Friday March 22, 2013 | 08:53 PM

I'm at Portland's Peloton Labs for this evening, live-blogging Maine's first-ever "Startup Weekend" event (find more background here in my Thursday post).

The participants are each getting 60 seconds this evening to pitch their ideas. 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.

We'll have results from the voting in the next post. Stay tuned to see which one of these ideas gain the most support from everyone here...


8:10 p.m.: Trevor Collins, a grad student at Virginia Tech, proposes "Cloud Conservatory" which would enable aspiring musicians to take classes with masters and mentors no matter where they might be located.

8:18 p.m.: Sam Frenkel pitches Forest Product Exchange, a web platform to identify underutilized resources from small woodlot owners, aggregate them for potential buyers and connect them with potential markets.

8:20 p.m.: Dragos Stancu, a developer, wants to build "Hot Buzz," an events-promotion app to connect out-of-town tourists with exciting events endorsed by locals.

8:23: Erika Allison, a mechanical engineer, wants to create "Goals with Friends." She notes that there is a popular app from Nike that encourages users to get out and exercise more and stick to a training routine. "I want to extend that idea to other good habits I'd like to adopt, like flossing more." Her app would encourage users to set goals and invite friends to join them in pursuing those goals.

8:26: Jodie Lapchick, a marketer, wants to start "Dance Gym," a place that's as dark and loud as a dance club "for people too mature or too sober to go out to nightclubs," she says. She needs DJs and designers to make it happen.

8:29: Melissa Walshe pitches "Time Travel Agency of Portland," which she describes as "tourism meets LARPing" (that's "Live Action Role Playing").

8:31: Nunzu Aziza (pictured, with Dr. Jean Michael Kayumba, her translator) pitches the "Cross Cultural Daycare for Immigrant Toddlers," to help kids learn new languages and expose them at an early age to culturally diverse learning environments.


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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