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Jan 21, 2013 9:14 AM by Bernie Riggs - MTN News

Startup Weekend wraps up in Missoula

MISSOULA - It was a fast and furious 54 hours, but Missoula's Startup Weekend wrapped up Sunday evening at the Lifelong Learning Center.

Teams gave final presentations on their different business ideas, with many proposals involving concepts revolving around social media, data aggregation, and other online trends.

Some tough questions were asked by a panel of judges, which included Greg Gianforte, who recently sold his RightNow Technologies start-up to Oracle for $1.8 billion.

Katt Ahlstrom who owns Stylist Canvas Studios says she learned a lot from the event, and also made valuable connections for later on.

"I would be a fool not to tap into some of the resources that have developed just in the last 50 hours of being involved in this. I've never known a coder, I've never known a hacker. Now I have business cards and actually face to face contact with people that I will definitely do business with in the future," she explained.

The winning proposal from the weekend event, a website called iwillhelpout.com, which will help match volunteers with non-profit organizations, already had up to $2,500 in potential commitments after two days.

Dan Bowling, a University of Montana web developer, initially pitched the idea, and says they hope to have the site up and running in the next three months.

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