Startup Weekend Calgary

    Friday, October 26 - 28, 2018

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

Friday, October 26 - 28, 2018

Friday, October 26 - 28, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The Global Business Centre
120 8 Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0K6

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

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.

Why attend? Here's what you'll get out of it:

  1. Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.
  2. Co-Founder Dating: The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups. Create relationships that last long past the weekend.
  3. Have Fun: During the weekend you’ll be working alongside awesome people who share your ideas. Startup Weekend is meant to be fun and entertaining, so enjoy it.
  4. Solve Local Problems with your Ideas: Do you think that one of your ideas can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.
  5. Build Your Network: Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high quality, driven entrepreneurs- like you!
  6. Learn New Skills: With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language or give marketing a try. With nothing to lose, there’s no reason not to step outside your comfort zone.
  7. Learn How to Launch a Business (and Actually Do It!): Startup Weekend is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology. 
  8. Mentorship: Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends and give feedback to participants. Interact with the movers and shakers in your community.
  9. Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources: By participating in Startup Weekend, you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves a Startup Weekend empty handed! 
  10. Save Money: Startup Weekends are affordable (typically $99, we charge $75 and $45 for students). Your ticket includes 7  meals, snacks, and beverages throughout the weekend!

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday October 26th

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

6:30 pm
Welcome & Keynote
Keynote by Kylie Woods, Founder of Chic Geek. 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

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 October 27th

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

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.

6:30 pm

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

Sunday October 28th

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

8:30 pm
Wrap-Up & Group Photo

9:00 pm
Head Home or Join us for a Drink!
Venue will be announced after award presentation.


Kylie Woods
Founder, Chic Geek

Kylie is passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and community building. She’s the founder of Chic Geek, a Calgary-based non-profit building community for women at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship. Through its mentorship program, technical workshops, speaker and networking events, Chic Geek helps women build their confidence learning new technology skills and profiles more women as leaders in the space. Ultimately, Chic Geek is working to increase diversity in technology.  Kylie was named Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine and has been profiled in Metro News as one of "Calgary Heroes." She has also been recognized as a "Need to Know" in Alberta Venture and profiled by the Mount Royal University Summit Magazine in their feature on Women in STEM. In 2016, Kylie represented Alberta in the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Program hosted by the US Department of State and was a voice for women in STEM on an international stage.

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.

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.    

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Laurie Gloge
CEO, Friendly Road Projects

Hybrid project manager and code junkie going from management consultant to Ruby Developer. Learning to code at home. Lean canvas junkie, enjoy taking ideas and making them real. Currently learning react and Rails 6. I get my best ideas while walking my dog.

David Yiptong
Entrepreneur Advisor at Calgary Technologies Inc.

As an Advisor for the Entrepreneur & Enterprise Development team, David provides early stage entrepreneurs with coaching and mentoring, leveraging his technical and industry background to help them advance their opportunities.   David has over 10 years of combined experience in sales, product development and design. He has worked in industries ranging from air compressors, optical disc manufacturing, optical and wireless networking. 

Stephen Wensley
CEO at Acuspire

With over 10 years of experience in building software to streamline business processes, Stephen has delivered more than 125 projects and led his team to a first place win at the Calgary Region Hackathon in 2017. He successfully raised investment to launch Acuspire, a tech startup with a mission of "A Future Without Job Search". He takes pride in delivering cost-effective technology solutions to increase efficiency for customers and make the world a better place.

Stefan Radeta
CTO at TLink Golf & CEO at Bridgewater Labs

Stefan is the CEO of Bridgewater Labs and CTO of TLink Golf. He is a successful entrepreneur with a track record of growing tech companies from idea to full scale. His expertise are in bootstrapping companies to grow into millions of dollars in revenue while focusing on building strong customer followings. Proudly recognized as Canada's Top 30 under 30.

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. 

James Sprenger
Strategic Insights at Legwork Research

James started his career at ad agencies in Montreal and Victoria . His entry into entrepreneurism began with his own creative shop in the 90s. At the same he opened a café, to fuel his passion. A move to Calgary got him back at an ad agency, as an account executive. He moved to the client side of marketing as the VP for a medical equipment company. James has always taught sessionally since his early career. However, in 2007, James joined academia world at SAIT as a full-time faculty member, where he tuned his research and curriculum innovation aptitude. He took a lead role in building and teaching curriculum in lean development, integrated digital marketing, go-to-market strategy and marketing insights. His research work focuses on late adoption technology purchase behaviour, change behaviour of social network members and engagement through micro-learning tools.   Currently, James is the lead researcher at his company Mensch. The Mensch framework provides businesses a clear understanding of why customers buy products and services. Mensch uncovers customer insights through contextual interviews. Consumers are making a choices at each part of their purchase journey, so a better understanding of what customers are thinking can lead to relevant value creation for new and existing products.

Organizing Team

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

  • Danielle
  • Chad


Jenn Delconte
Manager at Startup Calgary

Manager at Startup Calgary

Kari Gordon
Director, Programming Creative Destruction Lab

Director Programming Creative Destruction Lab

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