At 6:00 p.m. last Friday, October 12th, Startup Weekend kicked off for the first time in Barranquilla, Colombia. Over the next 54 hours, teams of developers, designers and entrepreneurs worked together to create new and innovative digital products with disruptive potential.
An Opportunity to Innovate, Network and Compete
Startup Weekend Barranquilla posed a prime opportunity for its 60 participants to show their stuff, pick up new skills and make connections. Following presentations from 35 entrepreneurs during the 60-second Pitch Fire competition on Friday evening, 12 ideas were selected for development during the weekend, with final evaluations taking place on Sunday.
Startup building, however, wasn’t the only thing going on during SW Barranquilla. The event also featured presentations from Mao Solano, Founder of Myband.is, Jonathan Tarud, CEO and Founder of Koombea, and Alexander Vasquez, CEO and Founder of GiftCode and GreenCode. Networking opportunities were abound throughout the three-day event, with attendees having the chance to meet with leading figures within the Colombian startup ecosystem. And it’s likely that more than a few participants took advantage of the chance to talk to Santiago Zabala, Venture Partner at Mexican.VC
The main action, of course, was the startup building work of the 12 SW Barranquilla projects. From Friday through Sunday, teams worked to construct their ideas and turn them into functioning products and prototypes. Numerous mentors, including Camilo Serna Zamora and Sorey Garcia, were on hand to assist participants as well.
Yesterday evening, the remaining 12 teams were given 10 minutes to present their startups to a panel of five judges. At the end of the day, the winners were announced:
First Place: UDressMe, a virtual closet for users to browse their wardrobe and put together outfits.
Second Place: Panggea, a mobile language app to help travelers communicate like locals.
Third Place: FormingBands, a web app to connect musicians and bands.
Startups were evaluated on client validation, business model and execution. Winning teams were awarded mentoring and hosting services to continue work on their Startup Weekend projects and others.
Moving forward, there is no telling how far the SW Barranquilla projects may go. In general, 36% of the endeavors born out of Startup Weekend remain up and running three months after the event, and 80% of participants continue working with their teams and contributing to the local digital sector long after the weekend has come to a close.
Will we see big things from UDressMe, Panggea, FormingBands or another SW Barranquilla project? Time will tell.
Images courtesy of Cesar Cortes