Katie Neal and Paige Bernier are getting set to earn their Gonzaga engineering degrees this spring.
But they found time last weekend to be one of three winning teams during the Startup Weekend Spokane competition.
Thirty three ideas were pitched and 11 teams moved on to final presentation on Sunday.
The winning three were;
• Rebooked, a marketing notification app that businesses would use to convert canceled reservations or appointments into contacts with customers able to fill those slots. The idea came out of a collaboration of team members Ed Reese, Dan Gayle, Philip Glenn, Darin Herleikson, Connor Simpson, Tuan Nguyen, Georges Pons and Nathan Drechsel.
• Obloco, an improved retail point-of-sale system to eliminate paper receipts. The idea came from Victor Yefremov, and team members included Tim Aton, Adam Parish, Malachi Riedl, Jeff McGee, Max Delsid and Jason Shepherd.
• Forge Ahead, a company sponsoring creative competitions for engineering students looking to address real-world technical or business problems. It was pitched by Gonzaga students Paige Bernier and Katie Neal, with members Craig Meredith, Jacob Voegele, Jonny Wang, Rebecca Writz, Eric Norman and Josh Villars.
As top finisher, the Rebooked team gets to make a funding pitch to Spokane Angel Alliance, a venture fund.
The Forge Ahead business plan was the first-time Startup Weekend effort by Bernier and Neal. Bernier said she and Neal lost their zeal for engineering in their second year at GU, wondering if their work would create any lasting value for others.
Then last year they competed in an engineering competition sponsored by Eurekatory.com.
“The light bulb went on then, and we’ve been on a mission ever since,” Bernier said. “We want to bring that same excitement to other students.”