Startup Weekend Calgary

    Friday, February 2 - 4, 2018

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

Friday, February 2 - 4, 2018

Friday, February 2 - 4, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Global Business Centre - Terrace View Room
5th Floor - 120 8 Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0K6

Buy Tickets

Learn how to launch a startup... over the course of a weekend!

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

See what it's all about

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Friday February 2nd

6:00 pm
Registration, Dinner & Networking
Check in, grab some food and meet fellow participants!

7:00 pm
Review the agenda for the weekend, play a couple ice breakers, and get ready to pitch.

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
If you have an idea, line up to give your pitch!

9:00 pm
Vote for the top pitches and form teams

9:15 pm
Form Teams & Begin Work
Form teams, discuss ideas, and start working. The venue closes at 11pm.

Saturday February 3rd

9:00 am
Breakfast & Keynote by Craig Elias
Arrive, grab coffee, and eat a continental breakfast while you listen to our opening keynote, Craig Elias. Craig is the #1 in Canada - # 15 Globally - on LinkedIn's List of Top 50 B2B Sales Experts ( He is the creator of Trigger Event Selling ™, and he speaks, trains, and advises on the one thing that has the biggest impact on sales - TIMING! Being 'first in" with decision-makers who are thinking of changing vendors.

9:45 am
Get to Work!

12:00 pm
Lunch & Coaches Arrive
First group of coaches arrive for one on one meetings until 2pm.

1:00 pm
Provide a status report or ask for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Second group of coaches arrive and help teams one-on-one until 4pm. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
Provide a status report or ask for help

10:00 pm
Final status report after the first day. You may stay and work until 11pm if you'd like.

Sunday February 4th

9:00 am
Arrive, grab coffee, and eat a continental breakfast before you get to work

10:00 am
Check-In & Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive and will be available to answer questions until 2:30pm.

12:00 pm

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:00 pm

9:00 pm
Go home! Or join us for a drink
Venue to be announced after award presentation


Craig Elias
Canada’s #1 B2B Sales Expert | Entrepreneur-in-Residence | 10,000+ Endorsements for Sales, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

Twice chosen by LinkedIn as Canada's #1 B2B Sales Expert (#15 globally), Craig Elias is an award-winning entrepreneur, author and a sought-after business advisor. Craig’s first business went from initial launch to being funded by a Tier 1 US-based Venture Capital firm in less than 12 months and was twice named by Dow Jones as one of the 50 most promising companies in North America. Craig is LinkedIn user 3,956 of 600 million users and has been a National Growth Advisor for Goldman Sachs’ and Babson College’s 10,000 Small Business Program in Boston, is on the advisory board for (an artificial intelligence company started by a founder of Eloqua, which was sold to Oracle for $957 Million US) in Toronto and is a mentor for the GrowthX Academy in San Francisco.

Event Judges

Vidya Crawley
Business designer + Leader, ATB X entrepreneur accelerator

Think of me as a catalyst for businesses, brands and organizations who want to resonate, innovate and thrive in the new economy. Blending real-world experience with strategy, empathy and creativity to make things happen while making a difference.

Court Ellingson
Vice President Research and Strategy, Calgary Economic Development

Court is the VP of Research & Strategy at Calgary Economic Development.

Sarah Morrill
Program Manager, Venture Mentoring Service of Alberta

I find a way to get things done with collaboration, innovation or sheer will and a smile. I am driven by working with passionate teams and individuals who are dedicated to challenging traditional ways of doing things. My diverse background in marketing, customer service, digital technology and project management led me to work in startups where I found I could apply it all! 

Jonathan Stiansen
Director of Engineering and Operations at Hobnob

Jonathan stumbled back into university, and onto computer science after a four years doing sales. Since then he's been addicted with playing with the newest technology geeking out about what new wonderful things can be done. Occasionally he still tries to be pragmatic by choosing the 'boring technology'. Jonathan has been a 'contract' based Director of Engineering for a San Francisco startup and has recently taken on software contracts from a local co-working space WorkNicer, and a local social media startup Socialveil.

Coaches and Mentors

Derek Rucki
Co-founder and CEO, TLink Golf

Derek's startup, TLink, is making big waves in the golf technology space generating over $2M in revenue in the first two years. Derek has first-hand experience crafting a winning pitch having previously won title of Canada’s top student entrepreneur and more than 5 other local pitch competitions. Not including placing second in a previous startup weekend where he learned what judging criteria to keep in mind. 

Derek is also a partner in a software development services company, Bridgewater Labs, where he helps operate a team of 35 developers building new products for North American startups. This gives him consistent experience at getting exposed to early ideas, learning how to best develop an MVP for the idea, solve critical problems in the business, and how to present it in an succinct fashion to investors. 

Mandy Balak
Founder + Lady Boss at The Ace Class + It's Date Night

My professional experience has been in creating powerful brand connections and storytelling to millennials through events, content and unique experiences. I have successfully launched an iOS app, multiple websites, a print magazine and curated and produced over 400 events in my entrepreneurial journey that started in 2012. My strengths are in building innovative strategies and ways to connect brands with their audiences through events, social media and yes, even print. I have proven results in taking projects from concept to completion and meeting measurable targets. I am honoured to have been awarded Young Entrepreneur of the year in 2014 by Startup Canada and in 2016 was recognized as one of Alberta’s Top Young Innovators. I am fuelled with a desire to create something that enhances connection and impacts people’s relationships with each other and with our city. 

James Thangaraj
Director, Strategic Partnerships at Innovate Calgary

Director, Strategic Partnerships at Innovate Calgary.   On the buy side, James identifies and addresses the innovation needs of industry partners. On the sell side, he accelerates growth stage start-ups with technologies that buy-side partners can use, integrate or commercialize. Before joining Innovate Calgary in September 2015, James gained over two decades of business consulting and economic development experience across Africa, Europe, North America and South Asia. He has worked in strategic, operational, client facing and revenue generating roles at organizations like the World Bank and General Electric, and repeatedly created measurable value for diverse clients.  

Stuart Kinnear
CEO & Co-founder at Interface Fluidics

Stuart Kinnear is the CEO and co-founder of Interface Fluidics, a technology-enabled laboratory services company based in Calgary and Edmonton that leverages nano-technolgy to help the oil and gas industry produce oil and gas more sustainably.  Stuart was a part of the first cohort of companies that participated in Techstars Energy in 2018 in Oslo in partnership with Equinor and has successfully raised more than $8MM from Canadian and International investors over the past 3 years.  When not working on Interface, he is focused on being a great dad for his 1 year old son, and spending time in the outdoors, photography, and woodworking.In my admittedly small amount of free time I'm a photographer, maker and adventure seeker.

My passion is making. That means I'm equally happy building a company, taking photos, building furniture, or creating dashboards in Tableau. I spend my time wondering how I can change the way people think about, or appreciate the world around them.

Greg Bennett
Cloud & Digital Ecosystem Development & Transformation

Developed and managed a $30 million vehicle importing business from the ground up and imported over 1000 vehicles in under 30 months.
Greg also competed in Startup Weekend in 2012 and his team won! Be sure to ask him about it!

Stephanie Church
Strategic Partnership Advisor at DailyPay, Inc

I am a strategy and business development professional with a passion for building new businesses and identifying unique growth opportunities. I have experience across multiple functions in both corporate and startup environments, having worked in Business Development, Foreign Exchange, Finance, and Accounting.

At DailyPay, I help identify new partners and play a strategic role in shaping our growth strategy. We've invented a financial technology solution for companies that meaningfully reduces turnover, increases engagement, and drives productivity, all at zero cost to the companies we work with. We've been fortunate enough to have been recognized by the New York Times, Women on Business and the San Jose Mercury News. We’ve served thousands of employees across a variety of industries including, but not limited to: restaurants, rideshare and delivery.

Alex Putici
Entrepreneur, CEO & Volunteer

My current pride sees me as founder of Work Nicer, a boutique coworking space in Calgary’s beltline that provides entrepreneurs and small businesses with a professional, creative, shared workspace that cares about our community. Work Nicer also puts 10% of our profits back into our city. We believe it’s up to all of us to build the city that we want to see.

I've founded 3 startups and absolutely love the process. Nothing makes me smile more than negotiations & sales. Some of my best work is done at the beginning of projects, where I excel at strategy, execution and ideation.

I am also to co-founder of 100 Men Who Give A Damn in Calgary. The goal of 100 Men is to support the amazing work our local charities do, in funds, exposure and awareness. 

The plan is simple: gather 100+ men in a room with three local charities, listen to their messages, vote for one, then each member writes a $100 cheque to that charity. 

Repeat quarterly.

To date we have raised almost $100,000 for local charities. 

James Karg
Creative Director

I am an innovative, creative designer, entrepreneur and connector with a proven track record.
I have worked on 5 shipped titles that reached #1 on 7 sites including AOL, Yahoo and MSN.
I also designed key parts of multiple PC games that have been downloaded more then 20 million times since 2007.

Dave Cree
Founder CMNGD Linens

I'm a people person. I love connecting with people from all walks of life and connecting the dots to make community happen. Currently building a social enterprise called CMNGD. Taking my years of business development and marketing experience, paired with my background volunteering and working with poverty issues globally and locally, I'm focused on creating social enterprise that makes a difference.

Re Carlson
Director of Operations at SteppMedia, Inc

I build things with code and colour.

Organizing Team

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

  • Kari
  • Andrew
  • Chad


Mitchell Cuevas
Product @ Techstars

I've spent the last 5 years working for Startup Weekend, then UP Global, and now Techstars, helping in one way or another to build and support the world's largest starting place for entrepreneurs. Programs like Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, the Techstars Accelerator, and others, provide entrepreneurs programs at every step of their journey and reach over 150 countries. Before joining Startup Weekend, I helped start a social media focused Marketing agency and studied Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, among other side projects. Check out my list covering #MarTech or say hey on whichever network suits you best!

Claire Topalian

Event Blog

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