Ramp Up Weekend 8

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This past weekend was the 8th Ramp up Weekend, presented by Innovate Manitoba. If you are not familiar with Ramp up then you should be. The weekend is 55 hours to build an MVP and start a company. We have competed in the past and actually started a product out of the weekend.

This weekend was at the Smart Park event centre at the University of Manitoba. A different venue but the same event. This weekend had 11 teams pitching different kinds of products and over all the quality was very high.

How it works

I ripped this directly from the Ramp Up Weekend website because it is early in the morning.

Friday Attendees will have 60 seconds to pitch each ideas. Ideas are not needed to attend a Ramp Up Weekend! After all ideas pitched, everyone votes their 3 favorite ideas. With the most interesting ideas gaining traction, teams begin to form into cross-functional groups (design, dev, business, etc). Rest of Friday evening is spent brainstorming and planning for MVP build Sat and Sun.

Saturday It’s all day building. Logos and websites created, product mocked up and built, customer validation happening – it’s an entrepreneurial tornado! Mentors float from team to team asking tough questions and helping teams survive the ‘pivots’ ahead.

Sunday Continued building and another round of mentorship. Pitch Prep sessions will be available for teams looking to scrub their pitches. After dinner, it’s time to pitch the judges. Teams will have 5 min to pitch, and 5min of Q&A. After the awards are handed out and the teams catch their breath, we hope to see these startups move on and launch right here in Winnipeg!


What Does It Take?

You are judged on a practical rubric.

Customer Validation

  • Get Out
  • Talk
  • Listen
  • Learn

Business Model

  • Competition
  • Differentiation
  • Strategy
  • Revenue


  • Challenge
  • Evolve
  • Show

…And Beyond

  • Viability
  • Demand
  • Team

Basically all the stuff you need to actually do when starting a business.

The Podcast

We decided to do something really cool this time and host a Ramp up Weekend podcast. I was happy to host it with Mike Legary () and Chris Johnson (Permission Click). The whole podcast is on sound cloud right now.

We interviewed each of the teams as well as sponsors and various recaps of the weekend.

The winners

For RUW8 it was intense, you are probably wondering who won though so here is a list.

  • Best Prototype – Geofy, a gamified location based advertising solution.
  • Honourable Mention – Take my spot, sell your yard or parking spot as parking for an event.
  • 2nd Place TrukMate, location based (uber style) truck services. Need a boost or something delivered? Order a truck.
  • 1st Place TrapTap, A product that may one day be illigal. Detect and report traps and red light cameras on your dashboard.

The first and second place winners move on to competing this week in Innovate Manitoba’s pitch day and will receive a tech futures grant.

Experience It

We have an interactive tour of the weekend through PanoPla. Explore the weekend as if you were there.

You can register for the PanoPla beta now.