Olsztyn Startup Weekend: the next Polish city on a global startup map
An app that turns blood donation into a game, one that provides culinary challenges and another meant to limit expenses for shop owners. Those are just some of the ideas the participants of the very first edition of Startup Weekend Olsztyn worked on. The event took place on March 27-29 in the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer in Olsztyn
Everything started on Friday afternoon. The Centre welcomed entrepreneurs, designers, coders and founders who arrived not only from Olsztyn, but also from: Warsaw, Łódź, Gostynin, Giżycko and the Russian city of Kaliningrad. Out of the 60 guests, 13 turned up with their own start-up ideas in mind. They had a chance to present the ideas during the short pitching session and convince other participants to vote for their project and join the team. Finally, nine teams formed to commence Startup Weekend effort over the start-up ideas.
The teams were given 54 hours to assign tasks and ready the products to be presented in front of the jury on Sunday. All throughout they could count on the support of mentors.
As noted by one of the mentors, Chris Kwacz (Digital Director at the VMR Interactive Agency): “I believe that the number of people that participated ensured perfect conditions for everyone to work. There was enough time to get familiar with the projects, use some expert advice and conduct some business analyses. The excellent venue that was renovated building of “Stara Kotłownia” and good logistics made the work comfortable.”
What kind of projects did the participants work on?
The Fridge Challenge – a service that has users participate in a cookout challenge for the best meal using only the ingredients they can find in the fridge, or whatever the challenger allows
Yupi Zone – 14-year-old Krystian came up with an idea to create a place, in which players could find fellow players for whatever game they like, from video games to chess or pick-up sticks
Finding Bloodie – blood donation gamification. You can score points and compete with other donors and, above of all, support the Regional Blood Donor Centers.
TripLolo – an app with the goal to help users discover amazing places one wouldn't typically find in a guide
Driveshare – local carpooling. The service will help save some money on gas as well as reduce traffic congestion in our cities
Cart Limit – an app that solves the problem of having to worry about how much money we have left for shopping
PrzekimajSię – this app helps you find cheap accommodation for the night
Comfort Life – the Comfort Life team came up with sensors that allows you to measure and manage the temperature in a room
Limpid – the app will facilitate both the process of searching for an employer and searching for an employee
It was the Finding Bloodie team that eventually came out on top and won the jury’s favor. The reward is a trip to London to visit the Google Campus and get familiar with the world of London start-ups.
The Fridge Challenge, on the other hand, won the Audience Award. All prize-winners also received vouchers for Business Cuddy services (like accounting, tax and legal support or assistance in finding investors and business development) and the audience favorite was given a one year PRO license for wikidot.com services which gives it chance to build wiki-based website on the world's third-largest wiki farm, with almost million and a half users running 500,000 sites and serving more than 100M unique visitors per year.
A lot of the projects developed during the weekend are ready to be continued afterwards. Their future success or failure depends on many factors like team cooperation and willingness, scalability, finding a niche or guessing market needs etc.
“As for the projects themselves, to be honest I was a little disappointed that only one team attempted a hardware idea. The popularity of hardware has skyrocketed in recent months among start-ups all over the world. The sheer potential of projects related to 3D printing, smart home systems, wearables, beacons and the Internet of Things is enormous and with an interesting and innovative idea gives a far better chance to find a seed investor willing to join in and support the start-up in its early stages. I do recommend that every future participant of Startup Weekend events in Poland considers this. To sum up, the first Olsztyn Startup Weekend was a success. I'm sure that this is only the beginning for the Startup Weekend series in this beautiful city.” - concludes Chris Kwacz.
The event was organized by Olsztyn new technologies enthusiasts with the support of the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer and the OLCAMP association.