Building a Startup at Startup Weekend Denton


Over the past weekend the Gestures team was fortunate enough to participate in a local Startup Weekend event located in the thriving art and music district known as Denton, TX.

For those of you unaware of this particular city let's just say it's a humble and growing population of ambitious and creative individuals, many of whom attend or are alumni at the nearby University of North Texas. 

Simply based on the Denton culture alone, it makes perfect sense to host one of the largest organizations focused on building startups and inspiring individuals - AKA Startup Weekend. I'd been looking forward to the Startup Weekend Denton event ever since I first heard about it, which was a few months back. I originally hoped to pitch an idea that'd be good enough to push a few others into helping build it, however I ended up not because I didn't have a very viable idea and our team thought it'd be fun to help another individual boost their idea into a product (which ended up being a very awesome experience).

First off, I have to say it was quite amazing to see so many colleagues, those familiar and unfamiliar to one other, collaborate so quickly to build in essence, a true startup. Secondly, getting the opportunity to mingle and share ideas with people who have a multitude of technology and business related backgrounds is worth the trip itself. For those of you who are programmers, developers, designers, or just all around tech-lovers like myself, Startup Weekend is for you and I highly recommend grabbing yourself a ticket to one near you.

All in all around 25 bright minded folks pitched their idea for a web or mobile app in 60 seconds or less. There was a handful of ideas that stood out immediately as having some potential to become a business, but there was one in particular that caught our attention and it was from pair of sisters not even in their teenage years. Their idea hoped to make changing and taking down outdoor lights during the holiday season a thing of the past. And with that short but sweet pitch, Light Seasons was born.

After chatting with the two young CEO's and their mother we quickly decided we could offer some help. Sung brought with him his design skills and mocked up a very intuitive and easy to use UI/UX, along with putting together a website via Squarespace, Roy went to work researching existing products using bluetooth technologies, reaching out to LED companies hoping to gain some partnerships, and developing analysis of cost/production output. Will built a mobile iOS prototype to show the judges and audience during our final presentation. Kevin Kimbrough built our business plan and presentation slides along with giving most of the final presentation in front of 5 well-known judges from the DFW tech scene. Thinh Dao beefed up our technology research efforts and helped build our business manual. We also had quite the help developing the product from Tonya Delaney (the mother) who is also one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Denton and her daughters - who drew up a sweet little logo straight from their laptop along with making the critical decisions as to what they wanted in the app.

Our end product was something of value, perhaps not monetarily, yet anyway, but certainly educational. We happily received the Honorable Mention Award - after all who could deny two courageous young girls who thought of an idea, helped design it, and helped present it in a room with over 75 people 3 to 5 times their age! There's something special that fills the room when you see a group of people most who have never met, come together and build a product that simply started as a 60 second pitch. I firmly believe that it could easily become a working model and business with some more work and planning, that of course will be decided upon at a later stage. 

Perhaps the most inspiring thing I witnessed at Startup Weekend Denton was people coming together and sharing the same passion for technology and innovation as the person standing next to them and truly building something out of those relationships. Whether teams got 1st or 10th they all have one thing in common, they went to Startup Weekend and tried to build a company in a span of 3 days - that itself is worthy of an applause.

Until Next Time - Shutter On!


From One to Six

If there is one word that could accurately describe the process of building a start-up company from the ground up it would almost certainly have to be "exciting."


From seeing the first prototype to seeing your social accounts grow with a sizable loyal following, every aspect of a start-up brings that added level of excitement and adrenaline rush for the founders. That being said, anyone whose participated in the development of an early stage company knows there is a certain amount of various emotions that fill your brain and stress you out to no end.

However, when it's all said and done, and your able to look at something built with pure dedication, it becomes well worth it. Besides... some grey hair and a few nights of no sleep never hurt anybody anyway, right? Of course this is me, the PR guy. I don't have that stress or worry that a founder may have, but I can attest to the work ethic and determination that it takes to be one of those guys – because we have them on our team.

I've learned that it's important to knock back when doubt or negativity hit you square on. Standing your ground when you believe in something is what it takes to succeed in this world. Of course it always helps to have a reliable team supporting you every step of the way.

For a company to have a viable growth strategy, they must first have the right team. This is where we get the title "From One to Six" for this particular blog. As I mentioned earlier, excitement is what it's all about and the past couple of weeks have been pretty big for us. We gained four more brilliant individuals for our team. What once was a one-man show has quickly become a full fledged group of creative mindsets that are positioning the Gestures Inc. brand into a very - real - company. 

First, Roy Mitsuoka is our co-founder and the VP of Research & Business Development. He has an extensive background with the US Army Intelligence and had a helping hand in the development of Firefox and the Ushahidi app.

Next up is our new co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Rob Edgell, who is currently the Mobile App Development Manager at FOSSIL Group.

His partner in crime William Saults, who also hails from FOSSIL, will be our Director of iOS Development. He will make sure we own our apps completely and knock the socks off of our competitors.

Lastly, we have garnished an amazing photographer and Instagram aficionado Austin Sabado as one of our Street Team Photographers to help lead some of our social awareness and building.

One bad ass team if I may say so myself! 

Rob says it all with this short and sweet line, "Best practice has turned into 'the best way to organize a list view.' GESTURES is here to change that, and it's going to be awesome." I know I can speak for the team when I say how exciting this year is going to be, especially with the launch of our beta-version GESTURES Camera App - coming soon to phones near you, January 31st, 2014. 

Until Next Time, Shutter On!