ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Startup Weekend gives local entrepreneurs an opportunity to come together collaborate with others and bring their ideas to life.
Around 20 people were split into 4 groups they were given the whole weekend to develop their project and give a 5 minute presentation to a panel of judges who will judge based off of validation, execution, and design. This will be followed by a Q and A session where eventually a winner will be chosen.
” If people don’t know where to even start or how to map out a business model and figure out that we bring them through the paces in such a condensed time frame that they learn so much valuable things in order to know if their business is a good concept or not,” Startup Weekend Lead Organizer, Jaclyn Kolodziej said.
Among the participants were high school students from Jefferson, Guilford, and Rockford East High School.
“I was just really interested in getting to work with other people with the same mindset as me and same interests,” High school junior, Elsea Galvan said.
Elsea Galvan partnered up with Jeremey Kaszycki to create a product making the task of shoveling snow a little easier.
“So our product is a liquid solution that you pre-apply to surfaces whether it’s sidewalks or driveways before a winter storm that way when the snow is falling down that pre-applied solution, through the use of science would essentially melt that snow as it comes down,” participant, Jeremey Kaszycki said.
One of the groups pitched an App idea called Whisper, which is designed to provide people who have mental health problems resources to stay safe. While the other two groups directed their ideas towards food. One as an app to help you better decide where you should eat based on your mood. While the other serves as a weekly meal program catered to people who have specific diets.
Despite some challenges in developing the project many of the particpants say the experience was worth it.
“I think that knowledge is more valuable than anything than winning for this weekend. I feel like I’ve already won,” Kaszycki said.
The Startup Weekend event would not have been possible without the sponsorship of the city of Rockford, Rockford Public Schools, and Alignment Rockford.