Startup Weekend Calgary

    Friday, February 8 - 10, 2019

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

Friday, February 8 - 10, 2019

Friday, February 8 - 10, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Global Business Centre (Terrace View Room - 5th floor)
120 8 Avenue Southeast
Calgary, Alberta T2G 5P6

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Your idea in 54 hours

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? 

Techstars 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.

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 February 8th

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

6:30 pm
Welcome & Keynote
Review the agenda for the weekend, play a couple ice breakers, and get ready to pitch. Keynote Speaker: Tate Hackert, President at ZayZoon

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.

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

Saturday February 9th

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

9:15 am
Benefits of Interviews vs. Surveys by Craig Elias, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Bow Valley College

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 - Laurie Gloge, Nicole Mullings & Stefan Radeta

4:00 pm
Happy Hour & Coach Meetings
Take a break! Grab a drink and have a snack before dinner. Three coaches are available to help teams until 7pm - Jason Cihelka, Danielle Gifford & Avi Silverberg

6:30 pm

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

Sunday February 10th

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 sign-up for a 20 minute pitch coaching session sometime between 2-3:30pm. Please go to tech check immediately after your coaching session. Pitch coaches: Kurt Archer & Roger Kingkade

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

8:30 pm
Wrap-Up & Group Photo

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


Tate Hackert
President at ZayZoon

Tate received a Bachelors Degree in Economics with education from both the University of Victoria and City University of Hong Kong. Between the ages of 16 and 24, Tate originated more than $300,000 in loans through sourced leads on Kijiji and Craigslist. Currently, Tate is the President of ZayZoon, a socially responsible Financial Technology company that was created to end predatory lending through the use of on-demand pay. 

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

Michael Gaudet
Senior Leader – Marketing, Communications, Product & Digital at Swoop (Airlines)

Michael is a results-obsessed sales and marketing leader, with over a decade of progressive leadership experience. At Swoop (a subsidiary of WestJet), Michael oversees all marcomm, product (ancillary revenue) and digital strategy. By levering technology and mobile-first ethos, Michael is on a mission to make Swoop the preferred Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) in Canada.  Prior to Swoop, Michael led Sales and Marketing Operations for Benevity, one of Calgary’s largest and fastest growing tech companies. Before this, Michael worked in a leadership capacity at a top digital marketing agency (Vovia), where he led technical execution for the company in all areas. Michael got his start in Digital at Getty Images and iStockphoto, where he held a variety of roles in digital marketing and analysis. In 2018, Michael helped advise on the creation of SAIT’s new Digital Marketing and Social Media Certificate and fully developed the curriculum for the Paid Media course.  Michael is also a past winner of Startup Weekend, taking home the prize in 2014 with the idea of a technology platform to monetize last-minute tourism-related inventory (Whimee). In his spare time, Michael has helped up and coming start-ups in areas including software, blockchain and online retail. Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University (specializing in Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Political Science) and an MBA from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary (specializing in Entrepreneurship and Innovation).

Renee Matsalla
Product Manager, Benevity

Renee is a product manager and marketer with a passion for launching innovative software. She is the Product Manager for Benevity's newest employee engagement software, Missions, which was released in June 2018 and is already used by some of the world’s most iconic brands, including PayPal and RBC. Before Benevity, Renee worked on ActiveConversion's management team, proudly helping them become the leading sales and marketing software for industrial companies. Renee’s newest focus is Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, an area that is especially important to her after living as an expat in the diverse and vibrant Berlin, Germany. Renee’s work for in Berlin saw her leading the launch strategy for mobile monetization products used by Facebook, Google, and the world’s largest mobile game developers.

Coaches and Mentors

Laurie Gloge
Project Manager - Web Developer

Laurie has been a consultant in process and strategy and has always encouraged entrepreneurs to find their mojo in their purpose and follow their dreams.    Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, with both kids now in the Silicon Valley/Silicon Beach ecosystem, she is a SWYYC keener and has participated in more than 4 events, locally or in the US while visiting her kids.    After working with many great developers, designers, and business leaders on applications, websites, games and cultural events, she put her consulting projects on hold to learn Ruby and Node.js and has built her own web applications from idea to production.   Have a question about Lean Canvas, what to expect this weekend, starting a business, finding a developer, exploring a business model, she is the go to.  

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.

Jason Cihelka
Founder at JCACE Software Solutions

Jason Cihelka is an entrepreneur and technology consultant with over 9 years of experience working with companies across different industries. Since founding his IT consultancy business in 2009, he’s helped hundreds of clients leverage the latest technologies to stay at the cutting-edge. Jason's areas of expertise are: B2B consulting, telecommunications, software development (web, mobile and PC), blockchain, and human-centered software design principles.

Danielle Gifford
Venture Leader at Creative Destruction Lab - Rockies

As a solutions-focused professional with a myriad of start-up experience, Danielle has guided the growth and development of a number of start-up companies and entrepreneurs. She brings with her hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, from developing strategic business plans and design prototyping to business development. Danielle possess a strong understanding of contributing deliverables to key business stakeholders on a local and national level. She worked as the Director of Marketing and Sales for an Augmented Reality venture focused on the furniture industry across North America. Her experiences in the start-up community has allowed her to interact efficiently and effectively with top industry leaders, clients, and peer groups. She has lived in Toronto, Windsor, and Calgary and worked across North America.

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.    

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.

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


Andrew Browne
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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