It’s Not All About Winning at Startup Weekend San Antonio

The final pitch session on Sunday at Startup Weekend San Antonio

Even though Leslee Martinez’ team Trakk-EM didn’t win, she enjoyed the experience of Startup Weekend San Antonio.
Trakk-EM had one of the largest teams with seven people. Martinez’ idea was to create a watch with built-in GPS that connected to a mobile phone app. If a child went missing, the parent could simply alert everyone in the network immediately with the app and track the child on the phone.
“I’ve been at Sea World when my daughter was lost,” Martinez said. It’s one of the scariest experiences for a parent, she said. She found her four-year-old daughter but that experience prompted her to come up with the idea for the watch and mobile phone app.
Martinez, a senior majoring in business management at the University of Texas at San Antonio, may enroll in a technology program at the university. She wants to go on to compete in its technology competition.

Kyle Jennings, software engineer and former combat medic, participated in Startup Weekend San Antonio

Kyle Jennings who helped Trakk-EM with the design for their website and mobile phone app also gave a testimony for OurPart.US, a crowdfunding site for veterans.
Jennings, a former combat medic and now a software engineer, spent weeks in the Audie L. Murphy Veterans Memorial Hospital in San Antonio following an operation on his back because he also contracted double pneumonia.
His wife had to care for him and their newborn son and toddler daughter at home. He said he could have used a site like OurPart.US to connect him with resources for his house to provide him with more independence.
He would also contribute to projects for other veterans.
“I think there are a lot of people who want to take care of wounded veterans,” Jennings said. “I think it’s a great idea. I’d like to see it out there.”
Jennings’ idea for a family budget site actually got picked on Friday night at the beginning of Startup Weekend San Antonio. But his team for Remainder.com dissolved when they tried to join forces with BudgetAllies.com. The entrepreneurs had different visions for the site. He went on to help other teams instead.
Jennings still enjoyed the experience.
“I basically love my job,” Jennings said. “I love it so much I do it on weekends. For me, it’s not about coming here and winning. I like honing my craft and helping others. That’s what I’m passionate about.”
He’s also a member of Geekdom, a new co-working and collaboration space on the 11th floor of the Weston Centre downtown. Geekdom hosted the event. It provided office space, conference rooms, couches, a fully-stocked break room with refrigerators loaded with Red Bull and Alamo Beer and presentation space.
“The venue is key in the support of this event,” said Michele Stewart, one of the organizers of Startup Weekend San Antonio.
“I think people really enjoyed sleeping here all night long,” Stewart said. “With the support of Rackspace we were able to make it a fantastic weekend.”
Rackspace sponsored the event and provided all the meals and snacks and other support.
Startup Weekend San Antonio is in its infancy, said Royce Haynes, a coordinator and entrepreneur who flew in from Boulder, Colo.
“This is only the beginning,” he said. “I think we’re going to see a really robust startup community in San Antonio.”

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