Startup Weekend PEI

    Friday, November 18 - 20, 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 PEI

Friday, November 18 - 20, 2016

Friday, November 18 - 20, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Startup Zone
31 Queen Street
Charlottetown, PE

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Learn, Network, Eat at Startup Weekend PEI

Startup Weekend PEI is all about learning about entrepreneurship through launching a business in just 54 hours. Participants pitch ideas, form teams, and receive wisdom from 20 smart and talented community members on how to build a business. The weekend ends with teams pitching their business to a panel of judges for the chance to win over $3000 worth of prizes. In addition, you are fed the whole weekend! It's an amazing event to learn, network and be inspired.

This year we're going "edition-less" and inviting all industries to join in on the action. Maybe you have an idea that's just sitting on the shelf waiting to be worked on. Maybe you've always liked the idea of working for yourself and want to see what it's like to start a company. Whatever the case, expect to put your skills to work and forge strong relationships with other like-minded people interested in entrepreneurship and growing in our community. 

Startup Weekenders don’t just learn about entrepreneurship. They spend 54 dynamic and motivating hours building scalable companies that solve real world problems. 
And did we mention that registration includes 7 delicious meals featuring Prince Edward Island products?

No talk. All action.


Friday November 18th

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

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

7:15 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 19th

8:30 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!

5:30 pm
Keynote speaker Mitch Cobb, basics of pitching

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 20th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

11:30 am
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

2:30 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm

5:45 pm
Judging & Awards

6:30 pm

7:00 pm
After party at Upstreet


Mitch Cobb
Co-Founder & CEO

Mitch Cobb is the co-founder and CEO of Upstreet Craft Brewing. Upstreet has become one of the fastest growing breweries in Atlantic Canada and was recently awarded the Startup Canada Regional Award for Social Enterprise. Mitch was bit by the entrepreneurship bug back in 2007, and tried to start two businesses. They both failed. So he moved on and did his MBA at UPEI and began teaching marketing and entrepreneurship at Holland College. The bug struck again in 2014 when he quite his job to start Upstreet Craft Brewing. He's confident that this one isn't going to fail.

Event Judges

Martina MacDonald
Executive Director of Active Communities Inc. and the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC)

Martina was raised in Cardigan in a very entrepreneurial family of ten. Her father started the Cardigan Feed Service and the business is still running today.Martina is an entrepreneur like her father and started her own business Second Glance Interiors twenty two years ago.After twenty two years in Management of seven retail outlets she moved on and accepted the position of Executive Director of Active Communities Inc. and the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC).  The CBDC has offices in the Rural Action Centres in Montague and Souris.She has a passion and drive to grow the economy in Kings County through rural development. She works with entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses, those who are wishing to expand their business, helps client’s access training opportunities to develop business skills and offers business counselling.

Kent Thompson
Director of Finance and Food Tourism

Kent Thompson is the Director of Finance and Food Tourism at Food Island Partnership. He has worked with entrepreneurs or been an entrepreneur for most of his life, including growing up on a dairy farm, operating the Blue Mussel Café with his family, and, recently, leading the launch of Lucky Fox Snack Co. He also worked with the Department of Agriculture as Product Development Officer, was the Chief Operating Officer at PEI 2014 Inc. and worked as a consultant to new and expanding businesses in PEI. Kent graduated from St. FX University with a BBA majoring in Enterprise Development and received an accounting designation through the MBA-CMA program from St. Mary’s University.

Chelsey Rogerson

Chelsey Rogerson is a social media strategist, political aficionado, and communications enthusiast. She has years of experience as a political staffer and is currently the Executive Assistant to Member of Parliament, Sean Casey. Prior to this, she served as the membership and marketing manager with the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time, Chelsey is a freelance communications consultant, working with various start-ups, non-profits and corporations to build their online brand. She is an active community volunteer, serving on the Board of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown and Pride PEI. She also serves on the steering committee for the PEI Coalition for Women in Government and is a certified SMART recovery facilitator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies and political studies from UPEI as well as a diploma in public relations from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Jarrod Wiener
President, Havoc Motorcycles

Dr. Jarrod Wiener, BA, MA, LLM, PhD is the Vice-Chancellor and President of Mentis Academy.  He is an academic and an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience developing successful enterprises for himself and his clients.  He began his career as a professor in international political economy at the University of Kent at Canterbury, England where he taught for over a decade, and published numerous books and articles in the field of international commerce, globalization, and international commercial law and regulation.  While at Kent, he became Dean of Faculty and launched the world-renowned Brussels School of International Studies, the first foreign branch campus of a public United Kingdom University on the continent of Europe.  Drawing on his international experience, in 2007 Dr Wiener established the consulting firm, MXG International, that has led engagements for universities and private clients on three continents.   He is currently developing HAVOC Motorcycles, a start-up production motorcycle company that launched  in October 2015 that features a Special Mike Tyson Edition.

Coaches and Mentors

Mikey Wasnidge
Special Events & Marketing Manager

Over the years, Michael has constantly strived to add new skills to his repertoire, be it photography, graphic design, public relations, community outreach, or videography. He began his career in marketing with the Vancouver based company, UsedEverywhere where he helped to double the user base of regional sites, and He later helped to launch popular gift site, into Halifax and Saint John, before moving on to Junior Achievement to manage the non-profit's community engagement. Michael unique voice, creativity, and broad skill set has helped him to create content that resonates with communities here on PEI and throughout the Maritime provinces. 

John Sewuster
Business Consultant

Having worked for Pillsbury, Diageao, Parmalat Canada and Acadian Seaplants, John has over 25 years of domestic and international sales, marketing and business development experience. He’s had direct brand and product line responsibilities, extensive experience developing and bringing products to market, as well as identifying and establishing the distribution structure and relationships into which they are sold. In recent years, through his own business development consulting company, Waypoint Business Solutions, John’s focused has shifted to helping small & medium sized Maritime companies bring their products or services to market. Working closely with a firm, he provides support in strategy development, business, marketing & sales planning, market and channel identification and establishment, and when requested, domestic and international sales & customer management

Mitch Cobb
Co-Founder & CEO

Mitch Cobb is the co-founder and CEO of Upstreet Craft Brewing. Upstreet has become one of the fastest growing breweries in Atlantic Canada and was recently awarded the Startup Canada Regional Award for Social Enterprise. Mitch was bit by the entrepreneurship bug back in 2007, and tried to start two businesses. They both failed. So he moved on and did his MBA at UPEI and began teaching marketing and entrepreneurship at Holland College. The bug struck again in 2014 when he quite his job to start Upstreet Craft Brewing. He's confident that this one isn't going to fail.

Mike (Hogie) Hogan
Co-Founder and Beer Engineer

Mike (Hogie) is a Co-Founder and Beer Engineer with Upstreet Craft Brewing. He measures what goes in but tastes what comes out. He has a Computer Engineering degree from Dalhousie University and an Audio Engineering diploma. In the past, he has worked in veterinary medical records and telemedicine, offshore weather forecasting, and television post-production. A mad scientist thru and thru.

Phil MacNevin
Founder/CEO at Lift Media

LiftMedia grew out of the breadth of Phil’s experience in 2014. He has over 16 years of combined experience in design, digital marketing, entrepreneurship training and leadership. He has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs how to create products that people want to buy, how to grow their businesses to 6 figures and beyond, and how to create lifestyles that they truly enjoy. After this coaching experience, he started building a clientele of other successful digital marketers who want to take their businesses to the next level. The result was so astounding that Phil had to build a team to help him deliver excellence and results to the clients who were coming to him for help.

Chris VanHorne
President and Founder

Chris VanHorn is the president and founder of Airbly, Inc which creates flight data recorders to facilitate small aircraft management.  He moved to PEI from upstate New York in 2012 and has a BS in Computer Science from Rutgers University with over 15 years of experience in several technology fields such as application development, server management and virtualization, network communications, circuit board design and prototyping.  He also holds a private pilots license and co-owns a small aircraft at the Charlottetown airport.  When he is not flying around or developing software, Chris is spends his leisure time with his wife Kristen, two dogs and three cats.

Phil Ferraro

Phil Ferraro and his wife, Nancy Willis, founded  The Institute for
Bioregional Studies Ltd. with the mission to help, ‘Restore Community,
Protect the Land and Inform the Earth’s Stewards.” Phil is also a
founding  member of the Atlantic Canada Organic Regional Network. He is
a board of director for the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and
Gifts from the Heart Inc. and is also an advisor to the Centre for Local

Phil’s masters degree, in Social Ecology, included a thesis on creating
food and energy self-reliance in northern climates with studies in
renewable energy, organic agriculture, community development and social

In 2014, Phil helped create the PEI Farm Centre’s, ‘ Legacy Garden;’ 
Canada’s largest urban farm. The Legacy Garden operates as a social
enterprise with over 150 community garden allotments,  several theme
gardens and a ‘Goodwill Garden;’ from which food is donated to charities
in an effort to help alleviate food insecurity.

Over the past 2 decades, Ferraro has also become an accredited Corporate
Social Responsibility
(CSR ) practitioner. He remains busy helping entrepreneurs turn their
business ideas into commercial realities that address the climate crisis
with social, economic and environmental solutions.

Jordan Patterson
Co-founder, CTO at

Jordan is the Co-founder and CTO of, a content management system powering the next generation of the web. He has over 10 years of software development experience working at startups and consulting companies. He has built numerous web and mobile applications including Maritime Rideshare, YouMeal, Foursum Golf, and Jordan is a Techstars NYC alumnus. Techstars is one of the top startup accelerators in the world and has helped over 800 companies from around the world accelerate their business and raise capital. 

Andrew Carrothers
Associate Professor of Finance

Dr. Andrew Carrothers is an Associate Professor of Finance at UPEI's Faculty of Business. He teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the areas of corporate, international, personal, and entrepreneurial finance. He holds a PhD in Finance from McMaster University. His primary research interest is corporate governance, with a particular focus on hedge fund activism and executive compensation. He is also active with research on financial literacy.

Prior to joining UPEI, Andrew gained extensive work experience as a senior manager at an S&P 500 company. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder and is a member of Professional Engineers Ontario.

Hannah Bell
Executive Director PEI Business Women's Association

Hannah holds an MBA in Innovative Management from UPEI, and has 30 years of varied experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in the UK, Brussels, and Canada. She is currently the Executive Director of the PEI Business Women's Association, owner of consultancy firm ‘The Solution Agency’; a partner in training firm ‘Business Learning Solutions’, and co-owner of ‘The SPOT Charlottetown’, a creative co-workspace and business incubator. Hannah is an active volunteer within the arts and business community, is the Chair of the Board for Ars Longa (The Guild) in Charlottetown, and community lead for Startup Charlottetown, part of the Startup Canada entrepreneurs network.  Her work focuses on building capacity and influencing change through the power of story telling, practical training and skills development, strategic planning and sustainable project design. Recent projects include the HIVE Business of Art Bootcamp for entrepreneurs in the arts and cultural sector; Young Millionaires Program for kids ages 8-16 who want to start a business; and the PEI Business Women’s Association ‘Telling our Stories’ Campaign, mentoring program, and micro-grants for small businesses.

Paul Lypaczewski
Mentor and Angel Investor

Paul Lypaczewski is an IT and graphics industry veteran and is currently one of the Partners at Island Capital Partners, an early stage venture funds focused on high growth potential startup companies. He has managed a broad range of companies over the course of his career, from web and media startups to Fortune 100 companies. Having been on the executive management of firms such as Alias/SGI, Autodesk/Discreet, ATI/AMD and Avid, Paul has been a leader at the major companies in the software and hardware graphics industry, focusing on the team, culture and execution necessary to achieve success. He has received a number of awards and recognitions for his efforts, including being the first Canadian to receive the NASA Space Act Award and also devotes his time to charitable organizations. 

Ginny McGowan

A resident of Charlottetown, PEI, Virginia (Ginny) McGowan completed her doctoral degree in anthropology at the University of Toronto in 1989. Since then, she worked in a variety of government research and university settings to conduct applied research across Canada and in Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean. Her work has earned her national awards, been published in scholarly journals, and featured in national and international symposia and conferences. She is also the author of numerous reports and policy documents, as well as A Metaphoric Mind: Selected Writings of Joseph Couture (co-edited with Ruth Couture; Athabasca University Press, 2013). With her husband Richard Forsyth, Virginia now operates a consulting business (McGowan & Co.: The Write Edit Group; to provide professional research, writing, and editing services for B2B content marketing as well as for scholars, research groups, and other authors of non-fiction. She is also a partner in Business Learning Solutions to provide business planning and communication training to small business owners.

Amber Jadis
Owner, Bricks 4 Kidz PEI

Amber Jadis is an Electrical Engineer with 10+ years experience designing electrical systems for buildings. After earning her Masters in Business, she started coSolved Consulting and then in 2013 she also started Bricks 4 Kidz and Bricks 4 Biz on PEI.

Melody Dover
President and Creative Director of Fresh Media

Melody Dover is the President and Creative Director of Fresh Media, a creative agency based in Charlottetown. Launched in 2003, Fresh Media continues to offer their best creative energy to produce strategic ideas that inspire change, growth and results.   In 2005, Melody was awarded the PEI BDC Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and was also nominated for two Canadian New Media awards in 2006. Also that year, Fresh Media was awarded the inaugural Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce Emerging Business Award of Excellence.   In 2009, Melody was nominated for the Canadian Profit 100 Top Female Entrepreneurs, and in 2010 Fresh Media won the Growing Business Award from the Prince Edward Island Business Women’s Association.   Fresh Media won the Best Social Media Campaign at the Atlantic Interactive Marketing Conference in 2012, and were finalists for Best Campaign in Atlantic Canada at the Design Edge Magazine Awards 2012.   In 2014, Fresh Media was selected as the National Winner for Best Integrated Campaign for the PEI Burger Love campaign from the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.

John Kimmel
Managing Director of RevIQ

John Kimmel is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Charlottetown-based RevIQ, a technology company working in Business Intelligence and Big Data for mobile games, apps, and services with “live revenue exploitation” models. Working with developers, gaming studios, and publishers to boost revenue and engagement while minimizing ongoing production costs, RevIQ’s analysts, producers, and experienced pros use data-driven decision-making to maximize product revenue.   John’s own experience in Video Game, Film, Television, and New Media production supports his single-minded focus on client success at RevIQ, leveraging his training in production management, financial analysis, and economics. With more than 15 years’ experience in software development, systems, and operations management, John brings a zeal for coordinated, process-driven development all with the implicit understanding that timely, bottom-line results are king.   Prior RevIQ’s establishment on PEI in 2015, John was VP Operations for Moncton’s Gogii Games, an independent game studio known for its hit games worldwide. At Gogii John worked to optimize internal game production processes, increase core financial efficiencies, embrace the new industry realities borne by the Free-to-Play gaming revolution, skills that drive ongoing success for RevIQ’s teams and clients.

Kim Roach

Kim Roach Design is a stationery and illustration company.  We started out creating custom wedding invitations but evolved into a wider audience by creating hand-lettered greeting cards and prints for your home and life celebrations.  We've be in business for around five years but the past three have really taken off.  My work is focused on spreading positive messages and encouraging others.  I have a shop on Etsy, and you can usually find me at pop ups and markets!

This past summer, I co-created a brick and mortar store called the Makers located in North Rustico, PEI.  Our boutique features a store full of local (maritime) artisans our first year was very successful, and we are already at work getting ready for our 2nd season.  

Mary Whitrow
Case Competition Program Coordinator and Instructor

Mary Whitrow is the Case Competition Program Coordinator and Instructor at the University of Prince Edward Island School of Business. She trains undergraduate students to compete at business case competitions (essentially business consulting competitions) and has coached numerous student teams who have achieved podium finishes internationally. She has a broad range of theoretical knowledge in the areas of business strategy, marketing, ethics, and human resources. Part of her role as instructor is to teach students how to think critically, problem solve, engage in creative yet practical idea generation, and communicate effectively in oral presentation and in writing. In addition to her case work at UPEI, Mary is the Editor of the UPEI School of Business Magazine. Before starting her work at UPEI, she was a Marketing Specialist at one of Progress Magazine’s TOP 101 Companies in Atlantic Canada.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend PEI 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.

Venue Sponsor




Contributing Sponsor

Prize Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

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