Startup Weekend Takes Over Detroit, Coming Soon Across Michigan

By Amanda Lewan on November 19th, 2013 / Comments

Last weekend Startup Weekend came and conquered Detroit. Hosted at Detroit’s Grand Circus about 90 people participated in 14 startup teams.

The goal? To create a minimum viable product in one weekend. The results? Astounding ideas, new friends, and hopefully a few great businesses. Entrepreneurs enter without a team and sometimes without an idea, and leave with startup experience.

“We spent two days building, hacking, creating, and working to build a product,” said Brandon Chestnut, facilitator of Startup Weekend Detroit.  There were a lot of great ideas pitched at the end of the weekend, but only two teams came out on top to take first and second place.

Taking first place, created a mobile vision board (or way to curate your goals and dreams) and community online. Founder Natalia Petraszczuk had the idea to create a mobile vision board for a long time, and had never heard about Startup Weekend until right before the event.

“A vision board can be used for motivating and inspiring everyone from a child to a CEO,” said Natalia. Natalia’s team built a working ecommerce site on WordPress and also acquired an impressive 23 paid confirmed orders totally nearly $400 in sales during the event. “The event was transformative.  I came away with this realizing it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re not so focused on getting the credit.

Natalia said she had no knowledge of Detroit’s startup community and was very grateful for the support everyone showed during Startup Weekend.

“You walk around this block (Madison Block) with business incubators and co-working spaces and this close-nit support system, you can’t help but just feel the energy of where the city is headed in the next 5-10 years,” said Natalia.

Second place and winner of the community vote was the Startup RobotTeleCop, a mobile app that allows users to report telemarketers with the touch of the app. It then gathers and takes the information to lawyers, eventually hoping to pay the users for the catching the bad guys.

Startup Weekends Coming Soon

Kalamazoo November 22nd- 24th. Special: Discount code ‘michipreneur’ for the Michipreneur community, 20% off of our $100 price.

Grand Rapids – January 17th – 19th.

Ann Arbor – February 7th – 9th.

Will you be there?



About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.