Beard rating site, Lego mosaic service tie at Startup Weekend DSM

Two teams— and Brickit—tied for first place Sunday during Startup Weekend Des Moines' final pitches. Seven teams competed in the weekend-long competition with more than...

BeardOrNot and Brickit tied for first place in Startup Weekend Des Moines Sunday evening at StartupCity. 

Two teams— and Brickit—tied for first place Sunday during Startup Weekend Des Moines‘ final pitches.

Seven teams competed in the weekend-long competition with more than 50 spectators turning up for the competition’s final pitches at StartupCity Des Moines. After about 30 ideas were pitched Friday evening, teams were formed and products developed over the course of the 54-hour event. 

BeardOrNot allows users to submit images of their beard and fight their way to the top of the site’s leaderboard through up-voting: “Charles Darwin, Jim Morrison, Abraham Lincoln, Grizzly Adams, Confucius and Uncle Jesse. All great men. All had beards. Be a great man. Share your beard.” The six-person team—made up of Mike Boswell, Danyelle Crowell, Torey Maerz, Kasey McCurdy, Mike Naughton and Jeff Shinrock—recruited Tacopocalypse owner and impressive beard grower Sam Auen as its spokesperson.

Brickit—formerly Brick X Brick—also was awarded top marks and was first pitched by Shaun VanWeelden, who worked with a team of five to build out his idea. The site allows users to upload a photo and create a custom 2D representation using Lego-style blocks. 

Nathan Robertson, one of the event’s organizers, says this weekend’s teams formed one of the highest-quality groups he’s seen at a Startup Weekend, noting every individual came with skills to contribute.

“The pitches were much more polished than in the past, and we don’t usually have live products ready to go,” Robertson told Silicon Prairie News. “Most teams had something live to demo for the judges, which was amazing.”

Both first-place teams will receive an automatic interview for Madison, Wisc.-based gener8tor‘s winter 2014 class, a business model consultation session with QCI’s Chris Khyl and Irv Hahn and entry into Global Startup Battle‘s Champions Circle. TheWeddingList—a web application to help making a wedding guest list easier—took third, receiving a business model consultation session from QCI. 


Credits: Product images from BeardOrNot and Brickit


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