Remember the movie Cool Runnings that was based on the bobsled team from Jamaica that participated in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada? They were the ultimate ‘underdog’ story of the games. They had little practice going down a bobsled track. They borrowed spare sleds from other countries to compete. Coming from a tropical climate they didn’t know much about winter sports, winter, and just how cold winter could be.
But, they excelled in a show of worldly brotherhood. A similar brotherhood came out in full force at the inaugural Austin Startup Olympics recently held in Austin, Texas.
Eight of Austin’s elite start-up companies participated in the even. Those companies included Adlucent, Boundless Network, Build-a-Sign, Mass Relevance, SpareFoot, Spredfast, uShip, and Whale Shark Media.
They participated in a grueling 10-event competition that lasted for five hours. Competition was fierce (as it always is in an athletic competition) but the spirit was of conviviality and friendliness.
The ‘Olympians’ athletic skills were stretched to the max as they competed in ping-pong, foosball, beer pong, an obstacle course, flip cup, pop-a-shot, darts, shuffleboard, Connect Four, and trivia. As dictated by the Austin Startup rules and bylaws, any event that resulted in a tie went through an arduous round of rock-paper-scissors to determine the winner.
Each company identified an organization to which winning money will be awarded. Charities chosen include Austin Children’s Museum, Austin Pets Alive, Austin Pro Bono, Capital Area Food Bank, Communities in Schools of Central Texas, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, Kure It, and Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation.
“Guys like Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican Bobsled team were true innovators, giving their particular sports a new twist, a new look that made them legendary,” said Shawn Bose of uShip and co-Chair of the Austin Startup Olympics.
“You’ll find that same innovation among Austin’s startups – not only among those competing in the event, but citywide,” said Bose. “We’ve brought new ideas to existing industries and businesses. Many of these ideas came about during fierce games of ping pong, beer pong or even Connect Four while squatting at ‘innovative work spaces’ like Crown and Anchor Pub and Mozart’s Coffee Roasters.”
SpareFoot, a self-storage tenant referral service, took home the gold medal. Their winnings of $15,000 will be donated to Kure It Cancer Research.
“The Startup Games is an awesome event that really represents the Austin tech scene, combining startups, partying and doing good,” SpareFoot Founder and CEO Chuck Gordon said. “Kure It and their mission mean a lot to us, so I was thrilled to share the news of our gold medal win with Barry and learn what an impact we’re making with our donations.”
“SpareFoot Wins $15K For Kure It With Startup Games Gold.” PRWeb; 25 February 2013.
“Let the Games Begin: First-Ever ‘Austin Startup Olympics’ Held Jan. 21.” PRWeb; 17 January 2013.