40 students competing in Startup Weekend at UMass Dartmouth

With workspace and entrepreneurial support on the line, seven teams competing in 54-hour challenge with final pitches, judging and awards taking place this Sunday

A "Study Buddy" app that allows students to share notes and other classroom materials and a "Pump Chump" device which makes hands free gas pumping easier are among the ideas, products, and services being developed by students at UMass Dartmouth's first Startup Weekend. Forty UMass Dartmouth students have formed seven teams this weekend preparing their final pitches and prototypes to present before a panel of experts, who will decide the top three winning teams. Work space at UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center and other entrepreneurial and marketing support are up for grabs this weekend for all seven teams. 

The final pitches before the panel of experts will begin tomorrow, Sunday, April 19, 2015, at 5 p.m., at UMass Dartmouth's Claire T. Carney Library Robert F. Stoico/FirstFed Charitable Foundation Grand Reading Room. The top three teams will be announced at 6 p.m. at the Grand Reading Room. 

In addition to "Study Buddy" and "Pump Chump", startup ideas include a company looking to connect young clothing designers with manufacturers who can assist in making their products a reality. Another team will pitch "Venture Inn", a travel app connecting travelers with families in other countries willing to provide housing and culture immersion services.  

Judges for Startup Weekend are Executive Director of Cherrystone Angel Group Jennifer Schwall, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management Dr. Val Livada, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Melinda Ailes, and Senior Business Advisor at the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Cliff Robbins. 

Startup Weekends, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, are 54-hour, weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable.  On average, half of Startup Weekend's attendees have technical or design backgrounds, and the other half have business backgrounds. 

UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant, public research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. The University serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.


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