RiverCity StartUp Weekend #2 a great success!
As part of global Entrepreneurship Week, the RiverCity Foundry hosted its 2nd successful StartUp Weekend, 18-20 November, with Google for Entrepreneurs and TechStars at Troy University in Phenix City, AL. For the second time in less than a year, over 34 people came from all over the southeast, including a female entrepreneur from Washington, D.C., an engineer from Charleston, a creative-class couple from Atlanta who are looking to relocate to the area and a variety of talented individuals (and civic leaders) from all over the Chattahoochee Valley.
StartUp Weekend is a global phenomenon wherein strangers meet on a Friday night, pitch ideas, form teams, work on business model concepts, validate ideas, market test with customers, and work on developing startups for a sharktank-like presentation on Sunday. Local civic leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists judge the teams and select a winner.
Over 20 ideas were presented in the social networking “pitchfire” Friday night, which were whittled down to 10 concepts resulting in 4 viable business ideas. The overall winner, called i-Unlock, was an “Uber for Locksmiths” with a business model that is designed for both suppliers and customers of locksmiths but which could work for any kind of dispatched service personnel, including I/T professionals, technicians, plumbers, electricians, tow trucks, etc.
In addition to being accepted as a candidate for our next acceleration batch, and memberships to ColumbusMakesIT!, the winning team won a grand prize of free airline tickets to meet with an angel or partner who could help them anywhere in the world, consulting from TechStars Investors and Coaches, plus free admission to several of the venture capitalist technology showcases like TechCrunch or Disrupt.
RiverCity Foundry and Troy University hosted the event with support from Aflac, CB&T of East Alabama, Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Cloud Notions, ColumbusMakesIT! and Positively Phenix City! The Wade Companies and ColorMac provided door prizes and judge’s thank you gifts while ColumbusMakesIT! awarded memberships to all participating team members.
In addition to finding candidates for RiverCity Foundry’s next acceleration batch, the Startup Weekend opened the eyes of many aspiring entrepreneurs and civic leaders.
“I couldn’t believe this caliber of talent and capability existed here in Columbus. I wasn’t even going to pitch [my idea] until [they] encouraged me to do so! We built a working version of an idea I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years over the course of 54 hours. I’m blown away that we won!” said Brandon Wallis, local entrepreneur, locksmith and head of the team that won the weekend.
The RiverCity Foundry began this summer as a part-time, 8-week experiment to determine the area’s interest in entrepreneurial activities resulting in a LiveLaunch! of eight new companies on September 1st. RiverCity Foundry is your local business accelerator aimed at increasing participation in entrepreneurial and startup communities by creating companies that create sustainable jobs. Of the 8 startups from the Summer 2016 Batch, one has already received its first angel investment, with two of them leaving the corporate world to pursue their entrepreneurial passions.
Due to its overwhelming success, founders Frank Braski and Cyndi Price are now committed full-time to the pursuit of entrepreneurial excellence with RiverCity Foundry and are now accepting applications for the remaining 4 slots in the Winter 2017 batch.
If you have an idea for a company or a product, service or experience that could or should exist, the RiverCity Foundry is looking for scalable businesses that solve for universal problems or needs. Applications are being accepted at http://RiverCityFoundry/Apply until December 23rd at 5pm Eastern Time. The RiverCity Foundry will accelerate its first full 6-month batch of five companies in January 2017.
If you’d like to learn more about StartUp Weekend and how it helps create companies, learn more here!
LiveLaunch was a success!
Please congratulate the firms the 8 startups created in our vigorous 8 week Summer Bootcamp to prove that the electric river cities of Columbus, Ft. Benning and Phenix City, AL had what it took to create interesting and fungible startups!
Proof of Principle StartUp Batch
The Electric RiverCities’ StartUp Accelerator
- What is a Startup Accelerator, and how is it different from an incubator?
- I have an idea, how do I know if it is a good fit? Find out here.
- I don’t have an idea that’s ready just yet, but what if I want to learn more? Come, be a “helper” in one of our “batches”.
- Apply for our next program!
About the RiverCity Foundry
The RiverCity Foundry is a public/private economic development partnership for the greater Chattahoochee Valley region designed to create high-impact startups and sustainable jobs for the entire region. Supported by local business, government and academic leaders, in response to findings from the 2016 Regional Prosperity Initiative reports, individual and corporate investors, accomplished mentors, professionals have joined forces with Troy University, ColumbusMakesIT!, Columbus Technical College, SCORE and the SBDC of UGA to develop an “entrepreneurial center of gravity” and an “enterprising culture” in the area.
Individual, institutional and corporate investors are sponsoring the necessary work to validate the candidates and ideas for acceleration. Alabama Power, the Greater Columbus and Phenix City Chambers of Commerce, the Phenix City Board of Economic Development and the River Valley Regional Commission have also donated time, talent, facilities and resources to help create as many new kinds of jobs and startup companies in our area as possible.
If you would like to participate, we would like to hear from you!
We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Use our Contact Us page to tell us what we’re doing right, what we can improve on, or get involved.