Event activities continued with pitching, in other words, 19 individuals in the packed audience participated in 60-second presentations. From the pitches, the top seven, chosen by the audience, formed teams and continued to develop their idea for the two days that followed.
This is the third year to bring Startup Weekend (SUW) to Panama City, but this event is by no means confined to Bay County. The organization is global in reach, diverse in makeup, broad in expertise, and rich in startup experience. BIC Executive Director Pamela Kidwell embraces her organization’s role in arranging this event with full community support. “The BIC’s mission is fostering entrepreneurship in our community. The room is full on pitch night. So many people are experiencing what we experience every day. We are so pleased to be a part of such a unique event.”
Local organizers make every effort to set up the ideal environment for participants to be successful and learn as much as possible in just 54 hours. It is that simple. Startup Weekend is designed to get going, FAST. All teams produced their business ideas, gathered the opinion of their clients or customers by conducting surveys, thus fleshing out their idea with market research, business processes, and financial modeling.
On Sunday, each team presented a well-crafted 5-minute presentation to a panel of three judges including local entrepreneur and Chief Operating Officer, Jellyfish Health, Patrick Leonpacher; District General Manager for Gulf Power’s Eastern District, Sandy Sims; and author, artist, serial entrepreneur, and cheerleader, Rob "Kingfish" Wood.
Kidwell added, “All seven projects have potential. They are varied products reaching different markets. Now, these participants are better prepared to move forward with a grasp of the promise and pitfalls of turning a concept into a business reality. A big KUDO to this year’s mentors, volunteers, organizers, and sponsors.”