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Startup Weekend Lincoln winner helps fitness instructors find subs

Ali Schwanke (right) pitches Exercise My Schedule during Startup Weekend Lincoln’s final presentations.
Exercise My Schedule, “a better way to manage group fitness scheduling,” emerged from a field of six as the winner of Startup Weekend Lincoln.  

A marketing consultant by day and fitness instructor by night, Ali Schwanke came up with the idea for Exercise My Schedule. In her pitch Sunday night, Schwanke explained that her email inbox is constantly cluttered with requests from the roughly 60 instructors who also teach at the gym.

While most of the asks don’t fit with her schedule or class-type, Schwanke wondered why there wasn’t a better system to help find substitute instructors for her classes. For instance, so she can attend Ladies Who Launch this week.

“It is a big challenge,” she said. “It’s very frustrating to find a substitute instructor.”  

Exercise My Schedule streamlines fitness class scheduling and helps instructors like Schwanke “feel pain in our classes and not in our schedules.” The team was rounded out by developers Yutaka Tsutano and Cunzu Xu, designer Stacy Carlson and business-minded members Keith Fix and Jerilyn Sykes.  

The first-place team took home 20 hours of design and development services from HIVE, an hour of legal advice from Bart Dillashaw and mentorship from judges Ben Pankonin of Social Assurance, Terence Bowden of Innovation Campus, Karen Helmberger of Union Bank and NMotion’s Brian Ardinger.  

Along with Exercise My Schedule, five other teams competed during Startup Weekend Lincoln:

  • Primona – Easy website signup and custom landing page
  • Mentor Dash – Connect mentors and startups in startup accelerator programs
  • AdEvolver – Provide marketers A/B tested ad designs
  • FindOutfit – Help find cheaper alternatives to clothes you see online
  • Can I Eat This? – Reads barcodes to tell you if that food has allergens specific to you

The second-place team, Can I Eat This?, won the judges’ mentoring services plus three months of office space at Turbine Flats. Third place FindOutfit won the judges’ mentoring services and ten hours of HIVE’s services.  

Startup Weekend Lincoln wrapped up Sunday evening at Firespring after 54 hours of building and creating. In conjunction with the second annual Lincoln Startup Week, held Sept. 5 through 13, Startup Weekend was Lincoln’s third in roughly the past year. Ardinger said this time around, there seemed to be more developers participating, and more focus on building and producing product demos.  

“The quality of the teams is just as good as I’ve seen anywhere,”  said Weekend mentor John Stibal (lately of London).

Ardinger said the turnout of more than 35 participants was good, especially considering the home Nebraska football game and the full schedule of Startup Week events in progress. However, that timing was purposeful, Ardinger said. Organizers wanted to allow participants to make more connections and gain momentum over the week.  

With Startup Weekend in the books, Lincoln Startup Week continues through Friday. See a complete schedule of events on the Lincoln Startup Week website


Credits: Event photo from Facebook

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