OtherPortland Startup Weekend November ends on high-energy note

Portland Startup Weekend wrapped up Sunday night, Nov. 18, with 13 teams making final presentations at the end of the 54-hour entrepreneurship marathon. The energy was high as entrepreneurs pitched their final concepts to a packed audience at the PSU Business Accelerator. In the end, judges from the VC and angel investing community gave top honors to:

BugShark (1st place) – Simple tools to find and kill bugs on a website. BugShark aims to allow experts from all areas of QA (quality assurance) to review and proof a customer’s website for bugs in a much faster, more efficient manner than the traditional feedback model. These experts, or “sharks,” receive a bounty or just online thanks, depending on the customer’s subscription model, for identifying the bugs.

The BugShark team presents at Portland Startup Weekend, Nov. 18th

Foot in the Door (2nd place) – Foot in the Door is like online dating for students looking for internships and companies looking for interns. Through intern and company profiles posted on the Foot in the Door system, matches are made.

Local Plate (3rd place) – Focusing on the popular farm-to-table movement, Local Plate is another online system designed to connect farmers, ranchers, fisherman and other local food producers with the restaurants and chefs who want to source local products.

MySelf Trainer, a personal golf training solution for the Kinect, got the audience favorite vote, while Due.Love, an online portal for alternative birth resources, received the LaunchSide prize, a package of $5,000 worth of startup development services.

Portland Startup Weekend, as well as Bend Startup Weekend, was among 130 Startup Weekend events that took place all around the world Nov. 9-18, marking the end of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012. Winners from each Startup Weekend event this past week will have the chance to compete online in what is being called a “global startup battle.”

Other companies and ideas that emerged over the course of the weekend event included:
Spkrly – listen to the tweets in your Twitter feed.
2nd Step – e-learning portal for teachers working in alternative preschools.
Bit Trails – providing insights into your social media activity and the impact on personal productivity.
OHANA – automating and simplifying the process of rental applications.
Next Hop – crowdsourced information on in-store deals and special offers.
Chalk Flow – better revision control for creative professionals.
My Publicist – automated Twitter service for real estate agents.
TripFind.me – a simplified, four-click way to book online travel.

According to Portland Startup Weekend organizer Jeff Martens, the twice-yearly event takes six months to organize and is entirely volunteer led. Martens just completed his ninth Startup Weekend, where he’s held various roles: startup participant, volunteer and organizer.

For those who didn’t get enough this weekend, NEXT Portland on Nov. 28 is offering Portland Startup Weekend entrepreneurs and others a three-week, follow-on training course in entrepreneurship. For more details, visit http://nextportland.eventbrite.com/

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