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Weekend event connects startups with business experts

Ashley Hirtzel

An event that helps new small businesses leverage support, and gain feedback for their ideas was held at the University at Buffalo this past weekend.

Startup Weekend Buffalo Co-organizer Jon Spitz says the 54-hour event allowed local entrepreneurs, developers, and designer’s network with business experts.

More than 80 participants broke into 12 teams, and they were given hours to perfect their idea, but only five minutes to pitch it to a panel of judges.

Spitz says there were a variety of concepts including a range Smartphone apps and an innovative design for casual footwear.

“The most important thing is not even so much the idea, as it’s to get all of these people in the same room and realize that you can take something from an idea and learn how to get it into a business, and that’s what people learned this weekend. You may not take this idea from this start-up weekend, but you may have met somebody and you now know what to do with that idea,” said Spitz.

The winning idea was the RentCheck app. User experience designer Jonathan Gorczyca and his team designed the app. It allows people to pay their rent from their Smartphone and submit any maintenance issues with the property to their landlords.

“As a designer I have a lot of ideas that can linger in this cloud space, but these guys give us the tools to kind of create and give it a go. It’s completely open creative environment, so nothing’s getting shot down and everybody’s supportive, teams donate their time to help everybody across the board. If you don’t win you probably have your hand in something that is going to be a success,” said Gorczyca.

Organizers of Startup Weekend Buffalo are looking to continue the event which has garnered a lot of interest over the last couple of years.

WBFO/Western New York reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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