GMDSP Lean Startup Weekend – Part 2

After a well-deserved dinner, pint of the local Manchester brew and a comfortable sleep, the second day of the GMDSP Lean Startup Weekend began promptly at 9am. With all of the proposition ideation, market validation and use case generation complete, the focus was on building the solutions. With the judging scheduled to take place at 6pm, the participants only had nine hours to turn their ideas into dreams of physical code or mock-ups suitable for the judging panel.

Once again FutureEverything, working in collaboration with the Digital and Future Cities Catapults, had put together an amazing agenda for the day and there were plenty of opportunities to allow participants to pick the brains of the mentors. A rich array of expertise was on hand that ranged from front and back end development through to UX and UI, project management and even voice and SMS telephony that would later feature in one of the winning propositions.

Although we had initially started with nine teams on the preceding day we now had 10 amazing ideas in flow (following the decision of one of the larger teams to split in two). The ideas in development focused predominantly on social and civic challenges – one of the themes of the hackathon. I was delighted to see that all teams considered the economic sustainably of their ideas – how would it be funded and grow?

The passion and energy of the individuals was quite self-evident and it was amazing to see how the teams empathised with their target users. There was also a good sense of focus so that the feature sets of the proposed ideas was not spread too widely and the teams were able to focus on what was truly important to their identified user group.

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Team Our UK

Code was written, wireframes were drawn and pitches were practiced to ensure a seamless delivery in front of the judging panel.

The judges comprised of:

  • Keith McCade – Kamfutures and the IET
  • Doug Ward – Tech Briton and Spaceport X
  • Jeff Coghlan – MatMi

The following teams took part: Chart Share, We learn we do, Citizen X, Textocracy, Volunteering squad, Our UK, Onswi, Explaudio, Shaping Cloud and Grad Mash.

Here are some of the ideas they tackled:

  • Chart Share – Stress-free creation and sharing of visualisations. Their target user base included staff producing insights for stakeholders.
  • Volunteering Squad – this team aimed to solve the issue of how vulnerable people may struggle when house bound. Due to their weakness, they find it difficult to carry out their basic needs and activities, and many of them do not have people on hand. Those who seek out help from social care organisations find it costly for such a service.
  • Shaping Cloud beacon – Their beacon based city wide information system included features such as receiving relevant information as one moves through the city; being able to feedback directly to community leaders; selecting the type of information one would like to receive and selecting the places one would like to receive information about.

To keep the teams on their toes and to ensure that there was a focus during the pitch, the teams were given just four minutes to deliver their presentations to the judges. The pitches had to include the following elements: the problem, the solution, the validation process followed, the demo or prototype and the commercial viability or business model.

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Team Citizen X

Starting at around 6pm, 10 teams came to the stage and delivered their pitches. The audience watched, the audience applauded, cameras clicked, notes were taken. The teams waited in anticipation as the judges deliberated. How was one meant to select four winners when you have 10 brilliant ideas? Minutes ticked, wine was consumed and the judges re-entered the room. The room was silent.

The following prizes were awarded:

  • Textocracy
    • £5,000 development fund for a winning team
    • Access to the expertise and resources of the Future Cities Catapult’s Cities Lab, to help take city focused concepts to the next level
    • A dedicated development team working on your project during FutureEverything – including experts in UX, design and coding
    • Exhibiting space at the FutureEverything Conference, 26-27th February
  • Chart Share
    • Six months of desk space, worth £3,000 at SpaceportX, one of Manchester’s leading startup workspaces and tech entrepreneur communities
    • Six months of cloud hosting, worth £5,000, with next-generation data centre and open-source cloud computing service provider DataCentred
  • Citizen X
    • Become part of the Digital Catapult Contributor Programme – including access to meeting rooms, hot desks, and informal drop in spaces
  • Our UK
    • A dedicated development team working on the project during FutureEverything – including experts in UX, design and coding
    • Exhibiting space at the FutureEverything Conference, 26-27th February

All the teams did an amazing job and the Digital Catapult, Future Cities Catapult and FutureEverything would like to thank everyone who took part, helped facilitate the event and retweeted the tweets.

Peter Karney is Head of Product Usability and Support at the Digital Catapult. Follow him on Twitter @pjcoolk and us @DigiCatapult.

Want to know more about the Lean Startup Weekend? Read GMDSP Lean Startup Weekend – Part 1.

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