No need to beat around the bush. Chosen by the judges, the winner of Austin Startup Weekend is…….

Trainer Link (It’s a little janky, but here is the team’s expression after being announced the winner!)

Trainer Link is a team of seven that is tackling the 8 billion dollar training industry and looks to become the Match.com for personal training. Trainer Link helps you achieve your unique fitness goals by teaming you up with the right personal trainer instantly.

I caught up with the Trainer Link founder, Melanie Weinberger, while waiting for the judges to eventually announce them the winners of Austin Startup Weekend (I can hear the moral victory winners saying, “We are all winners at Austin Startup Weekend”…and indeed you are!). Standing outside the facility after pitches, Melanie spoke with me about how she and her ATXSW team members hit it off right away. The first night, the initial team of five worked hard at hashing out their game plan and concluding the night with a sense of validation by receiving their first customer by night’s end. The following morning, Melanie’s team grew to seven as they welcomed two more team members that believed in her product. The newcomers decided that their own startup would not take shape at Austin Startup Weekend this time, so they jumped on the wagon with Melanie.

While chatting with Melanie, I thought of all the Startup Weekend virgins out there that might need some nuggets of wisdom on exactly how to kill it when they attend their first Startup Weekend! Nugget #1: She pitched her idea to several SXSW attendees prior to ATXSW, which made it easier for those who had already heard of her idea to join forces with her at Startup Weekend. Basically, she said it helps to try and find out who might be attending the Startup Weekend that you will be pitching in and convince them early to join forces with you. Nugget #2: Prepare ahead of time and present industry facts that will help distinguish your market advantage and/or market niche. Nugget #3: (I will definitely say that she is a testament to this!) Be confident and sure of yourself and your idea. If you don’t believe in your idea….no one else will either!

Now, the judges may have chosen their official winner, but a Twitter poll of ATXSW attendees showed who the favs were among the crowd of hopefuls.

The Fan Favorite Results

First Place - Study Styles

Second Place – Spa Deals

Third Place – Join A Startup

Fourth Place – TrainerLink

Fifth Place – Host Family

Sixth Place – Trailer Q

Seventh Place – Talent Genuity

Eight Place – Audio Articles

Ninth Place – Revo Stars

Tenth Place – Living Games

Austin Startup Weekend was a experience that I will not forget. I’ve never had an opportunity to attend one of these events, and after seeing the positive team kinetic energy at work, I will 100% recommend this event to everyone!  There were so many eager entrepreneurs there that had one goal in mind–create a game-changing startup. I had often thought that the event was for coders or those with some sort of technical background; however, I was totally wrong. This event is literally open to anyone interested in a startup. As a matter of fact, one of the 8 startup pitches selected out of the 37 pitched, happened come from a teenager who mentioned nothing about any background…just a young kid with an idea!

This is truly an event that you do not want to miss. Even if you already have a startup, this event could be a great opportunity to provide advice and mentorship for others. Head over to the Startup Weekend site and see what world-changing opportunities await you. Who knows, maybe I will see you at one of the events!

Cheers to all of the startups, dreamers, and tech hustlers around the world:)