Birmingham News features our efforts, followed promptly by whining

1 November 2007

This morning’s newspaper featured a story about the Birmingham Startup effort.  Of course, moments after the story was posted on the web, I received an email from the infamous Mr. Hyde:

Looks like you are doing well with the planning of Birmingham Startup! I’ve seen several places refer to your event as “Birmingham’s Startup Weekend,” including your blog. Can you please make that distinction? Thanks, and hope the best!

… and after responding with:

I can’t stop the way others refer to us, but we are consistent in using “Birmingham Startup”. The fact that it runs on a weekend requires us to pair the words periodically. We may continue to use the words “startup” and “weekend” together, but we are clearly not an “Andrew Hyde production”.

… he replied …

I’ve seen several other blogs with this exact branding, please make sure your releases say you are not affiliated.

While, for now, I won’t take the time to debate the merits (or lack thereof) of his (apparent) claim to a copyright/trademark on the pairing (actually a concatenation) of “startup” and “weekend”, we don’t write everyone’s blog entries NOR the newspaper articles.  We have purposely avoided using the phrase in our marketing material and only use it generically in blog postings. Further, “startup weekend” is not Coca-Cola, it’s only “cola”… a generic term/phrase available for anyone to use. Neverthemind, we have a startup weekend (non-TM’d) to run, TYVM.

Here’s the article as published…


‘Barn raising’ to start Internet business

Product to be built during one weekend

Thursday, November 01, 2007 CHARLES R. McCAULEY

News staff writer

A group that includes former TechBirmingham chief Curtis Palmer plans to hold a high-tech “barn raising” that will help build an Internet-based business from start to finish in one weekend.

The “Birmingham Startup Weekend” kicks off Friday with nine business teams vying for the chance to get assistance from area technology entrepreneurs and developers.

The event uses “the metaphor of a barn raising where the community comes together to build a barn for a family,” said Palmer, who stepped down from TechBirmingham this week and is a member of the Startup Weekend’s organizing group.

The winning team “will get their product built next weekend,” he said. “Entrepreneurs and developers will come together to work on this.”

Palmer and some friends borrowed the idea from a business development event in Boulder, Colo., and thought the process – with a few changes – would work to help upstart entrepreneurs in Birmingham.

Unlike the three-day sessions in Boulder and other cities, the Birmingham event will occur over the next two weekends. Palmer said that approach is better than trying to get the project done in one.

Besides Palmer, organizers are Scott Ferguson of ChartCapture, a scanning equipment provider; Bill McKinnon, a consultant who was a project manager for Broadcom Corp. in Atlanta; and Jeff Trotman, founder of software consulting firm Westglenn Software.

Leading the business teams, and their business or product ideas are:

  1. Dannielle Branam of Pleasant Grove, Party-Extras.
  2. Allan Branch of Helena, LessTimeSpent.
  3. Chris Freeman of Vestavia Hills, social network analysis.
  4. Craig Huggart of Birmingham, Web-based speaker bureau.
  5. Duncan Lamb of Vestavia, Sous Chef.
  6. George Mizzell of Vestavia, Web-based instructional materials.
  7. Harris Reynolds of Helena, NimbleLabs.
  8. Jim Sutton of Birmingham, CrossConneXion.
  9. Andy Tillman of Hoover, LeagueDepot.

This weekend’s activities start at 6 p.m. Friday at Innovation Depot when the applicants will work through what the organizers called “an intense round-the-clock business boot camp” to develop their business ideas. On Sunday afternoon, investors and analysts will select the three most promising concepts. The finalists will then make formal presentations about their companies to a panel of judges Sunday evening.

The winning team announced after the pitches will return for the second weekend that begins Nov. 9. Joining it at Innovation Depot will be some of Birmingham’s top software developers, graphic artists and project managers to help “slingshot the winning concept into reality with two days and nights of massive action,” the organizers said.

Palmer said other area Web-based developers, graphic artists and others wanting to participate in the second weekend development phase can register by Friday morning at BirminghamStartup.com and BirminghamStartup.wordpress.com. They will be invited to Sunday night’s presentations and can vote for the winning team.

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5 Responses to “Birmingham News features our efforts, followed promptly by whining”

  1. Thanks again for addressing this, as I have said before let me know if I can be of any help to the Birmingham Startup event.

    Startup Weekend is the name of my company, and I have asked kindly you do not refer to your event as being associated with it.

  2. I look forward to reading about it!

  3. @ Andrew…

    Funny. We have NEVER claimed to be associated with you. We have, however, CONSISTENTLY recognized YOU as he one who got this whole thing started.

    I have used your 2nd sentence as a statement in our “About Us” page… hope it meets with your approval.

    To put this issue to rest, please note that in our VERY FIRST post on this site, I wrote “… We’ve got a full fledged wiki containing our plans for the ‘Birmingham Model’ of the Startup Weekend concept. We’ve not aligned with the ‘StartupWeekend’ folks… not exactly sure that we will.” Now, I’m quite sure of it. <sigh!>

  4. […] and now a Birmingham date.  Too much south?  Who knows.“  Seeing no reason to fuss with a brash young kid from clear across the country, we struck out on our own and developed the […]

  5. sandrar said

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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