Biography app Tellmystory takes top prize at Startup Weekend Iowa City
Josh Krakauer of Tellmystory pitched the winning idea Sunday at Startup Weekend Iowa City.
Tellmystory walked away as the winner of Startup Weekend Iowa City on Sunday night. The team's app, which is designed to preserve memories through text, audio and video, resonated with judges and audience members alike.
Three teams participated in Sunday night's final pitch session at the John Pappajohn Business Building on the campus of the University of Iowa. The pitches marked the conclusion of a weekend-long effort by those teams to build the foundations of viable businesses.
After five-minute pitches and five minutes of question and answer for each team on Sunday, everyone waited in anticipation while the judges deliberated. The panel of judges featured local entrepreneurs Curt Nelson, Troy Miller, Josh Cramer, Sean McKay and Lee Groeschl and two guest judges from the Internet 2012 Bus Tour, Erik Martin, general manager of reddit, and Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezeburger Network. (We'll have more about the Bus Tour's visit to Iowa City in another post.)
The Tellmystory team was made up of (pictured, from left) Josh Krakauer, Scott Swenson, Andreya Schneider and Mitul Sarkar. The team worked on an idea originally pitched by event co-organizer Mark Nolte.
“Very few people write an autobiography, so the idea of something that prompts people to tell their story is a great idea,” said Zachary Cohn, who works for Startup Weekend and was on hand to facilitate the Iowa City event.
Ready To Go, which focused on creating booklets to help people adapt to life in America, finished second. Shindigger, a team creating a platform to capture and archive social experiences, took third.
Winners took home prize packages that included cash, free coworking at Busy Coworking, Thinc Iowa tickets, and reddit advertising.
The event marked the second year for Startup Weekend in Iowa City, and organizers are confident there will be more. “It’s a safe environment just to try something,” Nolte said. “That’s the hardest part for entrepreneurs – just doing something.”
For more coverage of Sunday night's finale, see the post from the official Startup Weekend Iowa City blog: "Liveblog: The Final Pitches".
The judges show their appreciation during Startup Weekend Iowa City pitches on Sunday night.
Credits: Photos by Macy Koch.