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Winners of inaugural Jacksonville Startup Weekend

jaxMore than 150 aspiring entrepreneurs participated in the first Jacksonville Startup Weekend, held Jan. 20-22 at the University of North Florida Student Union Building.

Hosted by the iStart Jax Business Accelerator, IndoUS Chamber of Commerce and the JAX Chamber, the Jacksonville Startup Weekend is an event that enables entrepreneurs to take a concept to market in just 54 hours. Winners received prizes worth more than $25,000 of in-kind services to help them launch their new businesses. The winning teams follow:

The Pinstitute — helping creative bloggers build their own empire. Team members: Jennifer Chapman, Pandurang Yachwad, Ravi Bandodkar, Dorri Kraus, Felix Frayman, Philip Cheshire and Jonathan Greene

TADA Language — a website offering a series of short, engaging and educational videos with practical dialogues in multiple languages for babies and toddlers. Team members: Isabelle Killian, Beril Shalton, Janice Stewart, Amita Patel, Mark Radcz and Ovi Dimulescu

UPEO Analytics — redefining how school districts interact with and analyze their data. Team members: Inayat Walli, Shantan Talla, Ahmed Syed and Kevin Sakhuja

The weekend event brought developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts together. On Friday night, they shared ideas and assembled teams with a goal to have a fully developed business model and prototype ready by Sunday. The teams presented their business plans and demonstrated their products to a panel of mentors, experts and judges.

With partners such as Google, Microsoft and the Kauffman Foundation, Jacksonville joins 295 cities worldwide where Startup Weekends have occurred and engaged more than 35,000 entrepreneurs and helped launch 2,450 startups.

Globally, more than 36% of Startup Weekend businesses are still going strong after three months. Approximately 80% of participants continued working with their teams or new startup company after the weekend.


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