Event Report – Startup Weekend Tampa


Startup Weekend Tampa – April 13-15, 2012 clip_image003
(Quick Note – At Microsoft we do event reports when we participate in big community events so we can share experiences and let our co-workers know what we’re up. This was really a fantastic event so I wanted to share a little wider.)

http://tampa.startupweekend.org/ (Video and results available)
Photo Link

  • 130 Participants
  • 200+ Attendees
  • 40+ hours in the MSFT Tampa offices
  • 14 Teams
  • 6 New BizSpark Startups (so far)
  • 4 New Azure (so far)

Startup Weekend Tampa was held in the Microsoft Offices in Tampa, Florida over the weekend of April 13th. 130 startup participants formed 14 teams and each team spent the weekend creating a product and pitch for the close of the event on Sunday night.

Startup Weekend events were held in a number of cities worldwide over the same weekend, including Mega Startup Weekend in Silicon Valley, Startup Weekend Notre Dame, and Startup Weekend Deli, India. Attendees, organizers, and other participants communicated between the events through Twitter. clip_image004

In Tampa, I invited all of the teams in the event into the Microsoft BizSpark program, and by the end of the weekend, we had 5 new BizSpark Startups. Three of these were running on new Azure accounts and one was demoing their Kinect-based augmented reality application.

On Sunday, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn visited the offices and saw demos from some of the participating teams.

Teams presenting in the final pitch session included:

  • ClipCite - A text-based Web clipper that clips sites and organizes your content. It also allows you to search topics to find other clippings that will help speed up your research. (BizSpark) (Azure)
  • Quote Sheet - Mobile app that helps you keep track of quotes.
  • SchoolCal - A social calendar for schools that allows groups to share events.
  • Oroomeo - A retractable room divider that is portable, compact and customizable.
  • Splik.it - Instant coupons for social actions.
  • JitJab - A cloud-based public chat that allows people to easily join the conversation on any web-based application. (BizSpark) (Azure)
  • The Dirty Sheets - A microblog for funny hookup stories.
  • Bitcoin Trust Authority - Consolidated complaint and feedback platform on Bitcoin businesses. (BizSpark) (Azure)
  • Holistic Healthiness - Assess data to provide users with a health score and ranks them against larger variables (demographics, location, age, etc.). Provides holistic health services recommendations based on results.
  • Trivia Wars - Mobile board games
  • Easely - An online marketplace for art in which buyers and seller can come together on a local level. (Investigating Azure) (BizSpark)
  • SignWaive - Liability waiver and payment processing application that integrates with a CRM system. (BizSpark)(Azure )
  • Augment Games - An augmented reality gaming company focused on education. (Kinect Based Augmented Reality) (Investigating Azure) (BizSpark)

You can see a replay of the final pitches at the Startup Weekend Tampa home page.

This was a very successful event and working with the startup community in Central Florida is an absolute joy. This is the second Startup Weekend held at the Microsoft Offices in Tampa, the first being held last July.

I’m really looking forward to working with the new BizSpark companies that pitched this weekend. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up your company for BizSpark, just drop me a note at brianjo@microsoft.com.

Huge thanks to the organizers of the event, Susie Steiner, Kim Randall, and Ryan Sullivan. You really made this a great event for the attendees and you make it easy for us to continue to support these events from the Microsoft Office in Tampa.