More than 60 aspiring entrepreneurs participated in Jacksonville Startup Weekend 2015, a 54-hour event held March 6-8 at the University of North Florida.
Participants pitched 10 ideas and six teams competed. The event also featured 17 coaches and three judges.
Participants were trying to solve real world problems by leveraging technology, said Yash Nath, president and CEO of local business accelerator iStartJax, the lead organizer of Jacksonville Startup Weekend. Entries encompassed diverse themes like hospitality, pets, food and entertainment, analytics and search engines.
Nath was encouraged by the positive feedback he received from the judges and mentors on the viability of some of the startups pitched during the event. Winners received prizes worth more than $20,000 of in-kind services to help them launch their new businesses.
The winners were:
1st Place – Cat Wine: Premium cat drinks with catnip in every sip
2nd Place – BrewU: Tap into your inner brewer!
3rd Place – Boomerang: Customer relationship and brand management tool for servers and bartenders
Boomerang was also chosen as the crowd favorite team.
The judges were Ted Willich, co-founder and CEO of NLP Logix; Craig Mandeville, founder and CEO of Forcura; and Doug M. Kravet, principal at Heritage Capital Group.