EarlyShares, The Reef, Christopher and Weisberg, Business Partners, SmartWater and 5 Hour Energy.
Deb Griffith is a self-proclaimed Startup Weekend junkie, having participated in the winning team from Startup Weekend Miami 2010 and a 2-time organizer. She hopes to travel the world spreading the gospel of Startup Weekend.