Our second Startup Weekend Fredericksburg wrapped up late Sunday and while our overall numbers were a bit smaller than our first event, we had no shortage of awesome! It was another great event with incredible ideas and teams that really executed. We also had a few significant firsts that I will share shortly!
Our biggest thanks go to Germanna Community College and Germanna Community College Workforce & Technology Center for not only providing the venue but for being a core partner in organizing, managing, and being the boots on the ground during the event. From the administration and staff to students, Germanna’s commitment and involvement in Startup Weekend Fredericksburg has not only be at the root of the success of our event but has made our event standout. We are always energized by our partnership and have more workshops and summits around entrepreneurship and startups planned. Read more here.
We want to thank all of our attendees, coaches, and judges for taking the time out of their weekend to participate in our event so close to wrapping up the holidays. Without you, this event would never happen, and startups and entrepreneurs in this area would struggle longer to build critical mass. Your dedication makes all the difference.
We want to send a special thanks to all of our volunteers. Once again your service, attention, and passion made this event go off without a hitch. And you all SLAYED it in the hashtag battle. We are especially grateful for your commitment to quality and attention to detail.
We send a humble thanks to all of our local sponsors. Without you, we would not be able to structure this event such that all the participants have to worry about throughout these 54 intense hours is company building. Your donations of money, time, and in-kind services and goods allow us to feed, supply, and reward our attendees. We are happy to promote your generosity and grateful for your contributions. Our local sponsors included Germanna, FredXchange, Deedod, Zebrareach, TF Callahan, The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), Paragon Village 12 Fredericksburg, Splitsville Fredericksburg, Vanguard Ideation, The City of Fredericksburg Economic Development Department, Rappahannock Electric, John Fick, WishStars, Design FFunnel, Pelagic Software, Tuck Technologies, The Center at UMW for Faith and Leadership, Organization Direct, LLC, and FredXangels. Many of you sponsored local entrepreneurs into the event and directly impacted lives for the better.
Finally, we want to send a special heartfelt thanks to John Sechrest, our Startup Weekend Facilitator. His experience, guidance, and engagement have not only raised the bar for the teams at our events but have been instrumental in helping us develop the startup ecosystem in the Fredericksburg region. I encourage you to learn more about John here.
Now for the stats and the firsts:
- 46 participants & 70 people come through the venue throughout the weekend. I wanted to thank all of you who came by to see the pitches on Friday and Sunday, who tweeted, re-tweeted, and followed us on Facebook and Instagram, and who put the word out about the teams and their products through your personal and social networks. It helped our teams gain traction throughout the weekend.
- 24 pitches
- 7 teams
- 3 women led teams
- 2 high school students from James Monroe
- 6 teams had an operational web site up by Saturday and the final team went live Sunday.
- 6 of the seven teams left the building to meet and find customers. All of the used social media platforms. All total, our 7 teams made contact with close to 1,000 people in the space of 54 hours. Customer development is critical to building a product that people will buy or use. Way to go teams!
- Half of the teams had sales by 8PM on Saturday
- Total sales were slightly above $500 by final pitch on Sunday at 5
- Startup Weekend Fredericksburg alumni and MadeinFredVA winner Muster Me provided their capability for event participants to share and receive attendee contact info with one text message. Two thirds of the event attendees connected with one text. How many times can you say you achieved that at any other event you went to?
- We have now had a total of 140 people attend two Startup Weekend Fredericksburg events as participants and close to 60 observers attend Pitch Fire and Final Pitches.
The graphic below shows where our participants came from. 22 of our participants came from the Fredericksburg area, 3 from Charlottesville, 2 from Richmond and the rest came from Arlington, Alexandria, Washington DC, Sliver Spring and Columbia MD.and Marietta GA.
And if you want to know what winning a hashtag battle on Twitter looks like, look here. We are still getting action on this #swfred hashtag. On Twitter alone we had:
- Over 2,500 tweets/re-tweets by Sunday
- 125 users who were regularly tweeting/re-tweeting about our event and our companies
- We reached over 150,000 people
- We had 1.5 million impressions
- Top sites with click throughs from our event tweets included:
- 70% of our tweeters were women. This is meaningful when you consider that 75% of the US GDP comes from women consumers.
- One of our Germanna volunteers was the top tweeter on Twitter Saturday night. Before volunteering at our first event in June she didn’t have a Twitter account. Message firstname.lastname@example.org if you are looking for someone to help you with social media outreach and we will connect you with her.
We like winning hashtag battles because it helps our teams and our sponsors get global attention.
We were honored and inspired to have had one hearing impaired participant choose our event to attend. Despite failed attempts to find a local Assisted Sign Language (ASL) interpreter in our community to support him, Germanna volunteers and his own team worked to assist. This is particularly important to share because too many people believe that Startup Weekend events are for a certain “type”. Startup Weekend events are for anyone who wants to launch a startup, anyone with courage and grit, anyone with a dream, anyone willing to Get Sh$t Done. If you are interested, take a look at the Startup Weekend Access event to be held in Portland February 7th. Read the blog too. It will blow your mind.
We are working on setting a date for our next Startup Weekend event. We will send you an announcement once it is set.