Fifty-four hours total over one weekend. Fifteen teams. Almost three hours’ worth of presentations. One weary reporter with a case of carpal tunnel in his right hand. Countless cans of Red Bull.
Nearly 100 people gathered on the ground floor of AOL/Advertising.com on Sunday night to listen to pitches from just-born startup companies, many formed among people who previously hadn’t known one another.
The judges assembled to weigh each presentation and spent a half-hour deliberating. But when the mayhem at Baltimore’s second-ever Startup Weekend settled — and cans of Natty Boh had been distributed to weekend-weary participants with perhaps enough uppers in their bodies to power through an additional two days (Red Bull and soda, people) — four teams walked out with prizes in hand: Firetruck and Moochr tied for third place, Spoiled, which was launched during Philly’s recent Lean Startup event, in second and, in first place, TeamPassword.
Technically Baltimore’s list of all the startups from the weekend is below.
Sarge Salman, organizer of the Lean Startup Meetup and co-organizer of the weekend, summed up best the spirit of sitting in one room for just shy of three days. “Entrepreneurship is hard,” he said. “But it’s worth it.”
Salman was there with co-organizers Mike Brenner, co-founder of Betamore, and Nick Miller, co-founder of Parking Panda, created during Baltimore’s first Startup Weekend in April 2011, as well as the night’s emcee and leader at Startup Weekend Education events Khalid Smith. Among the six judges were city CIO Chris Tonjes and serial entrepreneur Monica Beeman, who filled in for founder of Angel Venture Forum Valerie Gaydos, who was unable to be there Sunday night.
Teams formed at Startup Weekend:
- TeamPassword: A password manager for small to medium-size businesses that allows companies to change a password whenever and distribute it to approved employees. So, to distribute your company’s Twitter password to new employees, simply add them to the approved list via TeamPassword, which works as a Google Chrome plug-in. And to keep passwords out of the hands of former employees? Remove them from your TeamPassword list, then use the tool to create a new password and send it to current employees. First place prize: Paid-for incorporation in Maryland, a half-day incorporation package from Pillsbury Law (worth $1,500), three months of dedicated office space in Betamore (worth $1,200) and $1,000 in seed funding.
- Spoiled: People take photos of their grocery receipts using this mobile app, which then creates an inventory of the food purchased, organizing items by how long they’ll remain fresh. Spoiled, which was first brought together at the last Lean Startup event, also figures out a person’s buying habits, assembles recipes based on the inventory a person has in their fridge and will automatically tell a user what additional items are needed to cook a specific recipe. Before the presentations even began, Spoiled had 93 beta testers signed up. Second place prize: Paid-for incorporation in Maryland and $500 in seed funding.
- Firetruck (tied for third): A tool that grades comments left online (underneath news articles, for instance) by identifying words and phrases that could be inflammatory. Saying Taylor Swift is stupid awesome won’t call out the Firetruck, but Internet-screaming that thing you always scream when Justin Bieber says anything at all? The Firetruck will probably stamp that out. (Although some questions remain: How do you define inflammatory comments online? Who arbitrates what is or isn’t inflammatory?) The team behind it announced they have a meeting this week with a comment moderator for the Huffington Post. Third place prize: Paid-for incorporation in Maryland.
- Moochr (tied for third): Self-described as a Kickstarter for broke college students, Moochr users list items they’re looking to buy for the world to see, and then mooch — uh, ask for monetary gifts — from willing donors. Of course, how much fellow poor college students would be willing to give to other poor college students remains to be seen. Then again, it’s nothing a request for picking up a bar tab filled with order of light beer couldn’t fix. Third place prize: Paid-for incorporation in Maryland.
- RosterBuddy: A web-based tool that allows the captain of your work’s softball/dodgeball/kickball/[insert sport here] league to schedule game-reminder messages sent automatically via text message and e-mail to teammates. The “Evite of social sports.”
- Tutor.Me: A web-based message service that allows students to find tutors and tutors to advertise their services to students. Messages are sent back and forth between students and tutors anonymously.
- enTour: The “world’s easiest, on-the-fly tour guide.” Say you’re in Baltimore’s Penn Station and your train’s departure time is delayed by two hours. Fire up the enTour app and soon a “city ambassador” will be guiding you on an impromptu tour of Mount Vernon or Station North, or whatever other neighborhood you care to see in the time you have to spare. Subsequent tours after the first free tour cost 99 cents a piece. Team members insist the “pure awesomeness” of the app will convince people to purchase.
- WhatBar: A web-based app that allows bar owners to log in and update information about their draft and wine menus, lists of specials and, say, what day trivia is happening. The WhatBar team says a complementary mobile app would eventually be built for bar-goers to search the information while out.
- Find Art Real Time: Yes, you read that right: fart. Or, rather, f/Art, the tool to “connect consumers of art with creators” while giving people a direct link through which to buy artwork. Take a photo of a piece of artwork with your smart phone, and soon you’ll know the artist and how and where to purchase the piece.
- HourlyBee: For bringing together professional providers of services with customers committed to paying something to have … something done. I need my room cleaned. Now.
- BarnRaiser: All students in Maryland’s high schools are required to do 75 hours of community service in order to graduate. The BarnRaiser app is a model akin to craigslist, where students can search for service sites near them, take a photo (that serves as both a time-stamp and GPS indicator) when they arrive for service and then snap a photo when they’re done to maintain an electronic audit of service work completed.
- HeyBeerGuy!: You’re at an Orioles playoff game. No, really, the Orioles made the playoffs, so just trust us. You’re at an Orioles playoff game, and you need a beer. But Adam Jones is up to bat, and there’s no way you’re leaving your seat. Fire up this app, find your location in the stadium and place your beer order. The beer guy checks the app on his end, finds where you’re seated and brings you an overpriced watery beer in an aluminum bottle. Jones then knocks it outta the park, and everyone is happy.
- Saving Superhero: A Zelda-like game for teaching children coin math. As kids progress through different levels, and therefore learn more coin math, their superheros gradually gain new powers.
- Fierce: Something like a Pinterest for female fashionistas to figure out how to dress well on a budget. It also allows users to post photos of their wardrobes and offer size recommendations.
- SnapTh.at: A crowdsourced, optical content recognition app that uses Amazon Mechanical Turk. The teams says the cost would $1.99 from the app store, and then charge for each “snapjob.”
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