Give Lyrics Wins First Place at Startup Weekend

By Scott Kloustin on June 2nd, 2015 / Comments

Startup Weekend for Social Entrepreneurs is over. Teams pitched. Countless tacos, Cintron energy drinks, and Dum Dum lollipops were consumed. Some remarkable ideas came out of the weekend, and below you’ll find the top three teams and the community choice winner.

The judges chose the top three based on the following criteria:

Customer Validation: Did you make something that people actually want? Did you get “out of the building” and talk to customers?

Execution & Design: Did you establish a minimum viable product (MVP)? In other words, did you build a basic set of features to start collecting data and disproving or proving your business model assumptions?

Business Model Validation: How do you plan on making this business work? What is the competition doing? How will you generate revenue? How do acquire your first set of customers and then scale to a larger market?

Social Component: How will your company add value to the community or the planet? Have you addressed challenges around delivering your mission and measuring its impact?

And The Winners Are…


The judges’ third place selection was Change for Change – a way to invest in socially-conscious businesses and receive a modest return of 0-5%. Over the course of the weekend, their business model shifted a bit, and they figured out that starting out as a public foundation would be the best way to avoid regulation and restrictions around accepting investments and making investments. This foundation would screen and perform due diligence on social enterprises and find people willing to make pledges to invest.


The second place selection was FulFill – no-package delivery in order to reduce cost and waste. Their model included starting with liquids like soap, shampoos and lotions with a minimum order of $10. In their customer discovery, they found more than three-fourths of people were comfortable with leaving empty bottles outside their door to be refilled or exchanged.


The overall first place winner was Give Lyrics – custom merchandise combining artists’ lyrics with a social component. Ten percent of the proceeds from each sale goes to a customer-selected social organization; Give Lyrics and the artist split the remaining profit after material and fulfillment cost. This model was attractive to artists and the team managed to sign up seven artists for access to their lyrics over the weekend.


While the judges were deliberating each attendee voted for their favorite team, other than their own. The crowd favorite and community choice winner was Interview Rehab, a “team” with only a single member, a determined woman who worked hard all weekend and gave a passionate final presentation on helping job seekers. Leveraging her knowledge and prior experience, her Interview Rehab app intends to help people prepare for interviews and land jobs by offering easily consumable content clips to help them best prepare before an interview.

Per Startup Weekend tradition, after the voting and while the judges were still deliberating, attendees answered questions for small prizes, shared takeaways and lessons from the event, and gave thanks to the organizers, volunteers and coaches.
The next Startup Weekend Detroit will take place this fall. You can also find Startup Weekend events in many other cities throughout Michigan, the U.S. and around the world.

About the Author

Scott Kloustin