Xtreme was excited to sponsor Seattle Startup Weekend that took place April 5-7, 2013. Startup Weekend is a non-profit organization that organizes 54-hour weekend events during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, and/or presentation by Sunday evening. Startup Weekend is headquartered in Seattle but has been held in over 200 cities around the world.
April’s event was held at the Facebook office in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. The office sits atop the 18th floor and has a view of the entirety of downtown Seattle. The event, which began on Friday night, was buzzing with energy, ideas and intelligence. We set up the Xtreme booth and gave away water bottles and Zipfizz, an energy supplement to hydrate and energize the attendees for their marathon of ingenuity and Startup building.
- Friday night: Hear pitches, vote on the best ones and pick teams
- Saturday: Build and develop
- Sunday: Hear final pitches and give awards
The final pitches are heard by large companies and venture capitalists. Often times the winning Startups will receive funding – the support they need to go on to become established companies.
The attendees ranged in age, careers and ‘why I’m here’ stories. We heard pitches from industry veterans to an app-developing high school student. However, as motley as the attendees were, they all had one thing in common: an adrenaline rush for invention. For some, it was their first Startup Weekend. For others, like Darren Buckner, it was one of many. A self-proclaimed “Startup Weekend Junkie” – Darren has attended five Startup Weekends and was a member of the winning team at Startup Weekend Portland. A web artisan and software developer for the past eight years, he’s worked as a software developer for the NFL and Shopzilla. First and foremost however, like every other attendee, he is passionate about the startup scene.
To get some more insight into the electricity of Startup Weekend, we asked Darren a few questions:
What is it about Startup Weekend that keeps you coming back?
For me, Startup Weekends are like team sports for developers and the startup community at large. I played competitive sports as a youth and I’ve found a similar competitive spirit and team mentality when attending Startup Weekends. There are two other important dynamics present at Startup Weekends: The first being the opportunity to hone the skills I have in a pressure environment. The second dynamic is the opportunity to have a team of very smart people working to solve problems, vet ideas and validate the viability of products and services that have been on someone’s thought radar for some time. I’m a little bit addicted to these events.
Briefly describe your winning app from Startup Weekend Portland.
Dream Up LLC was founded after attending a Startup Weekend in Portland where my co-founder, Vanessa Van Edwards, and I took first place with an idea that was later named Picnic. Picnic is a simple tool for exploring images you find online. It was originally built to help Pinterest users find the original image source of products they found while browsing Pinterest. Picnic is a small bookmarklet that sits in your browser’s bookmarks bar and with a few clicks, helps you locate much more information about images. Give it a try!
What is the best part about Startup Weekend?
The best parts of Startup Weekends are the people you meet and the fulfillment you get from pursuing your passions.
Xtreme is excited to have been a part of such an energetic and dynamic event! We plan to continue to support the vibrant and thriving Startup Community. If you would like to see if there is a Startup Weekend coming to your city soon click here.