Techstars Startup Weekend Bloomington

    Friday, November 3 - 5, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Bloomington

Friday, November 3 - 5, 2017

Friday, November 3 - 5, 2017
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The IU Media School
Franklin Hall
601 E Kirkwood Ave
Bloomington, IN 47405

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Got an idea? Startup Weekend Bloomington will provide the kickstart you need to take your venture from concept to concrete in 54 hours.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where designers, developers, and entrepreneurs unite to bring innovative ideas to life. During the weekend, participants collaborate to conceptualize, create, and present new ventures. Friday night begins with a pitch series where all participants with ideas give a brief pitch to everyone in attendance. The audience selects the top several ideas to advance by vote. Teams then form around the selected ideas, and the work/play/insanity begins. Over the following two days, participants develop a business model, work toward a minimum viable product, gather market validation, and prepare to present their progress in a winner-take-all final pitch competition. Prize packages to facilitate startup success are awarded to first, second, and third place.

See what it's all about

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Friday November 3rd

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 give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams & Start Working
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Venue Closes

Saturday November 4th

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

9:00 pm
Venue Closes

Sunday November 5th

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!


Pete Yonkman
President of Cook Group, Cook Medical, and Cook Inc,

The path that Pete took to his leadership role began in 2001 when he joined Cook Inc.’s corporate counsel team. He was named vice president and chief corporate counsel of Cook Group in 2004. That same year, he took on the additional role of vice president for the company’s expanding operations in Asia. In 2005, Pete was named president of Cook’s urological device manufacturing facility in Spencer, IN. In 2007, Pete was named executive vice president of the core medical company’s ten clinical divisions and took on global responsibility for a much broader scope of medical products for 10 strategic business units.  In 2014, Pete was named president of Cook Medical. Pete was additionally named president of Cook Group and Cook Inc. in July of 2015.  

Mike Sellers

Mike Sellers is Director of the Game Design Program and Professor of Practice at Indiana University, and is the author of “Advanced Game Design: A Systems Approach,” being published in 2017 by Pearson Education. He has spent more than twenty years working in the games industry and been a founder of three successful independent game companies. Mike has developed indie and AAA games, and has extensive experience in designing and producing MMO, social, and mobile games. Past titles include Meridian 59, The Sims 2, and Realm of the Mad God, as well as published research in advanced social artificial intelligence. ​

Event Judges

Mike Trotzke
Cofounder of SproutBox

Jim Silberstein
Program Chair of Entrepreneurship

Jim has experience starting, running, and selling successful businesses in Bloomington. He currently serves as the Program Chair for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

Mark Need
Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic

At Indiana Law, Professor Need directs the Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, a live clinic focusing on start-up ventures and other small businesses. He also instructs the classroom component of the clinical course. Fourth-year joint JD/MBA students and third-year law students have the unique opportunity to assist ventures with legal issues including financial planning, organization, licenses, agreements, regulatory compliance, and more. Clinic students work in teams on actual business formation, planning, and strategy issues in a multi-disciplinary setting. Need also teaches Transactional Drafting and advises the Law School's national transactional law competition teams.Need has a long history serving the small business client. Prior to joining Indiana Law, Professor Need spent thirteen years in private practice, representing businesses of all sizes. He spent the last five years of his private practice as a partner at Bose McKinney & Evans in Indianapolis, where he represented personal clients with their business needs while also assisting firm clients in a broad range of business litigation areas, including employment, regulatory, construction, real estate, and copyright. Following private practice, he served as general counsel for a former corporate client. He is a certified civil mediator. An alumnus of IU's joint JD/MBA program, Need is also the faculty director of the Law School's JD/MBA programs. The Law School currently offers a 4-year JD/MBA, a 4-year JD/MBAA (accounting), an accelerated 3-year JD/MBA, and a unique international JD/MBA in conjunction with the Sungkyunkwan Graduate School of Business in Seoul, South Korea.A 2009 recipient of the Trustees' Teaching Award at the Law School, Need previously served as an adjunct professor at the Kelley School of Business, where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award. He has taught commercial law in the Sungkyunkwan MBA program in Seoul, South Korea.

Coaches and Mentors

Norm Hedges
Director of the Intellectual Property Clinic at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Norman J. Hedges is Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Intellectual Property Clinic at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Professor Hedges joined the law school in January 2015. Professor Hedges came to Bloomington with over 16 years of experience in patent practice in Indianapolis, including 10 years in the Indianapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels, where he was named partner in 2007. At Faegre Baker Daniels, Hedges focused his intellectual property practice on the mechanical and electro-mechanical arts, including health and life sciences. In addition, he has substantial experience in the preparation and prosecution of U.S. and foreign patent applications, post-issuance challenges and defense, consultation with clients to avoid patent infringement, preparation of patent invalidity and non-infringement opinions, and intellectual property due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.

Chris Cockerham

Chris is a commercial broker manager for F.C. Tucker Bloomington and has experience running small businesses.

Nick Aschliman
Chapter Chair of Bloomington SCORE

Current Chapter Chair of Bloomington SCORE, an organization that connects entrepreneurs with experienced volunteer business mentors. Graduate of Purdue University with a Civil/Environmental Engineering degree. Now retired, his career
entailed roles including: staff/project engineer; project management; operations; personnel training,
business development, and proposal writing.
Through his diverse career in public and private sector work, he was also active in professional and civic
groups.  He served as s member and chair of Purdue's Civil Engineering Advisory Council; received the
school's Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Award; and attained Hall of Fame distinction in the
Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) - Houston Chapter.

Steve Bryant
Executive Director - Cook Center for Entrepreneurship

Steve Bryant serves as the Executive Director of the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington where he is developing and implementing a strategic plan for an entrepreneurial studies program to assist students and individuals looking to start entrepreneurial ventures. Steve has held a wide array of positions within the government, not-for-profit, life sciences industry and higher education, but most recently as Business Development & Marketing Manager for BioConvergence, a small, growing life sciences company in Bloomington, Indiana. 

Terri Brown

Terri Brown is a Business Advisor for the South Central ISBDC in Bloomington.  She has over 14 years’ experience working with the ISBDC in various capacities.  Terri has extensive knowledge of the accounting, human resources, and payroll functions and has worked in the lending, micro-loan, manufacturing, and service industries. In the past, she has started her own business and understands the challenges small business owners face every day.  Terri wrote and designed The Business Guide publication that is used today throughout the region, and has certification in Quickbooks.  

Alex Crowley
Director, Economic & Sustainable Development City of Bloomington, Indiana

Alex Crowley is Director of Economic & Sustainable Development with the City of
Bloomington. His responsibilities are to lead the department’s efforts to enhance the quality of life for citizens by administering strategic programs and initiatives, which foster an environment where businesses may thrive and retain and create
new, quality jobs. Before joining the City, Alex helped to run and launch small businesses in and around Bloomington. His professional background combines advertising and operations management in a variety of fields including
telecommunications. He has held leadership positions at Ogilvy & Mather: New
York, AT&T and Insight Communications. He served on the Board at Cardinal Stage
Company. Alex is a native of New Haven, Connecticut and a graduate of Fordham
College in New York.

Sam Sveen

SamUel Sveen started Uel Zing Coffee in May 2013 on a yellow bike cart. The ever-evolving cold brew company now focuses solely on wholesale distribution of bottled cold brew coffee and kegs throughout the region. With a small team of 3-4 coworkers, Sam continues to ride the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship, to read and react, to learn by doing.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Meghan
  • Casey


Grant Carlile
Managing Director, The Mountains

Grant thrives on curiosity, coffee, and office supplies.
Drawing on my experience growing three businesses, building out content strategies, coaching teams in multiple capacities across multiple industries for 12+ years, and creating relationships with personnel of many walks of life, I thrive on curiosity, coffee, and office supplies.

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