By Vijay Yadav

Startup Weekend ended on Sunday evening in exemplary fashion as it was one of the smoothest run events we have had to date. We helped cultivate 11 wonderful teams on their entrepreneurial journey and saw cutting edge technologies come to life such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence.


  • 63 pitches from 85+ participants
  • 11 teams formed
  • 21 mentors
  • 12 sponsors
  • 175+ people in total including demo day attendees, participants, judges, and mentors
  • 60%+ of participants were first time attendees
  • 2% of attendee were female
  • 7% of attendees were racially/ethnically diverse (not white)
  • 7% were ages 18 – 29
  • 7% were in their thirties
  • 3% were in their forties
  • 3% were ages 50+


Our Winning Teams:

  • 1st – Open Book (A communication, scheduling and financial tools for models/talents to connect with opportunities)
  • 2nd – Ananas (a platform to help new immigrants find appropriate resources in the United States)
  • 3rd – Rugged Roads (auto-focused telematics company looking to save drivers from potholes and fix roads)


Some quick notes:

The quality of the companies and ideas continue to elevate through customer validation, which is something we have been continuously working upon to improve.  Our facilitator, Grant Carlile, networked with dozens of other Startup Weekends across the globe to help our teams get back surveys on their ideas – some received as many as 50 responses in one day.  Almost all of the teams pivoted significantly at least once during the weekend, leading to companies more likely to succeed.

Root Insurance Company was an amazing venue and Audrey, Amanda and Daniel were incredible hosts.  The space had only been operational for a week or so – we were the third event there – and it was the perfect size and configuration for the Startup Weekend event.  Being a unicorn (valuation of $1B+), Root was of tremendous inspiration to our participants who dream one day of being someone like Alex Timm, taking the world by storm and shaking up an entire industry.

Our sponsors and mentors had some wins this weekend as well! A couple of our sponsors and mentors made us aware that they met new potential partners and customers from connections they made throughout the course of the weekend.

Talent is another great opportunity through Startup Weekend and our mentors/sponsors were able to vet a handful of candidates for open tech roles at their companies by keeping an eye out for the most talented attendees.

We hosted a Startup/Innovation Showcase for the second time on Friday night which was a smashing success.  Former Startup Weekend companies ServUS and Seasonal Setter, both from September 2018, were both in attendance to show the participants that a year later, they are doing well and still working on growing their product and client base.  Others who attended included Leading Edje, Rhove, ScriptDrop, Grypshon, Platter, and the Edge Innovation Hub.

614-Startups also came for a visit on Saturday night to record a podcast in front of a live audience with the founder of ServUS, Yasmeen Quadri.  The dialogue between host Elio Harman and Yasmeen was engaging and full of great advice for newly minted entrepreneurs, so check it out when it gets published!

Thank you for your support and help throughout the weekend. Your support helps to cultivate the Columbus tech and entrepreneurial community which ultimately helps drive fundamental economic growth in the region as attendees build new businesses or take their knowledge back to employers helping to create new solutions.