A service that will bring more compassion to businesses wins eighth Startup Weekend

Compassionote winning team | Photo by Melissa Chipman

Compassionote winning team | Photo by Melissa Chipman

Serial Startup Weekender Kartik Kamat and his team won the eighth Startup Weekend Louisville with a service that notifies sales people when a customer or member of a customer’s family dies, allowing the business to send condolences and keep records up to date. Compassionotes will integrate with other customer-relationship management platforms.

Compassionotes scrapes obituary Internet feeds for the data. When it sees a match with a customer or customer’s family member, it will alert the client and then give the client an opportunity to send a condolence card or flowers directly from the platform. The company’s motto is: “Being human is good business.” Other life events like births and weddings may be added to the service at a later date.

As the winner of Startup Weekend, Kamat and his team get an automatic place in the Venture Connectors’ Venture Sharks tournament and a chance at winning $23,000 in prizes.

Nearly 60 people attended the three-day business-creation competition that kicked off Friday, March 11, with a keynote speech from Steve Huey, CEO at Capture Higher Ed. Mentors included investor Bob Saunders, GLI’s Britten Skinner, University of Louisville entrepreneur-in-residence Suzanne Bergmeister and other members of the U of L faculty. The event was held at the U of L business school.

Judges on Sunday included Moses Icyishaka, analyst at Chrysalis Ventures; Jackie Wilmot, COO of XLerateHealth; and Stacy Griggs, CEO of El Toro. The judging criteria was validation, execution, and design and business model.

Second place in the competition went to SnapHunt, a searchable directory of SnapChat users. By the end of the weekend, the team already had 100 users of their web-based directory.

Third place and crowd favorite was a “set it and forget it” service that rounds up your financial transactions to the nearest dollar and uses the spare change to begin paying off your student loans while you’re still in school. The team said that if you started using Fund My EDU at the beginning of your higher education career, by the time you graduated, you will have shaved thousands of dollars and years off of your student loans.

Startup Weekend 8 participants and organizers | Photo by Melissa Chipman

Startup Weekend 8 participants and organizers | Photo by Melissa Chipman

The remaining teams were:

• Socrates: A cloud-computing platform that lets conference and meeting attendees ask questions of the presenters and lets their peers upvote questions so the most pertinent ones get answered.

• Ali Khushub: takes wood from demolished historic buildings and turns it into fashion accessories like bowties and eye glasses. Each accessory includes a picture and history of the wood’s building origin.

• Aqui: An attendance-tracking app for college classes that uses sensors to tell when you’re in the classroom. 

• Moonshine Energy: Leases solar panels to homeowners. 

• Loaded: A new tailgating game similar to corn hole that uses bean bags and a teeter-totter type board. 

• Eat Like Me: “Tinder for Retail Me Not,” this app suggests new foods to try based on what you already eat and lets you know when they’re on sale or have a coupon available.

• Cheetah Exchange: Like Craigslist, but for college students. Allows students to buy and sell anything locally.

• Push: An app that sends motivational content to you depending on what kind of habit you’re trying to change: addiction, weight loss, procrastination, etc.

The next Startup Weekend Louisville will be in the fall.