Startup Weekend York Region

    Friday, January 27 - 29, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend York Region

Friday, January 27 - 29, 2017

Friday, January 27 - 29, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Seneca College - Markham Campus
8 The Seneca Way
Markham, ON L3R 5Y1

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Friday January 27th

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 January 28th

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

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday January 29th

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:00 pm

Event Judges

Karen Dubeau
Director of Partner Engagement for ventureLAB

As Director of Partner Engagement for ventureLAB, Karen leads the development and management of strategic and collaborative partnerships key to ventureLAB’s clients and stakeholders, and to the evolution of a dynamic regional ecosystem supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.   Karen has experience as a successful founder and entrepreneur of an Ottawa technology firm, and has spent the last 6 years working with not-for-profit business associations and communities on strategic programs involving intelligent communities, gigabit corridors, knowledge mobilization for small businesses and building community-based collaboration ecosystems.  Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for province of Ontario, a Top 40 Under 40 Alumnus, the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada’s Staff Person of the Year Award, and most recently, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Jeff Lem
President, Portable Intelligence Inc.

Jeff started out as an auditor for a major Bay Street accounting firm and left after 9 months when he discovered his formula for happiness: freedom.  So began his entrepreneurial journey; after a couple of false starts (or as he calls learning events), he caught success with a national systems integration company that he grew to $40M. In early 2015 he successfully exited and is now in the “disruptive phase” of his career – developing the next generation of warehouse management systems with Industry 4.0 technologies.  His companies have been on the Profit 100, CDN Top 100, and in 2009 he received The Award of Merit from The Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs. He now divides his volunteer time at the Entrepreneurial program at The Schulich School of Business where he is on the Dean’s Advisory Council for Global Competitiveness and Entrepreneurs Organization where he holds a number of leadership roles including Toronto Chair of the Global Student Entrepreneurial Awards competition.  Jeff holds a BBA, MBA and recently obtained his P.MM, a professional designation in materials management. Fun Fact: Jeff is a certified spin instructor and runs classes out of the company’s indoor cycling studio.

Christina Kakaflikas

Christina has 15+ years experience in Investment Attraction, Business Development, Policy Development, Marketing, and Research.
In her role with the City of Markham's Culture and Economic Development Department, Christina identifies and develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders to advance Markham’s strategic economic development priorities including: building a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation, and strengthening Markham’s international reputation as a business and investment destination and hub for talent.
Prior to Markham, Christina worked at the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Department where she held several positions during her 8 year tenure.
Christina has served for several years as Director on the Board of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario and in 2017 will serve as President.
Christina is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Master of Applied Environmental Studies in Local Economic Development program and has an undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University.

Angelo Del Duca
Investor, York Angel Investors

Coaches and Mentors

Jessica Rawlley
Co-Founder & CMO, MaaS Pros

Jessica is the Co-Founder & CMO at MaaS Pros, a company that specializes in creating industry specific applications, including a loyalty management platform for real estate agents, an auto dealer management app, carpool web and mobile applications and more recently, a powerful business management & marketing platform, called the TieiT App - a carefully crafted application that combines modules to help businesses reduce from having to use and pay for 5 or more different applications. 

One of Jessica's roles is to assist clients and partners with using the applications to its fullest extent to see its true ROI and value. She has implemented training material and marketing programs to assist her clients and partners with staying ahead of advancements to continually develop their business. Jessica has been invited all across North America to conduct training on a variety of business and marketing strategies. 

Elliott Atkins
President of AddMirror

Elliott is an entrepreneurial business leader with winning experience in a variety of markets and industries. Mr. Atkins has an excellent combination of business, marketing and technical skills. He is always learning and adapting -- continuously building competencies to grow and be successful in this ever changing marketplace.

Specialties:Business development, leadership, marketing, sales, contract negotiations, building a business from ground zero, high adaptability, DRIVEN!

Jimmy Feng

Dr. Jimmy Feng is a self made serial entrepreneur and Angel Investor. In 2009, Dr. Feng founded Form & Function: Health, Performance, Wellness Centre which has transformed into one of the first truly integrated health models in Canada. Not only does the Clinic host a repertoire of complementary health care services it also created a business model that has been paying high dividends to its investors and franchisees year over year. This insight into healthcare and his love for technology based companies has incubated several start-ups in disruptive healthcare technology, as well as content aggregation and real time language translation. Seeing his ability to create significant waves of positive input into these companies, Dr. Feng has recently founded Functional Equity Group Inc; a multilayer investment firm with a syndicate of renegade Angel Investors who are actively seeking amazing investment opportunities within Real Estate, Disruptive Technology and Healthcare. On a personal level, Dr. Feng enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and Aquascaping

Cristina Italia

Professor of Entrepreneurship at Seneca College. Has held various roles in National Sales, Business Development and Marketing Research and Strategy. Founder and managing partner for an entrepreneurial venture in international wine trade and currently consults on start-up ventures. Expertise includes customer experience, business strategy and FMCG. Holds an International BBA from the Schulich School of Business, an MBA from SDA Bocconi in Milan.

Rashpal Uppal-Assi

Rashpal Uppal-Assi is an academic, practitioner, and consultant with a focus on

global supply chain management. As a Professor with the School of International

Business and Management, Rashpal specializes in: Supply Chain Management,

Business Communication, Marketing, International Trade, and Operations

Management. She is an Instructor with the Supply Chain Management

Association (SCMA) facilitating courses in Logistics and Transportation.


Rashpal holds an MBA from Athabasca University, an International Business

Administration Diploma from Seneca College, is a Certified Supply Chain

Management Professional (CSCMP), and a Certified International Trade

Professional (CITP).


Rashpal joined Seneca’s Board of Governors in September, 2016, as the Faculty


Jeffrey Potvin

Jeffery Potvin is an entrepreneurial executive with 20 years of varied work experience. CEO of Hardboot Inc., a virtual custom software development company that delivers end-to-end digital product solutions, Jeffery is also the host of an online broadcast network called Open People Network ( and PitchIt Toronto meetup. In his "spare time", he is an avid investor in high-potential startups; part-time instructor at Seneca College; and public speaker. 

Lucas Chang
Principal Consultant at KnL interCHANG Business Consulting Inc.

Lucas Chang is a business consultant and coach who helps companies grow their operations while managing risks related to growth. His clients and teams have benefited from his expertise with change management, process optimization, strategic roadmap planning and vendor management.

Lucas’ background includes leading large web operations and contact centre project teams, guiding transformational and organizational change, and governing a corporate capital investment portfolio. In roles at TELUS, Accenture and in his own business, Lucas has helped companies in the telecommunications, financial services, utilities, public sector, grain trading, packaged goods, online recruiting and transportation industries.

He also leads Startup York (, an entrepreneur-led volunteer organization, affiliated with Startup Canada, that is working to evolve the ecosystem in York Region to better support startup businesses and entrepreneurs in technology and non-technology sectors.

Richard Trus

Google Local Guides Toronto (Moderator) -Google Trusted Photographer - Streetview Photographer - #1 Most viewed Photographer in Canada --- Social Media Producer

Hal Swann

Hal began his career as an industrial designer. Initially, concerned with aesthetic design, his work progressed to mechanical and optical design, including patenting a laser measuring system. Continuing in automotive service equipment, Hal was recruited to a sales position, in which he took a product line from an installed base of two units, to become the most highly-respected system in Canada, and was named top sales manager in North America.Parallel to and supporting these successes, Hal became deeply involved in industry associations, contributing to building curriculum for technical skills advancement, and “train the trainer” programs.A brush with death saw Hal move more fully into photography (which he had used extensively in market development), virtual reality and film making technology. Rapid advancement led to consulting, specialized imaging and public speaking engagements for Apple, IBM, Kodak, Ontario Provincial Police, and other organizations.As VP Digital Media at ZoomAndGo, Hal spearheaded numerous unique initiatives, including an online video and photo administration system to interface with a vast database of places to stay, worldwide. The firm’s *Geospatial Engine is highly touted by Sabre Global Distribution System as an unsurpassed system for data visualization of accommodations around the world.Continuing with travel industry focus, Hal has filmed and produced materials for firms such as IBM Transportation Systems, Skyservice Business Aviation, AirSprint Private Aviation, and others.Hal was approached by EntreBahn to film a piece for their product, and after some months of ongoing consultations, was excited to accept their offer to become Chief Operating Officer, in 2013.In Hal’s offline life, he has served on boards of a number of arts organizations and is directly involved in efforts to alleviate, and ultimately eliminate, homelessness.

Reg Charney

Reg is an entrepreneur who has also been a marketeer, magazine columnist, consultant, and software engineer and designer.

He has created a number of software products and sold them the worldwide. In addition, he has also been a columnist for magazines such as Dr Dobbs Journal, Computer Language, and Linux Journal. While in Silicon Valley, Reg published a monthly news letter notable for its ability to predict employment trends three months in advance. He is a lifetime member of the ACCU (, the world's premier association for anyone interested in developing and improving their programming skills. While in Silicon Valley, Reg founded the ACCU's Silicon Valley Chapter and was its chairman for 5 years. Reg has also served as a marketing consultant to a number of Silicon Valley startups.

Giving back to the community is important. Reg was a member of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and was Chairman of the Working Group on Program Design Standards. the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). He is also a strong supporter of the Open Source movement, and Electronic Freedom Foundation. Part of Regs core values is his belief that open sharing and easy access to information and expertise is key to our creativity, success, and freedom.

Organizing Team

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

  • Jeremy
  • Chris
  • Nilay
  • Lucas


Michael Norton

Michael vagabonds around North America exploring entrepreneurial communities and facilitating Startup Weekend events. He works as a freelance business development and crowdfunding consultant, technical project manager, and social media guru. Michael is also a photographer, audio engineer, and writer.

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