Startup Weekend Vancouver

    Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

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

Startup Weekend Vancouver

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

401 W Georgia St
Vancouver, BC

Buy Tickets

**This is last year's event. If you'd like to sign up for the 2016 event, please visit the link below**

>>Startup Weekend Vancouver 2016<<

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, practicing 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!


Mark your calendars! Early bird tickets will be going on sale September 28 @ 9am!

If you are unable to grab one, regular ticket sales will open on October 12 @ 9am, or when early bird tickets sell out. Whichever comes first!

Please only select a ticket for the skill type you plan to contribute to the weekend. This means that if you are a developer or non-technical person and all of the respective tickets are sold out, please do not purchase the designer tickets. We will be reviewing purchases and participants to ensure there are equal numbers of each skill type for the weekend.


Friday November 20th

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

6:15 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 pitch your idea

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:30 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 21st

8:00 am
Venue opens. Coffee and breakfast will be available

8:15 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

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

11:55 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 22nd

8:00 am
Venue opens. Coffee and breakfast will be available

10:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions. Practice your pitch with them!

12:00 pm

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Pitch your idea to the judges!

8:00 pm
Judging & Awards
Awards and closing ceremony

8:15 pm
After Party
Celebrate an amazing weekend! Food, desserts, beer, and wine will be served.

Event Judges

Boris Wertz
Founder & General Partner - Version One Ventures

Boris Wertz is one of the top early-stage tech investors in North-America and the founding partner of version one ventures. His portfolio encompasses over 60 early-stage consumer internet and enterprise companies. Boris is also a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz.
Before becoming an investor, Boris was the Chief Operating Officer of, the world’s largest marketplace for new, used and rare and out-of print books which got sold to Amazon in 2008. Boris joined the company in 2002 after JustBooks, the German company he co-founded in 1999, was acquired by AbeBooks. At AbeBooks, Boris was primarily responsible for marketing, business development, product, customer service and international operations and lead a team of about 60 people. This deep operational experience helps Boris to help other entrepreneurs start, build and scale companies passing on some of the lessons he learned the hard way over 8 start-up years.

He successfully finished his PhD as well as his graduate studies at the Graduate School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics / Business Management. In 2005, Boris was named the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.

Ryan Holmes
CEO - Hootsuite

Ryan Holmes founded Hootsuite in 2008, growing the company from a lean startup to a global leader in social media with over 10 million users, including over 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies.

Thought leader, dog lover and serial entrepreneur, Ryan has redefined the face of social media—bringing Twitter, Facebook and other social networks out of the dorm room and into the boardroom. A college drop-out, he started a paintball company and pizza restaurant before founding Invoke Media, the company that developed Hootsuite.

Today, Ryan is an authority in technology and business. He writes regularly for publications like Fast Company, Inc, Fortune, and has a column in the Wall Street Journal. He's also one of LinkedIn's top 20 most followed Influencers and presents at the world’s top tech conferences.

Wade Foster
Co-Founder & CEO at Zapier


Amy Rae
Principal - Vanedge Capital

Rae has sat on both sides of the table, 7 years working on the startup/operational side and 7 years working on the Venture Capital/ Private Equity side.

Igor Smirnoff
Chief Commercial Officer - PressReader

Igor Smirnoff has been a catalyst for change in the publishing industry for over 10 years. His ability to creatively identify new distribution networks for publishers has enabled PressReader and its publishing partners to gain worldwide recognition and create disruptive new revenue sources.

Igor was the driving force behind the development and launch of the original digital product within an otherwise traditional print-focused company. Responsible for forging key partnerships, Igor has led the growth of PressReader’s B2B network to its current scale. PressReader’s business partners include leading airlines like Qantas, thousands of hotels (including brand deals with Accor, Shangri-La, Trump, InterContinental), libraries all over the world, major cruise lines, and even Uber at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Igor holds Master of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia and degrees from Kuban State University (Russia) and Humboldt University (Germany).

Coaches and Mentors

Alexandra Greenhill
Founder & CEO - myBestHelper

Alexandra T. Greenhill is the Co-founder CEO of myBestHelper, a place where families find amazing helpers. myBestHelper won Startup Weekend Vancouver in 2011, third place in the BC New Ventures Competition 2012 and was selected for the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Silicon Valley by the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX). myBestHelper is an Invoke Labs alumni company and recently won the Plug’N’Play 2014 Pitch event in Vancouver.

Alexandra is a physician leader, passionate about big ideas that use tech to make people's lives better. She has received numerous awards, including BIV Top 40 under 40, the Queen Elizabeth II Medal of Service and WXN’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Alexandra lives in Vancouver with her husband and their three children.

Rob Attwell
COO - myBestHelper

Rob Attwell is Co-founder & COO of Mybesthelper, an award winning a marketplace for families to find and manage care for their families.  Mybesthelper is an Invoke Labs company and was recently recognized as a Cartier Laureate in 2015, won third place in the 2012 New Ventures BC competition and was recently part of the Blackbox Connect program at Google.  Rob is a numbers guy and loves to help with metrics and figuring out your business model.  He has an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. 

Elizabeth Steward
VP Marketing - Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center

With more than 9 years’ experience at technology companies in London, Cambridge and Vancouver, Liz is a self-confessed startup junkie. She is currently VP of Marketing at the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center, a cloud analytics team helping businesses to discover their most valuable stories in data.

Liz has experience across the full B2B demand generation spectrum, acts as an advisor to social discovery company Mentionmapp, and was part of the team that took analytics startup Indicee through to acquisition by Dun & Bradstreet in 2014.

Hussein Hallak
General Manager

Serial Entrepreneur, Advisor, and Speaker on Inspiring Leadership, Unleashing Entrepreneurship, & Breakthrough Performance. Creator of the Startup Growth Roadmap and the Content Marketing Canvas. 
General Manager of Launch Academy; Vancouver's leading tech startup hub, Executive Director of TiE Vancouver; TiE is the world’s largest entrepreneurial organization, and Tech Panelist on Roundhouse Radio. 
Specializing in Tech Entrepreneurship, Lean Startup, Content Marketing, Personal Branding, Strategic Thinking, Public Speaking, Social Media and Networking. 
Former Director of Learning & Development / Regional Director Consultant of BNI Middle East, BNI is the world’s largest business networking organization with over 170,000 members worldwide. 
Built 10+ startups, mentored 100+ entrepreneurs, led 10,000+ hours of live workshops, presented tech TV to 40+ million viewers, featured in Forbes, BBC, Entrepreneur, VancityBuzz, Roundhouse Radio, and Notable.

Jayesh Parmar
CEO & Co-Founder - Picatic

Serial entrepreneur with over 19 years of event industry experience, public speaker and featured personality in startup documentary DayJob. Jayesh Parmar is Picatic’s CEO/Cofounder and is listed as one of the world's top 10 Tech Entrepreneurs Disrupting The Event Industry. Winner of SISO 2013 breakthrough event technology award. 

Jayesh doesn’t separate his personal life from his professional life as the two go hand in hand.  He started his first company in 1998 and has been building companies ever since. Jayesh’s job is to oversee product, strategy and overall company vision and then to stay out of the proverbial kitchen and let his team get the job done!

Jayesh has received exceptional mentoring from The Canadian Technology Accelerators in San Francisco and New York City and was part of the 2012 Extreme Startup Cohort in Toronto.  Being emerged in Silicon Valley, Silicon alley and Toronto’s startup scene has provided Jayesh a diverse understanding of what it means to be a part of the startup community.  

Cultivating an environment that focuses on cross-pollination, a pay it forward attitude and a culture that invites the new is what Jayesh is currently striving for.  He’s always looking to change the “status quo” and push the edge.

Keith Ippel
Co-Founder & Partner -

With over 15 years experience as a leader in technology centric businesses, Keith has accelerated the growth of both small and large companies, launched new products, and raised over $20m in angel investment and venture capital. He has an unparalleled ability to collaborate with entrepreneurs, employees, and investors to deliver amazing products to the market. Keith is passionate about creating opportunities that previously did not exist for people and co-founded Spring to bring that into the social venture space.

Wade Foster
Co-Founder & CEO at Zapier


Tony Gui
Design Strategist & Creative Hustler

Tony Gui is a design strategist and creative hustler who splits his life between San Francisco and Vancouver.  He has founded two startups and is currently bringing the third to life. Kreatives will be a design and strategy lab working with investors and businesses to sustain innovation and launch new ventures globally.  Tony has taught design thinking around the world, mentored at NASA's International Space App's Challenge in New York, and is a finalist in the 2015 Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards. He is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and businesses to design meaningful futures.

Franzi Sessler
Designer & Art Director

Franzi Sessler is an ambitious, value driven designer and art director from Munich, Germany. After starting her design career at the age 16 she studied Mediadesign (BA) and worked as a design consultant, graphic and corporate designer. She worked for a Munich based full-service design agency with a broad client base including BMW, Allianz, Airbus and Lindt. 

A current Fulbright scholar, she brought her intrigue and understanding of visual language to the MBA Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts. This innovative program incorporates the traditional style of the MBA with the human centered approach of design.  

Franzi has a passion for the unique story of each individual she encounters. She designs and implements solutions around empowering people to disrupt systems and create meaningful experiences.

Michael Tippett
CEO & Founder - wantoo

Tippett is a 2 time Emmy nominee & has been a successful entrepreneur for almost two decades. He founded and managed several early stage technology companies in New York and Vancouver. 

In 2005 Tippett founded and later sold Nowpublic. NowPublic was named one of the top five most useful new sites on the web by The Guardian and Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 Websites for 2007. Tippett also ran GrowLab in 2011. For 2 years he ran Hootsuite Labs and was Director, New Products at Hootsuite.  Currently Tippett is the CEO and founder of wantoo.

Don Burks
Head Instructor - Lighthouse Labs

Don Burks is Head Instructor of Lighthouse Labs in Vancouver, BC. An experienced web developer with eighteen years experience, Don is also an accomplished entrepreneur. Currently on his ninth startup, Don has helped to build and develop a number of companies and products in areas such as invoice and payment processing, content management systems and medical practice software. With an eclectic background that includes a degree in music and a published novel, he brings a wealth of life experience to each of his ventures.

Avinash Anand
VP Engineering - Zenefits

Avinash is the VP of Engineering of Zenefits, a free human resources platform that automates and eliminates all HR and benefits-related tasks for small and medium-sized businesses, allowing companies to focus on people, not paperwork. Since joining the company in 2014, Avinash has helped expand Zenefits' business, which now serves more than 10,000 companies and 100,000 employees in 48 states, disrupting the $18 billion health insurance brokerage industry along the way.

Zenefits is widely considered to be the fastest-growing SaaS company in history. Ranked #1 on Forbes’ “Hottest Start-Ups of 2014” list, the New York Times calls Zenefits “one of the fastest-growing companies in recent Silicon Valley history. Prior to Zenefits, Avinash worked in a range of engineering positions at Goldman Sachs and Co., most recently as a Vice President. Avinash's passions include designing complex mission critical systems/processes and scaling engineering teams. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Vancouver 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

Unbounce has always been an amazing supporter of Startup Weekend Vancouver. That's why we're super excited to announce that this year's event will be hosted at the new Unbounce HQ in downtown Vancouver!

Visit Website

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Community Sponsors

Media Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Sean
  • Lynn
  • Christina
  • Chris


Cheryl Draper

Cheryl Draper is a community builder, event producer, entrepreneur and beer geek originally hailing from Ottawa but now based in Vancouver. By day, she's the Community Manager for Invoke Labs working alongside resident startups to help them create and execute successful community strategies. By night, Cheryl can be found facilitating startup weekend events around the world, mentoring up-and-coming companies or playing dinner host to visiting out-of-town founders. In her downtime, she likes to drink tea, travel, spend time with family and friends, and can often be found geeking out over craft beer.

Event Blog

See Full Blog