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Audaciousness Alert: Eff the PPA emerges a winner from Philly Startup Weekend

If you want to get ahead in the startup world, it helps to be audacious. Startup Weekend Philadelphia took place this past weekend, and the winner was Eff the PPA, a mobile app for finding parking, preventing tickets, and fighting parking tickets for a mere $5 fee. Second place went to HangPlan, a mobile app and website that helps people make plans with friends. Third place was awarded to Intro'd, a simple mobile app for connecting your colleagues.

Philly Startup Weekend (Twitter hashtag #phlsw) took place at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, thanks to law professor Karl Okamoto, who was also a participant in the 54-hour event. Okamoto's initiative, ApprenNet, with the Law Meets project, grew out of the first Philly Startup Weekend in February and is already in use in 60 law schools as a way to leverage peer learning, with potential vertical applications in other kinds of businesses. In fact, Okamoto and team will be meeting with a national restaurant chain this week to see if the Meets model can translate to hospitality management.

But back to the winners. Eff the PPA draws its rebel energy from the team of Drexel Law student Hans Smith and entrepreneurs Ted Mann and Ashwin Dhir. In short order, the team built a powerful app that even includes a geolocation function and timer so you don't lose track of your vehicle or the time left on your meter. The team exhorts, "It's time to beat the parking authority at their own game. This app gives you the inside scoop on how to score a legal spot. And if you are still socked with a ticket, it gives you a quick and easy way to get it thrown out." While judge Tracy Welson-Rossman voiced her concerns about the name, saying she didn't want to sign up for the startup's twitter feed, the group got the most audible and hearty audience response of all presenters.

HangPlan, which came from the mind of Melissa Morris-Ivone, who recently made an impression at Ignite Philly with her presentation about the Operation Nice blog, is a way to streamline social gatherings. Rather than find out after the fact about a great party, HangPlan, endorsed by Philly Party Ambassador, lets users get the scoop before the first toast. "We not only created a web app, mobile app, and an API, but we developed a brand, gathered research, and put together a social media presence," says Morris-Ivone.

You can see a full list of all 20 startups that presented this weekend. Brad Oyler, one of the organizers of the weekend, thinks the more full-time presence of mentors made a big difference and he's looking forward to the next startup weekend in April.

"Also, a lot of the teams focused on customer feedback to help shape their business," says Oyler. "A few teams, like SME Brain and ApprenNet, even had meetings with some serious clients."

Source: Karl Okamoto, Brad Oyler, Melissa Morris-Ivone, Philadelphia Startup Weekend
Writer: Sue Spolan
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