Millennial party app wins second Rockford Startup Weekend

Millennial party app wins second Rockford Startup Weekend

ROCKFORD — A Rockford salesman and two Rockford Christian students teamed up to win the top prize Sunday in Rockford’s second Startup Weekend.

Startup Weekends are organized by TechStars of Colorado and staged throughout the country. They match people with tech ideas with graphic designers and web or app developers who then spend 54 hours over three days turning the idea into a final investor pitch.

Josh Young and Rockford Christian seniors Noah Todd and Thomas Liebenberg developed heat., an app that would create real-time, swarm data to allow millennials to see where they are partying.

The team won a variety of business services, ranging from consulting to discounted co-working space, to push the idea forward. They also are eligible to enter Startup Weekend’s regional competition.

A panel of three judges — Brian McIntyre of Thames Management Services, Robert Washatka of Emmett Business Solutions, and Bob Ewald, owner of Ewald Services — chose heat. over a fantasy-football-lineup research tool created by Matthew Noakes of Rockford, JieHwa Ong of Madison and Ali Ghalayini of Hobart, Indiana.

Thinker Ventures, 317 W. Jefferson St., was the host of this year’s Startup Weekend and a sponsor along with the City of Rockford, Urban Equities, Larson & Darby, Wipfli and Northern Illinois University EIGERlab.


For more information about Startup Weekend, contact Scot Dobbs at or Alex Gary at