WEST CHESTER, PA — Entrepreneurs just had 54 hours to take their greatest idea from concept to creation at an event 100 percent led by volunteer community leaders.
The Dr. Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center at West Chester University, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce and the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n) partnered to deliver the first-ever Techstars Startup Weekend for the Philly ‘burbs June 1-3, 2018 on the campus of West Chester University.
Techstars Startup Weekend West Chester is a 54-hour event that brings together active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. More than 60 people from six states packed a room at West Chester University on kick-off night (Friday, June 1), with 25 people standing up to pitch their ideas before a panel of professionals and investors. After much deliberation and rounds of voting by the collective group, seven ideas were chosen to be worked on in teams over the remaining 50 hours.
All day Saturday and into Sunday morning, the seven companies were built. With the help of 20 mentors (and more than 80 hours of volunteered time) from the region’s leading businesses, the seven teams received guidance and frameworks to help them in creating a prototype to present on Sunday evening. At the final presentations on Sunday, judges assessed the teams on three main criteria: validation of problem, solution and design, as well as business model.
The following three winners were chosen.
- 1st place: Work Out On Wheels, a mobile gym that comes directly to your home complete with a Red Cross Certified Driver/Personal Trainer
- 2nd place: InstantFund, a web-based platform that serves as an intermediary to speed up the refund process for online purchases
- 3rd place: End of Life Wishes, a website that has all the information needed to manage the death of loved ones including counseling services, burial options and estate management
The impressive list of more than 25 coaches, judges and speakers from southeastern Pennsylvania who actively support the entrepreneurial community included Saxbys CEO Nick Bayer, Shawn Blackburn of YPrime, Marian Moskowitz of Franklin Commons, Dr. Steve Hughes of Cheyney and Ruder Schill of SCORE.
The Chester County Economic Development Council is a private, non-profit economic development organization promoting smart growth in Chester County and the surrounding region for more than 50 years. The CCEDC provides proven financing solutions, cultivates workforce talent, leverages business partnerships, and fosters entrepreneurial collaboration. With the support of the private and public sectors, CCEDC initiates, implements and innovates programs that improve the business community and enhance the quality of life in Chester County. For more information, visit ccedcpa.com.
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