Startup Weekend uOttawa Edition

    Friday, February 26 - 28, 2016

  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 uOttawa Edition

Friday, February 26 - 28, 2016

Friday, February 26 - 28, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

University of Ottawa - Desmarais Building
55 Laurier Avenue East
Room 4101
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5

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We're excited to bring you the second Startup Weekend uOttawa!This exclusive edition of Startup Weekend is for current uOttawa students, and recent graduates. Our goal is to connect students across all faculties to encourage and promote entrepreneurship regardless of discipline of study. We look forward to seeing the different types of innovative ideas that can come to life when students branch out and connect with those around them with different skill sets and areas of expertise.  In an effort to make the event more accessible to students and alumni, Telfer School of Management has subsidized the tickets.In terms of format and timelines, the event will be very similar to the events in the past that we have put on. 

In addition to the grand prize of $1,000 and 3 months of space @Invest Ottawa (It's more than just space. It's a community of founders that help each other), individual prizes of $500 each are up for grabs around the following categories:

  • Innovative Applications of Internet-of-Things (IoT) 
  • Refugees Resettlement and Integration into Canadian Society  
  • Open source hardware for social change
For more details on the categories please visit, 
We hope to see you out there and welcome you to send any and all questions to 



Friday February 26th

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 February 27th

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 February 28th

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
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Steve Cody
CEO & Founder, The Better Software

Over the past 25 years, we have enjoyed developing fantastic consumer brands that have generated over $250 million in sales. Our brands have offered people looking to start a business, the support and opportunity they needed to pursue their passion!

Our Brands are offered throughout North America and include The Better Software Company, CodyMobile Pro Services, Cody Party Stores, Highrise Equipment Rentals, Monster Halloween, Cody Window Cleaning, Lou-X Rentals, Perfect Party Online, and Click Costumes Online. 

Cody Mobile Pro Services, The Ultimate Mobile Business.... Cody Mobile has 15 career opportunities including Auto Detailing, Carpet Cleaning, Window Cleaning, Garden Care, House Cleaning, Pet Grooming and Sales Pods.

Event Judges

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.

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).

Craig Fitzpatrick | General Category
Founder, PageCloud

Craig Fitzpatrick is a serial entrepreneur, having spent his career across 7 startups and founding 2. In the Fall of 2014, Craig founded PageCloud, the world's most advanced website creator, to bring the experience of desktop publishing to the Web for the first time. Craig is a passionate member of the startup community and a strong advocate of early entrepreneurship.

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. 

Frank Bouchard | Maker & General
Co-founder Wipebook

Frank Bouchard is the inventor of the Wipebook: The Reusable Whiteboard Notebook.
Frank combined a prototype, creativity and a entrepreneurship class project and turned them into a company. The idea took off after Frank and his classmate/co-founder launched a $4,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund product development. The result: 7,978 backers and $424 314 to kick Wipebook into overdrive! The team then had the opportunity to pitch on Dragon’s Den where they were offered a deal from Arlene Dickinson for 300,000$. Wipebook now sells its product in 68 countries around the world and can be found in Staples and Wallmart retail stores across Canada.

Luc Lalande | Hardware / Maker Mentor
Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Hub, University of Ottawa

Luc Lalande is the Executive Director of the University of Ottawa Entrepreneurship Hub.  As an Ottawa-based innovation practioner with extensive experience in academic-industry-government sectors, Luc specializes in the design and execution of custom programs that build innovation capacity for communities. These grassroots innovation programs are crafted to work with local partners (corporate and institutional) and volunteers in both the private and public sectors, foundations and venture philanthropists.  Current focus areas include the establishment of makerspaces in schools, libraries and community centres that deliver youth programs.  He has recently raised funds to acquire 3D printers as a means of engaging youth in disadvantaged communities.

Lisa Deacon | Syrian Refugees Crisis Category
Manager Research and Special Projects, The Canadian Bureau for International Education

Lisa (@lisa_jayde) leads events that unite service providers and data/tech experts in improving the immigration and settlement user experience in Canada. She delivers online pre-arrival settlement services with her part-time business and uses data and technology day-to-day to inform strategy and tell stories about international education.

Danielle Taillon | Hardware/Maker Mentor
Maker Mobile Instructor, University of Ottawa

Danielle Taillon works at the UOttawa Makerspace where she is creating a wearables program to engage girls in STEM.
She also works with the Makermobile to bring 3D printing, laser cutting, robotics and programming to schools in the Ottawa region.

Coaches and Mentors

Franco Varriano
Ottawa Director, StartupGrind

Franco's been building businesses and startups since the age of 11. He's currently the co-founder of Hack To Start (, a podcast focused on interesting people and the innovative ways they achieve success. Hack To Start is the #1 rated business podcast on iTunes. He's also the chapter director for Startup Grind Ottawa, and involved in many other startup related endeavours.

You can catchup with Franco on Twitter @FrancoVarriano or at

Marco Janeczek
Director Accelerator + Incubator, L-Spark

Marco Janeczek’s currently serves as a director to L-SPARK, 
an Ottawa based SaaS accelerator and is the Managing Partner of Infinite Ventures, 
where he invests, advises and creates early stage startups. 

Marco’s entrepreneurial journey began with the creation of Gables Medical Billing System and 
His early passion for startups has given him the possibilities to be part of great teams and products,
in a variety of roles including CEO, VP Sales,  and Product Development, as well as advisory roles in 
companies such as Yostro, OnTab, Pat Group, TOWNHILL Software, Gbatteries, hatchbrands, Pcsso, Responsa, Zikera, Zooppa, DomainsIncome, Ottawa Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, 
Planet Domains and Decisyon. Marco experience ranges from idea creation, product development,
customer development, M&A and partnerships. When possible, Marco commits time to StartupWeekends and FounderInstitute.

Ron Gagnier
Principle Consultant, Ron Gagnier Design

Ron Gagnier is an expert in customer experience, product design and research. He has worked in the design studios of IBM, started the design program at Halogen Software, been a design consultant with start-ups and enterprise companies for 20 years and currently acts as the resident design expert at Invest Ottawa. He is an outspoken advocate for design thinking and developed an award winning design education program at IBM known as BestX.When Ron isn’t evangelizing the merits of design thinking he can be found practicing his guitar.

Nolan Beanlands
Startup Garage Coordinator & Technology Partnerships Associate, University of Ottawa

Nolan studied engineering at the University of Waterloo the heart of Canadian entrepreneurship. He now works as the coordinator for the Startup Garage program. Startup Garage is an accelerator run out of the Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise office at UOttawa. Through Startup Garage Nolan has works with dozens of startups helping them grow from early ideation all the way to product sales. Nolan’s energy and outgoing personality helps him push student entrepreneurs to take risks and get out of their comfort zones.

Nick Quain
Co-founder and CEO, CellWand

As co-founder and CEO, Nick Quain drives all development, strategy and execution at CellWand, where he has pioneered the use of abbreviated dialling codes in North America with the award winning #TAXI (Pound Taxi) service and most recently in the mobile transportation space, with The Ride app – the industry’s first national taxi and transit app. Highlights of Nick’s accomplishments include raising several million in capital, closing industry first deals with every major wireless carrier in North America and architecting a marketing strategy that has created #TAXI as a national brand used over 12 million times, while propelling CellWand to profitability and millions in revenue. CellWand has won numerous business and innovation awards, including the 2010 Canada’s Top 10 Competition for Technology, Named one of the Hottest Innovation Companies in Canada, and one of the top 10 Wireless Companies to watch by IDC. Nick was a 2003 Forty Under 40 Winner in Ottawa, and also helped judge the same award with Ottawa Business Journal for 10 years.

Serge Lafontaine
Field Sales Engineer, Linear Technology Corporation

Serge Lafontaine has over 20 years of experience in the hardware, semiconductor, sales engineering and supply chain industries.  He currently works as a Field Sales Engineer for Linear Technology, a world leader analog semiconductor company.  While working at Nortel, DRS Technologies, CML Emergency Services and Arrow Electronics, he has also held various different engineering, sales and management roles.
Serge holds a BEng in Computer Engineering from the Royal Military College in Kingston and is also a registered Professional Engineer of Ontario (PEO).

Michael Lachapelle
Analyst, Advisor, Speaker on business design and business models

Michael Lachapelle works with founders and senior executives of organizations to design, communicate and change the way they do business. Michael is a certified coach and trainer in working with the Business Model Generation (BM canvas) and Value Proposition Design tools and methods.

Filippo Di Trapani
Partners Operations Manager, Shopify

Filippo is a designer for over 10 years experience. He has worked across multiple browsers, platforms, and devices. Some of his proudest pieces were created for: Shopify, T-Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent, Iridium, Canadian Geographic, Canadian Museum of Nature, and 

Justin McLeod
Co-founder, StudIoT

Third year mechanical engineering and computing tech double degree student. Co-founder of StudIoT, specialist in open source hardware and the Internet of Things product development.

Sally Dimachki
Program Officer, National Judicial Institute

Sally Dimachki holds a Joint European Master's in Human Rights and Genocide Studies from Kingston University of London. She wrote her dissertation on the Failure of the international community to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis.Always eager to be learning, she has attended the Public International Law Summer School at the Hague Academy of International Law housed at the International Court of Justice and this year, she will be attending the Summer Course on Refugees and Forced Migration at York University.
In 2012, she was selected as the delegate of France for the G(irls) 20 Summit where alongside the 20 other delegates, she produced a list of recommendations that were presented to the G20 leaders emphasizing the importance of including women's rights in their negotiations.She has worked at the Parliament of Canada, Nobel Women's Initiative and is currently a Program Officer at the National Judicial Institute, an organization providing education to judges in Canada and internationally. She is also the Director of Communications of the Young Diplomats of Canada (YDC), a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes the leadership of young Canadians through international delegations, research projects, and advocacy initiatives.As a young Syrian passionate about refugee rights, she volunteers her time with different settlement agencies in her community by sitting on the Board of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO) and being a Resume Clinic Coach at World Skills. More recently, she has joined the volunteer team of Refugee 613, an organization coordinating Ottawa’s response to the global refugee crisis.

Jonathan Gratton
Lead Hardware Specialist, StudIoT

Jonathan Gratton is a 3rd year Computer Science student at the University of Ottawa with a previous background in Natural Sciences. Since September 2015, he has been the Lead Hardware Specialist for StuidIoT, a University of Ottawa entrepreneurship hub startup focusing on IoT solutions. He has worked on numerous projects that utilize open source hardware and software in order to produce simple and inexpensive solutions to big world problems. Jonathan also works as a freelance photographer and graphic designer, and has been doing so for over five years now. Mostly known amongst his peers as a member of the Canadian University Software Engineering Conference (CUSEC) team, he is highly involved in his school surroundings. In his leisurely time, he enjoys the political implications aboard the Galactica, the mischievous plans of Frank Underwood, and watching white walkers meet their demise at the edge of a sharp valyrian steel blade.

Jim Fagan
Director Corporate Development, Squanto Inc

Jim has a proven track record in identifying new areas of opportunity, delivering solutions that address customer challenges and developing long-term relationships that are based on confidence and trust. Working internationally and across Canada, he brings over 15 years’ experience in business development and account management roles complementing a further 10 years’ experience in product management and manufacturing roles with companies such as Gandalf Technologies, NBTel/Aliant Telecom, Atreus Systems, Bell Canada, and Canadian Bank Note Company.

Dan Lesage
Head of Engineering, Squanto Inc.

Mr. Lesage has been successfully leading teams shipping enterprise software since 1991, positively impacting all aspects of the product life cycle for small and large solution providers. In addition to founding and bootstrapping his own enterprise solutions company (growing it tenfold within 3 years), Mr. Lesage has directed large multi-disciplinary development teams at Adobe and Oracle, significantly impacting their delivery cycle, efficiency and productivity.   He held critical roles in 4 prior startups, the most recent being Vice President Product Development for a mobile/cloud, real time, document collaboration provider.

Walter Knitl
Founder and Principal, Praxiem

Walter is a Product Manager with deep experience in all phases of the product lifecycle from concept, through definition and feasibility, development, general availability to end of life. His expertise includes market and competitive analysis, customer needs discovery, product requirements, business case development, product strategies and roadmaps, investment rationalization among other product success necessities.  This is augmented by roles in Account Management and Commercial Management.  His business acumen is supported by solid hands-on software and hardware development and systems engineering experience. Walter’s achievements range from introduction of market leading products at global telecom vendors, to assisting smaller Ontario companies to become more competitive through adoption of new technologies in their products.  Today he offers product consulting through Praxiem to help clients reduce their risk and time to deliver the right product and strengthen their return on investment. Walter’s special passion these days includes Internet of Things  @iotXottawa.

Rob Woodbridge
VP Marketing, Foko

For 16 years I've been immersed in the middle of the mobile revolution in roles ranging from strategic advisor, board member and coach to VP Operations and President & CEO. In each of the companies that I've been involved with, I've helped shape strategy, marketing initiatives and product development. My experience is as diverse as the mobile industry -- from a mobile game company targeting consumers to a mobile IT solution targeting enterprises to a video podcast focused on deciphering mobile thinking in business (found at of work, I write about the mobile industry (see, I speak at conferences and events, was named the Next Generation CEO for 2009 and am a Top 40 Under 40 recipient.

Justine Boudreau | Hardware/Maker Mentor
Makerspace officer/Makermobile instructor, University of Ottawa Makerspace/Makermobile

Justine Boudreau works at the UOttawa Makerspace where she is developing various programs to promote engineering and science with girls. She also works with the Makermobile to introduce 3D printing, laser cutting, robotics and programming to schools in the Ottawa region. Her hobbies include tinkering, robotics and crafting with pop tabs

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend uOttawa Edition 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.

Signature Sponsors




Organizing Team

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

  • Renee
  • Stephen
  • Nada
  • Mohamed Ashraf
  • Aqeela


Krissie Harrigan
Organizer, Operations Lead

Proud to be geeky. Unhealthy obsessions with the internet, data, marketing, and customer experience. Spent a decade working with enterprises like Google, American Express, and Chase Bank on demand gen and marketing campaigns, then took a leap of faith with an early stage tech startup (acquired in 2013) and have never looked back.

Currently Co-Founder of TenStartups - A community-based accelerator program (Alpha), and JustReply - A performance reporting platform that prompts employees to report things back by simply replying to an email. (Beta).

Passionate about helping startups and entrepreneurs with growth and marketing strategies and execution. Unofficial Startup Weekend, Ladies Learning Code, and Code for Kids ambassador.

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