Startup Weekend Produces Student-Created Ventures

November 6, 2019

Jane Hobson '22

Students talking at a table.
Students discuss projects during this fall’s Startup Weekend.
Photo credit: Derek Mahone

This fall, the Oberlin Entrepreneurship Club and the Center for Innovation & Impact hosted a Startup Weekend for students aspiring to bring their entrepreneurial ideas to life. Twenty-four students of different majors and academic backgrounds signed up to participate in the competition. The event was sponsored by Techstars , a Colorado-based company that facilitates startups and accelerates the growth of new companies.

On the first night of Startup Weekend, the participating students were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas, vote on their favorites, and form teams. During the next two days, the teams were paired with coaches to develop a prototype. On the final evening, the teams were given feedback and scores after presenting their final projects to a panel of judges. 

The competition’s winning team created a multiplayer online game called “Learn Latin to Survive.” The second and third-place teams invented “tür,” a social app for vacation planning, and “good group,” an app for finding study buddies. 

Kevin Lyu ’22, a member of the “Learn Latin to Survive” team, got involved with Startup Weekend after hearing about it from his friends in the Entrepreneurship Club. 

“I liked Startup Weekend. I felt really comfortable working with my team and spending so much time on the same project,” says Lyu. “We don't have a lot of opportunities to do this kind of thing during the semester because everyone has their own schedule. I really enjoyed that sense of working together closely toward the same goal.” 

Lyu and his team members will join President Carmen Twillie Ambar for a private dinner on November 19. 

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