Startup Weekend Eugene: recap

The third annual Startup Weekend Eugene took place this past weekend at Fertilab Thinkubator. Over 80 entrepreneurs—including students, coders, and designers—came together to spend 54-hours building startups from the ground up.

The weekend began with everyone pitching their ideas to the group before all the participants voted on their favorite ideas. Seven teams were formed around the top ideas and within two days went from concept to a working business model.

The companies were:

  • Weedza: an app to help you pick the best weed for your chosen activity;
  • Sit with me: software to manage gala fundraisers;
  • Hyperion Solar: creator of a new kind of solar panels;
  • Hoot Housing: a platform for reviewing student housing;
  • Fiero Studio: educational video games to learn German;
  • 4th and Mars: an online store to buy the clothes your favorite athlete wears;

At the end of the weekend the seven teams pitched to a panel of judges. The winners this year were 4th and Mars (third place), Hoot Housing (second place), and Hyperion Solar (first place).

The judges included John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capital; Sabrina Parson, CEO of Palo Alto Software, and Jeff Tunnell, co-founder of Dynamix and currently creative director at Spotkin.

Startup Weekend Eugene is part of an international movement organized by UP Global with support from American Airlines, The Case Foundation, Chase, Coca-Cola, Google for Entrepreneurs, the Kauffman Foundation and others.

Startup Weekend events encourage entrepreneurs to work together to solve problems and help teach important skills, such as pitching and customer validation, that are critical to building successful companies. The events also provide invaluable networking opportunities that help community members meet other entrepreneurs and find participants with different skill sets.

Portland entrepreneurs also joined the fray last weekend as part of Startup Weekend Portland, which brought together a little over 100 entrepreneurs from the Portland metro area. The big winner of the Portland competition was an app designed to help the homeless in the city.

In addition to the two events in Oregon, there were over 90 Startup Weekend events organized in communities around the globe last weekend.