Philly Startup Weekend
November 29, 2018 / 4 Minute Read / Written by Jason
My experience with Philly Startup Weekend 2018.
Last weekend (Nov 9-11), thanks to Haverford Innovation Program, I had the opportunity to
attend Philly Startup Weekend, a worldwide initiative in which designers, developers,
entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains gather together to pitch an idea and bring that
idea to life in 54 hours. Philly Startup Weekend is one of the most memorable events that I
Friday was full of excitement coupled with anxiety. The event started out by having half
the room line up on the stage to pitch their ideas. Imagine speed dating, but with the
potential that you can make actually money with the right choice (though speed dating and
making money are not mutually exclusive, but that's the matter of another blog post). After
the pitching session, I joined forces with a physical therapist, an electrical engineer, a
designer and three other students from New Jersey to work on the idea which we later call
NeckUp - an interactive and non-invasive mobile app to develop muscle memory for correcting
I was excited to work with not only other students but also professionals, yet at the same
time, I was nervous to take on the role of the sole developer in the team despite not
having developed an app before. I got back to Haverford late that night and spent the next
3 hours making my first Hello World app with Android Studio.
The next morning, I started out by reading the guide on Google on developing an Android
app and managed to integrate the gyroscope and other motion sensors with the screen
brightness into the app. When the app is installed on the phone, if the phone is not held
at the optimal level for reducing neck pain, then the screen brightness will decrease,
prompting the user to hold the screen correctly. Over time, our team hope that users would
develop a habit of using the phone in the correct posture thanks to the app.
The event as a whole was full of fun. As the sun was setting and as 10 hours of working
had passed, I, having 2 years experience of yoga, led a stretching session for members of
my team. Fast forward to 12 hours later, as I was travelling back to Haverford for a
meeting, I received a text from the team members announcing that NeckUp had won the second
place. Philly Startup Weekend was a weekend of learning and making friends.
Read more on Techstars Startup Weekend here
Read more on Haverford College coverage on my participation here