Click Rain Team at Startup Weekend

At six years old, Click Rain is hardly a startup any more.

That’s why it was very exciting to be a part of Startup Weekend, the first in South Dakota, to encourage local entrepreneurs and their big ideas.

The premise behind the three-day event is to gather both creative and technical people for an entire weekend, form groups and work on a project with the goal of some sort of working prototype by Sunday evening.

While most of the projects are simple apps or websites, as they are something that can be built in a weekend, anything can be pitched. Friday night started with eighteen pitches, which was quickly narrowed down to the top six ideas.

Several Click Rain team members contributed to the weekend. Chris Prendergast and Mark Henderson served as mentors and Paul Ten Haken participated as a judge.

Chris and Mark helped several groups including Brew Snob, a website designed to suggest beers based on traits like Pandora suggests songs based on musical characteristics. They also advised a data conversion service, a website meant to simplify the office lunch ordering process and Picki, a voting application for crowdsourcing feedback for decisionmaking.

“It was exciting to see the variety and rapid execution of some really great ideas,” Mark said. “I hope they all find their way to market. I'm anxious to use a few of them.”

Paul was among the line-up of six judges, which included local business owners, an IP attorney, and a venture capitalist.

“There wasn’t a bad idea in the bunch,” said Paul. “Picki was both the judges’ and audience’s favorite, but all of the six startups had elements that could be built upon to form a successful business."

This weekend was part of the Global Startup Battle, with 200 Startup Weekend events going on worldwide with 20,000 participants. Picki and Brew Snob, the top two ideas from the Sioux Falls event, will go on to the Champion Circle and compete with winning projects from all over the world.