Startup Weekend Boston Rolls Out The Red Carpet

March 20, 2012
Written by
Jonathan Gottfried
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

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While most of America watched the Oscars, the enterprising folks at Startup Weekend Boston stepped up to demo the companies that they had worked so hard to create over their 48-hour, mostly sleepless, weekend stretch.

The event had a great turnout, with more than 140 businesspeople, hackers, designers, and marketers attending. It began with 70 pitches, some of which garnered absolutely massive teams (18 people!). But as the weekend wound down to a close, only 17 slick startups were remaining and ready to pitch to the judges, walking down the figurative red carpet at Microsoft’s NERD Center.

Check out the videos of the pitches here:

After the judging was complete, these few startups won their figurative Oscars:

1st Place Overall – SubBids

SubBids makes it easy for construction subcontractors to make bids to general contractors and keep track of their project flow over the months that they’re working on a contract. According to their website, it was created by “one concrete guy, two coders, and some guy that looks like Edward Norton.” Interesting description, but an absolutely great product as well!

2nd Place Overall + Most Technical Achievement + Best Cloudmine Startup – is a NeverLate travel planning app. What does NeverLate mean? actively incorporates weather, transit time, events (like parades), and other factors into its scheduling so that you’ll never be late for a meeting again. Be sure to get on their beta list so that you’re not late for the launch!

3rd Place Overall + Most Fun – Ottr

Ottr solves the age-old problem of planning impromptu events with friends. It replaces outdated and unwieldy solutions like e-mail chains and makes it easy and fun to plan events on the fly with your friends. And who doesn’t love “adorable, social sea mammals”?

Audience Choice – Whoizit

Whoizit is a new take on the classic game “Guess Who?” It lets you and your friends guess which mutual Facebook friend is being described, in a more social and often comical twist on the age-old board game. Honestly, it sounds like a blast and I can’t wait to start guessing which one of my friends “rides a fixie” or “has a moustache.”

Top Twilio Startup – is a way to experience the world through audio, rather than impersonal text. The team created a service that lets you record 8-second voice snippets and share them with your friends based on a specific location or gathering point. Their goal is to help reconnect people on a deeper level than text-bytes, replacing them with the often more emotional and deep sound-bytes. A great use of the Twilio Voice API if there ever was one.

Best Design – ActivePepper

ActivePepper is an app that makes it easy for you to find sports partners. You can list your level of skill and interest in a variety of sports, and you are immediately matched up to others in your area who are looking for partners. They also plan on partnering with gyms and sports facilities to help you find the perfect place to play.

If you’re interested in watching the demos, you can see our recorded stream here:

Congratulations to all of the teams, and thanks to Josh, Casey, and Juan for organizing a great event!

Find me on Twitter @jonmarkgo or e-mail at to tell me about your great startups or Twilio hacks!