April FitzGerald, Digital Media Technology Adjunct Assistant Professor in SF’s Graphic Design program, participated in the second annual Startup Weekend Gainesville held Oct. 25-27. Her team, Bounce, brought home third place out of 11 businesses.
Startup weekend Gainesville is a grassroots forum that allows the public to pitch ideas they’d like to see bloom into viable businesses. If an idea is chosen, leaders have only 54 hours to form teams that include designers, developers, the business savvy and PR/Marketing gurus. On the final day, teams presented their idea before a panel of judges.
FitzGerald joined team Bounce (initially SmartRide) as their graphic designer for the new transportation service in which students drive students. In only 54 hours, the team had to validate the business idea, develop a creative marketing campaign, develop a functioning mobile app, financial plan and final presentation.
Their campaign included a Porsche completely covered in bubble-wrap and glow sticks, staff dressed in 80’s gear, and customer photo ops with a giant cardboard cutout of The Incredible Hulk. The campaign was so successful, the company validated their business by making money on the first night.