Friday March 22, 2013 | 10:43 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).

We had about 45 pitches in all, which I'm told is a high rate of participation (there are about 70 participants in all). After hearing everyone's ideas, there was a round of voting that narrowed them down to about a dozen promising concepts.

At about 9 p.m., the remaining participants went downstairs in a scrum to create teams of 6-7 people around the remaining concepts.

These are the businesses that these teams plan to build over the rest of the weekend:

  1. "The Time Travel Agency of Portland," a travel guide that would structure city tours as "quests" for live-action role playing.
  2. "Draftronix," a website of sports statistics that would help people in fantasy sports leagues or adult recreation leagues create better teams [UPDATE: this team didn't attract enough members on Friday night, so as of Saturday morning its members have split up to work on other teams]
  3. "Dance Gym," a daytime dance club "for people too mature or too sober to go out to nightclubs."
  4. "Docs Online," pitched as a new publishing and distribution model for documentaries on the web.
  5. "Goals with Friends," a social platform through which friends would share personal goals and support each other in achieving them.
  6. "The Green Porta Potty," which would turn waste from festivals and other events into an economically-valuable fertilizers.
  7. The "Community Bar," a bricks-and-mortar version of the popular GreendDrinks event that would allow patrons to dedicate a portion of their tabs towards local social causes.
  8. "Crash Pad," a website designed to connect students' summer apartment vacancies to other students and summer interns who need short-term housing in college communities.
  9. "UMake.com," pitched as "the Zillow of salaries," to help students estimate the value of various college degrees.
  10. "Fest Maine," an international dance festival aimed at promoting Portland's international immigrant communities.


As of 10:20 p.m., the teams are huddled to discuss their strategies for the weekend and trade contact information. Things are winding down and some people — including yours truly — are headed home for the evening. We'll all be returning tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., when the business-building will begin in earnest over breakfast and plenty of coffee. I'll have more updates from the business-planning process, plus interviews with some of the participants, throughout the day Saturday.

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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About the Author

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] mainetoday.com, or by calling 791-6307, or by following @vigorousnorth. Also check out my business and economics list on Twitter.

"On the Move": Submit items of interest regarding new employees, promotions and professional honors — with photos and LinkedIn URLs — to business [at] pressherald.com.

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