Rolling the moss off…

We at MANVIL have had a firm belief in the use of flashcards to educate people about tools. We’re not talking about flashcards simply for education’s sake, but for ESL and for re-habilitation’s sake as well.

When (ABC anchorman) Bob Woodruff’s armored transport was hit by an IED, he suffered Aphasia, the inability to find words. Part of his rehabilitation involved the use of flashcards to reorganize images and their corresponding names in his brain. His friends simply drew images on paper and he used them as flashcards. He said that the simple flashcards aided him in his recovery.

Alas, times have changed, and now that almost every iPhone 3 or better has been handed down to a kid, or a derelict relative or neighbor, it seems that it is finally time for MANVIL to move towards creating an app. Where, oh where, to begin.

In a town like Portland, with a slew of great coders, a silicon forest full of entrepreneurs and an enviable (if distracting) sea of creatives, where does one go to get some inside scoop on production of an app?

We chose to dip our toes in Portland Startup Weekend.

After giving a brief “elevator” presentation of what we wanted the MANVIL App to be, we came to realize that the competition at PDXSW was fierce, and extremely talented! Not to mention full of some of the best and the brightest in the Portland’s cyber society. (So the quest for the great MANVIL App continues) That said, the encouragement, guidance and support provided by the introductions we made at PDXSW have been awesome.

The team we chose to join, whose pitch we felt strongly about,  was a small squad putting together a site for easing the rental applications process.  OHANA would be the kind of site one visits before the next apartment search. Once you’ve filled out the forms and paid your application fee, your vital security information is filled out, your references are checked, and if you are of a suitable standing in the OHANA lists, chances are you won’t have any trouble getting your apartment from a reputable landlord. OHANA as a team had a sound idea, a thorough costs/benefit analysis, and some fine tuned graphics if I do say so myself.

Sadly, a panel of judges deemed several other teams to have more viable startup outlooks… And our hat is off to Local Plate, Foot in the Door, and the winner BugShark (Their graphics weren’t nearly as fun.)

We’ll continue to push this process forward, and eventually the MANVIL App will come to fruition.

If anybody out there has a great idea that could/should/may have commercial viability we suggest you check out Portland Startup Weekend for its next Portland visit. It was a a blast of highly charged fresh air.


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