Happy

Startup Weekend Amman III

by

It’s 4:30 on the last day of the week. That’s when Startup Weekend Amman participants started raiding Talal Abu Ghazala’s university in Shmaisani, Amman to register for the event. The event wasn’t supposed to start until 6:30, and here they are, people coming in 2 hours early.

Team Building

 

Startup Weekend participants came with 3 different skill sets. There were software developers, graphic designers, and non-technical majors such as business, marketing, finance and the like. Diversity wasn’t limited to skills though; SWAmman participants ranged from 15 years in age to people in their 30s. Despite those differences, they all came with 3 goals; meet like-minded people, increase their knowledge about creating startups, and practicing the LEAN startup strategy.

Pitching

On the first night, participants pitch their ideas to collect votes and form teams. At Startup Weekend Amman, 30 ideas were pitched. 12 of them managed to collect enough votes. However, there were 3 extra teams that formed despite the low number of votes that they secured.

working

On Friday morning, participants start coming as early as 8:20, even though the official start time was at 8:30. Teams were joined by mentors from different backgrounds and skill sets, some of whom are entrepreneurs themselves. The mentors were helping teams with their business models, Minimal Viable Products (MVP), User Experience (UX), and answer whatever questions they might have.

SwissLeg

Paulo Goncalves, the cofounder of SwissLeg, a very successful startup that makes affordable prosthetics, spoke about his experience and gave some advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs.

Abdallah Absi, a college dropout and the founder of Zoomaal, the biggest crowdfunding platform in the MENA region, reminded us that we "can all be billionaires."

Abdallah Absi, a college dropout and the founder of Zoomaal, the biggest crowdfunding platform in the MENA region, reminded us that we “can all be billionaires.”

In the evening, all the teams got up on the stage and updated everyone with their progress. The general consensus was that most teams were pacing themselves perfectly and felt that they had enough time to prepare their final presentations.

Saturday was very fast. Teams had very little time left for their final presentations. Instead of taking 30 minutes for lunch, teams were taking 10 minutes, if not skipping it altogether. Omar Alakel, the cofounder of iFood, gave a very inspiring talk about what it was like for him to be broke and build a startup. After all the teams turned in their presentations, Evelyn Zoubi stole the stage by sharing what she did to make her startup, Glanse.com, a successful one.

Final Presentations

Teams started their 5-minute presentations to judges in which they talked about their business models and demoed their prototypes.

TAG

Minutes after the judges left to make their decisions, Startup Weekend Amman was attended by Dr. Talal Abu Ghazaleh, the founder and chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization. He inspired the attendees by his talk, in which he told everyone that all they need to become successful is to “have eyes, hands and a computer.”

Winners

Soon after, the judges had made their decision and the winners were announced:

DroidPress came in first place; a startup that promises to create a mobile app for any wordpress website in 10 minutes.

eRoshetta stole the second place, a platform that would create online medical files to patients accessible by doctors and pharmacies “preventing doctors from prescribing medicines that conflict with patient’s current health status.”

B-Role came in 3rd, a mobile app that users can post jobs/chores that they need help with, “such as a person who needs help moving out”.

The team that got the best execution was Phone Mall, a website that helps you find the nearest place with the lowest price of the phone you’re looking for.

The best design award was given to SimAppz, a mobile app that you can use to make a call from any phone with one number.

All

Startup Weekend Amman’s 13 startups’ journey has just started. Follow Startup Weekend Amman’s Facebook page or Twitter to stay up to date with the latest news about them. Will they succeed and deliver what they promised? We’ll let time answer that question.