Startup Weekend Truro

    Friday, January 16 - 18, 2015

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

Friday, January 16 - 18, 2015

Friday, January 16 - 18, 2015
Event starts at 4:30 pm

McRae Library, Main floor, Agricultural Campus, Dalhousie University
135 College Road
Truro, NS B2N 5E3

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No Talk, All Action. Launch A Startup in 54 Hours!

Startup Weekend are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups!
To start off the new year right, we are offering $13,000 in prizes!
Prizes Breakdown:

1st Prize: $6,500
2nd Prize: $3,900
3rd Prize: $2,600

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday January 16th

4:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

5:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

6:50 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

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

7:15 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 January 17th

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

9:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday January 18th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Call for help
This is self motivated so don't be shy!

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

12:00 pm

1:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

2:00 pm
Final Presentations

2:30 pm
Judging & Awards

3:00 pm
Wrap-Up & Go Home!

Event Judges

Tom Stanfield

Tom Stanfield is the President and Chairman of Stanfield Limited.  He is the past National Director of the Canadian’ Manufacturers’ Association and Past Chairman of Nova Scotia/Newfoundland Division & Nova Scotia Branch. Tom Stanfield was also the past Director of the Atlantic Provinces Transportation Commission and the past Director of the National Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Gayle Macdonald

Gayle is the Branch manager at TD in Truro ,just recently re-locating from New Glasgow, very excited to be working in this market.

Gayle joined TD in 1994,working her entire career in retail banking ,all in Eastern Nova Scotia. Gayle understood very early in life the meaning of “Entrepreneur", being raised in a family business in the small community of Baddeck.

Duane Rath

Duane Rath is President of Blaikies Dodge Chrysler Limited and President of Nova Scotia Auto Dealers Association. He has also the former President of Atlantic Dodge and the Former President of Truro and District Chamber of Commerce. Duane was the former treasurer of the Colchester Regional Hospital Foundation. And he has coached and managed minor hockey teams. Duane is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University. 

David Upton
Co-founder of Common Good Solutions Inc.

David has been using entrepreneurship as a tool for change for over 30 years. He has worked with Aboriginal groups in Canada’s North, youth and business development organizations, and all levels of government to develop sustainable entrepreneurial projects in recreation, the arts, environment and business sectors. David has a special passion for working with young entrepreneurs. As a key member of the Students in Business program, creator of the Innovative Ideas Competition and co-creator of the Youth Social Enterprise Boot Camp, he has worked with hundreds of post-secondary students throughout Nova Scotia to develop student-led enterprise and social enterprise projects. David is an active volunteer, having been a member of the Social Economy and Sustainability Research Network Subnode, which focused on food security in the Atlantic Provinces. He is the founding and current president of the Atlantic Council for Community and Social Enterprise, and sits on a number of provincial and national committees to further develop the policy environment for investment and capacity growth in the sector. He is a regular panelist and presenter at conferences and symposia on entrepreneurship and community development in Atlantic Canada. David can be reached directly at or 902.790.2600.

Dr.David Gray

David graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from UCNW Bangor in 1993 and immediately jumped on a plane to South Africa where he spent the next 4 years completing his PhD in Zoology at Rhodes University.  Upon completion of his PhD David then took up the post of lecturer in Marine Biology at The University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and then returned to a lectureship at Rhodes University in 1998. In 2004 David moved to become Principal and Dean of The University of Derby Faculty based at The Devonshire Campus in Buxton and was awarded a personal Professorial chair in 2007. As Dean of Faculty David was responsible for 7,000 students, 300 staff and oversaw a budget of £17.5 Million.

In 2008 David took up the post of Director of The NAFC Marine Centre based in The Shetland Islands, a founding academic partner of The University of The Highlands & Islands Millennium Institute.

David was recently conferred the title of Visiting Professor from the University of The Highlands and Islands and will maintain his British Professorial Chair

Coaches and Mentors

Adam Hayden

Adam Hayden joined the TD Bank Financial Group as the Small Business Advisor for the Truro region in November 2014.  He has been working in the Financial Service Industry since 2002. For the last number of years has worked as a Commercial Account Manager including spending time in central New Brunswick, which was a strong agricultural and farming community.     He has also been a branch manager in which he successfully lead a team of 20 employees.  He also successfully opened a brand new branch in Fredericton NB.     Adam spent more than 15 years as a reserve officer in the Canadian Forces working with the Canadian Cadet Organization.  He held various leadership positions including the Area Cadet Advisor for NB and PEI in which he provided logistical and training support for the cadet units in both provinces.     Adam is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Business Administration.   As an avid sailor, in his spare Adam can be found exploring the coast of NS in his sailboat with his two children Emily and Zachary. 

Yvonne Thyssen-Post

Yvonne is a Professional Agrologist with over 30 years’ experience serving the agricultural industry of Atlantic Canada.  She is the owner of Thyagrissen Consulting Limited which she formed in 1998 after having worked with the Provincial government as an extension agent (Agricultural Representative) for 14 years.    As a business consultant, she helps business owners make more money by improving their understanding of business management principles, in particular the financial aspects, and by developing future plans for prosperity and succession.   She has worked with over 300 farm families and 30+ organizations in Atlantic Canada helping them improve their business operations. 

Dr.Chibuike C. Udenigwe

Dr. Udenigwe's research focuses on understanding the chemical structures and biological functions of food proteins and peptides in relation to their roles in human health promotion. His research group also studies delivery agents for bioactive molecules and food structure modification induced by food processing. The goal of his research is to discover safe
food-based strategies for preventing and managing chronic disease risk factors particularly metabolic syndrome. He teaches graduate and undergraduate students at Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture in the areas of analytical chemistry, food chemistry, molecular nutrition, biochemistry and communication. Dr. Udenigwe obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Nigeria, M.Sc. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Food and Nutritional Sciences both from the University of Manitoba. He was NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph prior to moving to Nova Scotia in 2012. Dr. Udenigwe is a storyteller with passion for sharing his Igbo cultural heritage in Canada. He is also interested in global food security and
entrepreneurship within the academic community.

Brennan Gillis

  Brennan Gillis is the Director of Business Development for Mitacs in Nova Scotia.  Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that funds research collaborations between industry and academia. Brennan completed his Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University in 2001 and received his MBA in 2011.  Brennan spent nine years working for Nova Scotia’s 13 Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) and he now volunteers as a Director with CBDC NOBL, providing start-up/expansion loans and support to SMEs in Colchester, Pictou and Antigonish counties. Brennan also offers experience in the solid waste and recycling sector. While working with RRFB Nova Scotia as a Business Development Officer, he was responsible for Research & Development, Value-Added Manufacturing and Student Research Grant programs.

Toby Davis

Having over 20 years’ of progressive experience working as a business analyst, IT professional and business coach, Toby has achieved the necessary skills and experience to support, encourage, and assist economic development in Colchester County.   As a Business Analyst with CBDC (NOBL) in Truro, Toby assists small business development as a method of creating local employment opportunities. She also administers funding received from government and private sources in order to provide direct financial assistance to selected local business projects. She volunteers as a citizen representative for the newly formed Colchester Business and Economic Development Advisory Committee.   To round out her professional knowledge she is nearing the completion of her Executive MBA at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. She is passionate about the development and success of this vibrant Colchester County that she calls home.  

Jaclyn Biggs

Jaclyn has recently been hired by the Department of Agriculture to administer the Think FARM program. She has experience/interest in financial and economic analysis, business planning and livestock production. 

Claire Hanlon

Claire has been with the Department of Agriculture for 26 years and has an interest/experience in marketing, direct marketing, organic, agri-tourism and business planning.

Melissa Quinn

Melissa is the Coordinator for Industry Development and Competitive Transition for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. She has experience in product development, entrepreneurship, agri-food processing and regulations. Melissa is also a certified business counsellor.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Mary
  • Ed
  • Akram
    Al Otumi
  • Kathleen
  • Thomas


Mary Kilfoil
Academic Lead, Launch Dal Programming

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