San Francisco Conference Writes Overnight Startup Success Stories
Hundreds of programmers, designers and hopeful entreprenuers are agitating for their tech startup ideas before industry giants at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco this week.
Disrupt invites 24 programming teams to pitch their ideas to judges from companies like About.me, Twitter, Google and CBS Interactive in its Startup Battle. The requirements for competition are simple: the company must be between three months and two years old, and the idea must have "the potential to disrupt a market," a former Battle winner told the San Francisco Examiner.
Winners of the semiannual battle (the other in New York City) receive a $50,000 development prize and the Disrupt Cup. But most importantly, they hobnob with CEOs, reporters and thousands of streaming viewers at the three-day conference.
Six additional winning teams are, quite literally, overnight successes. They're the winners of Saturday's Hackathon, where they developed apps or programs in 24 caffeine-fueled hours, TechCrunch said.
Sponsoring companies create categorical challenges regarding their own fields of expertise. Developers from DoAT prompted a location-aware app, for example, while CrowdStar and Sibblingz asked for social games and Ford Motor Company invited any useful in-car programs. Sponsors also provided their original APIs (Application Programming Interfaces, or code) to over 700 participants as reference tools.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, competitors split into more than 130 teams and began designing. About 400 spent the night working, and at 11 a.m. the next morning each team pitched their invention to judges in a 60-second whirlwind.
Winning designs included WeatherChecker, a Google Calendar plugin that adds weather details to upcoming events; ECCube, an HTML5 color-matching and memory game; and even U4Them, which connects willing donors with people who need help with healthcare payments. A full list of winners is available on TechCrunch.
This victory can prompt enormous success for the hours-old inventions, too. Last year's New York winner, GroupMe, earned $10.6 million in less than two years before Skype acquired it in August.
Hackathon's six victors will formally present their inventions at Disrupt on Wednesday.
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