Santa Barbara Startup Weekend Picks Winners

A team that came up with the idea for an app called DimeIn won top prize at this year’s Santa Barbara Startup Weekend competition at Impact Hub. 

The app helps organizers find the items and services necessary to stage any type of event.   

Organizer Navjot Brar said some 60 participants formed about 10 teams who spent the weekend in an intense gathering of hackers, designers and other entrepreneurs who pitched ideas for new enterprises. 

In a haze of discussions with bagels, energy drinks and other inspirations, participants of many ages, ethnicities and backgrounds teamed up, performed market research on their laptop computers and on their smartphones to back up their ideas and develop pitches. 

At times, it was a cacophony of discussion, profanity and then consensus. However, the tone was usually competitively vibrant and not that of rivalry. 

After rousing pep talks Friday night and Saturday afternoon, some of the 60 participants in Startup Weekend were beginning to show a little fatigue. Some had even bought sleeping bags and camped out. 

They were largely buoyed by chats with the dozen volunteer mentors who offered counsel and advice to participants who delivered vocal pitches of the various enterprises they had been working on all weekend. 

This was all in preparation or the big night when four judges would sit in front of the “Shark Tank-like” presentation that would decide who wins with the best ideas that may someday become real businesses.

This year’s second-place winner was Datum, which solves one of the frustrations of the aerospace industry: finding quality vendors. Datum will make the connections, rate participating vendors and certify them to ensure quality.

The third-place winner was Localize. This app brings the user one click away from engaging directly with city council and local politicians on the issues that matter to you.

Santa Barbara Startup Weekend has yielded several success businesses over the years. 

This was a much more mellow Startup Weekend compared to the first one in Santa Barbara six years ago. That weekend event included not only food, but also a beer keg and live ska band performing during dinner. 

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