Startup Weekend Calgary’s First Student Edition Shows Great Promise in City’s Youth

With the success of the first Startup Weekend Calgary’s women’s edition, a new idea was born: a student-focused Startup Weekend.

For over half of the registrants, it was their first Startup Weekend experience and, with a record-setting 113 registrants, nearly 35% of participants were students.

The 54-hour weekend kicked off with motivating speeches from Patrick Lor, CEO and cofounder of Dissolve, and Anette Ceraficki, founder of Confab. Both entrepreneurs gave tips on what to expect over the weekend and planted seeds on what it means to be an entrepreneur. Jason Innes, partner at Uncommon Innovation, laid the foundation on business model canvases, something crucial to Startup Weekend.

Of the 49 pitches made on Friday night, 15 startup teams were formed. One of the accepted ideas was pitched by the youngest participant Startup Weekend Calgary has seen so far—a Grade 11 student.

Teams worked until well past midnight over both days as, naturally, there never seems to be enough time at a Startup Weekend. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Red Bull stopped by to deliver some much needed refueling.

After an exhausting yet fun weekend, the final pitches were delivered and the prize-winning startups were:

  • 2nd runner up: SpaNow, an “OpenTable”-style mobile app that let’s you find open spots for any spa treatments.
  • 1st runner up: Cup Canvas, “We put the brands in their hands.” Saving cafes/coffee shops money on cups via biodegradable cup-printed advertising.
  • The winner: Whimee, “Turning idle time to ideal time.” An app that provides last minute travel/tour deals to secure participants.

Both Cup Canvas and Whimee were founded from ideas by current students. The Student edition of Startup Weekend Calgary was well received by everyone and shows that students are keen on entrepreneurship. Well done everyone and congratulations to the winning teams.