My Switchyards Weekend

This weekend I felt a bit like Michael Corleone. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

I got pulled into another hackathon. This one the Switchyards accelerator weekend. It started innocently enough. With Michael Tavani asking if I would help organize. Easy enough. I know how to run these things.

Then Michael asked me to help vet the concepts. Sure. And I innocently asked “I have an idea or two, what is the process for that?” To which Michael replied to send him two or three sentences. So I did. Here is the first sentence of the concept I submitted.

A Kayak for vacation rentals.

I suggested it because I find the vacation rentals market very interesting. It is large, growing fast, in a state of transition, I have a little domain knowledge, and two of my comrades suggested that I explore the space. Much to my surprise the concept was in the top six of 20 concepts submitted. Surprised not because of the concept itself and the potential for it to be a big business if executed properly. Surprised because making a meta search engine is hardly a weekend endeavor. But after a little back and forth with some folks I decided why not. I decided to spend my weekend working on the project.

A team was selected to work on the concept. It consisted of Caitlin Abshier, Nachiket Kumar, Wally McClure, Luigi Montanez, and Rob Spee. Stephanie Roman lent a hand on Sunday as well. While I provided the vision, general direction, did some marketing tasks, and worked on getting pieces in place to make the business model work, the dev team had more intense work. As you might imagine, due to the data intensity, we are not live just yet. But what we have thus far looks pretty awesome to me. Some talented folks on the team. I learned a lot from them.

And the team is working hard right now to have something ready to roll this Thursday for the Switchyards Demo Night. It’s a free event and word is about 450 people have registered thus far. I hope to see you there for the great unveil.

Update: I neglected to thank Michael T and his team of volunteers. It was really his weekend. My part in it is just one small story. Thank all of you that made it happen.

June 9, 2014  |  Comments  |  Tweet  |  Posted in Accelerators, Entrepreneurship