Recap: Startup Weekend Northern Kentucky

startup weekend t-shirtI attended Startup Weekend and I got more than this t-shirt.

Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skillsets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.

Although my undergraduate degree is Public Relations, I’m now a librarian and do not spend long periods of time with developers or designers so this was a step out of my career zone. I wanted to attend because I have an interest in entrepreneurship and was curious to try something new. I signed up not knowing anyone else attending, but that never deters me and once I arrived I started seeing familiar faces.

During dinner, I met a developer who later pitched his idea. It was voted as one of the top ideas and since the other two I voted for were not selected, I decided to join his team. We ended up having a 10-person team of developers, user interface guy, a designer and the rest like me were not developers or designers.

BuyAppt, is a service that brokers last minute cancelled appointments between customers and hair stylists in order to keep the stylists’ schedule full. While many solutions exist for booking appointments, we could not find one that offers a way to alert customers of last minute openings creating income, not a break, for the stylists.

While our team did not win, place in the top three or become the community favorite, it was an excellent experience. I highly encourage anyone, who has an interest in an event like this to do it. Like so many things in life, you get out of it, what you put into it. I look forward to following the progress of all teams and crossing paths with my teammates and other participants.

If you’re ready to sign up, the next Startup Weekend in the area is Columbus February 17-19 or if you are a Miami University student theirs is the same weekend.

The winner was Dramaville, a game where users run PR Firms, manage celebrity clients and collect Dramapoints. With the success of games like Farmville and Cityville it is easy to understand why this stood out.

The runners-up were RightingStyle and Nudge. RightStyle is Klout for blog posts using a algorithm to create a score of your blog. Nudge sends random reminders to do something good. In the live demo, someone was nudged (sent a text message) to stand up and yell I love Startup Weekend. This tied for crowd favorite, but a service to funeral homes that allows friends to create an online scrapbook for their loved one won after a rock paper scissors showdown.

If you are interested in following the Twitter accounts of some of the people who participated, I created a BuyAppt and swnky lists. I am still populating the swnky list as I run across people who tweeted about the event.

I know I probably drove some of my twitter followers batty with my #swnky tweets, but I appreciate them cutting me some slack and taking our survey.

Thank you to the Startup Weekend Northern Kentucky organizers, sponsors, mentors and NKU for a great experience!

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6 Comment

  1. Jen
    January 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    So interesting!!! I love this idea of your team as I have a friend who is a stylist ad cancellations drive her nuts–shed rather be working! Will you continue to work with the BuyAppt team?

  2. Andi
    January 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I know a couple of people are still interested in working on the idea and I’d enjoy assembling a group of hair stylists to get their feedback. Due to the timing, we could not go to Carnegie’s Art of Hair show this weekend where we might have been able to talk to a group of stylists.

  3. Nikki
    January 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Great recap! I had such a great time at Startup Weekend NKY! I’m seriously considering going to the one in Cbus… I know you had mentioned that you might go too – if you do, let me know!

    Thanks for all the Twitter links and lists and photos. You’re awesome!

  4. Denzel
    January 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Interesting article. What a great way to encourage creativity towards business growth. It does not only promote creative growth but camaraderie within the community. Are you still going to partner with BuyAppt in the future?


  5. The Budgeting Babe (Nicole)
    January 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    This is awesome! I’m going to look for one like it in my area. What a cool idea.

    1. Andi
      January 26, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Nicole, you would probably really like it and have much to add, plus the learning experience is awesome!

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