Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CrossconneXion is Christian Youth Hangout

An online Christian social youth hangout emerged as Birmingham's newest tech company after an accelerated startup process.

CrossConneXion.com launched on Sunday. It made it through a two-week screening and development process conducted by members of Birmingham Startup. Birmingham Startup met, shared ideas, voted to narrow the proposed projects to three before choosing CrossConneXion.com as its collaborative effort.

Jim Sutton, youth pastor at First Church Worship Center in Tarrant, pitched CrossConneXion.com an online Christian social hangout where teens can connect with friends and God. CrossConneXion.com will allow users to seek job and mission opportunities, watch celebrity interviews, upload pictures and videos and find teen-related information such as peer pressure, dating, college prep tips and leadership.

CrossConneXion.com will offer features including online mentorships and a monthly video segment featuring the accomplishments of an overachieving youth. Sutton said the idea to create a Christian online networking site came to him two years ago after attending a youth conference in Georgia. He said some of the 700 kids from across the country attending the conference were upset at the conference's close.

Sutton said they craved an avenue to remain connected with mentors and new friends.

After pitching the idea during the first weekend of Birmingham Startup, Sutton's group made changes based on critiques from members of the city's technology community.

"I trusted them and their expertise," Sutton said. "We went in with high hopes. We felt we had a great idea. We just took a lot of the advice they gave and implemented the criticism into our plan. That was critical for us winning."

Birmingham Startup is based in part on the model established by Startup Weekend, which creates a new tech company from idea to implementation in one weekend. Participating cities include Seattle, New York and Chapel Hill, N.C. Birmingham Startup used two weekends this month to launch CrossConneXion.com