Technically Philly reporters Brian Dzenis and Theresa Regan contributed to this report.
Part accelerator and part American Idol, Philly’s second ever Start Weekend was a weekend-long hackathon where teams of designers, developers work to create a functioning startup in 54 hours. On Sunday, the teams presented to the 150 attendees and a panel of judges for a handful of prizes that included a Dell Duo laptop, an XBox Kinect and legal services from Morgan Lewis and Volpe Koenig.
This year’s winner, Eff the PPA is an application that does exactly what it the name implies: it finds the best parking spot, makes sure you don’t forget about your parking meter and if you get a ticket it will link you up with an attorney to help fight the ticket. (see the demo here)
See the video of judge and CEO of Dell Boomi Bob Moul announcing the winners.
“$9.95 for the website, and two paying customers and we are cash flow positive,” said Eff the PPA team member Ted Mann, during the demo.
“Borrowing” its logo from last year’s winner Launchrock, Eff the PPA took home first place. Hang Plan, an application to help you link up with friends took second. Intro’d a mobile app that helps streamline and automate email introductions took third. While each of the startups above link to a splash page, all three companies had fully functioning apps for their demos.
Presenting startups ranged from working applications to just being PowerPoint presentations. The rapid prototyping and popularity of mobile apps was, in part, thanks to DreamIt Ventures company and former Startup Weekend participant Cloud Mine. The mobile development service made its API available to all companies and was frequently mentioned during the demos of the final day.
“They deserve a lot of credit,” said co-organizer Yuriy Porytko. “they ran around like a busy bee all weekend, setting up all the teams.”
Two companies, Eff the PPA and Fitly had already received revenue by the end of the weekend.
Another noticeable trend was the number of law students on the teams, likely thanks to the event’s venue: The Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University. One of the presenting companies, ApprenNet was focused specifically on law students.
After the jump, see all the companies.
SME Brain â€“ Helps sales-based organizations stay connected. SME Brain featured a skit acting out an email exchange between a sales rep and another company employee.
ApprenNet – ApprenNet, the existing company that connects law students with legal professionals for mentorship extended its technology to also include education and customer service.
Causaction – Connects people with non-profits they’d like to volunteer for based on need.
Hang Plan (second place) â€“ An app to plan hangouts with friends and discover what they’re doing.
Delayly â€“ A crowd-sourced, real-time app for SEPTA delays.
Eff the PPA (winner) – see above. The company is seeking to raise $50,000.
FundmyMBA – Connecting private investors with MBA students to help fund their education. Loans would be at a six percent fixed rate, the company would take one percent of the interest. The team hopes to prove the concept at Wharton. The judges had lots of questions about the regulatory issues.
Ideal – A personalized deal engine that takes inputs from social networks and other places to give you the best daily deals. Users can adjust the mobile apps algorithm on the fly to receive new deals.
Open Gym – Helps people connect for pickup basketball games. The group’s demo included a video of a pickup game complete with NBA Jam sound effects.
Fit of Passion – Helps narrow down online clothing websites to only display clothes that fit you. The service already has 300 signups and hopes to sell to large clothing companies that spend millions processing returns.
Blinkeo – Makes it easy to find photos you care about, adding a layer on top of photo sharing space that will aggregate all photos from a given time and place.
East Coast Easy – A Catapulter-like service that uses a mobile app to help bus passengers easily book the cheapest ticket between East Coast cities. The service says it took a lot of UI cues from Hipmunk.
InstantCabby – App that helps people find licensed taxis. User can put a “beacon” above their location on a map that signals nearby cabs. Judge Chris Fralic of First Round Capital and investor in Uber, wanted the company of legal issues that Uber has famously faced.
Intro’d (third place) – Helps people automate email notifications and will notify if someone you’ve been “Intro’d” to is nearby.
Fitly – Helping to make healthy foods affordable by using your grocery receipt to suggest healthier options with coupons. Plans on integrating with POS systems.
Fly Guy – Helps men get fashion advice. Will ship clothes directly.
Meddik – aims to be the Reddit of medical data forming communities of patients that will exchange information and articles about varying conditions.
Happening Here – Social crowd based collaboration to help user discover what is happening at their location.
Hi! – Aims to create a “temporary Facebook” for events like freshman orientations to help facilitate longer term connections. The team had no programmer, so it relied heavily on customer research and its PowerPoint.