Teen Startup Weekend

Albuquerque has had several startup weekends over the last couple of year. A startup weekend gives groups of people 72 hours to propose ideas, create teams, refine their idea with prototypes and market research, and then do a 5 minute judge pitch for a chance to win prizes.

Teen Startup Weekend is the same idea, but targeted towards teenagers (13 – 18) and with reduced hours. Albuquerque hosted the first Teen Startup Weekend ever three years ago, thanks to the passion of a young woman Taylor Chavez.

Check out this video from last year for more information about it.

This year Teen Startup Weekend was at the Epicenter downtown and had 44 attendees that formed 8 teams, here were the ideas:

  • iLive – Interfacing vital monitors with a Fit Bit and software services to monitor the health of our elderly populations.
  • Creative App – A platform for connecting creatives of different types so they can collaborate and publish their work.
  • ebie – A open hardware bike mod to generate electricity while riding.
  • The Perfect Pair – A food website dedicated to finding great food pairings.
  • Magic Melody – A user generated content platform for teaching and learning how to play an instrument.
  • SugarTec – Dissolvable K-Cups to eliminate waste.
  • SnoRock – Ski/Snowboarding boots built out of a brand new high-tech gel.
  • EDGEtheater – Using modern technology to bring back drive in theaters to rural communities.

These young men and women were amazing. They stood in front of about hundred people and pitch their creative ideas. They were drilled by the judges for 3 minutes. The judges didn’t hold back, the timing was ruthless, and the crowd was awesome and supportive. These kids just had some really great ideas, I am so proud of them.

Ebie presenting at Teen Startup Weekend
ebie presenting at Teen Startup Weekend

From all the great ideas, they culled the list to these four winners:

  1. ebie
  2. Magic Melody
  3. EDGEtheater
  4. SnoRock

I was truly amazed at what these teenagers were able to put together and the ideas they had.  I am really excited to see if they can take any of these further. The winning teams got time with different judges/coaches to help them with their company (among other prizes).

A lot of the startup events and entrepreneurial activities feels rushed, quick, important. We are going to build something now! And that is a lot of fun of it. This event want no different in that aspect, but the long game is empowering our youth. We can send them into the world knowing that they can be their own boss, start their own companies, and turn their ideas into products. I hope this and similar events continue and I picture great things eventually coming out of these events.