Startup Bali sits down with the winners of Hubud’s 2015 Startup Weekend.
Q: What lasted 54-hours, took place in 80 percent humidity and involved 80 wannabe entrepreneurs from 25 countries?
A: Bali’s 2015 Startup Weekend.
Held for the second year at Hubud in Bali, Startup Weekends are high-intensity weekend-long events where entrepreneurs work through the weekend to see if their startup ideas are viable.
On the first day of last year’s event in Bali, participants pitched 28 ideas, with 11 of them selected for further development over Saturday and Sunday. During this phase, teams focused on customer development, validating their ideas, honing their business models, and creating a basic prototype. On the Sunday evening, teams demonstrated their prototypes before an overall winner was selected by a panel of experts.
The 2015 winner was crowdsourced application Design My Day, an app to help people living with depression and loneliness search for and plan fun and meaningful activities in their local area.
But as other teams downed their tools and calmed their frayed nerves over beers, several members of the Design My Day team, began plotting how they could keep building their winning startup idea while working on their other projects.
The team included Jacob Madden, a former AI engineer and a full stack software developer from New York who was returning to the US after Startup Weekend. Mike Babiy, a Russian e-commerce entrepreneur based in Asia and Pedram Parasmand, a UK-based health and well-being coach.
Four of the other remaining original team members became part-time advisors, while Jacob returned to New York. But despite the 13-hour time difference, Mike says the partnership is working well.
“We’re working around the clock and it’s working perfectly at the moment. We use Trello and Slack. I start my day by replying to his cards and when as I finish, he wakes up and carries on.”
With the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) largely done and the pitch deck completed, the next job is to find investors
“We think this is a hugely neglected area at the moment, so we’re offering something to help lonely people in some of the world’s biggest cities get suggestions for activities suggested by other people who’ve maybe been in a similar emotional place,” Mike explains.
The plan is to launch the application in London initially before rolling it out to other markets.
So what’s next? Get funding and move on, Mike says.
“We think Bali is perfect for the pre-seed period. It’s a low-cost place to be and there is a diverse range of talent. After that, who knows?”