Startup Weekend Calgary

    Friday, June 1 - 3, 2018

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

Friday, June 1 - 3, 2018

Friday, June 1 - 3, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

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

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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?

Join us for a fun-filled, hands-on, educational experience that will enable you to build, validate and launch your tech startup idea over the course of a weekend. Whether you're a hacker (developer), hustler (business/sales) or hipster (designer), there is something for you!On the first evening, you'll either pitch or join a team around the top ideas. Throughout the course of the weekend, you'll work with your teams and coaches to validate and develop a prototype. You'll present your final product on Sunday evening for a panel of judges and fun startup awards.

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.

Techstars 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 Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday June 1st

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

6:30 pm
Review the agenda for the weekend, play a couple ice breakers, and get ready to pitch.

6:45 pm
Keynote by Dan Clay Ellis
Dan is a Canadian entrepreneur living in Silicon Valley who is dedicated to helping transform the world in positive ways. He founded his first company building websites during the first .com boom in the late 1990’s. He has owned and operated a consulting firm for 10 years with a client roster including Global 500 companies.

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

9:00 pm
Vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Form teams, discuss ideas, and setup workspaces. The venue closes at 11pm.

10:00 pm
Finish for the day. All teams must be out of the building by 11pm.

Saturday June 2nd

9:00 am
Breakfast & Check-in
Arrive, grab coffee, and eat a continental breakfast. We will have a group check-in shortly after 9am.

9:45 am
Get to Work
Leverage tools such as the Business Model Canvas to help you get started

12:00 pm
Lunch & Check-In
After lunch, do group check-ins, status reports, and calls for help.

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Three coaches are available to help teams until 4pm (James Karg, Hannah Cree and David Cree)

4:00 pm
Happy Hour & Coach Meetings
Take a break! Grab a drink and have a snack before dinner. Two coaches are available to help teams until 7pm (Derek Rucki and Re Carlon)

6:30 pm

10:00 pm
Finish for the day. All teams must be out of the building by 11pm.

Sunday June 3rd

9:00 am
Breakfast & Group Check-in
Arrive, grab coffee, and eat a continental breakfast before you get to work. Review goals for the day, judging criteria and ask questions.

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
Pitch Coaching
You will be assigned to a 20 minute pitch coaching session sometime between 2-3:30pm. Please go to tech check immediately after you coaching session.

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation. Pitch coaches will be available to help you practice. A tech-check for final presentations takes place until 4pm.

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:00 pm
Wrap-Up and Group Photo

8:30 pm
Head Home or Join us for a Drink
Venue will be announced after award presentation


Dan Clay Ellis
Advisor and Angel Investor

Dan is a Canadian entrepreneur living in Silicon Valley who is dedicated to helping transform the world in positive ways. He founded his first company building websites during the first .com boom in the late 1990’s. He has owned and operated a consulting firm for 10 years with a client roster including Global 500 companies.

Event Judges

Erik Allan
ACE Program Director, Tundra Process Solutions

Erik has a degree from the University of Calgary in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development and is thrilled to be running the Tundra A.C.E. program. He looks forward to sharing his experiences, successes, and failures with entrants to the program as they work together to fast track the commercialization of new technologies that solve some of industry’s toughest challenges. Over the past 2 years Erik has been helping Tundra with multiple strategic initiatives, and has been involved in over a dozen startups over the course of the past 10 years.One of Erik’s proudest entrepreneurial achievements is being a founding member in a technology company called The team created a web-based workflow optimization tool and grew their users from zero to over 30,000 in under 3 years. Recently, partnered with IHS Markit to launch the premium version of their product inside the widely used mapping tool, AccuMap.Erik is also an avid Martial Artist and helps run a local Ninjutsu Dojo where he trains during the week and teaches kids classes on the weekends. He also helps his Sensei teach “The Leadership Dojo” at the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business, and is extremely passionate about personal development and growth.

Elena Dumitrascu
Co-Founder, TerraHub

As co-founder of TerraHub, I lead the first Calgary-based, internationally recognized, blockchain education, accelerator and consulting firm. I execute our company vision with excitement and integrity. 

TerraHub is building an ecosystem for technical and non technical education programs, a student co-op placement, technology acceleration and consulting. TerraHub is where companies and individuals can learn about blockchain, build blockchain-based products and gain access to funding, mentors and investors. 

Court Ellingson
Vice President Research and Strategy, Calgary Economic Development

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

Coaches and Mentors

Re Carlson
Director of Operations at SteppMedia, Inc

I build things with code and colour.

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.

Hannah Cree
Social Strategist & Community Connector

Raised in a family of entrepreneurs, Hannah’s career began at a young age, even her lemonade & cherry stand needed to have a marketing plan! She received 2 Youth Initiative & Community Achievement Awards from the Premiere of BC for her contributions to Surrey Healthy Schools Peer Education Programs, the 1st ever Surrey Youth Opinion Polls and the subsequent creation of 5 Surrey Youth Centres. 

After surviving cancer not once but twice, she decided to dive into the world of media and public speaking where she received International recognition for her marketing writing and spoke at many events for organizations like The Canadian Breast Cancer Society, Alberta Cancer Foundation and The Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.

Before coworking was a common concept, Hannah saw an opportunity to create a community of like minded small businesses in 1 space in Edmonton sharing all the resources. Then she was offered to become the Director of AcceleratorYYC, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs through coworking and programs. 

Now you can find Hannah implementing execution strategies for various startups and non-profits. Leadership, empowerment and social entrepreneurship drive her, she has collaborated with youth and adult nonprofits who are focused on entrepreneurship, social responsibility and empowerment to develop experiential programming. She is a Master Graduate of Leadership and a certified trainer in various subjects including: Team Building, Facilitation, Public Speaking, Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, Self– Esteem & Communication. 

After her family and home was affected by the Calgary flood in 2013 and experiencing the outpouring of generosity from family, friends and complete strangers, her family created ARK: Acts of Radical Kindness. With the philosophy of: “Give before you get.” Big, small or somewhere in between; we want to inspire you to give.

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.

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. 

Kurt Archer
Owner at Archetype Organge

Kurt is known as connector, collaborator and ideas guy. He has started 2 global non-profit organizations, and coached youth across Canada, Latin America and South Asia. Based in Calgary, Kurt is the Co-Chair for TEDxYYC and a co-founder for WordCampYYC in addition to working on various social and political campaigns. He sits on the AIESEC MRU board and the Morpheus Theatre board. His current business focuses on empowering entrepreneurs to grow their ideas. When he’s not building his business, he’s often found acting or directing in community theatre.

Avi Silverberg
Co-founder & CEO, MyStrengthBook

From being a grade 1 school teacher to the head coach of Team Canada powerlifting, Avi has had a winding road into entrepreneurship.  He has always felt the pull to 'start something', even as a teenager launching an ebay store and becoming a top-rated seller of fitness equipment, or as a graduate student designing websites and content marketing businesses in his spare time.  In 2015, armed with a Master's of Exercise Science and deep connections within the sport industry, Avi co-founded a SaaS start-up allowing coaches to design, share, and track their athletes' training (  Traction to date includes: scaling to five-figure monthly reoccurring revenues, being accepted into two international accelerator programs (Chile and USA), and raising a seed round of capital.  Avi believes in solving big problems for a small amount of people to start (not small problems for a big amount of people), that remote teams can be highly effective and will dominate the future of work, and that the greatest quality of an entrepreneur is to have a high tolerance to doing un-preferred activities.  

Organizing Team

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

  • Chad
  • Danielle


Jenn Delconte
Community Manager @ Startup Calgary

Kari Gordon
Executive Director Startup Calgary

Executive Director, Startup Calgary

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