By Farrah Moore (Volunteer, Women 2.0 Startup Weekend 2011)
The spirit of entrepreneureship echoed throughout the Hatchery offices at the third annual Startup Weekend hosted by Women 2.0.
Over 150 up-and-coming tech and biz stars gathered to pitch concepts, gain connections and develop projects aimed to alleviate fiscal or social problems.
65% of participants during the 54-hour challenge were female — and, not surprisingly, the gender domination influenced the traits of devised ideas. Teams such as Safe Steps, Perfect Beauty and Carbon 38 highlighted the positive effects of technology by and for women.
Safe Steps, headed by two women leaders pictured above, uses a mobile app to contact friends and family members if a person does not arrive to a destination within an estimated amount of time.
Perfect Beauty, a social network awarding “crowns” to top members, encourages all women to “tag” themselves beautiful.
The female fitness trio of Carbon 38 (pictured, right) supports the busy working lady with their development of a “Zagat guide for fitness and health resorts”.
The dynamics of the award-winning teams sparked my interest. Companies like Words with Bears, Gusto, and Carbon 38 placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively at Women 2.0 Startup Weekend 2011. These teams had at least 50% gender representation in these teams, supporting the research that gender equality in the workspace breeds even better awesome ideas and execution.
To say everyone is a winner is cliche — but participants did take away something from Startup Weekend — whether an improved knowledge of lean startup development, practice with coding under tight deadlines, or a wallet stuffed with “cards for connections”.
And the startup challenge continues for many after the 54-hour timeframe. The spirit of entrepreneurship grew from Friday to Sunday evening with dialogue and development continuing after this sprint. To all the weekenders, rock on.
Editor’s note: Women 2.0 PITCH: Startup Competition is targeted to early-stage startup ventures with at least one female on the founding team and less than $1M in funding. For details and to apply, click here.
About the guest blogger: Farrah Moore is a Customer Service Representative at Fitbit, the wireless personal trainer that automatically tracks exercise intensity levels, calories burned, sleep quality, steps and distance. By night, she attends Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners and Women 2.0 networking events to broaden her horizons in technology. Prior to Fitbit, she was on the early team at Zinch (acquired by Chegg in 2011). Farrah holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Southern California.