Working off of little sleep but big ideas, three teams of young entrepreneurs pitched their startups last night at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which included new ways to give to the needy, improve college classes and communicate with a group.
The final presentations of marketing plans and product prototypes wrapped up a 3 Day Startup event sponsored by Rackspace with some good advice from a group of panelists, including our own Shane Young.
More than 20 students from MIT and Harvard participated in the weekend entrepreneurship education program that emphasized “learning by doing.” Seven Rackers joined in to help the students with design and technical needs, including some free hosting to get the projects off the ground.
The weekend started with 11 startup ideas, which were trimmed to five and ultimately reduced to three. The new startup ideas included:
Teach For Me – A new app for college students to give professors real-time feedback about the speed and clarity of a lecture. The app gives students simple feedback buttons to tell the professor to speed up or slow down or to ask a question.
Living on a Prayer – A kind of Kickstarter for the needy, the site matches businesses and donors with those who need specific items. For example, a person in need of an operation could raise money through the site by seeking donors who would contribute to help pay for hospital costs. The group signed up several businesses to participate over the weekend.
Grouper – A new group chat app designed to bridge the gap between the ways small groups and very large groups communicate. Tour groups, for example, could get on the same Grouper channel to share schedule updates and photos. The name is a play on schools of fish. “Fish have it down,” said team lead Catherine Yun, a freshman at MIT. “Humans not so much.”
The group of panelists encouraged all of the ideas while pointing out some additional factors to consider.
3 Day Startup does not declare a winner for the weekend. Instead, all groups are encouraged to continue to work on their ideas and ultimately launch their companies.
We captured the final day of the weekend in this video:
Be sure to check out our coverage from the rest of 3 Day Startup at MIT: