The first StartUp Weekend Kansas City was held at the end of April. Founded by Andrew Hyde, StartUp Weekend has been hosted by over 20 cities around the world since its inception. The Kansas City event, organized by Dan Melton and his dot Next crew, drew over 75 people for fifty hours of brainstorming, business plan creation and coding. Nine concepts were launched including the overall winner of the pitch session, Activism2Go. We pitched an idea that ultimately became TopChirp, a rating site for the microblogging site Twitter.
From concept development to completed code, the effort to develop this application took less than 50 hours. The end result? A working application that allows users to “chirp” tweets that they find interesting. Tweets that are chirped, or rated highly, are then presented on the www.topchirp.com website, much like content that is given a “thumbs-up” on Digg is presented on Digg.com. An easy-to-use application programming interface allows third parties that are developing Twitter clients to easily incorporate TopChirp rating capability in their own applications.
We are excited about TopChirp and the team that formed over StartUp Weekend has already made plans to continue to enhance the application even as we refine its business plan.
It has been reported that although StartUp Weekend events are popular, few of the applications that are develop maintain a long existence or raise appreciable money.
We think that such concern is misguided. StartUp Weekend serves an important role in the startup community–that of connecting business development experts, designers and developers. The networks that are formed can be powerful ones for catalyzing the growth of new business opportunities in a given community. We feel privileged that we were able to meet so many talented people in just a few days, some of whom traveled from as far as Great Britain.
If there is a StartUp Weekend in your city, we highly recommend the experience!