Jonathan's Blog

Last week, was San Diego’s 4th Startup Weekend, here are my thoughts on the event as part of the organizing team.

Startup Weekend San Diego

Organizing the event

The organizing team was decently sized and that meant the workload ended up being very manageable.  Though, I kind of wished I had taken on more responsibility.  Nonetheless, organizing SWSD was an incredibly rewarding experience.  It helped that the attendees were incredibly appreciative of the organizing team.  On Sunday night after SWSD wrapped up, we joined some of the attendees at the bar and when we entered through the door they gave us a round of applause!  That one moment made all the hard work and fatigue worth it.

Friday pitches

As much as I tried to, I could not like the pitches on Friday night. After witnessing the originality of the pitches from Startup Weekend Santa Barbara, the San Diego pitches just seemed stale.  Most of the ideas pitched seemed to be minor variations on already well established products.

Inside the judges room

I found myself disagreeing with the judges on the winn
ers.  Aside from GeoContractor, an app for contractors to keep track of where their workers and materials are, I thought the judges really missed the boat.  The first place winner Remix Replay was a website to create web games via a drag and drop interface.  According to the judges, Remix Replay was not ready to immediately go to market judging by the demo presented, in addition, it had no clear monetization strategy.  This made it all the more surprising, when the judges selected Remix Replay for first place over GeoContractor, when GeoContractor’s product was at the same stage but had a clear monetization plan for the huge contractor market.

Qualcomm ContextBeta SDK Winners

On the other hand, I completely agreed with the selection of Breadcrumbs for the first place ContextBeta SDK prize.  This smartphone app which tracks a users movement throughout the day and then breaks that data down into easily understood and relevant chunks, fits well with the growing trend of quantified self.  Its monetization strategy also fits well with the trend of localization of ads.  The data that Breadcrumbs would have access to such as when and where a user is, as well as how long he is going to stay there and where he is going to go next would be extremely valuable to an advertiser.

Conclusion 

SWSD did not start off strong, but it certainly made a good showing in the end.  There were a couple of products such as GeoContractor, Breadcrumbs and Backdropp that I would love to try.  However, after Santa Barbara, I must say that San Diego has some serious catching up to do.

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Worked growth marketing in startups my whole career and now sharing my stories on this blog. Always down to grab some coffee and talk shop.

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