Grove City College students held spots on all the winning teams at Techstars Startup Weekend in Pittsburgh, a 54-hour exercise in entrepreneurial endurance.
The event, held Nov. 10-12, promised participants a “chance to learn how to take any idea from concept to creation within a matter of days.” The weekend began with pitches for business ideas, with teams forming around the most popular. What followed was a “three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation” culminating in presentations, feedback and judgment by a panel of local entrepreneurs.
“It was a great learning experience,” according to Alan Brennen ‘19, member of the first place Active Home team, which developed a smart home disaster alert system.
“Startup Weekend is insanely stressful with the short amount of time you have to validate the idea and the company’s viability. You have Friday night to Sunday evening to prove there is a pain that exists, you have a good business model and that you can provide value and solve this pain. That is hard enough alone, not to mention that you are competing against a lot of great teams on top of that,” Brennan, an Entrepreneurship major.
Other Grove City College students on the winning team were: recent graduate Logan Hammerschmitt ’16; Cameron Suorsa ’21; Caleb Pfohl ’20; and Ben Tobias ’19.
Levi Roberts ’19 and Stephen Weaver ’19 were on the second place team Chute, a social enterprise that makes a drawstring bag from recycled military parachutes to support veterans,and Jonathan Brutt ’18 was part of the third place winner Good Find, an app that helps to connect local stores with customers.
”Startup Weekend is a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience a high-pressure environment full of chaos and unknowns, which, incidentally, sounds a lot like life,” Yvonne English, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Grove City College, said. “We are proud of our students’ achievements and are excited to see which teams go on to form companies.”
The Department of Entrepreneurship at Grove City College prepares and inspires principled, high-impact entrepreneurs whose innovations improve people’s lives and solve important problems.