Startup Weekend Binghamton Sunday – 4:54pm
Dinner is just finishing up as I have arrived at the riverwalk hotel. Just enough time to get my laptop up and running in prep for the final presentations and judging.
Super excited to see what the teams were able to come up with since I last met with most of them late yesterday.
Introductions – 5:04pm
Omar Sandars, lead organizer, is thanking everyone who was involved including esp the big local sponsors who stepped up (specifically Visions FCU).
Turns mic over to Frank Berrish from Visions, who is now talking about how excited he is to see this turnout in Broome County and the Binghamton, NY region. Big shout out to students in the community and entrepreneurial community in Binghamton.
Back to Omar — Now introducing judges who are a mix of professors, CEOs and business owners.
$2,00 for 1st, $1,000 for 2nd, $500 for 3rd.
1st place gets: $1,500 from HHK (legal), Custom Web Design and Development (RS Web Works), Accounting Consulting (Davidson and Fox), and a package from the Press and Sun Bulletin (sorry, missed the details)
2nd Place: 2 Years Hosting (RS Web Works)
3rd Place: 1 Year Hosting (RS Web Works)
Presentations – 5:13pm
1) rook.re – 5:13pm
Community based website for open source development. Adding social features to open source development, right now there is about 2MM professional devs in the US alone.
Marketing will be on dev-centric forums, just sharing links and projects. Two diff models, Private Rooks and Featured Rooks.
Startup costs will be only around $1,000, low burn rate $50/mo, really dont need much but a few donations to get started.
Q & A Session
Long terms thoughts? How do you give that programmer an edge while generate Revenue?
— Personal profiles where users can post info on their profile and companies can look to hire via what is on their profile and what they have worked on.
As an investor, where is my revenue, what’s my ROI?
— Not actively seeking investors right now, beta will give more info and data which will prove more in terms of revenue models etc down the road.
How many users do you need? Are you selling Ads?
— Not selling ads, more working with existing companies to partner and collaborate to build things worth value.
2) ProtoMe 3D – 5:22pm
Showing a video of how 3D printing works, design and then print and play. Cheap option for industrial design, 3-6 months in normal manufacturing process, 3-6 hours with 3D printing.
Focused locally in the Binghamton, NY and Broome County region.
Face-to-face marketing with local engineering and manufacturing companies. Market validated by two industry professionals. Need is there for cheaper, faster manufacturing. Would be bootstrapping pretty hard at business onset. Within about a year they would actually buy their own 3D printing machine (would outsource before this point).
They are talking over various phases of their business, phase one, phase two, phase three. Explaining how they would scale up the company and what the figures would be to go along with that. These guys look like they spent a ton of time on the business and financial end of their project.
Q & A Session
Competitive threat on the internet?
— Not even an awareness of this new technology, looking for early adopters, would have to educate first before selling. Target market is small companies they are not at all educated.
What separates you from the one competitor you have here?
— Offers the “design” end of it too, we are a service provider, not just printing what they give us.
Whats the long-term plan? Whats the best-case?
— Between the Universities, Lockheed, BAE, IBM, etc. there will be lots and lots of demand.
3) AlliesAborad – 5:30pm
Chinese students in 2010 has doubled in last few years. Students pay up to $10,000 for an “agent” in the US to help them set up their application and help them through college.
AlliesAbroad connects international students with allies in the US. The international students can go on this website and connect with one of the Allies in the US to help them get set up with their university experience b/c they speak same language and are of the same culture.
Will charge commissions between the students and allies to make revenues.
Q & A Session
Numbers? What would they pay?
— $50/mo is not at all unreasonable, they would be willing to pay more for a student who is of their culture.
How long are they willing to pay for the service once the connection has been made?
— Until the students leave to go back to their own country. Students helping students.
Competitors? Other Colleges?
— 750k international students in the US, pay 3x the tution.
4) TuneGrow – 5:37pm
Frustrated musician, tried putting videos on youtube, but no feedback. YouTube is not set up to help the individual person. Showing FarmVille and explaining that concept and how that games works. Desire to play games, online gaming is a huge industry.
TuneGrow, think of the music as related to Farmville. You can be an artist, producer, music executive, etc. From there you can go to your office and rate videos in terms of who you think is good at playing music and who is bad. It basically brings the music industry to a Famville type game.
Q & A Session
Whats the revenue stream?
— Primarily Ad revenue, but combining reality into the game, thats their big difference.
Whats the reward, how does it work?
— Spending real time and money to invest in peoples online talent.
Frustrated artist, what happens when they come into your game?
— They get their video in front of people who can rate it.
5) EcoConsulting – 5:45pm
Want to go to local business, restaurants in the area to analyze their inventory. They want to show them how to reduce their waste and save them money. They will work with suppliers to provide specific products to specific customers. They will make revenues off both the consulting and the fulfillment.
Can save companies a ton of money just by adjusting what they buy and what types of things they buy. Talking over the financials now using the Binghamton area. Target market is younger, middle-priced restaurants – examples are The Lost Dog and The Whole in the Wall.
Benefits are time savings and money savings. Cheaper products and take purchasing off the agenda of business owners. Not a lot of overhead or start-up costs. Revenue comes from both the consulting and the discount from the wholesalers who are supplying the products.
Q & A Session
Why aren’t the green products being bought already if they are cheaper?
— Top products can be bought cheaper.
Why won’t the businesses cut you out as the middle man once you set them up?
— Revenue stream will be protected by annual advising and cost savings. A lot of companies don’t keep up with their inventory, don’t have the time or workforce.
So you’re not eliminating waste?
— It’s up to them, but their products are all environmentally friendly.
6) SoundSmith Software – 5:55pm
Strategy is to change the way that sounds are made. Software deciphers sound and can re-create sounds. Software will provide a dynamic “jam buddy.”
Range in price from $0 – $700. Current market is $15 – $2,500 in terms of pricing.
They go from sound to synth instead of synth to sound. Users load sound sample into program, analyze the sound and then the computer sends back another sound that goes with that sound.
Endorsements from some bigger name electronic music artists. Partners bring $5k to the table, need about 15k total to get it off the ground. Product will be initially developed as stand-along player, but eventually will be a plugin.
To achieve profit they need 1.5 sales/day, current leading platform gets 32k downloads per day.
Virtual Jam – Play with specific types of people or sounds (jimi hendrix).
Q & A Session
How many people could you have access with in terms of the survey?
— We could have access to upwards of 10k surveys.
No other questions.
7) University Nightlife – 6:02pm
Mobile app that shows you what is going on in your specific college town. They have a working prototype on an iphone, taking us through it now.
Comments section, can find out about cover charges, there is a gallery where people can submit photos of things.
Get a bus shows tab the bus schedule, taxi tab helps you get a taxi.
The App will be free of charge, and promote it in Binghamton University via ads, flyers, social media, etc.
Ways to generate revenue are through ads in terms of featured events and on-page ads. BU population is 15k students, 1/2 of students using it in the first year. Initial startup costs are $3,200 and will show a profit pretty quickly. Focused on students only, start with BU and spread from there.
Q & A Session
When you expand, how do you pay for that?
— They will still handle local universities where they can just travel.
— No, nothing targeting students specifically.
If local business loved it, why not charge them?
— If they dont charge businesses, then they can show all business and give students a better selection.
What about doing something other than ads?
— We def can pivot and chase diff revenue model, but for now this is what they would do and see how it goes.
8) Auto Assistant – 6:10pm
Text a phone number and get a response, works with just SMS and dont have to have a data plan. Customer texts auto assistant with a request, then the computer will provide a text back with a response.
Asks the audience to try texting a live number right now — has a beta in the works.
Competitor are ChaCha, google SMS and KGB. ChaCha is not accurate, google has limited features and KGB charges per request.
53% of all respondents of the survey don’t have smartphones and 90% said they would use Auto Assistant of this group.
Targeting users who don’t have a smartphone, even at 1% it’s over 18MM users in the US alone. In international markets there is much lower adoption of smart phones.
Costs would be $50/year and it would be $0.01 per text message sent. Legal accounting fees would be 5.5k per year.
Assuming 1% adoption, it would be $396k/year in revenue. ChaCha revenu is $9MM year but they have labor costs.
Q & A Session
Long term viability as smartphones gain traction in the US?
— Yes, but still many many countries are way behind the US. In Africa only 1 in 10 people have internet connection.
How does it work? How does it know what you’re asking?
— It’s all their code, nothing open sourced. Get a text, the software analyzes the text, initiates request, pushes to twillio and twillio pushes back to end user.
Judges Meetings – 6:18pm
The presentations are done now, the judges have retired to their special meeting quarters. The audience is anxiously awaiting the results and to see who will get the grand prize at this first ever Startup Weekend Binghamton.
Judges Return – 7:04pm
It looks like the judges are back in the main room. You can sense that the participants are a little anxious now that we’re this close to seeing who the winner is. They have each put a ton of effort and energy into their various projects.
Introductions and Startup Weekend Info – 7:07pm
Mitchell Patterson on the mic now, talking about how much of a success the weekend was. Startup Labs coming to Syracuse, NY soon, can register online. Labs gives VC funding and offers mentorship. www.syracuse.startuplabs.org
Winners! – 7:10pm
1st Place – ProtoMe 3D
2nd Place – SoundSmith
3rd Place – University Nightlife
Farewell Address – 7:14pm
Omar is thanking everyone again for an amazing weekend and all the help that everyone was able to give to allow the participants come together and work on these great projects over the past 3 days. Huge success, thank you Binghamton, NY!