Team In Digestion ate up the top honors at Seattle Startup Weekend.

Kyle Kesterson made a name for himself as the creative force behind Giant Thinkwell, the Seattle celebrity gaming startup whose mascot is a lovable squid. But Kesterson, who left Giant Thinkwell last month, now appears to have tapeworms on the brain (or the intestine for that matter).

The artist and designer emerged tonight as the winner of Seattle’s most recent Startup Weekend, pitching a concept called In Digestion. In the game — being developed for Kinect, Android and iOS — game players assume the character of Marvin the Tapeworm.

The goal? Attempt to jump and duck in an effort to eat as much food (pizza, cupcakes, etc.) as one can muster as the items move across the screen.

Sounds nasty, huh? Well, it gets even better, since legendary rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot (who just came out with his own Baby Got Back app) provides some of the voice over work. You can check out some of the early screen shots of the game at the company’s Web site,

In Digestion was one of 18 teams to emerge at Seattle Startup Weekend, the intense 54-hour coding marathon hosted at the headquarters of F5 Networks. (Interestingly, as you may recall, Kesterson’s previous company, Giant Thinkwell, actually was the product of a past Startup Weekend).

In addition to In Digestion, other winning projects included Kick the Bucket,, Drinks on Me and Weatherful.

(Editor’s note: GeekWire’s Rebecca Lovell served as a judge for tonight’s Startup Weekend, and provided updates and photos from the trenches).

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  • Anonymous

    Love it! Great work guys :)

  • Darren Kochansky

    The finalists always sound pretty cool and viable, at least one some level.  I think the thing we miss out on, which would be fun to see, is the remainder of the ideas – and how absolutely ridiculous some of them must be! Anonymize the teams, but publish the ideas!

    • Anonymous

      @heydtrain:twitter  !  Check out the list on the Startup Weekend site here: place team Weatherful (pitched by @evilbeet:twitter ) capitalized on the popularity of instagram weather photos and the huge market for weather apps. Result: crowd-sourced photos of real-time weather conditions. 
      Third place DrinksOnMe launched a facebook app that enables you to buy your friends drinks when you can’t be there in person (not unlike Beer2Buds, but harnessing the power of FB).  
      Honorable mentions KickTheBucket (pitched by @nickvivion:twitter ) helps you check your adventures off your “bucket list” with expert advice and travel packages, and Tapin.TV provides “context for content,” a location-based platform tapping into livestream events, from Startup Weekend to the Occupy movement.

      As for the relative craziness of the pitches, when it comes to hilarity, the Kesterton team established themselves with an early lead via the market research survey they sent out over the weekend.  Just straight up redonkulous, but they proved themselves to be deadly serious about making a fun business.  To quote fellow judge @mypatents:twitter  “gone are the days when an iPhone name badge app takes the top honors.”   The energy and polish of all 18 of the presenters was truly impressive– and to paraphrase MC @shanereiser:twitter, the competition is more about meeting kindrid spirits/potential partners in crime than it is about building a business in 54 hours. 

      Kudos to the organizers, volunteers, mentors and teams…and might I just close by saying how awesome it was to see so many women pitching and participating!  @chiefdoorman:twitter  brought his daughter Caitlin Sunday night, @katemats:twitter  and I were delighted to make up half the judging panel, and the estrogen factor in the room was palpable!  Extra shout-out to Mai Hoang @happygotechy:twitter for her “Pretty New” concept, and the SitterPlus team for launching businesses to solve their own fashion and childcare challenges.  

      • kate matsudaira

        So great being on the judges panel with you, Keith and Adam.  I was super impressed by all of your colorful comments – and what a great write up :)

        The teams did an awesome job presenting and the top 5 were all very close to one another – I really hope to see some of them turn into real companies.

        Oh, and SIr Mixalot was there – I didn’t get to meet him, but how awesome is that?

  • Tara Gowland

    Particularly like how the worm is flat and then you see the eyes pop when it eats – gross but in a good way :)

  • Kyle Kesterson

    Woo! My brain is still throbbing. It was really intimidating being around such buttoned up teams, but we knew that no matter what the results were for the actual competition, that if winning was measured due to laughs and fun, we would have won the first night, hands down. Such an incredibly fun and talented group of guys.

    Tomorrow, we will be submitting our video and applying for Startup Weekend’s Global Startup Battle against 60 other cities for a chance to fly to Singapore for DEMO Asia. We can definitely use all the community support as possible!

    ¡Viva la tapeworm!

    • johnhcook


      I’d love to see that video if you care to share it here with the GeekWire audience. 

      • Kyle Kesterson

        Shooting it tomorrow afternoon, will let ya know the second we finish!

        (Also the game will actually be released on Windows 7 phone very soon!)

      • Kyle Kesterson

        Shooting it tomorrow afternoon, will let ya know the second we finish!

        (Also the game will actually be released on Windows 7 phone very soon!)

        • daveschappell

          When is the SW in Singapore? Time for a Geeks On A Plane for me, methinks!

  • Jameson Detweiler

    This looks awesome.

  • Steve Seow

    Honored to have served as volunteer cameraman doing your pitch, guys! I know my friends at Xbox are very proud to be a small part of the the startup scene in Seattle :)

  • Maya Bisineer

    Aweeeesome! I see Dwayne looking all satisfied :)

  • Farren West

    Kyle and his team were amazing. Really looked like magic ;-) Kate-Rebecca-Adam-Keith, thanks for lending your wisdom to the event. Always great to hear why a business will go down in flames before you start cashing the checks ;-) Really appreciate Neil Patel coming down and giving the attendees a behind the scene look @ how to Acquire customers, and Gabe Brown gave a presentation on Agile development and the TechStars helped fine tune the pitches. Mentors from SEO Moz, TeachStreet, MS, Splunk, lend some great insight. Thanks everyone for making it a great event! Having Sir Mix Alot show up at the end was icing on the cake…will post the pitch videos @ soon..

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