Startup Weekend Ottawa #6: Change the Ratio

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Ottawa #6: Change the Ratio

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 5:30 pm

@1125 Carleton
1125 Colonel By Dr
4110 Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Building
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6

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The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? 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 1500 past events in 120 countries and more than 660 cities around the world.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

We're excited to be bringing a special edition of Startup Wekeend to Ottawa for our November event - Startup Weekend: Change the Ratio. What makes this event special? 
It’s about changing the ratio in the tech-space by providing the opportunity for the aspiring women and men in our community to (1) get inspired by an idea/product/team… perhaps even enough to explore starting their own venture, or (2) become more connected with other brilliant entrepreneurially-minded individuals in Ottawa and thus more engaged within our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our intention is to provide an event where men and women can connect, combine and renew each other’s resources and capabilities to create value through new forms of interaction, service and learning mechanisms. The entrepreneurial talent we see from women in Ottawa is inspiring, and we are excited about hosting an event that will showcase co-creation of the most innovative minds in Ottawa.

Our goal isn’t to create a gender-restricted event, but to increase the number of women who participate. To help with that, we’re encouraging male participants to invite and encourage the women in their networks to participate. Since Startup Weekend Ottawa is about connecting entrepreneurial women and men through the process of building exciting companies, we want to connect them to the best resources and people out there – that includes both men and women. That said, to ensure that we maintain a high percentage of female participants, the number of tickets we issue to men will be limited (there will be a wait list). If you’re a man who wants to attend, find a female participant to bring you along, and do so quickly! (Note: Each female participant can only bring one male participant.) No, participants can pitch and work on any kind of startup idea they wish and all attendees are encouraged to pitch ideas.

We’re here to answer any questions or concerns you might have – so don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the organizers!

See you in November!


Friday November 21st

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Kickoff & Welcome
Housekeeping and Opening Thank-Yous

7:20 pm
Introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

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

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:30 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

11:55 pm
Finished for the day. Go home and try to get some sleep!

Saturday November 22nd

8:30 am
Doors Open
Arrival of Teams

9:00 am
Simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
All teams briefing meeting
Meeting to outline the day!

10:00 am
Mentor Office Hours Begin
Mentors arrive and begin doing their rounds.

12:00 pm

1:30 pm
Mid-Weekend Check-In
Status reports and call for help

2:00 pm
Mentor Office Hours End
Scheduled mentor hours end - feel free to chat to a mentor that is hanging around!

2:00 pm
Susan Englehutt
Susan will be giving a informative talk on customer validation!

6:00 pm

11:55 pm
Finished for the day. Go home and try to get some sleep!

Sunday November 23rd

8:30 am
Doors Open

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
All teams briefing meeting
Meeting to outline the day!

10:00 am
Mentor Office Hours Begin
Mentors arrive - Final opportunity to ask questions!

12:00 pm

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
Hard Stop
Stop working. Tidy up your work area. Prep for Judges & Sunday audience to arrive

4:30 pm
Sunday Registration
Judges arrive & registration for Sunday-only audience

5:10 pm
Final Presentations Begin
5 minutes each + 5 minutes of questions

7:30 pm
Awards & Wrap-up
The moment you've all been waiting for!

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Susan Englehutt
Founder, The Way Buyers Buy

Susan Englehutt is the founder and creator of The Way Buyers Buy. A born simplifier and visual thinker, Susan is an expert sales and marketing consultant and trainer. Her speciality is in helping the leaders of technology and services companies. She has been a consultant to huge Fortune 50 companies like Verizon, IBM, Microsoft, and Dell and to small and medium companies too.For companies that have been at this for a while, The Way Buyers Buy is a tune-up of their sales and marketing processes using best practices. For companies that are starting out, The Way Buyers Buy is a proven guide for building repeatable sales and marketing processes and getting buyers faster. The end point for everyone is more satisfied customers. Susan loves working with nimble and innovative companies who need quick solutions. So she has taken her big-company, big-price-tag experience and created a simple, powerful, and fun system. And it works. 

Event Judges

Susan Richards, FCMA | General Category
CFO, The Casual

Susan Richards is a CPA and Entrepreneur with 20 years of accounting experience in the Ottawa tech sector having served the last 12 years as Chief Financial Officer to a variety of Ottawa companies.  Since 2013, Susan has been providing VirtualCFO services to Ottawa entrepreneurs on a part-time, contract and casual basis. With a passion for business strategy, Susan enjoys helping local entrepreneurs increase sustainable cash flow, streamline operations, and ensure they have the necessary information to make key decisions.  An entrepreneur at heart, Susan co-founded in 2012 and Numbercrunch in 2014 and has an increased appreciation of the variety of challenges faced by local entrepreneurs. Susan serves on the Board of Invest Ottawa and Equal Voice and has taken a recent interest in B Corporations (businesses solving social and/or environmental problems).

Tracey Clark | General Category
President & CEO, Bridgehead Coffee

Tracey clark is president and CEO of bridgehead coffee. Bridgehead Links small scale farmers with consumers through fair trade. Bridgehead operates a Roastery, and sixteen (soon to be twenty!) coffeehouses in Ottawa, as well as a scratch Bakery and Kitchen. Tracey holds an MBA and was awarded a Fellowship in International Development Management from the Again Khan Foundation. Her voluntary work in includes serving as the Chair of Hub Ottawa, and as a member of the Impact Investment Committee of the Ottawa Community Foundation. She enjoys cooking, many outdoor pursuits and time with her family.

Nilufer Erdebil, MBA, PMP
CEO, Spring2 Innovation

Nilufer is CEO of Spring2 Innovation, an innovation and commercialization consulting firm. She  has over 17 years of experience in innovation within various fields including telecommunications, application development, program management and IT management. For large corporation she helps create processes, teams and metrics around innovation as well as provides training on innovation and collaboration. For smaller organizations she creates messaging and marketing strategies, especially for technology companies – bridging technology and business.
Throughout her career she has always had a passion for technology, business, commercializing technology and navigating change. Having worked in a number of international organizations and lived on three continents, Nilufer has a global mindset.

Nilufer is a 2014 recipient of the Ottawa 40 Under Forty award.

Steve Klein, B. Comm., MBA
Founder and CEO, Marketing Breakthroughs Inc.

Steve Klein is one of Canada’s foremost professional marketers. He founded Marketing Breakthroughs in 1995 and has built MB into Ottawa’s top marketing firm. He has helped dozens of clients grow their businesses with innovative ideas, creative leadership and expertise in guerrilla marketing and advertising, honed over 25 years in the industry. Steve has founded three of his own companies and has coached many entrepreneurs in start-up situations.

As Creative Director of MB, he has led over 100 successful branding engagements and produced thousands of print, radio, TV and web ads. During the past 20 years, he has designed hundreds of money-making marketing plans and advertising campaigns. Steve is the author of the best-selling book JobWise, a nationally syndicated radio broadcaster, and a contributor to many publications including FORUM Magazine, Ontario Dentist and

Coaches and Mentors

Tanya Snook
Tech Blogger and Co-Chair, UXCamp Ottawa

Tanya Snook has spent her 15 year career bouncing between the public and private sectors. Her experience spans corporate, internal and e-communications, web and software design, information management and user experience. She is an avid fan of technology and its impact on culture, and is happiest when nerding out on Lego, Star Wars or technology giving away information on the Twitters, or sipping espresso.

Peter Lalonde
Co-Founder, TenStartups / GM Enterprise Sales,

I am really interested in technology that works harder for us, but doesn't require us to change the way we work. Automation, context and ubiquity are very important themes in the projects that excite me.

I also like to work with smart people to solve real problems.

One of the projects I'm working on is TenStartups. We're working with smart, enterprise startup entrepreneurs at the very earliest of stages. We help them avoid common startup pitfalls and focus on MVP development, customer traction and validation. 

Jennifer MacKinnon

Jennifer MacKinnon is CEO of Fenix Solutions, a web technology agency in Ottawa, AgentAPP, a SaaS based CMS system for real estate agents, and Founder of Ottawa Women of Wonder. 

She also serves on the Board of Directors for The Ottawa Network (TON), and has been awarded Top 40 Under 40, Top 25 People in the Capital, and as a Business Woman of the Year nominee. 

Steve Adams

Steve has over 20 years of experience in leading high-technology and software companies, most recently as CEO of Fusebill. Previously, Steve was VP and General Manager with j2 Global, which acquired Ottawa-based Protus. Steve helped propel Protus into one of the fastest growing companies in Canada, with over 555,000 subscribers, before it was acquired in 2010. Steve also worked at Spotwave Wireless, CrossKeys Systems Corporation, Corel and Nortel, and is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and the Ivey School of Business. 

Lynda Partner

Lynda is a communicator, relationship builder, and results producer. She has Founded and led several technology companies, and currently serves on the the Boards of Women in Communications and Technology, Telfer School of Business, and CanWIT (Canadian Women in Technology)

Her specialty is building fast growing, customer-centric organizations by leveraging her skills in: 
- Strategic Planning - from business plan to strategy development and operational execution
- Business Transformation - positive, productive, profitable
- Team building, team leadership and wisdom through collaboration
- Communicating - making the complex simple, with voice and words
- Marketing - Big M marketing, PR and IR, lots of Digital
- Sales and Business Development - B2B, solutions, strategic partnerships

Nish Patel | General Category
CEO, ConceptShare

Who am I? That's an easy question. I am an entrepreneur who knows how to take an idea and turn it into a successful business. I don’t really care where the idea came from. It could be yours. It could be mine. Ideas are plentiful. I am passionate about the art and science of turning an idea into tangible results. I believe that the science part is about validating the idea by finding paying customers, letting those lead customers define our target markets and then using data to build a repeatable, scalable and sustainable sales & marketing machine to dominate those markets. I believe that the art part is all about balancing what the data is telling me with my gut instinct, building a team where I hire for attitude first (after all “how to” gaps are a Google search away) and building a high degree of resiliency into our culture. 

Bernie Eischen

Bernie has over 33 years of experience as a legal advisor to small and medium sized companies. The combination of her experience as a private practitioner, in-house counsel to Newbridge, General Counsel for CrossKeys Systems Corporation and as an executive responsible for human resources and legal affairs enables Bernie to understand the business, legal and technical issues facing a client. Bernie consistently provides timely and pragmatic legal advice that allows clients to achieve their business objectives.

She has been instrumental in assisting companies to develop their intellectual property portfolios and to commercialize these portfolios. In her role as General Counsel of CrossKeys Corporation she oversaw the company’s cross border public offering as well as assisted in its growth by managing the legal requirements related to a number of acquisitions.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Ottawa #6: Change the Ratio 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.



Contributing Sponsors

Organizing Team

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

  • Krissie
  • Myles
  • Renee


Cheryl Draper

Cheryl Draper is a community builder, event producer, entrepreneur and beer geek originally hailing from Ottawa but now based in Vancouver. By day, she's the Community Manager for Invoke Labs working alongside resident startups to help them create and execute successful community strategies. By night, Cheryl can be found facilitating startup weekend events around the world, mentoring up-and-coming companies or playing dinner host to visiting out-of-town founders. In her downtime, she likes to drink tea, travel, spend time with family and friends, and can often be found geeking out over craft beer.

Myles Foster
Organizer, Mentor & Judges

Myles founded a startup at Startup Weekend. Over 3 years he raised a $100k seed round, built a mobile app, and secured a Fortune 500 company as a customer. Myles now works at Payment Rails, a local Startup that makes payouts painless.

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