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 & Enterprise Development, and currently serving as Directory of the Tundra ACE Program - A technology accelerator that helps entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies gain access to market. The program provides entrepreneurs with equity financing, loads of resources, and a team of 35 full time sales professionals to help accelerate market penetration and create jobs in Alberta. Erik has been involved in over a dozen startups over the past 12 years, and firmly believes that entrepreneurs should just get out there and try their ideas! One of Erik's proudest entrepreneurial achievements is co-founding an eCommerce business that leverages his passion for martial arts. It's a Martial Arts Lifestyle Company called Budo Brothers that designs & manufactures training gear as well as unique apparel that's been coined "urban wear with a martial flare." The company was originally started three years ago out of his condo and has since gone onto sell product all over the world. Budo Brothers also donates 10% of their profits to a registered nonprofit that is run by Erik and his team called the Budo Youth Fund. The nonprofit provides martial art grant funding for underprivileged youth across North America. To date, the cause has provided grant funding to 44 kids that might otherwise get a chance to enroll in martial arts. Service, creativity, and inspiring others are the forces that drive Erik to continue pushing his limits on a daily basis.

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

Hannah Cree is a connector; she is a sieve for information for all things Social Entrepreneurship & Social Impact. She is leading the social entrepreneurship strategy at ATB through providing workshops, online education & social entrepreneur strategy sessions.   Hannah is also the co-founder of CMNGD (COMMONGOOD), a social impact linen business tailored to the hospitality industry providing transitional employment to people facing poverty and homelessness.  Hannah is active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting community initiatives like ATB X Accelerator, Fuse 33 Makerspace, Work Nicer and Startup Calgary.    

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 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 creating and monetizing websites in his spare time.  In 2015, Avi co-founded a SaaS start-up allowing coaches to design, share, and track their athletes' training (  Traction to date includes: scaling to six figure annual reoccurring revenues, participating into three international accelerator programs (USA, Chile, and Puerto Rico), 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.    

Roger Kingkade
Founder, Offcourse Golf

Offcourse Golf is a mobile application company serving the global golf industry. Whether it's a golfer looking for a convenient and free statistic and handicap tracking application or a golf club looking to enhance its customer experience and marketing capability, Offcourse Golf is the premier mobile solution. 

Organizing Team

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

  • Chad
  • Danielle


Jenn Delconte
Manager at Startup Calgary

Manager at Startup Calgary

Kari Gordon
Director, Ecosystem & Export Development at Calgary Economic Development

 Director, Ecosystem & Export Development at Calgary Economic Development

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