One of the perks of being the Developer Evangelist at FullContact is constantly being surrounded by entrepreneurs. I spend my days at FullContact HQ, working side-by-side with some the hardest working, entrepreneurial people I know. At least a few times a week I attend local meetups, such as Boulder Denver New Tech, HTML5 Denver, DJUG, etc. And on almost a monthly basis, I get to travel outside of Denver to interact with developers and entrepreneurs from around the country.
This past week I traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, to participate in Startup Weekend Kansas City. This is the 5th Startup Weekend to take place here. The event was held at the chamber of commerce offices in Union Station, a historic train station located in the Crown Center section of the city.
Like all Startup Weekends, people pitched their ideas on Friday night, teams were formed, and we worked like mad-men for 54 hours. I decided to work with LinkMinded, an invite only community for entrepreneurs, innovators and idea-havers. We were joined by a super-talented team of Python programmers, which allowed Josh, the creator, to focus on the design, presentation, and overall vision, the developers to work on backend code and architecture, and me to work almost exclusively on front-end code and UI.
In addition to LinkMinded, 10 other teams were formed. Here’s a brief overview of the teams and their ideas.
LinkMinded is an invite-only social network for developers and designers to discover each other, collaborate, and co-create. The site provides a meeting place where like minded people can form a team and bring ideas to life. During Startup Weekend this team designed and built a functioning version of the site using a combination of Python, Django, Heroku, MongoDB, SendGrid, and the FullContact API. Follow them on Twitter at @LinkMinded.
Lunch With Me
Lunch With Me is the simplest way to share what you’re doing for lunch. This super-simple mobile app hopes to socialize the lunch experience by helping people find others to meet for lunch and locations to meet at. During Startup Weekend, the team changed their name to LunchUp, launched their website, and built a functional prototype to showcase their app.
Get Paid started out as a mobile wallet app. This team changed their name and idea to Gruple, a web and mobile app to facilitate group payments. The app is ideal for situations where multiple people are paying for an item or event, but one person is managing the payment. Follow them on Twitter at @GrupleCo.
Kiln became DivShot, a tool for rapid web application prototyping. With Divshot, you can quickly design a visual prototype of your web app, then export re-usable, developer-friendly HTML and CSS. Follow them on Twitter at @Divshot.
Keyzio is a location-based iPhone app that helps you buy houses that may not be for sale. The app let’s you pin the location of the house you wish you buy, the homeowner then gets a postcard in the mail, with a request to buy their house. The app will be monetized as a lead-generation source for real estate brokers and agents.
Home Made Food
Home Made Food enhances the cooking experience by using technology to create a companion chef. Most recipe sites have no quality or focus. Home Made Food is focused on providing premium quality, paid content, from top chefs around the world. Follow them on Twitter at @HomeMade_Foods.
Tut Hopper teaches kids the fundamentals of programming and systems architecture, through fun, interactive online games. Follow them on Twitter at @tuthopper.
Notifier is a broadcast notification service that makes sending phone, text, and social media notifications to large groups of people, easier than ever. Notifier is ideal for time-sensitive information. During Startup Weekend this team used the Twilio API to create a working prototype of their service.
Out Of The Trash
Out Of The Trash is a mobile app that encourages and rewards recycling electronics. The goal of the app is to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle. This team worked on their business plan and presented a detailed prototype of how the app would work.
Change Stations is a location-based mobile app that makes is easier for parents to find baby changing stations, wherever they’re at. The app uses the mobile device location, coupled with a database of change-station locations, to help parents pin-point the nearest changing station.
Pick a peer
Pick a Peer started out as peer support for mental health. This team believes that peer support is the most effective mental health intervention. During Startup Weekend, the team worked on their website, and in the process changed their name to Connect Power.
Startup Weekend is like a magnet that brings the smartest, highly-motivated entrepreneurs in any given city together, to collaborate and co-create. There’s a creative energy that I’ve felt at every Startup Weekend I’ve attended, and it’s contagious. But don’t take my word for it, visit the official Startup Weekend schedule and find the next event in your city.