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I’m really excited to share this story with you about how contributing ideas and making connections can set in motion mutually beneficial ongoing relationships. Case in point: Last September, Switch Marketing donated a free video prize to the winner of Startup Weekend Toronto, a wild and woolly 54-hour challenge to conceive, create and pitch new business startup ideas.
This was the first time Startup Weekend was held in Toronto, and the first ever Switch-sponsored event. Because of the positive responses we’ve received from the video we produced for the winner, Task Ave. (a super cool new iPhone app, but more about that later), we’ve decided to sponsor Global Startup Battle, and we’re also hard at work creating a marketing video for Startup Weekend. Definite proof that one connection can power up so many more!
Back to Startup Weekend, a global phenomenon that’s held in over 100 cities in 30 countries, offering entrepreneurs an exhilarating opportunity to hobnob with sponsors, speakers, mentors, judges and like-minded enterprisers, to share ideas, build a company, and hammer out effective pitches. This fast and furious, caffeine-charged event provides resources, networking and incentives to individuals and teams to help them transition from idea to launch. Ryerson University hosted Toronto’s September event, and our team was simply blown away by the wide range of innovative cutting-edge technologies that were brought to the table.
Amir Harel, a “start-up junkie”, and one of the organizers of Tel-Aviv’s phenomenally successful 2010 Startup Weekend is absolutely passionate about start-up competitions. Says Amir, “I feel Startup Weekend gives people the opportunity to show themselves that impossible things can be made if they set their minds to achieve them.” I couldn’t agree with him more. These weekends are a hotbed for innovation and inspiration, showcasing the brainstorming passion of “serial entrepreneurs” as they scramble to build a company in a matter of hours. Great stuff!
So what’s this hot new app all about? Task Ave. can best be described as “a location-aware to-do-list” that takes advantage of Apple’s recent background location API. It’s a simple, yet extremely clever and practical concept. Say you’ve run out of beer. You simply enter a task (pick up beer) and assign it a location (beer store) on your phone. The next time you’re near a beer store, Task Ave. sends you an alert… “Hey you’re near a beer store!” At last check, this 2010 startup winner was one of the most popular iPhone apps.
What did Task Ave. think about the video Switch created for them? “We’ve got a lot of great feedback from lots of folks, including the media. All in all it’s been great! The video is live at http://taskave.com. It does a great job of explaining what the app is about. Love it! :)”
We all lead crazy busy active lives, and this impressive app is one simple and effective way to help us stay organized. Task Ave. is a featured startup in the latest issue of NOW Magazine (January 13-20, 2011). “Awe-inspiring Task Ave. should be every start-up’s model.” Apple approved the $2.99 app on January 4th, and it’s now available at any app store.
Startup Weekend Toronto is a great venue to turn the impossible into the possible. One day, all you have is an idea. Two frenetic days later that idea magically morphs into a company. Because we share a common passion for entrepreneurship, these start-up visions keep our Switch Marketing team excited and energized about the work we do. And that’s exactly why we will continue to sponsor future Startup Weekend events.