Music, energetic pitches and a few tears of joy last weekend, during the final presentations of the Startup Weekend Music & Sound edition. Five different teams worked around the clock to come up with the next big startup idea. But big ideas alone are not enough, because, in the end, it’s all about having a good proposition and viable business model to go along with it.
For those who aren’t familiar with the kickass concept, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, where developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists get together and collaborate. They pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.
This special edition, part of Startup Fest Europe, revolved around music and sound. Starting with open mic pitches on Friday, the individual contestants shared their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. On Saturday and Sunday, those teams worked their asses off to come up with products and services, build prototypes, and develop solid business models and plans too.
Onstage ukulele lessons
On Sunday evening, after two days of very little sleep, the teams finally demoed their prototypes to the audience and a jury of experts in the field of music and tech: DJ and producer Sebastiaan Hooft, strategy developer for Chordify and Launch Café co-founder Niek Huizenga, and last but not least award winning film and media composer/ sound designer Renger Koning.
All the hard work, sleep deprivation and a couple of beers to fuel creativity culminated in six different ideas. First up, Music Mate, where users can find concerts in town, tailored to their musical tastes. Reach App was second, allowing musicians to easily connect and collaborate. Tune In, the third idea, is a platform where people can rent musical instruments. The team gave the bartender an onstage ukulele lesson as part of their pitch too.
Up, an idea for an alarm clock app, was definitely the most energetic pitch, and with dazzling showmanship, the team explained cool ways to wake up your friends with voice message alarms. “And what if you don’t have any friends?” one of the judges asks jokingly. The answer requires no thought whatsoever: “You’ll be woken up by Arnold Schwarzenegger! Or Darth Vader! Because our business model is all about branded content from big companies.”
The Analog Music Art team presented the final pitch, revolving around creating custom, computer generated works of art based on the music you listen to on Spotify or SoundCloud. People can also scan the artwork with their phone to get all the playlist and song info. It’s basically what the stacks of albums in your bookcase used to be, a conversation piece.
And the winner is…
There were actually two kinds of winners on Sunday evening. The team with the best idea being the most obvious, but the good people organizing the whole weekend in a mere four weeks, were probably the biggest winners. One of the organizers, tired and tear filled gives an emotional speech and gets a long, standing ovation.
The winning team, announced with an actual live drumroll, was Analog Music Art. They’ll be pitching their idea to the Rabobank fairly soon, with expert help from Niek Huizenga.