Startup Weekend OC 2016 Re-cap

06/29/2016 | By Brennon Cardone

This post originally appeared on

z9-startupweekend_orange_county-40Wow, what an amazing event!  The Cove was packed with over 100 people on the first night. Investors, observers, people ready to pitch - we had it all.

For those that like numbers, we had a total of 47 pitches on the first night with 12 ending teams and 11 final pitches! From cheesecakes to VR meditation, we saw an amazing variety of pitches and teams. We saw hugs, tears, ping-pong, Starbucks, Tweets, dancing and so much more energy that was so contagious and amazing. We filled every open room in The Cove. For three days we became one, working together to refine ideas into teams and startups.

On behalf of the organizing team, we want to thank everyone involved: sponsors, mentors, judges, volunteers and participants! You made this event happen, but most of all we want to thank The Cove and IBM. Their support helped make this event a success and sets the stage for innovation and startups in the community. The Cove provided the food, support for the event, and an amazing facility that is full of innovation and startup energy. IBM contributed the funding and access to their products to facilitate rapid development and support to the teams. We can't thank you enough for the support! All the teams benefited and will hopefully continue their ventures.

Another special thanks goes out to our facilitator, Brien Buckman, who kept our teams on task, facilitated a great event and fought a shark off with one hand (or so I was told).

Special thanks to our judges:

Ray Chan

Henri Duong

Tracy Kwiker

Ash Kumra

They had the hard task to pick the winning teams. The competition was stacked with 11 total teams:

  1. Kit & Kin
  2. Cardinal Scout
  3. Bark Love
  4. Meditation VR
  5. Phonix Comix
  6. Dap N' Go
  7. GearHub
  8. College Confectionista
  9. Legal Alpha
  10. Job Ninjas
  11. We Groove

After each team had finished, the judges were escorted to a room for 15 long minutes to deliberate. The top three teams that convinced the judges about the problem, the solution, the market size, prototype and go to market were:

  1. We Groove: Music playlists that learn the type of music you want to listen to based on the activities you are doing. The presentation was great; the team not only sold the problem, they walked through a demo of a user on a typical day, with music and all. Congratulations to We Groove!z9-startupweekend_orange_county-34
  2.  Legal Alpha: Legal Alpha helps make case lookup and case relevance easier by aggregating case law resources. The team rocked with a solid presentation and a very simple working proto-type. The solution was targeted to a very tangible problem in the legal profession and the judges were able to understand the concept and market size.  Congratulations to Legal Alpha!z9-startupweekend_orange_county-30
  3. Third place was presented to VR Meditation: VR Meditation creates a virtual meditation using VR technology and your smart phone.  Meditate anywhere, relax and soothing messages were the pitch from the team. They had a very clear revenue model, connected with one of the judges on a problem he has, and provided a clean proto-type sample of the VR content. Congratulations to VR Meditation!z9-startupweekend_orange_county-18


Amazing work and amazing presentations to all the other teams. Everyone was a winner on Sunday and we hope that every team will continue to pursue the ideas they presented. Thanks for everyone that attended and helped out, we hope to see you next year!

Just because the event is over does not mean your idea is over. Make sure to look out for some email invites to join the post StartupWeekend OC group and future workshops sponsored by Gathermoss (TM) and The Cove. Anyone wanting information about the teams or event, please feel free to reach out to us and we will get back to you. Again, thanks and I hope everyone had a great experience!