Techstars Startup Weekend Calgary

    Friday, February 28 - March 1, 2020

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

Friday, February 28 - March 1, 2020

Friday, February 28 - March 1, 2020
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Work Nicer Red Mile
1550 5 Street SW
2nd Floor
Calgary, Alberta T2R 1K3

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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 28th

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: Kelcie Miller-Anderson, Co-founder at MycoRemedy

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
If you have an idea, line up to give your 60 second pitch!

9:00 pm
Attendees 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 29th

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

9:30 am
Begin 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. Coaches: Ryan Corry, Founder at Skillpics; Mike McAra, CEO at RealOffice360; Naomi Pereira, CEO at JobJar; Serene Yew, Director of Technology at Pixeltree

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. Coaches: Steve Hardy, Resilience Innovation Advsior and President & VP Marketing at RallyEngine (Former); John Minchin, Founder at Spot Dog Walking; Natasha Spokes, CEO & Co-founder at FarCloser Travel

6:30 pm

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

Sunday March 1st

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 Coachings
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. Coaches: Sam Begelfor, Venture Manager at The Accelerator and Jenn MacDonald, Talent & Program Development Manager at The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at MRU

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.


Kelcie Miller-Anderson
Co-founder at MycoRemedy

Kelcie Miller-Anderson is an innovator and social entrepreneur based in Calgary. She currently splits her time speaking to future leaders and on her environmental startup, MycoRemedy. 

One of her very first words was “Why” and since the day she asked her first question she hasn't stopped.

She is passionately curious and loves to use science and innovation to solve big problems. An acclaimed innovator and social entrepreneur, Kelcie started her research into developing novel remediation methods for the Alberta Oil Sands at just 15 and by 21 she had founded her first company, MycoRemedy. She is a dedicated environmentalist and fierce industry advocate, with her sights set on changing the way the world remediates. Kelcie has been recognized several times as an up and coming leader in both oil and gas and sustainability as well as receiving numerous awards for her work as an environmentalist, innovator, and scientist. She is one of Canadas Top 20 Under 20, Next 36, and a Manning Youth Innovation award winner. 

Passionate about creating change, she believes one of the best ways to create the largest impact is by empowering the next generation of changemakers.  She aims to encourage the next generation to treat their age as an advantage and embrace their curious side.

Event Judges

Sandi Gilbert
Chief Distruptor, InterGen | Chair of the Board, National Angel Capital Organization | Founder, DealPoint

Sandi is involved with several ventures focused on supporting entrepreneurs as they navigate through start-up to scale-up. She is the founder of Crowd Capital, the fintech company behind DealPoint, a SaaS technology that securely automates the execution of private placements in a compliant and efficient manner. She leads InterGen Connect, a not-for profit that matches expert retired and transitioning business talent with scaling companies seeking business operations support and she is the Executive Partner of InterGen Capital, a private venture fund that invests into innovation driven companies that are positioned to rapidly scale their businesses.

Sandi is also the Chair of NACO, Canada's community of angels, incubators and accelerators. 

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.

Alecia Peters
Director, Innovation at Calgary Economic Development

Alecia leads Calgary Economic Development’s innovation strategy to advance Calgary in the New Economy.  Her team collaborates with a diverse group of community leaders and game changers with the goal of inspiring an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship in our City. She is a passionate community and relationship builder and is excited to help Calgary become Canada’s leading business to business innovation ecosystem. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and completed a global marketing and communications program in the UK through Boston University International programs.  When she’s not talking about ecosystems you can find her chasing after her two and four-year-old at the science centre.

Kris Read
Co-founder at Neo Financial

Kris Read is a co-founder and Head of Engineering at Neo Financial - a Calgary fintech startup changing what Canadians expect from their banks. Before starting his latest venture Kris lead the team as Director of Software Development at San Francisco startup and was a public-company CTO at Canadian cryptocurrency startup Vogogo Inc.  Kris often traveled the world as a consultant for ThoughtWorks but also spent his early years as a developer in the Calgary startup scene.  He's a 3-time CTO, published author and conference speaker (including Agile Alliance and O'Reilly OSCON).  Kris holds a Master's in Software Engineering and currently sits on the Advisory Board at MongoDB. 

Coaches and Mentors

Ryan Corry
Founder at Skillpics

Ryan is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for KiwiTech, a tech accelerator and services firm based in NYC. A former professional hockey player, Ryan has since joined KiwiTech from his own entrepreneurial pursuits, and First15 Media.    UNI chillwear is an eCommerce clothing brand, listed on Amazon and with retail partners throughout western Canada. Skillpics is a web application for people to showcase their work experience with employers or customers. Skillpics was recognized locally and internationally for their innovative way of matching skills with work. First15 was an event management and production house, curating fundraisers, concerts and talent right here in Calgary.   Ryan’s extensive journey through Canada’s startup ecosystem have given him a wealth of experience to share with founders. Canada has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit and Ryan is excited to expand networks and help entrepreneurs take their ideas to the next level. 

Mike McAra
Chief Executive Officer, RealOffice360™

Mike McAra is the Chief Executive Officer for RealOffice360, a real estate software platform that is reimagining the real estate consumer experience together with the industry. Prior to this, Mike co-founded two energy start-ups and spent time as an international energy consultant. Mike has operated as both technical and senior executive, working with bankers, legal and accounting to execute multi-million dollar transactions, projects and strategies. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Calgary, Canada, an MBA - Summa Cum Laude from EDHEC Business School in Nice, France. 

Naomi Pereira
CEO at JobJar

JobJar started out as a vivid dream and now has thousand of customers and is a widely-recognized digital marketplace to connect homeowners with local, independent handyman to finish small home projects. Yet, JobJar is so much more than this. The platform provides job opportunities and empowers thousands of professionals who may lack an online presence while solving thousands of homeowners’ common and important issues in their homes. Naomi’s extensive knowledge of the construction industry in Alberta formed the uniqueness of the platform: the end of an era of endless scrolling, price shopping and calling to find a reliable contractor.

Serene Yew
Director of Technology, Pixeltree Inc.

Serene is a veteran of the Calgary software development community. She has led teams of all sizes and worked in various industries including social media, finance, and eCommerce. As a lead organizer of YYC Ruby and Polyglot YYC, she is passionate about building sustainable mentorship ecosystems, connecting the community, and helping companies turning ideas into reality.

Steve Hardy
Resilience Innovation Advisor

Steve assists several resilience-focused startups and nonprofits, including the scaling strategy for CMHA Calgary’s pioneering peer support model for mental health. Previously, he led DisasterTech startup RallyEngine, the consumer electronics line at tech toymaker WowWee, and mobile content production for Airborne Entertainment.

John Minchin
Founder & CEO at Spot Dog Walking

John Minchin is the founder and CEO of Spot Dog Walking. Spot is Canada's only on-demand dog walking app and guarantees walker arrival in under 90-minutes or the walk is FREE! As a solo-founder and operator, John bootstrapped Spot to over $1M in revenue prior to building out a team to focus on national expansion. John knows all about the struggles of founding a startup, he racked up $80,000 in personal credit-card debt to fund Spot's early days, walked 427 customer dogs before Spot could reliably balance supply and demand, and went 2 years without a day off while single handedly fielding customer support from 8:00am - 9:00pm, 7-days per week! John is an expert in customer service, product design, and workplace efficiency, and credits the majority of Spot's success to his wrinkly companion and unofficial co-founder Debbie, the pug. 

Natasha Spokes
CEO & Co-founder at FarCloser Travel

Natasha Spokes is the CEO of FarCloser Travel, a travel tech platform that connects travellers with local, off-the-beaten-track multi-day tour operators around the world.  She also works at the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at the University of Calgary, helping provide students, faculty and staff with opportunities to explore their own big ideas.

Sam Begelfor
Director of New Ventures at The Accelerator

Sam leads operations at The Accelerator and helps startups ace their pitches for a living. Her startup experience combined with her time as a dancer at Disney World gives her a mix of expertise on both building pitches and delivering them effectively.

Jenn MacDonald
Talent & Program Development Manager at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University

Jenn is the Senior Development Manager at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University. The Institute’s mission is to develop high-impact talent through personalized and industry-engaged transformational experiences. Mount Royal University was the first mover in Alberta fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and is now a pioneer in how systems thinking, disciplined execution, and a growth mindset can impact organizations, industries, and society. During her five years at the Institute, Jenn has built a thriving community of 200+ innovators and entrepreneurs and established the LaunchPad Founders Circle. With the Institute, she has awarded over $370,000 to student founders.   Jenn is also a Masters of Economic Development and Innovation Candidate at the University of Waterloo. She moved home in April after living in Waterloo for 8 months. Jenn’s research focused on the economic impact of entrepreneurial universities, scaleup policies and cluster development.

Organizing Team

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

  • Chad
  • Danielle
  • Danielle
  • Sarah
  • George
  • Kari


Danielle Torrie
Manager at Startup Calgary

As a member of the Startup Calgary team, I support technology-enabled entrepreneurs with highly scalable business models through events and programs like Startup Weekend. My background is in marketing and communications and I love leveraging these skills to help grow Calgary's startup community and shout our story from the rooftops. 

When I'm not geeking out in the startup community, you'll find me reading historical fiction or taking a trip with friends or maybe even solo. I'm also a big fan of blogging and listening to/recording podcasts. 

Kari Gordon
Director, Programming Creative Destruction Lab

Director Programming Creative Destruction Lab

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