CMUSV Spring Break Startup Weekend Selects Three Winners-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

CMUSV Spring Break Startup Weekend Selects Three Winners-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

CMUSV Spring Break Startup Weekend Selects Three Winners

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley held its first “Spring Break Startups Weekend” on March 16-18. Organized by the master’s students, the goal was to bring together students and alumni to pitch ideas, select the best ones, and work within a 48 hour time frame to launch them.

The event was a success with over twenty students and alumni in attendance, who pitched over twenty different ideas beginning Friday evening. Faculty members and industry advisors served as mentors during the weekend, helping teams to hone their ideas into viable business plans.

Ralf Gueldemeister, key organizer of the event, based the idea on a startup weekend he had attended several years ago. “I went to a startup weekend in San Francisco more than four years ago and ever since I just couldn't get the experience out of my head. The high energy and can-do mentality of the event has always been a great inspiration for me. During the last CMU Silicon Valley gathering, I shared the concept with my class mates and after five minutes we decided that our campus needs its very own startup weekend. We picked a date and well, Spring Break Startups was born. I certainly can't think of a better place to host such an event,” he explained.

Shortly after working with faculty and staff to plan the event, he was able to bring in CMU alumni Aaron Kao, Associate at Crosslink Capital, a venture capital firm based in San Francisco, and Purin Phanichphant, Experimenter and Visual Storyteller at IDEO. To round out his panel of advisors, he asked Brian Drummond, Agile Coach at LinkedIn, and Mehershad Dahmubed, Entrepreneur, to assist. Lastly, faculty members Sheryl Root, Stuart Evans and Todd Sedano all served as mentors or judges.

Gueldemeister, a 2nd year student in the part-time MS Software Engineering program, had some entrepreneurial experience prior to joining the program, and is eager to learn more. “CMUSV provided a great combination of very supportive faculty members, a great pool of talent and an inherent spirit of teamwork. Taking an idea from pitch to product in two days is intense (some might say crazy), but I'd do it again any time. I’m especially appreciative of the support and help I received from Mikelynn Romero, and fellow students Bash Sun-Basorun and Surbhi Dangi.” said Gueldemeister, enthusiastically.

Winners:

Best Potential to Build a Big Business: Team Brandlify

  • Raj Desai
  • Ralf Gueldemeister
  • Eila Ibildayeva
  • Mayuri Kulkarni
  • Shekar Pasumarthi
  • Rity Upadhyaya

Best Presentation: Team Meet.Now

  • Ashwin Arun
  • Krishna Bheemanandham
  • Surbhi Dangi
  • Markus Lachinger
  • Nishith Nand
  • Kristoffer Pantic
  • Bruno Torres
  • Isaac Wilson

Best Actionability: Team Popup

  • Linda Avendano
  • Anitha Loganathan
  • Sutapa Maity
  • Alwal Putta
  • Bash Sun-Basorun
  • Eugene Zolotukhin