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It wasn’t just Helsinki that enjoyed some startup fun at the weekend. We had a blast over in Norway too!

Social drawing platform Drooodle was the popular winner in Oslo. The service takes inspiration from Instagram, but allows users to upload doodles rather than photos. Instead of replying with text comments, Drooodlers (as we assume its users will become known!) reply with doodles of their own. Simple – and fun.

Your time to doodle is limited to ensure the fun experience is preserved and to prevent the platform becoming a digital painting competition. The prototype also included very easy sharing to Facebook and Twitter, a key factor that helped traffic to Drooodle grow significantly the day after the awards.

The idea was pitched on Friday night by Henning Sillerud and he was soon joined by Øyvind Nordbø, Fidel Velasco Canduela, Torstein Haugen and Andreas Kirkerud. The team worked throughout the weekend with one aim in mind – to get a working prototype up and running for the final presentations.

This focused execution of a simple idea was the reason Drooodle took home the prizes, which include three months co-working space at Y3o and a mentorship program over the summer.

Despite winning the event, the Drooodle product needs some work before it can scale. The prototype runs well on desktops and laptops, but the concept is ideally suited to tablets. That’s first on project leader Henning Sillerud’s “to-do” list:

“I’ll be working on it this week to redo the design to fit tablets and smartphones, then we need to test it and get ready to scale up”, he said, as I tore him away from the celebrations.

“It’s been scary but fun. Very scary to pitch of course, but very cool to build something real in just 48 hours.”

The Oslo team chose a more intimate approach this time, hosting the event in a smaller venue and limiting capacity to 70. The approach worked well as 13 teams worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to bring their ideas to life.

Hypotes, a social network for scientists encouraging collaboration and discussion of hypotheses, took second place, largely due to their excellent research and understanding of the research community. Nudge, a fun social gaming curation app, was awarded third-place.

Startup Weekend is slowly attracting the attention of the powers that be, with Trygve Svensson, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, formally opening the event. It’s a slow process to get the Norwegian government more on board with Oslo’s startup community, but it’s a process that’s finally gaining traction.

A former IT Project Manager, David Nikel now works as a technology writer in Norway. He helps Norwegian companies communicate in English and reports on the entrepreneurial scene for ArcticStartup.

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