The team behind Giver–an app that allows users to gift goods or services to homeless individuals through the use of a redeemable code–took home the top prize at Startup Weekend West Michigan on Sunday night.
The intensive entrepreneurial event wrapped up as fourteen teams gathered at KCAD Woodbridge N. Ferris Building to present the results of their collaboration. Among the ideas presented was a travel agency that specializes in last minute mystery trips, a cocktail muddler with a disposable top, and a device that allows for patrons to tip individual service employees through electronic transaction.
Participants came from a wide range of professional backgrounds and spent the the weekend pitching, merging, collaborating, conducting market research, branding, projecting profit margins and determining startup costs.
First time participant Rhonda Coleman was part of a SmartGive, a team that developed an app that allows for users to give to local charities and track their donations for tax purposes. Coleman works as a echo cardiogram technician and once owned an art gallery.
“We all learned something from that (learning how to collaborate). Everyone is from something different … nobody is in the same field,” Coleman said.
Lindsay Noonan, co-founder of Soletics, acted as one of a dozen team coaches.
“It was a pretty great experience,” Noonan said. “The teams were really diverse this year. I think it really helped that we were at an art and design school, because the products and the services (that come out of this) were really well designed.”
Other awards included:
Dream Team: F-U Snow
Best Mentor: Ryan Lafferty
MVP: Michael Lynn
Crowd Favorite: Thnx
Gumption Team: Thnx