At the weekend of 25th to 27th “Startup Weekend Cologne” is taking place in the betahaus Köln. 56 hours full of developing ideas. Developer, designer and business-people trying to solve problems and make the world a better place with apps, platforms or concepts.
On all three day I am on the event blogging live, collecting information and voices of the participants. To read this as a protocoll please start at the bottom.
For more information about Startup Weekend Cologne check out this artickle on NERDHUB: Startup Weekend Cologne Live!
So this Live-Blog will end right here. Helpers are putting together chairs, cleaning up. This very blogger is thankful for your reading and i hope you have been informed and entertained.
A short summary and comment will come in the following days.
Thats it, Startup Weekend comes to an end. The party starts.
Stavros commands the organizing team on stage. Big applause of the auditorium. Vidar will now announce the winner.
The winner is: Selbermachen.
Now Liam Boogar on stage. He is speaking about a group he liked immediatelly: selbermachen.co.
And now Tim is back on stage on gives away the price for most innovative Pitch to Pitch Kitchen!
Thomas Grota on stage. Stavros is telling that there wil be a new price for the best pitch. He is offering a free stay in his Coworkingspace in Greece! An the winner is: Weekend Away! And they are also invested to pitch infront of a great Angel Investor. This is for everybody winning a price tonight. Good news!
Claudia Pelzer now on stage. She has to give away the international Design award goes to … RiddleShrimp!
Tim Schuhmacher on stage saying that PitchKitchen is great. „Really a company which really should be on the market.“
Getting serious right now. Paula entering the stage and she gives a toast to „plangeist“.
Which is a bit of a surprise!
While the pause i was asking a few guests (those guys not participating but joning us at the evening) what they think which team, will win. The name called most often is: RiddleShrimp.
Lets see, cant take too long until we know who the winner is
Judges are returning, the crowd is taking a seat.
No sign of the judges and the team of Startup Weekend Cologne. Seems its not so easy to decide who the winner is.
In the meanwhile guests and participants enjoy themselves and i saw quite a lot of people connecting each other via Facebook and other Social Media. A lot of communication is going on.
The pitches have ended. Stavros says he is out of jokes and rubbish. He announces half an hour of pause. Than the winners get announced. This blog will pause too and see you at 20:15 Uhr
My Battery is almost empty. 20 minutes to go, lets hope there will be a break for catch a drink and a cable 🙂
Last Pitch! RiddleShrimp! Its the only game. About guessing pictures. The presentation is funny and the audience likes it. Now they show a MVP via a video: Two android phones next to each other explaining quite simple and well done how the game is working. And its working! Applause from the audience. Its addictive, social and fun. Freemiun and Premium to get rich.
Also: Branded riddle-rooms.
Judge: Its also usefull for Chatroulette!
Next Team: Star-Camping. Daniel from Cologne all alone, as the rest of his crew has to go home. Well.
There is no solution for easy resaervation of camping bays. Numbers were shown that there is a market. No MVP is shown or any other kind of product. Just one slide.
Great question of Thomas Grota: Why is you needed as it allready seems to work. So there is no problem. They want to offer additional profit, analizing tool.
There might be a potential for it, but its not yet clear how to take that.
Next one: Pitch Kitchen. I was explaining what this Team was developing earlier extensivley.
Number of how many cafes open. More important: Half of them close again. So they wnat to help them.
The judges really enjoyed Weekend Away.
Next up: Weekend Away. I was also explaining you the essence of this earlier. Lets see how the presentation is.
The presentation is awsome! Very nicely strcutured. They are showing the MVP right now. Only two slides before that.
They show an app icon, open it and a map appears. He choses Athen, which Stavros likes very much. You click on it and you book it. And gthats it, you are on your way.
The presentation is like machine gun with facts and reasons why the idea will work. Just astonishing!
„We understand that data is important. There is a lot of data out there.“ That is true!
One Judge really liked the style of the pitch.
This group really receicv the loudest applaus.
The Last pitches are now: selbermachen.co. Its a website for german girls, he says. This startup wants to ride the wave of handcrafting. The Renaissance of handcrafting. So, where you would learn it? Probably your mum, but you dont want to ask her, probably. You might search youtube, but there is no quality but mass. So they say: We can do better. Platform for high quality videos for craft. No amateur videos, professional.
But do people really want to pay for this? And how much would they pay? And how difficult is it to create the content?
Right now they are seriously showing a video they produced. When i interviewed them, they didnt tell me about the video. Nasty!
So what they also found out was that people want not only the videos but also a shop where they can buy what they need to craft. So they added a shop.
Judge: Impressive! But why only german? Because people craft different in other regions. Its a local thing.
Tipp of Thomas: Get it out fast, start working on it tomorrow! Well thats a tipp!
Now something happens. Stavros commands everybody to stand up and have a break. 3 Minutes pause.
Weekend Session made it with saying: Cologne. They have allready an independent music label from cologne finding their approach very interesting.
But now the questions of the judges: But i didnt understand it as my condition is going stright down! Also the concentration of the audience. They start chattering while the Team on the stage still answers.
But now the Team nails it: They want to make Startuup Weekend for bands.
How you find good musicians? We will invite coaches.
Now Weekend Session. First introduce the team. But than the presentation starts. They pivot out the idea and changed it in the first place. It is like Startup Weekend, as i explained earlier today. The presentation is a bit slow and they dont come to the essence. 2 minutes to go.
How many of y<ou know Karate Kid? Its somebody from BonsaiUp. Danielson and Mr Miagi. They made a survey and found out how many people want to learn and to teach. The Platform is commited to teachers to the Mr Miagis. It should be easy for them to find students.
They have abuilt alanding page and a Mockup and how a search might look up. Revenue: Freemium, making the connection. But premium just gives you more.
Thomas Grota finds it interesting, but have you thought about OpenOfficeHours? They have. There might also be some other content on the plattform.
There is still one hour time for the rest of presentations and the judges to find out who is the winner. But we are just at the half. so the whole schedule will be delayed.
Rene asks a question: How did you come to this venue? He is from AlleBusse. Why traveling by bus is different in germany to spain? There is a law who changed and bus companies can develop new routes without restrictions. Means that there will be more offers. The market grows and a lot of companies are get into the market. So there will be a lot of offers. The solution: AlleBusse, alle Strecken, alle Preise. Its a platform for all bus routes.
Questions: Why just buses? Buses are cheap. I was watching Rene practicing this and he is doing very well i have to say!
How do you plan to agregate the data? The big ones have apis, the small ones need to be put into the system manually.
MyDoctor. But there is nothing to show. As they couldn’t narrow down the idea and there was no demand. One man which shows that not every aproach is right.
A judge thanks for sharing the story. He says that research has a problem: Sometimes the consumers have no clue that they want a product until they have it in your hand. Dont give up believing in your idea. Dont give upp. He recommends: If you find a entrepeneur struggling, take him out for lunch.
Next Team: PlanGeist. Thats a group i havent interviewed so far, so lets see if i get what its about.
Its a market. Team is 7 people. Opens with a question: What needs a student. Corporations fight the war of talents. Showing the market in their presentation. Plangeist is connecting directly comapnies and students, other plattforms dont do that. Plangeist helps organize studies and also gives corporations the chance to grats you for your achievements. LinkedIn for students.
They made a survey: 83 People highly aprove it.
Questions: General aprove from the judges. But how to adjust it also for small startups? Young students leave them for small corporations or Startups.
Seems like even the crowd like the idea and the aproach.
Paula recommends that if you have something to show.
Next Team: upcy.cl. I wrote allready aboput it and now lets see how they present themselves.
Ralf and Niko are presenting the project. A paradime change in consuming. What is upcycling? Taking used stuff and make new usefull objects. Its not recycling. They want to built a new marketplace, fine design, high value.
The plattform will be built on OpenSource technology, because they have a lot of experience with it and believe in it.
30 Billion is the size of furniture. 5% is online and they want to grab a part of that.
Good question: How do you get customers when nobody know what upcycling is? Growing menthality in younger age: LOHAS. Its lifestyle and there is a growing group of people know about sustainability and like design. So the market will grow.
Next Question: Why does it take so long for launching (estimated time: Octobre): Because want to built the system from scratch.
Help2Help starts their presentation. A social help Plattform.
Situation: You would like to help other people buzt you have no clue how to find them. Matching of helpers and those who need help. How can you do this? Over the government website. Officials can use system as a social marketing tool. Its a non-profit startup. But there are costswhich needs to be covered and should be by the citizens by themselfes. There are not many questions about this project.
Finally the pitches start.
DriveThis. Social Network for cars and tuning enthusiasts. Forums are old, so its time for a new project. Visaulize cars and content better. When you login into page you will see … some not sexy looking design, i can say from this point of view. The logo is nice. Revenue: If you want to show your car to others, you have to pay. For business: You have to pay to be able to communicate your shop and so on.
Now questions: Why should people move from forum to DriveThis? because they are old and people will enjoy new features.
As one of the Sponsors is introducing itself, in this case its hub:raum from Deutsche Telekom. I was thinking i show you the crowd. I believe they look like that because he said soemthing about berlin.
Stavros asks the one question again: What is the most important what you can built at Startup Weekend Cologne?
Crowd answers: Team!
Now the Judges iontroduce themselves. Axel starts with claiming that he is very glad that he was able to do a lot of mistakes and quoting Konfuzius.
Thomas Grotha intrioduces himself as made and born in cologne.
Tim Schumacher started sedo.com, which was made in cologne too. He sold his company last year, now he is in yieldkit for example.
Paula Marttila is itroducing herself as beeing the third time in cologne.
Liam is a Silcon Valley native who covers French Startup Scene in Paris.
Stavros now naming the sponsors, which is of course important, as Startup Weekend is a non-profit event.
Stavros is now calling the team members and thanking them for their amazing service. The audience spends big applause.
Stavros opens the final Presentations! Rows are totally filled and he is showing some flames.
He is asking the question what are we doing here. Always a good question. He is answering with a fast toungue which i am not capable to type what it is. Something like: You built business fast in 54 hours.
Big applaus to the team!
Robert Bush is also the first time in cologne and comes from Dubai.
Everytime somebody says colopgne the crowd cheers out. Thats Stavros fault.
Stavros yells: We will be beginning in three minutes!
Its finally filling up.
So, the pitches should allready have started. But somebody said to me: Usually at Startup Weekend Cologne it all starts 30 Minutes later. Lets see.
Oh, and btw. Thats me working my as off for you 🙂
The judges are in place: Liam Boogar, Thomas Grota and Paula Marttila. The man on the picture without hairAxel Schmiegelow, Tim Schuhmacher and Robert C. Bush Jr. are not there yet but have allready seen arround, so they are there when they are needed.
The auditorium is filling up! 10 minuites to go, Vidar is running arround like a runner!
Just discovered a new Team! They were working on an idea with music but found out after one day, that they built another MySpace. And thats something you dont want to do, right? So they were iterating their idea and doing soemthing like Startup Weekend now. Weekend Session, its called. It is a Event taking placing on Weekend, nifty, isnt it? But the cool thing is that: Band and musicians can take part and create new bands and music. The music will be under creative commons licence and at sunday eveniong there will be a concert. They programmed an Android app i was able to watch and photograph. It is a online and real time voting tool for the music, which also gets streamed out into the universe. So not only the participants of the concert can vote but also the interwebz. And tats a nice concept, isnt it? Here you go with the app and the Website:
The Weekend Away Team is still working hard on their presentation. I visited their booth and asked them what they are doing. Just one word: Presentation. Looking on their screens it seems they are also working on their Facebook-Page. Does every Startup needs a Facebook Page before they can pitch? Or is it pure cosmetic? Well if you have a nice Logo and some time left you can surely share it with the Facebook-Crowd.
Went to Group „Pitch Cafe“ which are almost ready with their preparations of the pitch. I asked them how they feel, but they laughed at me. I always think they have to be so nervous. But they arent. Seems they are just well prepared. Their slides will be beautiful, they are hand-painted and than photographed. Unique!
Things getting buisy, people nervous. The Team of Startup Weekend is preparing the plenum for the final presentation which will take place in aproximately one hour. As i hear from secret resources there might be a skype-call from somebody important. But this is just a roumor.
Vidar Andersen testing the microphone: „Test, test, one two.“
Sitting in the betahaus office and working on the screenshot of RiddleShrimp as suddenly i get interviewd by Reza and Mehrdad. Had to tell them everything i made at Startup Weekend Cologne. they are impressed about betahaus and about what is going on in cologne. Thanks for having me!
RiddleShrimp, the picture guessing game just released their app as an apk. Get it here!
This is a screenyof the MVP:
Chili sin Carne was good!
Spoke to Marttila which i have asked for an interview the week before. But i stumbled upon Andrew Hyde and made Podcast Nr. 55 with him. But that ate up all my time i had for an interview before Startup Weekend. I told her that and she said that i only would have chosen her because she was a women. I dont. But who would pass the chance to speak with the founder of the event it is all about?
Oh, btw, the soup was sponsored by kochabo.de. Thanks for that!
Having lunch, see you in 30 minutes. And than there should be some smell of swet ion the air, as the teams need to prepare their presentations. But a few allready started with them and even practice pitching.
I feel that this is one of the most interesting groups. Very good niche, product, concept and marketing. And the Logo i like too!
In the team are 9 people, 2 designer, few marketer, developer, everything they need. The say they are a perfect team, good productive mood. At the beginning they had propblem to target what it is about. And thats what it is about: All buses, all traffic, all prices on one page. That simple 🙂 They are happy about themlselves that they can say it that simple. They want to bring transparence to a very intransparent market.
The pitch has ended and the mood is coming up again. They are giving some advice how to u se a question: Not to take it as an attack but as a chance to make a point. Like: Good Question! We have thought about that too and found out that …
One of the guys asking
Lunch starts right now, but the team is just doing their thing. In the one corner there is a DSLR taking a picture every 30 seconds.
Disturbing a test pitch. 8 men sitting in a room, one standing and pitching and gets mean questions by the audience. Its „AlleBusse“.
„We have talked with bus-experts from the market and no other market has that.“ „Why do you start in germany?“ „Because there is no market in germany here. In Germany there will be a concentration process going on. The busmarket is totally intransparent.“
At betahaus cafe making a teampicture of Weekend Away. Picture is ok, but my cam sucks more and more. Need to get a new lense asap!
But the project is doing good it seems. Good mood in the team, having concrete questions for their presentation, where i can help them with even.
They are working on the financial plan. Business plan: Yesterday they focused on target market, they estimated a potential market. Now they are building the model by bottom uping the model. The developers have built a basic app, the core of the app. So its actually working! Good news! This was made last night at 23 Uhr.
This morning they started to built a website.
They tell me that the mentors were very helpfull with a technical issue they had. They think, that they dont have the most efficient solution, but they have a solution. As MVP the app is working.
Went into the room which is at the very end of betahaus. Three men, the walls full of paper and post-its.
Name of the group: Bonsai-up. It is a plattform to match mentors or teachers to comitted students and proteges. Bonsai-up matches up mentors to people committed to learn from them. Team consists of four, a developer, a designer, a marketer and a salesmen. Sounds like a good mixture!
Narrowing down the target was a problem, as they didnt know to focus on teacher or pupils. They finally concentrated on the teacher.
Right now they think gthey will keep working on that project even after the weekend.
I went through betahaus and counted 80 working men and women, sitting infront of their laptops, discussing with each other. There is even some promotion going on, as i found on the toilet and the elevator:
Talking with Francis. He was here yesterday until 23.00 Uhr. In one room there was a party and it was empty. And at the other room almost everybody was working. Vidar tells that until 1 in the morning almost 40% were working and than they got kicked out of betahaus.
This is my plan for today: Checking out the groups again and look how they feel. That is if they are in mood to be able to get disturbed by a nasty reporter. At 14:00 Uhr there will be lunch, at 15:00 Uhr a first milestone is reached as the teams have to stop deleoping their products and start working on the presentation. at 16:00 there will be a short pitstop because at 17 the prepenstations of the Teams starts. This will be the time, where all comes together. I suggest you check in at least at 17 Uhr to check out the teams.
Ariving at betahaus. Its raining cats and dogs. Salamibrötchen and coffee. Than Uwe asks me what he is. What a philosophical question. But i just say: idea accelerator. Throw him a word and he will give you a book. A good one.