Research Communications

Startup Weekend Athens awards business memberships and services to local entrepreneurs 

Startup Weekend AthensMarch 18, 2015

Entrepreneurs who developed the concept for a new website that connects subleasers to apartments and homes for rent won first place during Startup Weekend Athens March 13-15. The team was awarded a prize package worth $3,635 in Innovation Center and Athens Area Chamber of Commerce memberships as well as other business consulting services.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that offers entrepreneurs a chance to pitch an idea, develop partnerships and gain expert coaching and advice from seasoned professionals. Hundreds of Startup Weekend events are held around the globe each year.

The Athens event, hosted by Ohio University's Innovation Center, attracted 32 entrepreneurs who pitched more than 20 preliminary business ideas. Participants teamed up for the weekend to turn six of those concepts into startup company plans.

A panel of judges gave the top prize to Subbit, a subleasing marketplace designed to connect and provide secure payments between leaseholders and subleasers. Subbit's creators are Phillip Cook, Drew Harper, David Alexander, Yonry Zhu and Marcus Yeagle.

The second-place prize went to Smart Headband, a proposed technology that alerts athletes and those who treat them to potential concussions by measuring the level of impact sustained in real time. The team members who developed and pitched the idea were John Herbert, Matthew "Alex" Geiser, Ryan Lucas and Daniel Williams. The team won a prize package worth $1,920 in Innovation Center space and other business consulting services.

The judges awarded Job Flirt third place for their streamlined, web-based platform that aims to connect millennials with the employers who want to hire them. Team members are Cami Jones, Eric May, Ryan Saunders and Trevor Bennett. The team won a prize package worth $670 in business services.

TASTE I.T. landed the "Crowd Favorite" award of the weekend for the development of a new, handheld interface that will expedite and minimize errors between diners and the wait staff at dining establishments. Team members are Peter Shoup, Alex Kneier, Logan Koshenka, Alec Weber, David Alexander and Ben Collins.

The Ohio University Innovation Center has hosted Startup Weekend events over the last three years to support new and prospective entrepreneurs in Southeast Ohio.

"The Startup Weekend event is an effective way to introduce aspiring entrepreneurs to what it takes to develop a product concept and business plan," said Jennifer Simon, director of Ohio University's Innovation Center and an organizer of the event. "It's not just about the idea — it's about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to find someone with whom one can actually launch a startup. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, participants can build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor."

Startup Weekend Athens is one of several entrepreneurship events sponsored by Ohio University throughout the year. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/innovation.

Startup Weekend Athens sponsors were the Ohio University Innovation Center, Business Remixed, TechGROWTH Ohio, Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship, Ohio University Scripps College of Communication, AthensWorks, and Ohio University CREATE_space.

Photo courtesy of Innovation Center.