Events / Startups

Quick biz inspiration: Peep these 9 ideas from Startup Weekend Philadelphia

The winning idea was a solution to make oil changes easier, while others were the apps, software and subscriptions.

More than 80 people participated in the November 2018 Startup Weekend in Philadelphia. (Photo by Christopher Wink)

A product to make it easier to change a car’s oil was named Startup Weekend’s top idea last night.

Part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Philadelphia edition was one of 200 events around the world. More than 80 participated throughout the weekend, held at the University City location of the 1776 coworking space. Attendees pitched business and product ideas Friday night and formed teams and sprinted to pitch their ideas Sunday night to a panel of judges, including this reporter.

The goal of the weekend is to introduce attendees to the basics of lean startup methodology and other entrepreneurship norms promoted by TechStars, the primary driver of the Startup Weekend franchise. Nine ideas were pitched, almost all mobile apps and software tools. But the night’s winner proved something else entirely: an automotive product that was developed by a team of mechanical engineers and car enthusiasts and prototyped with a 3D printer Saturday morning.

The product idea, called Quick Change, features a valve that releases a car’s oil into a bag, avoiding the messy cleanup associated with the common household chore (though fewer Americans are taking the task on). Product competitors exist and others have noted the competitive pricing on oil changes, but the Quick Change team boasted of their unique approach. The team plans to further investigate their prototype.

Here are the teams that presented:

  • Quick Change — A prototype automotive product that makes oil changes easier
  • Neck Up — A subscription-based Android app that runs in the background to encourage healthy posture by dimming the phone’s brightness if held below a certain angle, pitched by a physical therapist
  • GigIt To Me — An AI text bot that aggregates and book gig economy services, like TaskRabbit, Postmates and the like (tied for third place)
  • Headline Hero — A subscription tool for guiding content creators on headlines that will maximize readers (tied for third place)

Others that presented:

  • Hunger0 — Given special recognition, a recent Zimbabwe immigrant and Haverford College student and her team pitched a microfinance nonprofit focused on farming in the southern Africa country
  • Project Lifestyle — A QR-based wellness data app focused on physical, mental and nutritional health
  • Collabor8 — A two-sided marketplace for musical artists and resources, like booking agents and production support
  • hyPR Drone — A drone advertising idea focused on beachside advertising that is currently dominated by airplanes
  • College Chores — A university-focused TaskRabbit solution proposed by a crew of Rowan University students
Companies: 76 Forward / Startup Weekend

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