Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Adventure takes the prize at Startup Weekend

Travel website is top winner

A travel website catering to people looking for affordable adventure won the sixth Startup Weekend Spokane.

That idea, with the business name Go-Kefi, earned three months of free office space, the chance to make a pitch to a Spokane investment group, and 40 hours of website development.

About 150 people attended Startup Weekend at Gonzaga University during the past weekend. Nearly 50 made pitches to the group, followed by a vote that chose a dozen or so to compete for the top three awards.

Second place went to Kegstarter, a team looking to develop a web app for people to recruit party contributions; and third went to Duul Software, an online gaming network that promotes online game tournaments.

The Go-Kefi team was led by Washington State University senior Amanda Scott. She developed the idea with fellow WSU students Monica Bomber and Troy Carpenter.

Instead of catering to people who start with a travel location, their site would ask customers the type of experience they’re seeking and their projected travel budget, Scott said.

“About 50 percent of people using travel sites start by not knowing exactly where they want to go,” she said.

She said they chose the name “kefi” for the company name because the Greek word translates loosely as “living life fully.”

Also on the team were Joe Snodgrass, Kaitlyn Aliota, Stephen Johnson, Adam Parish, Alex Puryear and Johnny Wang.

The goal is to launch Go-Kefi by next year after a beta test catering to WSU students.

“One goal is to help WSU students who might have three-day weekends find great travel options right here in the state,” Scott said.

Second-place winner Kegstarter was the brainchild of GU student Heyden Deitrick, who said the proposed app is meant to be a “Kickstarter for party planners.”

Instead of backing an idea or a new product, Kegstarter users would make individual cash contributions toward entertainment and party preparations, Deitrick said. The plan includes working with regional craft breweries to help support local business.

His team earned three months of downtown office space and a pitch to the Spokane Angel Alliance.

The team included Scott Alderson, Shane Kovalsky, Scott Mackay, Michael Leech, Jon Townsend, Devin Dufenhorst and Jill Startin.

Third place went to Duul Software, a gaming company launched by Spokane resident Gabriel Kruse. It will develop a tool to help gamers discover ways to compete in online tournaments.

Duul also won three months of downtown office space. Kruse’s team included Jeff Drew, Connor Pelzel, Aaron Pantoja and Sawyer Maxwell.