MISSISSAUGA, ON – October 31st 2012 – The Peel Region’s first Startup Weekend (Oct. 19-21, 2012) was a huge success! The winning team that received the grand prize was CardDrop (carddrop.me). Organized by the RIC Centre and Sheridan College, the event brought together people from various backgrounds and skillsets to share ideas; develop them and create a product in less than 54 hours. Darrell Keezer (keynote speaker) from CandyBox Marketing Inc. kicked off the event with an inspirational story about his early entrepreneurship on Friday evening. After an enthusiastic Pitch Fire, the audience voted for the top ideas and the owners of these ideas went on to form their own teams.
Each team worked extremely hard, getting to hear from various industry professionals on how to create a successful start-up. On Sunday afternoon, the teams presented to a panel of well-known judges (Karen Grant from Angel One, Bill Holmes from Sheridan College, Stuart McKeen from FedDev Ontario and Grand Cheng from PointClickCare). The winning team, CardDrop, received a grand prize package consisting of:
- $1000 Cash by PointClickCare
- $500 Training Certificate by VentureStart
- $100 from a 1st real customer by Silicon Halton
- Free video coverage by SwitchVideo
- 3 hours of consulting by Candybox Marketing Inc.
CardDrop has created an innovative way to network and share contact information. You can check them out at carddrop.me. “The event was fantastic! The mentors and coaches available to us were incredibly helpful and I learned a lot, especially about pitches and how to get the point across” says team leader, Matthew Gardner. Matthew is an Engineering and Management student at McMaster University, has worked at RIM, and is a serial entrepreneur.
Over the weekend, Team CardDrop successfully completed their back end technology. Their next steps include making the API more robust and secure, integrating payment and making everything look beautiful. They are planning an official launch within a month with a fully-featured Minimum Viable Product. When asked about what advice you would give to other entrepreneurs, Varundeep Singh of Carddrop says “Be tough, strong, self-motivated and passionate. Never be dependant and never ask for help. Be creative and always be honest.”
The RIC Centre has really enjoyed watching early stage ideas in ICT bloom to fully formed companies. This event has truly brought out some positive collaboration between entrepreneurs, designers and developers to build startups in the Peel community. The audience was overjoyed when RIC’s own Pam Banks announced on Sunday evening that “Startup Weekend Peel is returning to you next year!”
ABOUT STARTUP WEEKEND: Startup Weekend is a non-profit organization based out of Seattle and supported by the Kauffman Foundation, Startup Weekend has held over 325 events around the globe, inspiring nearly 30,000 entrepreneurs to take an idea from concept to launch.
ABOUT RIC CENTRE: A not-for-profit organization supporting the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. RIC Centre provides commercialization support to help new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people take technical innovations to market. Since 2008, RIC has worked with over 150 companies, and 46% of all successful clients at RIC have either received funding or been introduced to funding sources and investors.