54 Hours To Build A Company: A Look At Startup Weekend Phoenix

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It’s been some time since we last covered Startup Weekend, a series of events that bring a roomful of developers and entrepreneurs together to develop new startups in only 54 hours. When the program originally launched last year, each weekend was geared towards building a single application, of which every participating member was a cofounder. Since then the format has changed – multiple companies are created at each event, and they don’t have to incorporate at the end of the weekend. Here’s a handful of the companies founded at last weekend’s event, which was held in Phoenix (you can see the event’s blog here).

ReserveChute

With so much of our essential data making its way to the cloud, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to quickly make a local backup. Reserve Chute, an open source web app that will be available for use in the next few weeks, will automatically make backups of popular cloud based services including Gmail, Twitter, and Basecamp.

It’s unlikely that any of these services will be going out of business in the foreseeable future, and they almost certainly have redundant backup systems in place. But the prospect of having my entire photo collection or Email history wiped out is unnerving – having an easy way to back up these services would definitely give users some peace of mind, even if they never had to use it.

My Shelter Helper

My Shelter Helper is web page builder aimed to help animal shelters establish a presence on the web. Shelters can logon and after entering some basic information like their address and telephone number will be presented with a functional and good looking website. It’s a great idea, and I love the tagline: “Helping save animal’s lives.”

For now the service is generating some pretty barebones sites, but will introduce support for donations so that shelters can easily collect from benevolent animal lovers worldwide. I hope the team keeps working on this – anything that helps animals is a good thing, and plenty of people (like my mother, for example) would love to donate to their local animal shelter along with the national organizations.

Twitrratr

Awful domain name aside, the Twitrratr team has actually built a pretty cool Twitter site. After entering any keyword, Twitrratr will find related tweets and attempt to figure out if the subject is being spoke about in a positive or negative light. It’s a good idea but unfortunately it doesn’t work very well – oftentimes words that Twitrratr associates with a negative tweet aren’t being used to describe the keyword that was searched for. The team acknowledges that the system isn’t perfect and is open to suggestions (it’s still pretty impressive for 54 hours from conception to launch).

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