By Michelle Thai, Marketing Intern
Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week! This week is celebrated globally with entrepreneurial events worldwide, from launches to networking events to meetups. Last weekend – being the GlobalMojo nerd I am – I attended a crazy tech startup event in Allston, MA.
Over the weekend, I helped create and launch a gourmet, meal kit delivery service called ChopChef in a matter of 54 hours. That’s right. We launched a startup in a single weekend from scratch.
My team of four worked at the Harvard Innovation Lab from Friday night to Sunday late afternoon, figuring out everything needed to launch ChopChef – vision, logistics, branding, operations, finances – and developing its full website (not yet public). On Sunday, ChopChef’s founder, Sheena Gogna – a Harvard Business School student – was ready for customers.
This was Startup Weekend Scramble at Harvard Innovation Lab: an intense, 54-hour scramble to launch a viable startup. 125 students from Harvard, MIT, and the Boston community (me from Emerson College in Boston!) all gathered to pitch our ideas, form teams, and launch them by Sunday evening.
13 startups made it to the end, after 54 hours of programming, coding, brainstorming, marketing, and everything in between.
Monica Stephany Liu, a Harvard undergrad, pitched Townhall140 Friday evening. It’s a Twitter enabled platform that allows an individual to live video chat with the “movers and shakers” in government for 140 seconds.
While an individual chats with the political figure, Twitterers use their 140 characters to join the conversation while they wait in a virtual line to speak with the official.
On Sunday at 5:00 PM, less than 48 hours after Liu pitched the idea, her team of 10 launched its first virtual townhall with Trey Grayson, Director of the Harvard Institute of Politics, about Occupy Harvard. Townhall140 was the winner of Startup Weekend Scramble.
Second place was Continuum Career: a platform that connects students with mentors that can provide the most relevant guidance and advice in terms of career. Third place was BetaDater: a platform called InstaRater that lets individuals receive anonymous date feedback, giving him the information he or she needs to be a better dater.
It’s not required of the students to continue to grow their startups after the event. Whether the students decide to continue growing their new startups or disband and move onto new ideas, the event did its job: to build community among the budding entrepreneurs of the Harvard, MIT, and Boston community, while showcasing the resources available to them at the new Harvard Innovation Lab (which is pretty sweet, by the way).
When it comes to Townhall140, it is safe to say we can all be on the look out for Townhall140 Version 2.0, as Liu tweeted yesterday, “Lining up a slew of @Townhall140 live events as we work on our Version 2.0 platform. @JonMumm and #opentok are the best!!! #HilabSWS.”
What does Startup Weekend Scramble say about the future of startups? It proves that anyone is capable, if they’re willing, to launch something powerful as long as they put their minds and hearts into it (like us over here at GlobalMojo!).
A big shout-out to all the entrepreneurs at Startup Weekend Scramble, and all around the world, and GlobalMojo Founder Brad Crisp, who are all making their dreams happen – whether or not in the matter of hours!