Techstars Startup Weekend Vancouver 2017

    Friday, November 24 - 26, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Vancouver, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Techstars Startup Weekend Vancouver 2017

Friday, November 24 - 26, 2017

Friday, November 24 - 26, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Launch Academy

Vancouver, BC

Buy Tickets

Startup Weekend Vancouver 2017

What’s Startup Weekend All About?

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.

Events are 54-hour long events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts alike come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!

Startup Weekends are where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

We begin with open mic pitches on Friday where attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practising LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening, teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

More information to come soon! In the meantime, if you have any questions about Startup Weekend Vancouver, tweet us @VanStartup or shoot us a message on Facebook!

Don't forget to signup for our newsletter! We'll send you updates straight to your inbox!

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 24th

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 November 25th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive in the morning for one-on-one. Ask questions!

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 November 26th

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!

Event Judges

Brenda Irwin
Managing Partner of Relentless Pursuit Partners

Brenda is a former life science venture capitalist for Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). While at BDC she had personal responsibility for management of a $100 million healthcare portfolio including private to publicly listed organizations.
Brenda is a seasoned Board Director having been a director for 15 for profit and not for profit organizations. 

Most recently Brenda has joined Creative Destruction Lab’s new BioMedTech cohort as an Associate. The BioMedTech stream focuses on the convergence of technologies tackling human health as well as environmental and agricultural challenges. 

Meredith Powell
Co-Founder, The Next Big Thing Foundation

An award-winning serial entrepreneur and strategic growth advisor, Meredith Powell is a creative visionary committed to championing innovation and diversity in tech and venture capital.Starting in her 20s, she built - and scaled globally - three companies in the fashion industry generating over $45m in sales, launched the world’s largest B2B marketplace (, acquired by UBM), and created a national non-profit to benefit young entrepreneurs with co-founder Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite. Currently, Meredith is an active consultant through her firm, Powell&Company, including thisopenspace, ATB Financial, and artificial intelligence fintech startup Finn.AI.

Bernd Petak
Investment Partner & Co-Founder, Northmark Ventures

Bernd Petak is a Canadian technologist and speaker. Bernd is a former engineer, ex-consulting partner with Deloitte, and multi-time startup founder. He is currently Investment Partner and co-founder at Northmark Ventures, a high value-added venture capital firm operating throughout the Americas. He advises Blockchain Intelligence Group, CGBlockchain and Wealthbar, as well as acting as board chair for Beanworks and corporate director for ScreenScape Networks. 

Humaira Hamid
Business Development Manager, BC & Yukon, Futurpreneur

Humaira Hamid is the Business Development Manager for British Columbia at Futurpreneur Canada, the only national non-profit organization that champions start-up entrepreneurs with a powerful mix of money, mentorship, and start-up resources. Since 1996, Futurpreneur has helped youth launch over 1,297 new businesses in British Columbia, which have created over 6,200 new jobs and an estimated $38.9M in tax revenue.
In the past four years alone, Humaira and her team have helped more than 500 young start-ups and small businesses in British Columbia move from idea to successful launch and early stage growth. 
Humaira co-created what is now Futurpreneur BC’s first provincial-government supported, province-wide early-stage education program, free to access for aspiring and newly-launched entrepreneurs: Rock My Business Plan. She also led Western Canada in Futurpreneur’s innovative pilot program, the first of its kind supporting Side Hustle businesses.

chris Miller
CEO, Invoke

Chris is the CEO of Invoke, a digital product design and development company and creator of Hootsuite and Foodee. At the helm of Invoke, Chris helps evolve Invoke’s future along with their clients’ business. Chris’ experience spans nearly 20 years with multiple companies leading planning and strategy, design and development of products and platforms from mobile, to web, to apps, and driving the growth of products and companies.

Coaches and Mentors

Andrew Barnes
Chief Operating Officer, Preview Careers

Andrew has a passion for working with impact driven projects. After working as a Senior Director at Electronic Arts for 14 years, Andrew co-founded Preview Careers - a service helping students prepare for employment, and connecting employers to improve their campus branding and find them the best young talent. Andrew works with a number of startups and organizations in Vancouver and beyond as an mentor, adviser, and investor, and has recently launched Coho Provisions, and Angel Investment Fund in Vancouver helping to support emerging food and beverage based companies.

Colin Weston
Co-founder and Partner, REVIVER Sport Entertainment

Colin has participated and mentored in previous Startup Weekend events, most recently as a customer discovery, Visual Storytelling and Presentation Deck mentor at Startup Weekend UBC.
He has been involved with Startup Canada at the national level for several years and in mid 2017 he co-founded the launch of Startup Vancouver . His motivation stemmed from his desire to give back to the local startup community by providing the resources and support that he wished were available when starting his entrepreneurial journey back in 2011.
Colin is a Vancouver entrepreneur and co-founder of REVIVER Sport Entertainment, where they create sport innovation experiences such as CitySurf Vancouver and RippedLinks, He is also the host and creator of The ModGolf Podcast. His previous endeavours include architecture, 3D visualization and event experience design.

During his spare time, he enjoys single malt scotch, hot yoga, snowboarding, surfing and the occasional mediocre round of golf. But not all at the same time.  

Arvand Alviri
UX/UI Design Consultant UX/UI Design Consultant, Cakewalk Labs

Arvand has been involved in shaping web and mobile applications as a UX/UI Designer, Product Manager and co-founder. He spent nearly a year traveling abroad, while working remotely as a UX/UI designer for Microsoft. He's also worked on applications for Deloitte Pixel, a startup that was acquired by Amazon, a Y Combinator startup post-acquisition by an NYSE listed company, and more. He's recently relocated back to Vancouver and is currently doing UX/UI Design Consulting for various clients.

Sean Sherwood
Serial Entrepreneur & Startup Coach

After bootstrapping a tiny Kitsilano winebar into a 7 venue empire in under 4 years, Sean recognized his itch for the entrepreneurial journey.   Winner of Conde Naste Traveller’s coveted ‘Top 50 New Restaurants in the World’ along with numerous local accolades cemented the company as a leader, but success in hospitality couldn’t scratch the itch, so he sold his companies after a 9 year run to pursue tech and design.  
While founding Nickler and Fourmojo, Sean’s work mentoring other small businesses and startups coalesced into, coaching for entrepreneurs.  Since then he has worked with over a hundred entrepreneurs, startups, non-profits, franchises and small businesses.
Sean is also the founder at Valkyrie Woodwork & Design Group, a boutique architectural millwork shop that produces custom furniture and woodwork for the luxury homes market.
Sean is a volunteer mentor with Futurepreneur and Junior Achievement BC.  

Bradley Bruce
Business Coach, Vancouver Business Coaching

Brad has coached & mentored over 150 people in 15 years and helped launch 5 multi-million dollar Startup companies.
Bradley Bruce has been involved in business leadership for over 15 years of his career. He has won awards and many accolades over the years through sales and marketing channels. Creating one of the best consulting companies on the West Coast.
Bradley has started, grown, and managed many companies to achieve great success. He has been involved in launching over 5 start-up companies. He also was a business consultant, trainer and coach for one of China’s fastest growing startup travel companies, growing that company 400% to $60,000,000.00 in revenue.
Bradley’s core beliefs are to always give back to his community and volunteers his time and profits to charity. Creating Conscious companies is his passion.

Ludovica Mazzucato
CEO, Sidebuy Solutions Inc

Ludovica is the CEO at Sidebuy Solutions Inc, a forerunner influencer marketing tech startup, based in Vancouver. Ludovica Mazzucato has a decade of experience in brand and marketing leadership gained through managing and founding companies in 6 countries across the globe, in both established and up-and-coming markets. Fascinated by the Whys and an entrepreneur at heart, Ludovica registered her first patent at the age of 16. After completing her MBA in Europe, she started her career with a global corporation, responsible for product management in over 35 international regions. She later founded a startup incubator targeting entrepreneurship in the creative industry, produced international media festivals, and coordinated and designed award-winning brand strategies.  She is also a Mentor, Speaker, Contributing Editor, Instructor and Ambassador for a number of organizations including Women’s Enterprise Centre, Women In Leadership Foundation, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, Women In Capital Markets, InterNations, Open Source Circular Economy Days, Startup604, and Women in Tech World.

Paul Davidescu
Co-founder and CEO

Paul is the principal at Tangoo, a food & beverage marketing company focused on helping restaurants and brands leverage online communities to build their businesses through social media and digital strategies. Tangoo has worked with over 225 clients and has been featured in over 40 national media publications including their debut on CBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2014.
Alongside Tangoo, Paul is a thought leader in the youth entrepreneurial arena primarily through co-founding Lifeschool, a hands-on business educational program empowering the brightest high school students to connect the dots of how to succeed in life and business before university through work placements in local startups and Fortune 500 companies. 
Paul also spends time advising startups and mentoring new entrepreneurs and students. For a fun icebreaker, ask him about how many times he has done the Grouse Grind in one day, his triathlons, meditation, learning languages, and his abroad exchanges in Barcelona and adidas Germany respectively.

Arpy Dragffy
President, Director of Strategy & UX

Arpy is the President of, helping organizations innovate faster by incorporating Lean Startup and Design Thinking principles. He is passionate about helping businesses turn research into new products and strategies. Having led design, product, and marketing teams across his two decades in tech, his focus is on creating a customer-centric blueprint that captivates the imagination of customers. 

He is also a startup mentor with Futurpreneur Canada and hackathons for The City of Vancouver and Protohack. He has taught about innovation and UX at UBC Sauder, Red Academy, Vancouver Club, and Internationally in Seattle, Sao Paulo, Medellin, and others.

Marc Kuo
Founder & CEO – Routific

Founder & CEO of Routific (Techstars '15), winner of Startup Weekend Vancouver '12

Wesley Graham
Founder, 5x5 Project

Wesley Graham, 20, is a sophomore in the Industrial Engineering program at UC Berkeley, and Founder of the 5x5 Project. Wesley is a budding entrepreneur with a background in growth consulting, go-to-market strategy, and community building. Wesley is additionally heavily involved in the SaaS and Blockchain space, both as a marketing officer for the largest collegiate cryptocurrency organization in the world, and as a consultant for tech companies valued at over $40 million. Wesley has been recognized as a TEDx Speaker, United Nations Youth Ambassador, and BC Excellence Award winner. In his free time he can be found on LinkedIn building hype about Disruptive Technologies, at a basketball game cheering wildly, or at home eating gallons of ice cream. 

Brandon Roe
Founder, The WestEast Group

Brandon Roe is the founder of The WestEast Group, a firm that specializes in helping B2B Software-as-a-Service firms reduce revenue-sucking churn. Over the past 18 years, his firm has made many millions of dollars for clients in 8 countries and 3 languages. His work has been featured in media across the country including our very own The Vancouver Sun. He is an Under 40 Business Person of the Year Finalist, a philanthropist and a self-professed code geek.

Byron Seef
Business Operations, Biba Ventures

Byron is a Project Management and Business Operations professional, focused on delivering high impact results in a small team environment. Early in his career, Byron worked with a Sports Management & Marketing consultancy, collaborating with high profile clients and event management teams across North America. After completing an MBA at the Beedie School of Business, Byron is now embarking on a new journey in the technology sector as a Business Operations Lead with Biba Ventures. Collaborating with team members in all units of the business and engaging with external stakeholders, Byron is excited to be taking on new challenges and helping to shape the future of Biba.

Andrew Kwok
Co-founder, Routific

As a formally trained engineer with over a decade of sales experience, Andrew brings his breadth of knowledge to his role as Co-founder and COO at Routific. In his previous role as a product leader of Asia Pacific for a subsidiary of Koch Industries, he lived in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Singapore for the past 6 years and is now glad to call Vancouver home. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where he studied mechanical engineering, business administration, and Asian culture and language. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Vancouver 2017 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

Launch Academy is Western Canada's leading tech startup hub and early-stage incubator. Since 2012 Launch Academy has helped 1000+ entrepreneurs, incubated 420+ early-stage startups, that collectively raised $80+ million and added 700+ jobs to the economy.

Visit Website

Community Sponsorship

Venue Sponsors

Organizing Team

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

  • Rama
  • Ryan
  • Hussein
  • Mervyn


Jen Riedel
Program Manager, Techstars Boston

Jen is the Program Manager for the Techstars Boston accelerator. Previously, a Regional Manager at Techstars, overseeing and supporting community leaders as they bring Startup Weekend, Week, and Digest to cities across the Eastern U.S. and Canada. 

Prior to Techstars, Jen was the Director of Operations for Trestles, a service design consulting firm. She was integral to the acquisition process of Unified Imaging, a four-person health tech startup, where she served as Director of Operations. She has been at the forefront of building communities for the last 5 years including Global Shapers, Global Service Jam, LWD-Raleigh, Baller Dinner, Starting Bloc, Hive GLP, Creative Mornings RDU, and more. Jen is from North Carolina, and attended her first Startup Weekend at UNC in 2013. She has an appetite for creating experiences worth having, contributing positively to the circular economy, giving back to the communities that have given so much to her, singing, and has the goal to visit 30 countries before turning 30! 

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!