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uSnap.us – one winning wedding app

Local startup uSnap.us, which provides a mobile and web application for guest-sourcing wedding photos, has been crowned winner at Startup Weekend Wellington.

Wedding parties are faced with two key issues on their big day: Photographers can't be everywhere at once, and not everybody can make the event.

uSnap.us solves both problems, enabling guests to download an app to their smartphones, take photos during the event and upload them to uSnap.us. These photos are instantly collated and available in a live stream.

Priced at $200 for a wedding event, the bride and groom can run a streaming slideshow of the photos at the wedding, and have a single site that has aggregates all the guests photos.

The bootstrapping entrepreneurs behind the concept were Owen Evans, Veronica Pitt, Nick Malcolm, Luke Brown and Jacob Creech.

The team's prize booty, which includes $1000 from Startup Weekend Wellington for their company, once they have registered at the Companies Office with at least three team members as directors, a full-time desk at the Wellington BizDojo for three months, a marketplace scan from Grow Wellington and MSI, half a day of free consulting each from CreativeHQ and WebFund/HyperStart, a Microsoft Kinect controller and a copy of The Lean Startup by Eric Ries .

Team chief executive Owen Evans, chief architect at Xero for his day job, said he was surprised people took his "silly idea" seriously.

"I've always been into startups but have never had the gumption to try one myself. I basically came along to watch. Then suddenly I had a company on my hands."

The best thing about Startup Weekend? Getting out of his comfort zone and tackling an intense challenge with people he would never meet normally.

"They are researchers, writers, business people ... I normally hang around with techies, I don't meet these sort of people in my day to day."

If there was a low point for the uSnap.us team during the weekend, Evans said it was trying to justify the concept financially, given they had only a handful of hours to come up with some robust numbers.

"We knew we had to back this thing up with numbers. We had Veronica (Pitt, team member) who had an accounting background, but I had no idea what figures to go look for."

Evans said the team planned to take a week to think and meet on Friday to discuss the future.

"Startup Weekend is a vibrant atmosphere where everything is buzzing and everybody is talking about million dollar ideas ... We need to have a reality check."

The competition drew an eclectic mix of participants. Michael Janis, a 16-year-old student at St Pats College, was the youngest entrant, and while he had sparked a few business ideas into life previously, he was pumped from his experience with the team BudgieSmugglers.

"It was more than I expected – you can take this experience and apply it to any business. I'll probably have a go at something else in the school holidays."

Said Dave Moskovitz, chief executive of Webfund/Hyperstart, Startup Weekend sponsor and organiser: "We've had people from all walks of life, of all ages, all denominations come together to build these companies of tomorrow in Wellington.

"People have approached me after the event saying how much they learned and how resolved they are to take their ideas further."

Judge Mike DelPrete, founder of Agora Games, said he'd come to Wellington to experience his first Startup Weekend and found his job picking winners harder than expected.

"It was a really tough decision, with six teams down to the final wire."

Looking for a company with a "combo of everything", DelPrete said as a judge he wanted to see a business he would invest in personally.

"I'd invest in uSnap.us. It's scalable, it's got a good team and made great progress over the weekend. It's a great example of a business that could turn into a multi-million dollar venture pretty quickly."

The teams

Auti (honourable mention)
Auti is an intelligent toy that teaches positive play characterics and rewards the child with a programmed response, while shutting off if negative behaviours (like hitting or yelling) are detected.

Budgie Smugglers (honourable mention)
BudgieSmugglers is an online site where men can set themselves up to get a pair of undies and a pair of socks delivered every 3 months for $49. They get to choose their preferences, then set and forget about their socks and undies and focus on other important man things.

Classie
Easy online admin for dance classes.

Conscious Consumer (2nd place)
An app that enables the user to scan the product, and get confirmation that a product either meets or doesn’t meet your value criteria. For example, the app will confirm that a product is genuinely vegetarian.

Groundfacts.com
Better crisis information powered by smart crowd-sourcing.

I Dream of Space
The online competition for space travel flight.

Mobile Kombat
An online gaming platform that detects what kind of user you are (e.g iPhone, Android) and pitches you against a competitor of your choice from another platform.

MorePork
A mobile app that enables a customer to scan products, create lists, and order directly from their chosen supermarket. Groceries are delivered, and wobbly shopping trolleys are a thing of the past.

Rate My Flat
A rating service for finding the right flat.

StarStock
StarStock is a web-based tool to gift stars to fellow employees to show your appreciation. These stars are linked to the company values, are limited and anonymous. By monitoring the gifting flow, HR departments can monitor “goodwill” flowing across employees in the business, giving them a wealth of insight into how the business culture is performing.

SimpleTrust
The simple way to manage and administer a trust, including unique features such as minute-taking, accessible any time, anywhere.

USnap.US (1st place)
Guest-sourced wedding photo aggregation.

WeCreate Maker Gym
Think Les Mills with tools. WeCreate is a creative workshop space, where you can use tools you want without buying them, have skilled people at hand to help.

Well Done (3rd place)
Well Done is an app to reward and motivate pre-schoolers to toilet train.