It was tough for me to get out of bed this morning. Waking up felt like coming out of a deep, deep hibernation. The first question I asked myself was, “Did that really happen?” You see, this past weekend I accomplished a big goal of mine and successfully had the complete StartupWeekend Experience. On Friday night I pitched an idea, recruited a team, and built a list of tasks for us to accomplish. At the end of the 54 hr marathon on Sunday night our amazing team presented in front of the other participants and demoed our live, functioning iPad/iPhone application. #winning
The reason that this was so satisfying for me is that it allows me to measure how much I’ve learned and grown in the past year. This was my third StartupWeekend; I went to my first last November in San Francisco and then helped organize the first StartupWeekend SLO in January. My first SW experience was extremely fun, but I wasn’t able to add a lot of value to my team over the weekend. I thought I could come in to the event, hustle, and smash everyone else there. Over and over during the weekend I found out that I didn’t know shit compared to the other participants. It was extremely humbling and a great learning experience. To cap off the rough weekend during my pitch I totally forgot my lines halfway through and looked stupid in front of the judges. One of these judges was an entrepreneurial idol of mine, Leah Busque. It was very embarrassing.
Surviving this a SW 54 marathon is hard. Usually less than 33% of the original pitches on Friday night make it to the final presentation. Even if your pitch is chosen, many teams fold during the weekend due to the fact that their team simply doesn’t have the skills to move forward. I was honored to have six very talented individuals come up to me and tell me they wanted to help me make an idea reality. This past weekend I made some friends that I hope to have lifelong relationships with.
The project we worked on stemmed from an idea that I’ve had for a long time now. Originally, I was upset at way the current educational system is set up and how very important skills are overlooked. In particular, I thought communication skills and creativity were almost completely absent. I’ve always believed that these skills could be encouraged at a young age by a child’s parents. In an effort to make these skills fun to learn, I wanted to make an iPad/iPhone app where children get to create a story using their own imagination.
Here’s some screen shots of the fully functioning app we created over the weekend.
In Screen 2, the child is presented with a who, what, and where. Screen 3 shows that the where image is put into the background and the two other images overlap. Additionally, the child can move around the character and object around the screen. We added this feature last minute due to the customer feedback we received. While the child is moving around the objects and telling his/her story, the device is recording the audio. On Screen 4 when the child is done telling a story he/she can save the story, listen to it again, or share the story with friends and family if you would like. Parents we talked to thought this app would be great to use with their kids.
This app was a blast to create and I am extremely proud of the work my team did this weekend. We just might keep on working on the app and submitting it to the iTunes store for fun!
You can watch our team’s pitch here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25662267 – Our pitch starts at the 1:01
If the experience sounded like fun to you keep on eye out for StartupWeekend SLO tickets when they come on sale.