Ideas were buzzing as a group of entrepreneurs gathered Friday night at Columbia’s Museao building for the third Columbia Startup Weekend. The event brought 130 participants with a wide range of business ideas to a forum where those ideas can begin to take shape and possibly become the foundations for new companies.
The night began with 38 ideas, and after 60-second pitches for each that number was reduced to 17. Pitches ranged from a website to help simplify the patent process to a service for chronicling life stories and from a station for applying spray-on sunscreen to mobile applications for finding late-night food, promoting campus safety and meeting local singles.
Dr. Aaron Gray, a family physician with the University of Missouri, pitched an idea called Smart Visit, an application that seeks to improve the way doctor visits work.
“It basically lets the patient fill out information of why they’re going to a doctor and their medical visit before they get to their doctor,” he said. “It would guide you through a symptom tree based on the information you give it.”
Cam Rasouli, who traveled from Los Angeles to help serve as a facilitator and judge for Columbia Startup Weekend, said she was encouraged by what she saw on the opening night of the event. “The whole point of this is to foster the entrepreneurial community and show people that it is a lot easier and feasible than you would think” she said.
The 17 teams of Startup Weekend Columbia will continue working on their projects today and Sunday and give final presentations of their weekend work starting at 5 p.m. Sunday. Closing pitches take place at Museao and are open to the public.
For more on Startup Weekend and companies that have their roots in Missouri Startup Weekends, see Friday’s story: Whirlwind Startup Weekends serve as springboards for Missouri entrepreneurs.
For a sampling of social media activity from this weekend’s event, follow the feed below.