Friday March 22, 2013 | 08:42 PM

After an icebreaking get-to-know-you game, they're getting ready to hear pitches. A show of hands indicates that most of the 70 or so participants here plan to deliver a pitch tonight.

Here's how it's going to work: Participants will get 60 seconds for their pitches. They'll say their name, their background, what their idea is and what kinds of skills they need on their team.

Everyone also has three blue stickers, which they'll use as ballots to vote on their favorite ideas. When the pitches have all been heard, everyone will tack their three stickers next to the ideas they think are the best ones (they can split up their votes among different pitches, or put them all next to a single idea if they think it's particularly good). The ideas with the most stickers will be the ones that everyone will work on for the next two days.

I'll be updating this post frequently over the next hour or so as new ideas come up, so stay tuned.

7:47 p.m.: Liam Sullivan pitches an idea called "Hobbyist musicians don't have an easy way to find the right production equipment or software," he says. He wants to provide digital production platforms, electronic instruments, and digital rights management for musicians.

7:50 p.m.: Kendall Hinkley pitches The Green Porta Potty, which "turns waste into a resource." Standard porta potties have to pay to dispose waste, but it could become a nutrient-rich fertilizer. "We already have composting toilets in boats and urban settings," she says. Why not make that technology available for festivals and other events?

7:53 p.m.: Don Gooding, a venture capitalist (also an organizer of Startup Weekend, and someone I hope to talk with more later this weekend), wants to solve the disconnect that college students have between the courses they take and the careers they might have. would be "the Zillow of education," to estimate the value of various college degrees and possibilities for future salaries.

7:57 p.m.: Sean Sullivan, organizer of Portland GreenDrinks, proposes "Community Bar," a for-profit bar that dedicates a portion of revenues to local nonprofits. He'd like to expand the success of the monthly GreenDrinks event and make it an everyday event.

8:01 p.m.: Emily Straubel, a marketing consultant and a holistic health coach, wants to develop "Foodstagram," an app to allow people to share photos of their meals with each other and with their health coaches to get live nutrition advice.

8:05 p.m.: Dr. Jean Michael Kayumba, a physician, pitches a "Detoxification Training Exercises Program," which would assist workplace wellness programs in developing stress-management routines.


I'll be live-blogging from Startup Weekend through Sunday, so stay tuned. You can also follow along on Twitter by following the hashtag #swportlandmaine.


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I'm an economics wonk and an online content producer for the Portland Press Herald.

You can get in touch with me by emailing cmilneil [at], or by calling 791-6307, or by following @vigorousnorth. Also check out my business and economics list on Twitter.

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