Every year I attend StartUp Weekend in Grand Rapids. This year, I was excited to participate as photographer for the event. Not only did I get to meet some amazing people and help out some teams, I documented the entire event to show just how hard everyone worked. It was great to get jamming on some great ideas and forget about the cold, if only for a weekend.
The winner of this year’s StartUp Weekend was Hex, lead by the now infamous Sergio Troiani. Sergio is well known in the Greater Grand Rapids Area for his first project, Kloqe, the first iPhone case that looks just like the phone, and can receive full mobile signal.
Hex is an armband originally conceptualized for snowboarders and skiers who want to listen to music while on the slopes. Sergio noticed that, while out in the winter cold, one is wearing large gloves that limit dexterity and prevents any changes to playback.
Hex solves this problem largely by simplicity. It has large buttons that are easy to use for even the most bundled digits. During StartUp Weekend, Sergio’s team was able to both ideate and construct a working model of the device via 3D printing. They also came to the conclusion that other sports may have use for the armband as well, further vetting the market interest and securing the first prize.