June 24th, 2014

Just like every Startup Weekend, Startup Weekend Access cranked out awesome startups


Just like every Startup Weekend, Startup Weekend Access cranked out awesome startups

Last weekend, Portland was home to an atypical Startup Weekend—which could become the model for Startup Weekends going forward. Dubbed Startup Weekend Access, the event was designed to focus on the accessibility issues of organizing and participating in these types of events. And hopefully helping increase the diversity of the Portland startup scene as a whole.

But just like any other Startup Weekends, Startup Weekend Access was first and foremost about cranking out a bunch of awesome startups in a very short period of time. And they didn’t disappoint.

From co-organizer Todd Bachmann:

The overall winner of Startup Weekend Access was TutorSherpa – A web app to assist parents of special needs children in finding qualified tutors. And yes, their team lead was Amin, who is 11 years old!

Instead of awarding a prize for Best Business Model, the judges recognized two teams, Full Circle and Swoop, for Best Execution.

Full Circle is creating the dresses for social dancers (for women who attend non-competitive dances – think tango, swing, salsa, etc.). The company designed a great twirl factor metric for the styles of dresses. They even had a team member sew a prototype of one of the dresses Full Circle will offer.

Swoop is a mobile app that assists people who are visually-impaired in the grocery store. It allows people to navigate through the grocery store without the assistance of a store employee. They had a working prototype that they demoed during their presentation.

The award for Best Customer validation went to Eat-able, an accessible food allergy restaurant app. This app allows users to create profiles that reflect their specific food allergies and dietary restrictions, view menus of restaurants, and identify what items are safe to eat. They went out and talked to restaurants to validate their idea, and after their conversation with Deschutes Brewery, they were invited to their staff meeting this week.

EduCHAMPS a team that did not win but still created something pretty great was co-founded by two blind co-founders and a sighted developer to help parents navigate though educational institutions to find proper educational support for students with disabilities. This tweet has a great photo of from their slide deck with more info.

Malia Spencer at the Portland Business Journal was in attendance and has a thorough writeup on the event.

For more information, visit Startup Weekend Access.

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