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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The success that was Startup Weekend Cebu 2012

I was there. I am proud I was in the midst of it all. I participated in the recently concluded Startup Weekend Cebu last May 11 to 13 at The UP Cebu. Yeah!

Coming to the Startup Weekend, I have little idea what actually happens in a startup weekend. I attended Pre Startup Bootcamps, made some mock pitches and listened to the experts. But it is really different to experience the real thing and I was glad to experience it, not as a media observer but as a participant myself.

Well, I shed one thousand pesos but what I got back was way beyond that particular value.
The organizers

There were several interesting pitches. "WaitNoMore" aims to eliminate having to go through long lines waiting for your number to be called.  "", an app that will tell you what you can cook based on the ingredients you have on your kitchen pantry. "DeadOpen", a way to attain closure of your digital life because it emails your chosen loved one your various passwords upon your death.

And of course the team where I eventually joined, the "MyEatinerary", an app that will tell you what and where to eat with the budget that you have.

The participants then gave selected their favorite pitches represented by the name of the planned app or website pasted on the Idea Board.

There were so many participants looking for teams. Team leaders shouting their need for developers, designers, etc. Teams were formed and plan for action made. Our group was divided into a subteam. I became head of the Content Team, being a blogger.

The next day, teams were so busy doing their own assignments. It was so nice seeing everyone working together for a common goal. You can feel the team spirit, the competitive edge, the creativity, the meeting of minds, the sharing of talents, the brotherhood. It was so amazing to watch it unfold before your very eyes.

So this is how it feels to be in a startup weekend. Computer programmers in action, conferring with teammates. Apps slowly taking shape. While we in the non-tech side provide the content with some design inputs.

Day 2 was tiring but fun. Teams are preparing for possible launch of their respective apps the next day. I did not realize an app prototype can be made in such a short time. Suspense was in the air. Mentors were going around giving very useful advice and these are people who are actually the icons of technology and business.

The final day... Team leaders are now starting to prepare for their presentations. They were rehearsing their pitches. The other members were putting the final touches into their prototype. I made our team's Facebook page and blog post and monitoring the views and likes. This is it!

By midday, a lot of the prototypes were going live already, including ours. Amazing what a true team passionate about something can do in such a short time! I am finally a part of a team that created an app! Never in my dreams did I imagine that.

Towards the evening, the final pitches were made and it was nice to see the finished products. Good job to all the teams!

Team WaitNoMore won 1st place and the idea belonged to a student of my college alma mater.

Our team did not win but I did not feel sad. Why? Because at the end of the event, we are going to continue what we started. We are now a real Startup!

Here is a screenshot of our app!
And more importantly, I won new friends -- Drew Shobbrook, Steven Lava (MyEatinerary was his idea), Faey Szew Abella, Ryzza Mancio, Ardee Aram, sisters Yen and Charisse Dirain, Dan Mortalla, Nico Enego, Kevin de Jesus, Junix Villacorta, Giovanni Hermoso and Jun Rey Beduya.

Now that's what you call SUCCESS!

Cheers to the Startup Weekend Cebu organizers!

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