Activities & Organizations

Innovators slide into first place for Startup Weekend Houston

A team of UH alumni won first place at the fall 2012 Startup Weekend Houston with its new company, PermitMe.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour events held worldwide which developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups. The hands-on experience consists of teams working to determine if startup ideas are feasible.

“We are honored to have won first place in the prestigious Startup Weekend Houston competition,” said PermitMe co-founder James Wroblewski.

“The PermitMe team did a great job of building a functional demo and seeking customer validation, which gave us a distinct advantage. Our Startup Weekend Houston success was also due to our quick execution and progressive iteration — qualities which fit very well with Startup Weekend’s philosophy of ‘No talk, all action.’”

PermitMe is a company that formed during the fall 2012 Startup Weekend Houston to simplify the permitting process for small business owners and governments, Wroblewski said.

“The PermitMe team believes that we need to lower barriers of entry for business owners in order to promote economic growth and entrepreneurship,” Wroblewski said.

“We also believe that Houston is the perfect place to start.”

The team continued by competing in the Global Startup Battle, a global competition presented by Startup Weekend, ran in the fall of every year and supported by the Kauffman Foundation, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., Wroblewski said.

The battle consisted of the 138 teams that won their individual events submitting a video, he said. Following the video submission, from Nov. 21 to 27, voting on the videos occurred on Facebook with the top 15 teams being judged by a jury of successful entrepreneurs and one overall winner being declared.

The Houston team received more than 300 votes and 800 likes on the video and placed 58th out of 138 contestants, Wroblewski said.

“I was very happy to win Startup Weekend Houston and to be able to have the opportunity to compete against 130 plus other teams from around the world,” Wroblewski said.

“The team feels that winning Startup Weekend Houston was a good start to PermitMe and that even though we did not win the Global Startup Battle, that the idea behind PermitMe is important enough to continue with.”

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