Startup Weekend Leuven

    Friday, May 1 - 3, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Leuven

Friday, May 1 - 3, 2015

Friday, May 1 - 3, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Agora Learning Center
Edward van Evenstraat 4
Leuven, Belgium 3000

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The SECOND ever Startup Weekend in Leuven is here!


Closing ceremony and livestreaming starts sharp at 4:30PM on SUNDAY MAY 3rd at  StartIt KBC venue! (Closing ceremony is held at Brusselsesteenweg 100 in Leuven). Buses 351,352,358 transport you there. The stop for KBC is Leuven Sellekensstraat.

With over 1,800 past events in 500 cities around the world, Startup Weekend is the biggest global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.

Have you ever felt the urge to:

- Pitch your idea?
- Form a team around your idea and make it real?
- Get grilled by some of the toughest industry experts
- Get coached by the best
- Present to a panel of expert judges and win amazing prizes?
- And test the limits of sleeplessness? ;)

If the answer is yes, then chances are, you’re a crazy-ass entrepreneur and you should probably join Startup Weekend in Leuven!

This will be the 2nd event in Leuven where the local startup ecosystem will join in for a three day marathon of co-creation, co-learning and growth-hacking! For a taste of what it was last year, check out this video:

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, business coaching and market validation. 

The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. It isn’t always pretty. It will be challenging  and can be grueling. But, if you can stick it out, you will have gained the equivalent of months worth of learning, building, and networking in one weekend. Hell, you might even start your first company!

Whether you start companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside the usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. 

The event will be held in English.

Ticket sell out well before the event so get yours now!

The ticket price includes all event materials, business + technical coaching, mentoring, working space + internet for the weekend and breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the whole weekend (Friday till Sunday dinner)!

You can work at the venue as long as the venue permits. Sleeping arrangement is not included so you have to arrange for just that. The venue is quiet central so there will be a lot of hostel options around. Check out and for hostel options, and for apartments.

Tickets through EVENTBRITE

Thanks to StartIt @KBC you can livestream our Sunday pitches! 

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Friday May 1st

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in. Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Opening Ceremony
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce SWA Organizers, SWA Facilitator, and host sponsors

7:20 pm
Pitch Start
Open mic: optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 pm
Idea Selection
Top 10 ideas selected and team formation around them

9:15 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. Volunteers will guide you to the breakout sections for your teams.

Saturday May 2nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:45 am
Served around the working space

12:30 pm
Coaches Check-in
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help. Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

4:00 pm
Work Efficiently
Carry on working, integrating the coaching advice

7:00 pm
Possible in the workspace but depends on the confirmations. Our volunteers will guide you.

8:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday May 3rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Final Sprint
Final hours of work time should be focused on perfecting your presentation. Tech check is starting from 2:30PM onwards so try wrapping up by then! Points are given on :Customer Validation, Business Model, Execution & Design

2:30 pm
Tech Check
Tech check for final presentations. Presentations must be in pdf. and videos must be sent beforehand and tested by our team volunteers.

3:00 pm
End Work - move towards KBC
Participants start moving towards Closing Ceremony in teams led by volunteers. (Closing ceremony is held at Brusselsesteenweg 100 in Leuven). Buses 351,352,358 transport you there. The stop for KBC is Leuven Sellekensstraat.

4:00 pm
Welcome drinks & registration
Closing ceremony is held at KBC, Brusselsesteenweg 100 in Leuven. Buses 351,352,358 transport you there. The stop for KBC is Leuven Sellekensstraat.

4:30 pm
Pitches Start soon!

4:30 pm
Welcome speech + Final Presentations
All presentation formats (5 minutes, 2-3 minutes Q&A from the panel)

6:30 pm
Judging Deliberation
Judges are taken to deliberation room to decide your fate.

6:45 pm
Winners announced
Winners announced, thank you and group photo.

7:00 pm
Dinner and Networking
Walking buffet dinner in the foyer, with music and networking

9:30 pm
Time to get some sleep, finally ;-)

Event Judges

Kimball Felix

As a founding member of Clear2Pay in 2000, Kimball Felix supported the international growth of the company in several (combined) management positions. Kimball initiated and managed many of the company’s corporate and operational activities, such as Marketing & Communications, Human Resources & Organization, Due Diligence Office (internal & external) and M&A Integration, whilst supporting Corporate Strategy, Sales and Operations.

Peter Bertels

Peter Bertels is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2009 Peter  founded Dwengo . With the support of Google RISE Dwengo broke worldwide first Argentina, Morocco then India. With the startup Quruu,  Peter won in 2013 Startup Weekend Ghent. Peter combines a PhD in Computer Science with a postgraduate degree in Business.

Cheryl Miller

Cheryl Miller, Founder and Executive Director of Zen Digital Europe and  Digital Leadership Institute , is a recognized digital social entrepreneur with 20 years of international experience in the tech and ICT sectors.Cheryl’s work to promote science and technology to women and girls has been recognized by the United Nations and European Commission, and she is consulted worldwide as an expert on topics related to digital inclusion, digital literacy, gender equality, youth and female leadership, and education and entrepreneurship, particularly in STEM fields.  Cheryl has a degree in International Relations, Law & Organizations from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Master of International Business (MIBS) degree from the Moore School of Business at South Carolina.

Kumardev Chatterjee

Kumardev Chatterjee is a Young Innovation leader, top-tier ICT industry professional, European Commission appointed expert and New York Times published opinion leader, all by the age of 35. Chatterjee’s vision, opinions and views have been published by the New York Times, World Economic Forum, European Commission, European Business Summit, Microsoft and leading tech media acr oss Europe. Chatterjee is one of the 45 world’s leading digital thinkers who with Eric Schmidt and Vint Cerf co-wrote the European Commission’s e-book Digital Minds for a New Europe that articulates a vision for Europe 2020. He is an Advisory Board member of the Journal of Innovation Management with Henry Chesbrough. In recognition of his Innovation leadership and the high-impact achievements of EYIF, the European Commission and INTEL have awarded him as an Innovation Luminary – Young Innovation Champion.

Philippe Szombat
Co-Founder. Increasing Sales Efficiency => Strategy/Training/Coaching/Talent Management

Philippe Szombat est un expert en vente internationale et keynote speaker spécialisé en entrepreneuriat, moyennes et grandes entreprises. Il a travaillé pendant 15 ans dans des sociétés de la liste Fortune Global 500 telles XEROX, HP, Unisys et Oracle. Il a co-fondé TweetWall Pro en 2011 (actuellement connu sous le nom de SocialWall Pro) et a fait son succès au niveau mondial avec des clients tels que The Voice, Mobile World Congress, Obama et le co-fondateur de Twitter Biz Stone.Il a fondé BrightBiz en 2013 où, depuis, il a aidé des centaines de sociétés à rencontrer le succès, en leur donnant des stratégies, des formations et du coaching de vente. Il a ouvert avec son associé Pascal Pytel une Sales Academy en 2017.Il est notamment mentor à Techstars Paris, au Founder Institute, ScaleUp Porto, Digital Attraxion, et KBC Start it.
------Philippe Szombat is an international sales expert and keynote speaker specialized in entrepreneurship, medium-size companies and large corporations. He has worked 15 years for Fortune Global 500 companies such as XEROX, HP, Unisys and Oracle. He co-founded TweetWall Pro in 2011 (currently know as SocialWall Pro) and made its success worldwide with clients such as The Voice, Mobile World Congress, Obama and the co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone.He founded BrightBiz in 2013 where, since then, he helps hundreds of companies to reach success by giving them sales strategies, training & coaching. He opened a Sales Academy with his associate Pascal Pytel, in 2017.He uses to be mentor at Techstars Paris, Founder Institute, ScaleUp Porto, Digital Attraxion, KBC Start it.

Wim Fyen

As a founder and coordinator of LCIE (Leuven Community for Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship), Wim combines the strength of the Leuven high tech ecosystem with the innovative power of its many entrepreneurial students. He holds a chemical engineering degree from KU Leuven, a PhD in microelectronics from IMEC and an entrepreneurial MBA from Flanders Business School / Kelloggs School of Management. With his project Zeo-Light he won the Belgian entrepreneurship contest Battle of Talents, the European finals of I2P (Idea2Product) and obtained a second place at the global I2P finals in Austin, TX. His passions include coaching of young high tech entrepreneurs and participating in MOOCs.

Coaches and Mentors

Roderick Lindner
Founder and driver of A41, senior business advisor for SME

Roderick is an independent business consultant, transferring his almost 20 years of experience, strategic and creative business ideas to start-ups. Using his 12 step methodology he helps start-ups with kick-off, analysis of competitive environment, marketing, business development and how to manage risks.

He is a certified KMO-dienstverlener (SME-service provider).

Loic Pecher

Coach startup weekend, Business DeveloperLoïc is business developer for research groups, startups, and SMEs. He worked 8 years in emerging countries in the water treatment, recycling, and real-estate sectors before to come back in Belgium in 2012 where he started as independent business developer focusing now on the urban mobility and logistics sector. Loïc was part of the cofounding team of the startup Pictawall for a year. As past Startup Weekends’ co-organizer and participant, he will be also glad to give tips on running the weekend marathon.

Raoni Pereira
Agente de Aceleração

Consultant at Tropos Lab

Raoni has been working with innovation and entrepreneurship for more than five years in Brazil. He worked at Fundação Dom Cabral, a brazilian world class business school, helping big companys to be more innovative. Nowadays at Tropos Lab he helps startups to develop their business and universities to build new ventures. He is an active member of Brazil's startup community and has been mentor and organizer at Startup Weekend.

Joshua Vantard

Joshua is from London and Co Founder of Vinkk, based in Ladeuzeplein Leuven and sponsored by KBC. Vinkk is an online platform helping people to see the hourly most trending news articles online within their field of interest. Joshua was founder of a 2000 member investment association and no.1 entrepreneur in Battle of Talents' preliminary round outstripping others at 3:1. Joshua has a study background in mathematical economics, philosophy and artificial intelligence. Joshua aims to spend his life improving the way fundamental human needs are met via an interdisciplinary approach.

Maxime Vermeesch

Lawyer Loyens & Loeff

Expertise in 
Automotive and Tax
- General Tax Practice

Robrecht Coppens

Attorney at Law 
Senior Associate at Loyens and Loeff
Expertise in 
Corporate / M&A

Marga Caproni

Attorney at Law in Loyens and Loeff

Expertise in :
Employment Law,
Taxes and Benefits

Koen Claes

User Experience / Interaction Design

Part of Boondoggle Bright’s UX design crew. Fascinated by what makes something easy to use, or understand. Creates, prototypes and tests user interface concepts for Web projects and mobile applications (Android, iOS and hybrids) for clients like Belfius, Delhaize, etc.

Vincent Goossens

I'm a master student in CS and know a bunch about architecture, although I specialize in AI and computer language design. I'm also interested in server technologies and have written backbones and stacks for a bunch of projects in various languages at home and at hackathons. My most used languages are Java and Haskell, but I'm also sufficient in JS, Python, and some of the novelty web languages. I'm good at seeing through the hype, going for what works and getting something going quickly without losing oversight and scalability/extendability.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Leuven team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.





Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Leuven is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Shamma
  • Gergana
  • Lorenzo
  • Elena
  • Kyrana
  • Amir
  • Adela


Michel Duchateau
Partner at Convidencia

Innovation coach, Partner & Chief Innovation Officer at Convidencia,

Michel supports organisations and entrepreneurs developing cooperation, agility, innovation and a sustainable performance. Actively involved in multiple startup communities, he coaches startups and animates hackathons and conferences. He collaborates with accelerators, incubators, business schools and public institutions in Europe.

Michel is Facilitator at Startup Weekend, author of the Hackathon Canvas and co-author of ParticipAgile.

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