Startup Weekend Athens, OH

    Friday, March 13 - 15, 2015

  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 Athens, OH

Friday, March 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, March 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Ohio University Innovation Center
340 W State St
Athens, OH 45701

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Startup Weekend Athens

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.


Friday March 13th

5:30 pm
Check-in starts at the Innovation Center. 340 W. State St.; Athens, OH 45701.

6:00 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

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.

11:55 pm
Venue Closes

Saturday March 14th

8:00 am
Arrive at Ohio University Innovation Center, 340 W. State ST, Athens for simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coaches Leave

3:00 pm
Off-site Work Hours
2 optional hours in Create_space OR 3.5 hours in Athensworks

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

11:55 pm
Venue Closes

Sunday March 15th

8:00 am
Arrive at Innovation Center, 340 West State Street, Athens, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm
Grab and Go Lunch

2:00 pm
Coaches Depart
Thank them! Get Business Cards!

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
Final Presentations/Judging

5:30 pm
Dinner and Awards

6:45 pm
Wrap-Up and Go Home!


Jeff Doose
Executive in Residence, TechGROWTH Ohio

Jeff is a seasoned business and investment professional who has, for decades, successfully selected, mentored and invested in startup companies.  Jeff is an expert in Lean Startup Methodology and will, specifically, speak to the Business Model Canvas to kick-off Startup Weekend Athens, 2014.

Event Judges

Michelle Ferrier
Associate Dean for Innovation, Research/Creativity Activities and Graduate Studies

Micheller Ferrier is the Associate Dean for Innovation, Research/Creativity Activities and Graduate Studies. Ferrier is the principal investigator on the Media Deserts Project, an initiative to provide a dynamic mapping of media system change. She is the founder and publisher of, an online site devoted to local food and food policy issues.

Bob Silva
Director, Tech Transfer Office, Ohio University

Robert (Bob) Silva has over 25 years of experience in senior level positions in areas such as technology development, technology commercialization and general company management. At Ohio University, Bob is responsible for the administration, coordination, protection and disposition of all intellectual property (IP) and technology commercialization matters. Bob also provides support to the university’s small business incubator and university personnel to assist in the growth of research partnerships, as well as to the offices of Research and Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance.

Vic Matta
Associate Professor, Management Information Systems, College of Business, Ohio University

Vic Matta is an associate professor in the department of management information systems in the College of Business (COB). He was a finalist for the 2012-13 Presidential Teachers Award, was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the COB in 2009 and the Senior Class Recognition Award from the COB in 2010.

Matta is recognized for his use of student engagement techniques that are flexible and dynamic and has genuine concern for his students in management information systems. Though teaching complex subjects, Matta has developed teaching methods that inspire learning.

Dr. Vic Matta doesn’t hide his excitement when he says something he knows has blown your mind. He feeds off of it, encourages it, peppers you with questions to make you think about your own choices. Your answers, after all, fuel one of his greatest passions — data collection. Matta can’t help himself. He loves analysis, loves human reasoning, and loves teaching most of all.  He loves watching people grasp a new concept with his help, whether it is something tangible like technology or intangible like personal motivation.

Jeff Doose
Executive in Residence, TechGROWTH Ohio

Jeff is a seasoned business and investment professional who has, for decades, successfully selected, mentored and invested in startup companies.  Jeff is an expert in Lean Startup Methodology and will, specifically, speak to the Business Model Canvas to kick-off Startup Weekend Athens, 2014.

Coaches and Mentors

John Bowditch
Director, The Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab at Ohio University

John Bowditch is the Director and co-founder of the Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab in the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University ( The GRID Lab was founded in 2004 with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. In 2011, a commercial wing of the GRID Lab was formed with TechGROWTH Ohio and the Ohio University Innovation Center to foster digital media focused startup companies founded by current and former students. As of 2012, four companies have joined this digital media incubator.   John completed his undergraduate and graduate work in film, video, and multimedia at Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Studies (School of Telecommunications at the time). John has produced several award winning films, animations, games, and simulations over the last decade.   Professional Research highlights include funded projects from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Labor, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Ohio Board of Regents, and other private entities. In 2008, John was the lead designer and inventor of the Immersive Video Intel Network (IVIN), a multi-tiered imaging technology that has patents pending ( In 2011, IVIN received money from TechGROWTH Ohio spinout of the university. While not integral to the day to day operations of IVIN3D, John has a super- shareholder stake in the company.

Nathaniel Berger
Engineering and Design Expert, LIGHTS, Ohio University

Nathaniel is currently the Engineering and Design Expert for the Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability (LIGHTS) program.

Previously, Nathaniel directed the CREATE_space, an Ohio University resource focusing on Creative Research Exploring Arts, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. His experience in fine arts and information technology has been ongoing for over a decade, working in the digital arena since 1997, producing both interactive and static media, and digital systems, specializing in interactive digital technologies research. Nathaniel works extensively with businesses, artists, entrepreneurs, students and educators developing objective specific solutions that both demonstrate the IT-centric and humanistic qualitative aspects of society. 

Christopher Keesey
Director, Design and Technology at Lexis Nexis

Christopher Keesey is the Director of Sales Training and Development for LexisNexis. He leads a global team that is responsible for improving business results through training and development. He also recently took over responsibility for customer training across core legal product offerings.  Christopher has spent over 16 years working to help organizations increase the knowledge and performance of their employees. He has led innovative project initiatives in training and learning for the US State Department, USAID, Chemonics International, Arthur D. Little, Academy of Educational Development, The Doctor's Company and many more. Christopher has also consulted organizations such as IBM, Microsoft, Maricopa College and Kelly School of Business on improving learning transfer via innovative delivery platforms.

Sam Patt
Co-Founder, Anyvent

At Startup Weekend Athens in January 2013 Sam found her passion for entrepreneurship. Her team Lydria, 3rd place winner, endeavored to create a platform to facilitate communication between instructors and their students. Sam and her team participated in the Innovation Engine Accelerator 2013 and created Anyvent. Anyvent is a software to help walk event planners through the event planning process, keeping things organized and making sure the planner doesn't miss any details. In addition Sam works for Innovation Center clients Digital Edge Sports, Inc. and Eco2Capture, Inc. She performs many administrative and operations management tasks keeping them organized and the companies running smoothly. Sam will be graduating soon with a business degree in Accounting and Management Information Systems.

Paul Benedict
Associate Director, Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University

Paul Benedict is a seed-stage investor, executive and entrepreneur bringing 14 years of industry experience to the classroom.  Paul is the Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, teaches entrepreneurship in the Professional MBA program and management in the Integrated Business Cluster. Paul earned his BA in Political Science from the Honors Tutorial College here at Ohio University. He earned his MBA from the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.

Ben Lachman
Principal, Nice Mohawk Limited

Ben is an entrepreneur with 15+ years of experience building technology products and the businesses based on them. His experience ranges from the minutia of creating high quality user experiences, to the needs of apps scaling to hundreds of thousands of users. On the business side, he’s developed revenue models, user analytics, sales funnels, and fundraising pitches. As a consultant, Ben has worked with west coast startups, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies.

Ben loves products that create meaningful value, encourage creative experiences, and change our world. 

Michele Migliuolo
Venture Executive in Residence, TechGROWTH Ohio

Michele Migliuolo, a multi-decade advisor and coach to technology startups, is an entrepreneur who has co-founded five high technology companies in the semiconductor, medical device, and energy sectors. Michele received a Doctorate in Physics from the University of Rome (Italy), and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the University of Rochester.

Michele is an Executive in Residence at TechGROWTH Ohio, a Venture Development Organization funded in part by the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Fund. Michele is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ohio University where he teaches the Entrepreneurship Business Consulting course.   Recently Michele was Commercialization Alliance Manager at Innovation Works, the seventh most active seed stage investor in the United States, where he managed the relationships between member organizations to provide world-class commercialization expertise and take the lead on accelerating technology transfer of federal research performed at the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).   

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Stacy
  • Lauren
  • Katie
  • Jen
  • Susan
  • Ohio
  • Alex


Alex Bowman
Co-Founder, CEO, Casamatic

Event Blog

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