By now, you’re probably familiar with what a Startup Weekend is. If you’re not, we’ve covered quite a few so you can get up to speed. In essence, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that takes place over the weekend. The end goal here is to ideate, validate and launch a new product or service to the market. Techstars Startup Weekend has held over 5,000 events in over 150 countries around the world.
During the event, participants will learn the ropes of creating a real company. They will also meet mentors, investors, co-founders, and sponsors who are ready to help them get started. The latest edition in Sri Lanka was the Startup Weekend Global Women’ Edition 2019. As the name suggests, this was a Startup Weekend focused on empowering women to launch their startups.
Kicking off with an icebreaker session to get participants comfortable with the program, the 68 attendees pitched a total of 35 ideas. These ideas were then put to vote and the 10 best ideas were selected. From there, 10 teams were formed to work on the selected ideas.
Day Two of Startup Weekend Global Women’ Edition 2019 began bright and early in the morning where the participants were part of a morning workout at the Bellanwila Jogging tracks. Once they had warmed up, it was time to get down to brass tactics. Starting with the Business Lean Canvas, participants also had mentoring sessions and several activities to focus their minds on. This was also followed by a motivational speech by Chathura Sooriyarachchi – Senior Lecturer at IIT. On that note, the day ended with a campfire.
Making Sure You’re Pitch Perfect
The 10 teams were energetically at it to add the final touches to their product and presentation. Janeandra Jayawardene – Academic Affairs & Operations Director & Senior Lecturer at AMDT delivered another motivational speech to get the participants even more pumped for the final pitch. It was then time for the final pitches to be made.
In no particular order Cig Shock, Tidy Buddy, Doggy Daycare, Your Savior, NoMo, Jaunt, Food Sensor, Health Nut, Drone-Aid and Mix and Match pulled out all the bells and whistles aiming at making the winning pitch. After the final pitches, the winners of Techstars Startup Weekend Global Women Colombo 2019 were announced: Tidy Buddy: 3rd Place, Jaunt: 2nd Place and Mix and Match as the Winners.
The team from Tidy Buddy came up with a solution for helping busy wives or busy households by allocating people who do not have jobs and are willing to help with the household chores, thus reducing the unemployment levels.
Coming in second place, this team sees an opportunity in the tourism industry. Interestingly, it’s not an app or device. Rather, this team at the Startup Weekend Global Women’s Edition, pitched a physical theme park that features different cultural elements from different countries and states together under one roof.
Mix and Match
The solution presented was a mobile app that looked at solving a scenario where you can’t find what you’re shopping for. With the app, users can design their clothes by selecting the styles, sizes, and patterns available. They can also upload a picture of a certain dress and customize that design to their size and liking as well. Customers can make payments through the app and before the designed outfit is delivered, a confirmation snapshot of the design will be sent.
This edition of Startup Weekend is unique
Why you ask? Because it is the Global Women’s Edition. One member from the winning team accompanied by a member of the organizing committee will attend the finals and the summit of the Global edition hosted in Singapore to commemorate the International Women’s day in March 2020.
With that, Startup Weekend Global Women’s Edition 2019 came to a close. A shoutout went to the 3 sponsors for the event. They were: AMDT as the bronze sponsor, as well as Akura and Orange IT. Making sure that all the highlight-worthy moments were captured on camera, Extreme SEO played the role of photography and videography partner.
If you are interested in learning more about Startup Weekend, you can do so by clicking here.