On August 9th, Startup Weekend San Diego and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University partnered with Google to host the very first Startup Weekend focused on helping Veterans, Service Members and Military Families turn their visions into reality in creating a startup company.
The event was held in the heart of Balboa Park at the Hall of Champions near Downtown San Diego. Open to both military and non-military participants, the event kicked off Thursday evening with the first ever Google for Entrepreneurs Day for Veterans, Service Members and Military Families. The Google team was there to introduce Goggle’s tools for businesses and entrepreneurs. Friday night, participants with an idea pitched in front of a big crowd and the top 12 ideas were voted to form teams on.
Over the weekend the 12 teams worked on business model creation, coding, designing, and more important, market validation. On Saturday teams were coached a mentored by a number of successful entrepreneurs. The weekend culminated with final pitches and presentations in front of fellow participants, local entrepreneurial leaders and a panel of expert judges: Mike Alfred, Co-Founder and CEO at BrightScope; John Hobson, Partner at Project Tiki; and Neil Senturia, CEO of Blackbird Ventures.
The winners of Startup Weekend San Diego: Veterans & Military Families
1st Place: Flutterway –A social media platform that uses audio to connect with people led by Denise Walker. Flutterly was also voted Crowd Favorite.
2nd Place: VetStarter– A non-profit crowd funding platform for service disabled veteran small business start ups led by Mike Anderson.
3rd Place: ReaderUp– A reading incentive app that makes reading books an engaging and fun activity for kids led by William Moss. ReaderUp was also the winner of the Pillsbury Project Tiki Prize.
Checkout the full video of live presentations below