Mobile apps, gamers and robots, oh my: MEGA Startup Weekend 2012


This is a guest post by talkTECH Communications Public Relations and Social Media Director, Kelly Byrd.

#swbayMEGA caused a disruption in Silicon Valley with technology and innovation coming out of the Microsoft office in Mountain View.

As Douglas Crets of Microsoft BizSpark noted, we started the weekend with “the entrepreneur spirit that gets us fired up enough to get mad about problems–and create solutions”, thanks to Dave McClure‘s riveting keynote welcome speech.

Scott Case from Startup America, John Cabrera, Writer of Warner Brother’s H+: The Digital Series, and Hiten Shah, of KISSmetrics also welcomed the crowd.

MEGA Startup Weekend Bay Area focused on three tracks: mobile, gaming and with the help of Andra Keay – robotics! The weekend brought together people with different skillsets – primarily software developers, graphics designers, roboticists, and business professionals – to build applications, robots and gaming platforms, and develop a commercial case around them in 54 hours. In total, 28 teams that built their idea and pitched to a panel of judges.

MEGA participants were given exclusive access to the Windows 8 experience using the tablet and phone that run on Windows 8 – both not yet available to the public – to create their projects.

There was also support from 50 mentors including: Hermione Way (The Next Web, BRAVO “Silicon Valley” TV Show), Patrick Vlaskovits (“The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development“), Jeff Gibboney (Transition Robotics, Inc.), Ross Ingram and Adam Wilson (Sphero), and Melonee Wise and Tully Foote (Willow Garage).

The winners:

  • Robotics: Eyes on Demand – An on-demand remote human assistance, conceived for visually impaired people.
  • Mobile: Predict Gaze – Helps companies better understand their customers through facial recognition on mobile devices.
  • Gaming: Stinky Da Vinci – Competitive photo sharing mobile app game.


The prizes: See Claire Lee’s post for the full list.

Can’t wait to do it again!