Startup Weekend Etobicoke

    Friday, October 24 - 26, 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 Etobicoke

Friday, October 24 - 26, 2014

Friday, October 24 - 26, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Humber College Lakeshore Campus
3199 Lake Shore Boulevard West
L Building
Toronto , ON M8V 1K8

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No Talk, All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 hours.

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.

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!


Friday October 24th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 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

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top ideas

9:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas. Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

10:00 pm
Team check in and wrap up
You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday October 25th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
All teams briefing meeting

10:00 am
Scheduled mentor office hours begin
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

12:00 pm

1:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

5:00 pm

6:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday October 26th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
All Teams briefing meeting

10:00 am
Scheduled mentor office hours begin
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Start prepping for presentations

2:00 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, Judging, Awards

6:30 pm


Winner of Startup Weekend Peel, Digital Media Strategist for Bitmaker Labs and Girls Raising

A twenty something digital media strategist with a background in information systems, Ria has a love affair with social media. Her governing rule in life is to get sh*t done. Apart from being Involved in various community and grassroots movements such as Girls Raising and Pakathon, Ria is currently pursuing her Masters at University of Toronto and making magic happen at Bitmaker Labs in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Event Judges

Ben Zlotnick
Founder of INcubes Accelerator

Ben brings a wealth of brick & mortar business knowledge to an industry of over-inflated valuations. His grooming of execs & building of early-business infrastructure, results in success. With a Business Degree from York, Ben built one of Toronto’s most successful Landscape & Construction Companies. Having launched several startups, he’s made the prestigious Profit100 Guide for 5 consecutive years. Having been on “both sides of the table” as founder & as an accredited angel investor, Ben brings connections to both INvestors & Startups.

Kevin Smith
Chief Story Architect | Impact Assured Business Services

Kevin Smith is a Story Architect.  In his career in sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, and politics, Kevin has done over 10,000 pitches.  As the Chief Story Architect for, Kevin helps start-ups, small businesses, and social enterprises unleash their story to secure customers and investors, by helping them understand what their core customer story is and then helping them get their story to market.  His services include branding, messaging, marketing strategy, SEO, Content and Social Media marketing, presentation and pitch design, web design, lead generation, sales coaching and business development.  Kevin is also an educational workshop facilitator at MaRS, a volunteer advisor at the RIC Center, HumberLaunch, and UTM i-CUBE, as well as a frequent speaker at Small Business Enterprise Centers.  He previously worked at Dell for 14+ years in enterprise sales and marketing.

Ferhan Bulca
CEO, Acumyn Inc.

Ferhan’s purpose in life is to create products and services that make the world a better and healthier place to live in. Over the course of his 17-year career, he has gone through multiple cycles of company/line of business formation, strategic planning and execution, new business design and implementation, product and service development, go-to-market strategy and execution. He raised over $35MM and created multi-million dollar businesses from concept to market. Recently, he helped start Acumyn Inc. and took on the CEO role with a vision to make radiation therapy devices 100% safe for cancer patients. Ferhan is also passionate about nurturing the next generation of business innovators. He is the creator and the Lead Instructor for University of Toronto’s Business Innovation Certificate at its School of Continuing Studies.

Andrew White
President & COO, CHAR Technologies Inc.

Andrew is co-inventor of SulfaCHAR™ and co-founder of CHAR Technologies.   He co-invented SulfaCHAR, the technology, during graduate work in chemical engineering at the University of Toronto. He received the EnWave Scholarship in Chemical Engineering, awarded based on studies related to alternative energy technologies, in June 2008. He was also awarded the Mackay Hewer Memorial prize, for the highest standing in Fourth Year courses related to environment studies, in June 2008.   Andrew co-founded CHAR, the company, while completing a Master’s Degree in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) at the University of Waterloo, where his student team won the IBK Capital Ivey Business Plan Competition.   Andrew and SulfaCHAR™ won “Innovator Idol” in June 2012, a Dragon Den-inspired competition of entrepreneurs given before a 4-judge panel and a live audience, organized by the Research, Innovation, Commercialization Centre.

Coaches and Mentors

Elizabeth Fenuta
Hout Architecture Inc, Partner

Elizabeth received her Masters of Architecture and Honors Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the University of Waterloo. Studying architecture in Italy and working at various prestigious architecture and design firms in Toronto she provides a unique inter-disciplinary approach to spatial practice. Elizabeth is a professor of Architectural Technology at Humber College ITAL. Elizabeth has taught at the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, and Yorkville University. Elizabeth has a strong background in design communication, digital fabrication and technology.

Marvin Dolgay
Founder, Tambre Productions Inc.

After a successful early career of performing, writing and producing music, Marvin founded Tambre Productions Inc. in 1984. He built Tambre up from a start-up in his apartment living room to a full service music, audio and voice casting production facility housing creative, production, technical and support staff. Tambre’s facility also included 3 recording studios. While maintaining his duties as President of Tambre Productions Marvin never lost sight of his value as a composer, creator and producer and has been awarded with numerous international and national awards for his work in film, television as well as advertising. Marvin currently serves as President of The Screen Composers Guild of Canada and as Co-Chair of the Canadian Creators Coalition.

Jacqueline Spicer
President and Creative Director, INK TANK® Design and Communications

Designer, writer,strategist and branding specialist. Jacqueline is a certified creative with a finely tuned strategic compass. She heads Ink Tank, an award-winning boutique design and communications firm in Toronto. !nk Tank® is a dynamic group of strategists, designers, writers and communication specialists. An outstanding design firm, and so much more – we’re a true ‘think tank’ of creativity driven by solid marketing and communications expertise. Since 1984, we have provided fully integrated creative, marketing, public relations and event management services to clients in Canada and the US. Jacqueline and her team have a reputation for high quality strategically-focused communications with a creative flair. They are the faces behind the development of many well-known brands.

Mark Stoiko
Humber College, Professor in Business School

Mark Stoiko is a partial-load Professor in the Business School, Humber College. He is an expert in business planning, general management, marketing and high-level conceptual selling. He possesses a diversified background in the financial services, marketing, advertising and marketing research industries having operated his own advertising agency and marketing research firms. For several years Mark was a member of Maple Leaf Angels in Toronto, and mentored several entrepreneurs in early stage companies.

Julie Murphy
Managing Partner, CLUES

Julie is the CEO of CLUES, an enterprise that has developed an online tool designed to mine individual and group strengths. CLUES provides simple tactics and strategies to  leverage  this information to improve organizational and family effectiveness on a range of dimensions. Julie brings over 20 years of experience in marketing and customer relationship management roles in the telecommunications, entertainment, business to business publishing and retail industries:  Rogers Communications, Harlequin Books, Blockbuster and Canada’s Wonderland.  Her particular expertise was in customer profiling and optimizing customer value through behavioural analysis, database marketing and the development of innovative customer loyalty programs for tier one companies.  

Lyndon Johnson

Lyndon is a recovering broadcaster turned communications specialist with a passion for helping entrepreneurs build relationships with the people that will grow their businesses. After 15 years working for other people Lyndon decided to start his own company that makes getting public relations, marketing and publicity advice affordable, accountable and effective for early-stage and small businesses.

Hadi Aladdin
Co-founder and CEO, CoursePeer Inc.

Hadi is a visionary entrepreneur, author, speaker and start-up mentor. He​ is the founder, executive director and founding partner of various VC or Angel-backed ventures in North America and the Middle East, including: CoursePeer Inc. (, Kula Technologies Inc. (, SmartAd Inc. (​, Lifestyle Wellness International (​), Organic 2.0 and others, spanning the fields of education technology, food ordering technology, out-of-home digital advertising, wellness & fitness, cleantech and agriculture. He has worked with investors, senior corporate executives and government officials around the globe, advised and mentored dozens of startups, and is a strong advocate of Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dalia Asterbadi
Founder and CEO, realSociable

Dalia Asterbadi is a relentless problem solver. She has not been short of experience and achievement and began to prove her merit as early as when she was 8 years old, when she submitted her first marketing plan. She managed a non--profit event at 12, led a team of marketers in one of Canada’s best managed companies at 24 and was a Director at a Publicly traded company at 25. Today, Dalia is working on a new company, realSociable, focused on social insight for deeper engagement with customers. She calls this new value--driven approach the next phase of sales and marketing automation – Perpetual Prospecting. She is helping companies achieve greater sales capacity, without process.

Andrew Yoshioka
President, Sanbonki Inc.

Andrew Yoshioka is the President (Owner) of Sanbonki Inc., a Mississauga management consulting startup which he founded.  He brings the insight of 29 years of broad-based life sciences industry and consulting experience. Consulting assignments are focused on positioning companies for investment, partnerships and value growth.  He has positioned the business cases for $8.85 million dollars of development projects for government grants. Over two years at Peel RIC Centre as a volunteer mentor he provided venture development guidance to dozens of life sciences, clean tech, wearable  and healthcare IT startup companies.  He has mentored at several Startup Weekends and other competitions.

Jeremy O'Krafka
Founder, MENTORnetwork

Jeremy is committed to building community and connection for entrepreneurs.

He experienced Startup Weekend as a participant in 2012 - and has helped to organize 6 more since then.

Jeremy is the Founder of MENTORnetwork,a business committed to building a culture of mentorship. MENTORnetwork works with small business centres, on-campus incubators and regional innovation centres who are developing networks of volunteer mentors to support entrepreneurs in their communities.  He also works on the Venture Growth team for ventureLAB (a Regional Innovation Centre north of Toronto). There, his team supports Scale-up companies in acquiring customers, capital and talent.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Etobicoke 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.



Community Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Cheryl
  • Laura
  • Laura
  • Sarah
  • Marisa
  • Bram
  • Ruth-Ann


Roger Osorio
Entrepreneurship Program Leader @ IBM

Entrepreneurship program leader at IBM by day, math coach by night, and Startup Weekend global facilitator by weekend.  I deliver a powerful cocktail made up of education, psychology, neuroscience, leadership, and entrepreneurship.  I facilitate events to maximize the experience and learning for all participants.

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