ASU computer science student Taylor Meeks was part of team that won the top award in a recent business startup competition.
Startup Weekend: Phoenix Global Startup Battle, hosted by Seed Spot, a local nonprofit business incubator that aids social entrepreneurs, attracted more than 50 people looking to learn more about how to develop their ideas for tech-based ventures.
Many of the attendees pitched their proposals for startups and 10 were chosen to compete in the startup battle.
Meeks and two others joined software engineer Mark Tucker, one of the successful pitch makers, to work on a venture called FunCast. Its product is a party trivia game called Boast, played with an iPad or other tablet devices, with game information displayed on a TV screen using Chromecast, a digital media player.
Teams had about 55 hours to put together a business model, a tech demo and gather some customer-validation data for their products.
“It surprised me how much we accomplished in just a weekend. We created a business model and a working demo of our game in a very short amount of time,” Meeks said.
A panel of local startup founders selected three winning teams. Meeks’ team placed first and was awarded six months of free office space at Desarrollo, a tech startup incubator center in Tempe. The group will soon begin work on the next phase of development for FunCast, Meeks said.
The businessperson who is Meeks’ sponsor for his senior capstone design project had suggested Meeks participate in Startup Weekend to gain business experience.
He notes that only a handful of other ASU students attended the Startup Weekend in downtown Phoenix.
“I was reinvigorated by it. It was cool to be around other passionate entrepreneurial people,” he said. “It would be great for more ASU students to participate.”
Another Phoenix Startup Week is planned for early 2015.
Meeks expects to receive his bachelor’s degree in the spring after completing studies in the computer science program in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering.