Startup Weekend Billings

    Friday, January 23 - 25, 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 Billings

Friday, January 23 - 25, 2015



Friday, January 23 - 25, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Losekamp Hall
Rocky Mountain College
1511 Poly Drive, East End of Campus
Billings, MT 59102

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Startup Weekend Comes to Billings Montana

Ever wonder if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? To be your own boss? To start your own business?

One great way to find out is to participate in Startup Weekend Billings. 

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.The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

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. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Startup Weekend Billings will happen Rocky Mountain College (Losekamp Hall) over the weekend of January 23 through 25, 2015. The event is designed to bring together developers, designers, entrepreneurs and other experts from all domains around an idea for a new startup business. It is perfect for anyone.  Previous participants range from people who are curious about what it would be like to work in a startup environment or looking to network all the way to people with previous experience in business with a new idea looking for partners or other help to bring their great ideal to fruition.

The event in Billings will be at Losekamp Hall, Rocky Mountain College, 1511 Poly Drive.  It begins at 6pm, Friday, January 23, 2015.  Tickets are available at Eventbrite (https://swbillings1014.eventbrite.com).Student and early registration discounts are available. (Students enter discount code STUDENT and bring your student identification with you to registration table.)

Big Sky Economic Development Authority is both a major sponsor and co-organizer of the event which is taking place during the 25th anniversary of Big Sky EDA. 






EVENT SCHEDULE

Friday January 23rd


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


6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants


7:15 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders


8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch


8:30 pm
Voting
Attendees vote for the top pitches


9:00 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


11:45 pm
Venue closes at midnight
Prepare to leave the building.

Saturday January 24th


9:00 am
Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee. Setup space. Begin work.


10:00 am
Coaches arrive.
Some will check in on rooms. Some will be available in auditorium. All will be available via a sign up schedule. Coaches leave around 5pm.


11:30 am
Lunch until 1pm
Lunch is served at cafeteria for anyone with a SW Billings Badge.


1:00 pm
Check-In
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! Coaches leave around 5 pm.


5:00 pm
Dinner served until 6pm.
Dinner is served at cafeteria for anyone with a SW Billings Badge.


11:30 pm
Wrap-Up Venue closes at midnight.
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday January 25th


9:00 am
Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee


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


11:30 am
Lunch until 1pm.
Lunch is served at cafeteria for anyone with a SW Billings Badge.


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


4:00 pm
Final Presentations


5:00 pm
Judging & Awards


5:30 pm
Drawing for iPad Mini


6:00 pm
Go Home!



Speakers


Lisa Harmon
Executive Director, Downtown Billings Alliance

Lisa K. Harmon has been with the Downtown Billings since 2005.  She is passionate about downtown management and about building a bustling, dynamic city core for  residents, business and property owners, visitors, and the community at large. Lisa was instrumental in the creation of the Business Improvement District and its many programs, the execution of the Framework Plan, and the formation of the Downtown Billings Alliance.  She was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Downtown Association and currently serves as Membership Chair, and Co-Vice Chair.  She serves on several community boards including the Metra Park Advisory Board, the Mayor’s Committee on Homelessness, and the YMCA Board. She was an AIA Livable Community Award winner in 2008; in 2011, she was awarded the Roche Jaune award for Civic Leadership.  Lisa is currently working on IEDC Certification as a professional Economic Developer.

Event Judges


Lisa Harmon
Executive Director, Downtown Billings Alliance

Lisa K. Harmon has been with the Downtown Billings since 2005.  She is passionate about downtown management and about building a bustling, dynamic city core for  residents, business and property owners, visitors, and the community at large. Lisa was instrumental in the creation of the Business Improvement District and its many programs, the execution of the Framework Plan, and the formation of the Downtown Billings Alliance.  She was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Downtown Association and currently serves as Membership Chair, and Co-Vice Chair.  She serves on several community boards including the Metra Park Advisory Board, the Mayor’s Committee on Homelessness, and the YMCA Board. She was an AIA Livable Community Award winner in 2008; in 2011, she was awarded the Roche Jaune award for Civic Leadership.  Lisa is currently working on IEDC Certification as a professional Economic Developer.


Coaches and Mentors


Scott Severance
Professor of Business/Economics at Rocky Mountain College

Scott teaches business at Rocky Mountain College and is himself a serial entrepreneur. He holds an MBA from UNLV and a BS from RMC.


Leesa (Nopper) Kennedy
Business Owner

Leesa has helped more than 75 company owners and managers profitably grow their companies. Leesa coaches owners and managers through the process of implementing strategic marketing. Her strategy includes: measuring value to targeted customers; identifying “best fit” customers; utilizing optimal distribution channels; formulating pricing strategies; and matching product mix and capacity to market demand. Kennedy graduated with a Business Marketing degree from Montana State University in 1985 and taught marketing courses there from 2002 through 2008. She has held positions as: engineering professional, strategic marketing specialist, sales manager, sales representative, plant manager, and marketing manager. Nopper is a certified Eureka Winning Ways Coach of Doug Hall’s nationally acclaimed Eureka Ranch. She founded Nicheworx, LLC a business development company in 2002.


Jack Perry
Owner. Torchlight, LLC

Jack Perry is the owner of Torchlight, LLC. Jack received his BS in Business Management from MSU-Billings and his MBA from the University of Montana.  He has experience in agriculture, manufacturing, the timber industry, construction, service, and retail sales. Jack is now a small business consultant, focusing on strategy and process improvement.


Allison Ohman

Ms. Ohman has over 25 years of experience in marketing including 17 years in digital media with a focus on financial and high tech industries. With degrees in Graphic Design from the California Art Institute and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Wyoming, she is an award-winning web content and interactive video producer with a reputation of delivering projects ontime and exceeding expectations.  

She regularly works with clients from the sprout of an idea to site launch and oversees the entire process.
 Her experience as a project manager includes hundreds of results-driven projects for Fortune 500 companies, non-profits,educational institutions and government entities.  Her clients over the years have included Fair Isaac (FICO), Intuit, Qualcomm, CBS, Johnson & Johnson, City of San Diego, United Airlines, Deutsche Bank, State of Montana and many local clients such as Computers Unlimited, KOA, and Cellular Plus. ·           
  • 3 Communicator Awards- interactive copywriting·           
  • 2 WebAwards- Travel and Healthcare categories·           
  • 7 Telly Awards- videos for corporate communications and public awareness campaigns·          
  • Videography Award- medical sales presentation·           
  • Axiem Award-Excellence in Interactive Media- Copywriting·          
  • International Association of Fairs Best Fair website 2012- Helena Stampede


Danny Choriki
Strategic and Product Consultant

Born in Bozeman and raised around the agriculture industry of Montana, Danny Choriki decided in his 20's to see if there was life without dirt under his finger nails. With a degree in the social sciences, Danny went to New York City to study environmental psychology with an eye towards understanding how people cope with and adapt to rapid social and technical change. He assisted the director of The City University of New York Graduate School's computer center to move from card punch machines, Wilbur and VAX terminals (9600 baud) to PC's on a LAN, structured databases, and eventually the internet. From there, Danny looked at the impact of information technology on New York Public Schools for a policy research center. A series of consulting and strategic planning positions at Fortune 50 corporations in legal, finance and telecommunications industries followed until the internet bubble burst. Danny returned to his startup roots in the online advertising technology ecosystem and built a vertical ad network and an AOL-owned US branch of an European ad serving company followed by digital privacy and online game startups. Danny returned home to Montana in 2012 to refresh his father’s 40-year-old startup business including innovation with drones and the company’s 18 years of experience with GPS farm consulting. Additionally, Danny advises startups on early stage strategic business planning. Danny was the lead organizer for the inaugural Startup Weekend Billings, is writing a book on integrating strategy into daily life, and a game idea (ask him about it!). Interests include digital privacy, rapid change adaptation, STEM, economic development, and low earth orbit.


Jessica Burch
Founder and Owner, Betula Creative

Jessica Burch is founder and owner of Betula Creative, a Columbus-based marketing and graphic design studio dedicated to growing small businesses.    She is a Montana State University graduate, with degrees in both Business Marketing and Graphic Design. Throughout her marketing and design career, Jessica has worked in a variety of roles, from project management to graphic design and business planning to sign sales, preparing her well for owning and operating her own business and consulting for others'. Since opening Betula Creative in December 2011, Jessica has helped numerous small businesses achieve their goals by providing creative and strategic solutions for their marketing and graphic design needs.  In addition to owning Betula Creative, Jessica is President of Stillwater County's Biz to Biz Network chapter and is involved in her community through other volunteer organizations. In the fall of 2013, she was named Stillwater County Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year. Jessica is a fourth-generation Montanan and third-generation Columbus High School graduate. She's one part Montanan, one part hippie, and all parts mother to JeLeo and Ellis. 




Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Billings 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

Big Sky Economic Development is a private/public partnership whose mission is to sustain and grow Yellowstone County’s vibrant economy and outstanding quality of life, by providing leadership and resources for business creation, expansion, retention, new business recruitment and community development.

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Organizing Team

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

  • Jeremy
    Vannatta
  • Danny
    Choriki
  • Dena
    Johnson
  • Melanie
    Schwarz
  • Chad
    Moore
  • John
    Klaman
  • Ben
    Rose

Facilitators


Danny Choriki
Strategic and Product Consultant

Born in Bozeman and raised around the agriculture industry of Montana, Danny Choriki decided in his 20's to see if there was life without dirt under his finger nails. With a degree in the social sciences, Danny went to New York City to study environmental psychology with an eye towards understanding how people cope with and adapt to rapid social and technical change. He assisted the director of The City University of New York Graduate School's computer center to move from card punch machines, Wilbur and VAX terminals (9600 baud) to PC's on a LAN, structured databases, and eventually the internet. From there, Danny looked at the impact of information technology on New York Public Schools for a policy research center. A series of consulting and strategic planning positions at Fortune 50 corporations in legal, finance and telecommunications industries followed until the internet bubble burst. Danny returned to his startup roots in the online advertising technology ecosystem and built a vertical ad network and an AOL-owned US branch of an European ad serving company followed by digital privacy and online game startups. Danny returned home to Montana in 2012 to refresh his father’s 40-year-old startup business including innovation with drones and the company’s 18 years of experience with GPS farm consulting. Additionally, Danny advises startups on early stage strategic business planning. Danny was the lead organizer for the inaugural Startup Weekend Billings, is writing a book on integrating strategy into daily life, and a game idea (ask him about it!). Interests include digital privacy, rapid change adaptation, STEM, economic development, and low earth orbit.


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