Startup Weekend Blacksburg Recap

Shamelessly reblogged from the Microsoft BizSpark Group Blog!


Our champions in DC area, Ashish Jaiman and Ed Donahue, were mentors at StartupWeekend Blacksburg just last week (Sept 14th – 16th ) held at Rackspace in Blacksburg.

The event was a huge success, and our guy Ashish says “Wow, what a great event. We got to learn a lot about the students and team’s passion, community mentors and coaching support… and we saw unbelievable entrepreneurial energy”.

Ed also hosted a dev camp in Virginia Tech, where participants of the Startup Weekend were able to get to know Windows 8 (and Microsoft BizSpark) prior to the kick-off of the event on Friday. More than 90 entrepreneurs and students registered – with a great line up of mentors and judges:

  • Jonathan Hagmaier, Chairman & CEO of Interactive Achievement
  • Benjamin Knapp, Director, Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
  • Jason Gabriel, Vice President – Third Security, LLC
  • Mike Provance, Entrepreneur Adviser and President of Growth Kinetics Venture Management Accelerator
  • Ashish Jaiman, Startup Lead at Microsoft, Public Sector

Teams that built a Windows 8 application in the coming two months were offered a shiny new Windows Phone and the chance to participate the awesome investor day that The Fort is hosting on December. Read more about this new accelerator in DC.

After the initial pitches on the Friday evening, 9 teams formed to build products over the weekend. Here they are:

ORZUP allows our customers to create beautiful custom renditions of satellite imagery of an area at a given point in time. Our process modifies satellite imagery into beautiful works of art. Some of the wonder is in the customer’s ability to personalize the art by specifying a place and time they deem meaningful. We have seen the wonderful connection this allows our customers to have with such works. A much deeper connection than merely selecting a piece from an art gallery. (, @orzupdesign)

ImagiPrint 3D

ImagiPrint 3D’s mission is to provide the ability for anyone to bring their ideas to life. No experience with 3D modeling is necessary. Simply send us your sketches, pictures, or any idea and our capable design team will be reproduce a 3D model and 3D print it into life. Custom jewelry, figurines, accessories, you name it; we print it! Targeting the everyday imaginator, ImagiPrint 3D. Imagine. Print. Done. (

Sign Traveler

Sign Traveler’s goal is to help all of the historical sites that most people pass by become better integrated into our society. This mobile service would sent historical information to your phone that is normally found in small, unreadable print on roadside signs. Our company will tailor to two different customers; the traveler and the advertiser. Our advertising plan allows for a small area in the application to be designated to corporate sponsorship. (@signtravel)

Home Grown Trade

Home Grown Trade is basically an online farmers market. We want you to be able connect with you clients and gain more clients outside the market on Wednesday and Saturday, by creating a profile online that you would enter in all of your produce so people could do online shopping either to pre-order for the market or for you to be able to meet up with clients one-on-one. ( ?)


Creating an enterprise application that will facilitate the digital transfer of resumes between applicants and business at career fairs. Applicants will upload resume then scan a QR code for the job they desire and this will transfer their resume to the business. The business will then pull up the resume on a tablet or other mobile device and they will be able to see the resume and take notes on the applicant while discussing the position. (, @resumeexchange)

Gamification of company culture and workspace to produce health and culture reports and info-graphics based upon social network LinkedIn and internal health reports/surveys. This will tie the company internals to the likes of FarmVille to show health by village. (, @inville)


QuizzTaker improves student classroom interaction and response collection at an industry unique price point. A proprietary software application allows teachers to seamlessly integrate technology enhanced items into their daily lesson plans to better engage students with important material.

Project Free Airfare

Don’t let a plane ticket stand between you and a great travel experience. We partner with businesses in your destination to subsidize your airfare. This is can also help you plan for you trip as you save by getting coupons for businesses where you are going to travel. Let’s make airfare free! (, @pfatrips)


Quit waiting in line at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, sporting events, bars, cafes and ANYWHERE else! We are building a mobile app that allows consumers to order and pay… leaving you to simply pick up your purchase.


  • First Prize: ResumeX
  • Second Prize: QuizzTaker (Public Sector)
  • Third Prize: ORZUP

Check out photos from the event on the Microsoft BizSpark site.

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