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Fashion mobile app GlamSnap wins Startup Weekend Des Moines

Team GlamSnap, winner of the fifth Startup Weekend Des Moines (from left): Rebecca VanDeCasteele, Dustin Hemesath, Kaylee Williams, Kalyan Sandeep Tirumala, Becky McCrea and Bob Sorensen.

GlamSnap, a mobile app that aims to help women with clothing purchases, won Startup Weekend Des Moines Sunday at StartupCity Des Moines, the venue for the city’s fifth iteration of the event.

“(The idea) comes from a long history of terrible purchases that I have made throughout my life and my friends have called me out on it,” GlamSnap creator Kaylee Williams said.

Once released, the app will allow users share photos of potential clothing purchases with friends, who will be able to provide feedback. Williams said she has a habit of taking pictures of clothing and texting them to her friends before she makes a purchase.

“To have it all aggregated in one place I think is going to be a huge revolutionary change,” she said, “especially for women like me who just have no clue when it comes to fashion.”

The app will also offer an optional public stream that will let users gather more feedback and a tagging system that will let users categorize their style and discover other items that may interest them.

Williams’ team of six beat out nine other teams. In all, around 60 competitors participated in Startup Weekend Des Moines.

“There were literally four companies overall we thought that could win,” said judge James Eliason, the co-founder of West Des Moines startup Goodsmiths. A five-person panel judged teams based on the customer validation of their product, feasibility of their business model and execution of their vision.

“It came down to kind of the overall presentation that GlamSnap put together,” he said. “From their presentation to the product and how we thought it could scale in the marketplace, they really kind of led us to their product.”

Battle Type, an “anti-word game” that challenges users to prevent their opponent from creating a word, took second. The mobile game is the brainchild of a team mostly made up of employees from Hatchlings, an online game with more than 3 million users.

OpenSlotsNow (above, presenting), a service that would help businesses and entrepreneurs fill idle time slots or available appointments, and Ingamix, a company focused on providing an interactive, electronic experience during sporting events, tied for third.

Though attendance was down slightly from Startup Weekend Des Moines in March, co-organizer Andrew Kirpalani said this event’s work was some of the highest quality he’s seen.

“I actually thought what got built this weekend was even higher quality than the last time,” Kirpalani said.

Instead of receiving a prize for winning Startup Weekend Des Moines, the GlamSnap team is entered in the Global Startup Battle, a bracket-style competition between the winners of more than 130 recent Startup Weekends worldwide.

Williams and her team hope to launch the GlamSnap website soon and will be working in the coming weeks to produce their app.

“When I came in I was just a fashionless girl with gold heels,” Williams said, “my team took that inspiration and helped make something extraordinary.”

Startup Weekend continues at StartupCity

StartupCity Des Moines, a tech startup incubator, provided more than just the venue for this latest Startup Weekend Des Moines. For the next three weeks, all 10 teams are invited back to StartupCity Des Moines to continue developing and enhancing their products.

“We’ve seen that many Startup Weekend teams that left Sunday night didn’t get together again Monday onward, and some of those products just languished,” StartupCity mentor-in-residence Tej Dhawan said.


Credits: Photos by Megan Bannister

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