Startup Weekend alum returns with a story of community, growth, and jobs

Two years ago, Paul Doyle pitched an idea for a business at Startup Weekend Grand Rapids. The concept was for a digital alternative to issuing paper checks in order to eliminate fraud. Over the course of the weekend, Doyle and his team built a working prototype and made contacts in the financial sector to pilot his concept.  

Flash forward to Startup Weekend Grand Rapids 2013 on Jan. 18. Doyle was in attendance again, but this time, Doyle wasn't pitching an idea. His two-year-old company, VerifyValid, was now the premier sponsor of the event and Doyle was giving the keynote address.

Describing the weekend as a "high tech version of an Amish barn building," Doyle shared his company's story with the group of 125 startup enthusiasts. "I did not have the resources to move the idea I had forward, so I pitched at Startup Weekend. We built a prototype at the weekend, which allowed me to share it with a large customer."

The company now numbers 12 employees, including two of the original members of the 2011 startup team, and that number will soon be increasing. Todd Tracey, VP of sales and marketing, says the hiring is not even close to being over. "We are aggressively looking for more talent, especially web development and programming."

Adding more than sponsorship dollars to the event, Doyle had several employees of VerifyValid on hand to help at the weekend. He also closed his talk with this advice to the group: "The data is strong that real businesses get built at these weekends. Don't stop on Sunday."

To learn more about VerifyValid, you can visit their website here.

Source: Paul Doyle and Todd Tracey, VerifyValid
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
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