This past Saturday, MapMyFitness, along with 15 other Austin-based startups battled it out for the ultimate title – Startup Games Champion. Along with a few bragging rights, the one-day event embraced friendly competition all in the name of charity. The playing field doubled this year (8 returning teams, 8 new teams) for the grueling 10-event competition that placed a spotlight on the Austin tech community. Spoiler alert: we did not take home a medal (this year…).
Each 16 competing companies identified a charity to play for – we chose Marathon Kids, a non-profit organization committed to improving the health of children by providing them with the motivation, tools, and support in order to live happier, healthier lifestyles. Marathon Kids offers programs and services for all children, targeting underserved communities who are most prone to sedentary lifestyles, diet related illnesses, as well as mental and other behavioral conditions. Thanks to Marathon Kids for coming out and supporting our team – it was a long event and your attendance was appreciated!
So who were we up against? The complete team roster, with their respective charities of choice included:
- Adlucent: Capital Area Food Bank
- Adometry: Center for Child Protection
- Boundless Network: Austin Humane Society
- Build-A-Sign: Austin Pets Alive
- Capital Factory: Breakthrough Austin
- CSID: Lifeworks
- Headspring: Center for Child Protection
- Living Direct: Wounded Warrior Projects
- Main Street Hub: Austin Pets Alive
- MapMyFitness: Marathon Kids
- Mass Relevance: Central Texas Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Sparefoot: Kure It Cancer Research
- Spiceworks: ALS Association
- Spredfast: Entrepreneurs Foundation
- uShip: Communities in Schools
- WhaleShark Media: ACE (A Community for Education)
The quintessential startup “sports” included: Ping Pong, Foosball, Beer Pong, Flip Cup, Pop-a-Shot, Darts, Shuffleboard, Connect Four, Trivia and a new mystery event – Bullriding! While we did not take home a medal this year, we put up a good fight across the board. Sharing the bronze medal in Ping-Pong, Caith Chapman battled it out in an intense 3-game match, falling to the ultimate champion (from CSID). We also placed 5th in Trivia, missing a mere four questions. Our overall placement isn’t what matters – the fact that we collectively donated 533 lbs (about 480 meals) of food to Capital Area Food Bank, along with thousands of dollars to local charities is a feat in itself!
The most dramatic moment of our battle occurred during the first round of beer pong. In the words of Yeeland Chen, MapMyFitness Beer Pong Varsity player,
“After some initial jitters, teammate JZ and I jumped out to an early 8-3 lead. But the other team got on a roll and closed the gap to 8-7. Before the game, we decided that we would not attempt any bounce shots. We only had two cups left to hit. JZ went first and missed. My shot sailed over both cups, but then hit the metallic edge of the table, bounced up in the air and back towards us JUST enough…. to fall into one of the remaining two cups! A bounce shot. I wish I got video of this. The play was under review since it wasn’t clear whether that would be considered a bounce shot… but it was eventually called a bounce shot. FOR THE WIN.”
Win or lose, a big thanks to everyone who came out to support the event, and to the entire MMF team for raising money for an amazing nonprofit. To learn more about the Startup Games, visit StartupOlympics.org.