This past weekend was the 3rd Startup
Weekend in Hong Kong and I was lucky enough to return again as a judge. This year
it was huge with 14 teams competing!
As usual, I was very impressed by the ideas, hard work, and execution. They stared
on Friday night with lots of pitches and team formation. The group worked all day
Saturday and Sunday at the CoCoon co-working space in
Hong Kong (the same co-work space AcceleratorHK is using). A few AcceleratorHK cohort
members as well as program director Paul Orlando were
helping out as mentors.
On Sunday night we all gathered to a different venue where we heard all of the 14
pitches. Myself and four other esteemed judges listened to the 5 minute presentations
and lead the 3 minute Q&A session.
The teams came from all walks of life as well as had ideas and teams that were in
a variety of domains including: social, conference networking, kitchen rental, shopping,
car sharing, film location scouting, and creative ways to use your free time. After
the deliberation, which was close, we choose “FilmScout” as the winner. FilmScout
was a team that built a solution for filmmakers and film students to find film locations
to shoot in. While a niche market, they were a 100% solution to a market segment and
demonstrated that they followed the Customer
Development process over the course of the competition (which accounts for 1/3
of the judging criteria).
After the event there was some networking and I was interviewed on local Hong Kong
TV about the startup scene in Hong Kong, AcceleratorHK, and of course my role as a
judge in Startup Weekend.
Stephen Forte sits on the board of several start-ups including Triton Works. Stephen is also the Microsoft Regional Director for the NY Metro region and speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world. He has written several books on application and database development including Programming SQL Server 2008 (MS Press).