Startup Weekend Okanagan

    Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

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

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Film Factory
1126 Richter St
Kelowna , BC V1Y 2K7

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Startup Weekend Okanagan

What’s Startup Weekend All About?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

Events are 54-hour long events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts alike come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!

Startup Weekends are where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

We begin with open mic pitches on Friday where attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

More information to come soon! In the meantime, if you have any questions about Startup Weekend Okanagan, tweet us @SWOkanagan !

Sponsorship Opportunities

We rely on our partners and our startup community to make Startup Weekend Okanagan possible. Our mission is to help teach and promote entrepreneurship, but we can't do it without you! If you are interested in supporting Startup Weekend Okanagan, please check out our sponsorship package and contact us at to discuss more details!


Mark your calendars! Early bird tickets will be going on sale October 8th @ 9am!

If you are unable to grab one, regular ticket sales will open on October 31 @ 9am, or when early bird tickets sell out. Whichever comes first!

 Please only select a ticket for the skill type you plan to contribute to the weekend. This means that if you are a developer or non-technical person and all of the respective tickets are sold out, please do not purchase the designer tickets. We will be reviewing purchases and participants to ensure there are equal numbers of each skill type for the weekend.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 20th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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
MOVE LOCATIONS: Kelowna Art Gallery
For Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Colin Basran

Cory Wagner
Co-founder Bananatag

Alison Yesilcimen

Clayton Gardner

Coaches and Mentors

Richard Takai
Consigliere, Coach, Connector

Richard Takai wears many hats but has found his passion in spotting opportunities and building teams and businesses. Prior to moving to the Okanagan eight years ago, he had the good fortune to work in Vancouver, Tokyo and Los Angeles, in a wide range of areas including law, manufacturing and international business development. Since arriving in Kelowna with his family, Richard has worked with companies in all industries, but has a special interest in the technology sector, and has a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by tech startups. Among his many roles, Richard is the co-founder of RoninHR Inc., a recruitment and HR advisory boutique that exclusively serves the Okanagan tech community.

Steve Wandler

Most Recently, Steve co-founded FreshGrade Education. Featured by Apple Education and is the technology behind the learning initiative that received the coveted 2015 ISTE Sylvia Charp Award. The company is quickly cementing itself in classrooms across the US, Canada and Australia, as the accessible alternative to traditional report cards.

Justin Jackson
Product Marketing Manager for Sprintly

Justin was growing up in the northern Albertan wilderness when, at the age of 5, he found his first computer. He's been building things with pixels ever since. Nowadays, he's the Product Marketing Manager for Sprintly, and the host of the Product People podcast. He blogs at and tweets at @mijustin

Sheldon Gardiner
Chief Idea Officer at Volinspire

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Okanagan team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.



Organizing Team

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

  • Justin
  • Daryl
  • Brent
  • Cynthia


Angie Tarasoff
Pot-Stirring Troublemaker

Angie is a passionate leader committed to creating public value by empowering people to use technology and information in innovative ways. She is a community builder who crosses organizational boundaries to bring together diverse groups to address complex problems.

Event Staff

Shane Lawrence

Event Blog

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We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!