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November 18, 2013

ValetGo receives 2013 Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend top prize

ValetGo

The ValetGo team won the 2013 Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend for its solution to help users save money on parking in metropolitan areas. From left are Anthony Wurl, Jenny Rostami, Yesh Gowda, Xiangye Xiao and Paul Gemperlein. Six teams pitched startup business ideas to a panel of judges during the event on Nov. 15-17 at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - ValetGo, which helps users save money on parking in metropolitan areas, earned top honors at the 2013 Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend held Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 15-17).

Thirty-six participants pitched 19 ideas for companies at the beginning of the event, which was held in Purdue Research Park. Six teams presented startup ideas to judges at the conclusion. Typically several new businesses are created during Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend, which is part of a global movement.

ValetGo spokesperson Jenny Rostami, a first-year MBA student in Purdue's Krannert School of Management, said the team's concept came from a problem one of the members experienced while trying to park in Chicago.

"We created an online solution that drove us to come together as a team and to determine what skill sets we offered," she said. "We learned to be open to one another's opinions, and we knew that we were all involved to create something great."

ValetGo will receive membership at MatchBOX Coworking Studio LLC in Lafayette, Ind., for winning the Judges Award. DOOF, a startup that empowers the public to make informed nutritional choices at fast food restaurants, won the Community Award and will receive membership at The Anvil in West Lafayette. The Anvil provides entrepreneurs with a place to meet and work.

Other ideas presented during the event included CivSense, which obtains data using reverse polling from a user community and provides information to political candidates; Errataverse, a community-run website where people report errors in academic textbooks; Social Traveler, which allows people to search where their friends will be as they themselves plan to travel; and StellarRep, which summarizes a person's past and current projects into an online portfolio for employers.

During the 54-hour event, attendees shared their best ideas on Friday to encourage others to join their development team. Teams designed and developed business prototypes Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday evening, teams pitched their companies to a jury of startup professionals and entrepreneurs, who conducted a question-and-answer session with each team. ValetGo will compete in Global Startup Battle 2013, which will include winners from local competitions in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The 2013 Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend was sponsored by Purdue Research Foundation, Purdue Foundry, Bennett Boehning & Clary LLP, Founders Colony, Henriott Group, IntelliHire, Ivy Tech Community College, Lafayettech, Matrix Integration, Nehloo Interactive, School Datebooks, Thirty Five and Woll Enterprises.

About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Seattle. Founded in 2007 in Boulder, Colo., by Andrew Hyde, the organization has been based out of Seattle since 2009 under the direction of Marc Nager. Supported by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation, Startup Weekend has held over 325 events around the globe, inspiring nearly 30,000 entrepreneurs to take an idea from concept to launch.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park, with four locations across Indiana, has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The park network is home to about 240 companies that employ about 4,500 people and are located in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org

Source: Nehemiah Wyant, 574-870-4603, nehemiahwyant@gmail.com