Last weekend, the Bluetooth SIG participated in the Kirkland Startup Weekend, an annual event that encourages innovators to collaborate on new ideas. Each year, Kirkland Startup Weekend gives individuals the opportunity to pitch their startup ideas, form teams around top proposals, and then scramble to establish a business model, code, design, and support their concept with market validation. In just 54-hours, this wild event sparks grand ideas for the Internet of Things.
Kicking off on Friday, the SIG’s executive director Mark Powell served as the event’s keynote. Before the group of nearly 100 participants, Powell shared the power of Bluetooth® technology and valuable insights on what startups need to succeed. Cyrus Habib, the Lieutenant Governor of Washington, also spoke during the opening ceremonies.
Afterward, participants had an opportunity to pitch their project. There were roughly 30 project ideas generated, and 12 project groups formed. For each group, we provided Arduino 101 boards to help aid development efforts. Our partner Qualcomm donated mesh kits as the prize for third place winners.
After planning and preparing, the 12 groups presented their ideas on Sunday evening. The SIG’s technical program manager Wendy Warne served as a judge during the weekend.
The winners of the weekend were One Transit App, Slip Away Boats, and Touch N Go.
One Transit App, an innovative application that will “digitally unify the public transit experience” using Bluetooth® technology, won first place.
According to their social bio, One Transit App explained, “In the last year alone, Seattle has added 86,320 new residents. According to the 2014-2015 US Census Bureau data, Seattle ranks 4th among the 50 largest cities in the US for population growth.” One Transit App strives to create a “feasible solution that caters to the needs of all.” Their goal is to make transit opportunities user-friendly, while increasing transit revenue.
Slip Away Boats, the weekend’s runner up, also offered a solution utilizing Bluetooth. The group presented a solution for boaters that would ensure more effective use of boat slips while also increasing revenue of boating ports in cities. Their plan outlined revenue through slip fees and business recreational activities.
All of the teams involved worked hard over the course of 54 hours and offered new, innovative solutions for Smart Cities. The SIG was proud to be part of such a forward-thinking event in our own backyard, and we look forward to next year.