Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids 2015

    Friday, March 6 - 8, 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, Cedar Rapids, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids 2015

Friday, March 6 - 8, 2015

Friday, March 6 - 8, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Iowa Startup Accelerator
415 12th Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401

Buy Tickets

Trust your crazy ideas

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together Cedar Rapids designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things.


Friday March 6th

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 March 7th

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 March 8th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

11:45 am
Lite lunch of Jimmy Johns goodness.

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

2:30 pm
Chef in the Cafe!!

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

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Jayne Armstrong
Iowa District Director / U.S. Small Business Administration

As the District Director of the SBA’s Iowa District Office, Jayne Armstrong oversees SBA’s financial, business counseling, government contracting programs and other services throughout the state.
Jayne joins the Iowa District Office from the SBA’s Office of Field Operations in Washington, DC. She previously served as the district director of SBA’s Virginia, Delaware and West Virginia District Offices, and as regional advocate of the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, where she coordinated public policy at the federal and state levels and organized the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business. In 1996, she represented the SBA in Russia during the first formal exchange between U.S. and Russian entrepreneurs.
Prior to her SBA career, Armstrong worked in the advertising, high-tech economic development and higher education development fields in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. A native of Pittsburgh, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University (WVU), where she served as student body president.  
She was recognized by former U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (DE) on the Senate floor as a “Great Federal Employee” for her commitment to small business. She is the recipient of the Risk Management Association’s Business Woman of the Year Award in Virginia, Delaware Today’s Women in Business Award, the New Castle County (DE) Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year Award and the Delaware YWCA’s Woman of Power, Style and Brilliance Award.
She also was recognized by the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) with its Bridge Builder Award (twice), the NAWBO Richmond, VA chapter as its Ambassador of the Year, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) with its Excellence in Communications Award, Girls Inc. of Delaware as its Volunteer of the Year and The State Journal as one of “The 55 Best Things About West Virginia.” 
Armstrong has been active in a wide variety of non-profits and business organizations throughout her career, with a strong focus on women in business and academic interests. She has been an active member of Rotary for over 25 years, NAWBO for 20 years and has served on numerous WVU alumni chapter boards. More recently she served on the advisory councils of Delaware State University’s School of Business and Wilmington University, the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute/Delaware Money School and as a mentor to Delaware Futures, a college bound program for at risk students. 

Jason Wonase
Entrepreneur / Collective Data

With 20 years of software development experience, Jason Wonase is an entrepreneur who has made a significant impact in the fleet management software industry.  Along with his team at Collective Data, Inc., Jason helps vehicle fleet managers from various industries around the world save significant money and time by providing a system for properly monitoring maintenance schedules and costs associated with vehicles and equipment used to get their daily jobs done.Since 2008, Collective Data has grown consistently year over year and was named as one of the top 25 Fastest Growing Companies in the local business corridor in 2013. In 2009, Jason was selected as one of the Iowa’s Creative Corridor’s “Forty Under 40” for his achievements with Collective Data and making a significant impact in the local business community.

Fitzgerald Steele
Director of Marketing, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc.

Jerry is passionate about helping organizations understand their customers and deliver delightful, engaging customer experiences.  With over 15 years of customer research and user interface design experience, Jerry brings a wide range of tools to understand users’ needs and goals, align them with business goals and technical solutions, and establish a shared product vision between business, development, and operations teams.

Theresa Bornbach
Business Support Strategist / Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

As the Business Support Strategist at the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Theresa’s focus and passion is small business.  While her experiences include a Vice President role at Alliant Energy, much of her career has been spent owning small businesses.  While administering the Jumpstart Business flood recovery program, she had the opportunity to experience the challenges of over 1200 businesses, assisted in developing programs to address the needs of impacted companies, and distributed in excess of $80M in State and Federal funds to affected businesses.  She started two of the first co-working locations in Cedar Rapids:  Corridor CoWorks  as well as a partnering role to support the Vault CoWorking startup.  The Business Exchange Center was a large scale coworking location, and has recently transitioned to a Regus International location.  Theresa has been an active business coach in our community for several years, with a goal of making a difference to the bottom line success of small businesses.  Her strong results orientation, coupled with a leadership style that builds successful teams, come together to make a difference in our business community. It just made sense when the Economic Alliance searched for a Business Support Strategist that Theresa was the right fit.  She brings her energy and passion to member organizations, and is a key supporter of the entrepreneurial community.   Theresa continues to own and operate Capstone Charity Resources, which assists non-profits in meeting their compliance needs as it relates to State registration.  She has a BA from Coe College in Business, Psychology and Spanish, as well as an MBA from Southeastern University.  

Stacey Walker
Sr. Business Manager at Hawkeye Hotels

Stacey Walker is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  He grew up on the southeast side of town and attended Washington High School. He went on to study Political Science at the University of Iowa.
After college, he helped launch the LBA Foundation, an education-based nonprofit that works to help disadvantaged students stay on course to graduation.
Walker relocated to Washington, D.C. to work for the Case Foundation, a family organization dedicated to empowering people and ideas that can change the world for the better.
Walker was also able to work directly with AOL founder and Venture Capitalist Steve Case who served on the President’s Council for Jobs and Economic Competitiveness. Walker was also an integral member of Steve Case’s effort to revitalize America’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through the Startup America Partnership and the JOBS Act.
While in Washington, D.C., Stacey served as a TA under Ambassador J. Douglas Holladay who taught a leadership seminar to executive MBA students at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.
Stacey Walker currently serves as the Senior Business Manager for Hawkeye Hotels and the Chief of Staff for Patel Endeavors. In both roles, he helps execute on growth and development strategy. Through his involvement with Patel Endeavors, he’s worked alongside the principals of Built By Iowa, a private equity firm that focuses on mentoring and growing Iowa-based startups. 

Coaches and Mentors

Jonathan Zuck
President of ACT | The App Association

Jonathan Zuck is a widely known and respected leader in the technology industry. As a former application developer and IT executive, he brings more than fifteen years of experience running small business technology companies to his leadership of ACT | The App Association.

Kimm Harris
President, IPC of Iowa inc.

Kimm is a passionate businesswoman with the ability to create a vision for the future, to transform ideas 
into action, and to connect individuals across a broad spectrum of industries. Through her business and 
non-profit work, Kimm has developed relationships with successful individuals worldwide, allowing her to 
grow a personal network of thousands.

As President of IPC of iowa inc., a company that creates software solutions for CPAs, accountants, attorneys and other business professionals, Kimm has experienced over 20 years of business success. Using her skills in leadership, problem solving, and discipline she provides her customers with quality assistance from start to finish.  In addition to purchasing companies, she has been involved in start-ups and franchises.

Kimm received both her undergraduate and MBA from the University of Iowa and is passionate about entrepreneurship.  She is an Adjunct Lecturer through the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa.

Jerod Mollenhauer

Remote Mentor - Teams book here:

Jerod Mollenhauer, Co-founder and COO -Venuefox - Currently heads operations including marketing, sales, and financials. He is a former small business owner and assistant vice president with experience in the food, entertainment, and insurance industries. Being self employed since his early 20s, Jerod is a passionate entrepreneur who loves to connect, inspire, challenge, and motivate others to work together to find solutions for problems worth solving.

Blake Rupe
Founder & President

Blake Rupe’s journey began during the summer of 2013 when she was conducting research on the marine debris situation in Veracruz, Mexico.  She was driven to create Re-APP, and then Sift, after her experiences working with garbage in the beautiful, once pristine coral reef area of the Gulf of Mexico. After experiencing the devastation and frustration of witnessing recyclable materials being washed out to sea first hand, Blake became passionate about closing this major leak in the materials system. In January, 2014, after months of research and design, Blake founded Re-APP and sift with the goal of increasing recycling rates among the average American.  Blake is currently working on the newest version of the application with her team.  She is a motivated and passionate conservationist turned entrepreneur who loves dogs, ice cream, and the Midwest. 

Beth McKeon
Founder / Kids Calendar, Inc

Remote Mentor - Teams book here:

Beth McKeon is founder of the local startup, Kids Calendar, which curates local activities and services for families. She started the Kids Calendar in Lawrence, Kan. and has now expanded the company to five other cities. She is currently attending the GAN accelerator, Iowa Startup Accelerator in Cedar Rapids. She is also the co-founder of Startup Lawrence.

David Sturtz
Product Strategist & Intrapreneur, Geonetric

David Sturtz is a product strategist and intrapreneur at Geonetric.  He brings his vision and expertise to industry-leading projects and products all centered on connecting people with the information they need. His current focus is on developing and launching Blaze, a Web application for content strategists. David is also a mentor for the Iowa Startup Accelerator, the state’s first 90-day accelerator program for pre- and early-revenue startups. He holds a MS in library and information science and a BA in graphic design.

Scott Swenson
Regional Director, Kirkwood SBDC

Adam Ingersoll
Co-Founder & Principal, Compass Education Group

Adam Ingersoll's two decades of experience in entrepreneurial ventures includes roles as an owner-operator and advisor in ed-tech, performance marketing, CRM, professional services, and SaaS businesses. 

Adam leads Compass Education Group, an educational services firm he co-founded in 2004 and still actively manages. With offices in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, Compass employs 400 instructors and provides services to thousands of students annually through in-home tutoring in CA and web-based tutoring internationally. 

In 2007 Adam co-founded TigerLead Solutions, a leading CRM system and online marketing platform for the real estate industry. TigerLead grew rapidly and Adam led the sale of the company to Move, Inc. ( in 2012 for $26 MM.

Locally, Adam's investments and advisory relationships include Higher Learning Technologies, Tutor Universe, Telepharm, ClusterFlunk, Pear Deck, the Iowa Startup Accelerator, and many other equity investments. Adam, along with partners Ravi Patel and Roby Miller, is a co-founder and managing member of Built By Iowa (BBI), an equity fund created to support Iowa-based businesses in need of capital and strategic guidance. BBI was named the 2014 Investor of the Year by the Silicon Prairie News.

Adam is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California where he was a member of the varsity basketball team. He lives in Iowa City with his wife and four children and commutes to Los Angeles semi-monthly.

Mat Winegarden
Product Design Manager & UX Researcher at ConnectFive, Inc.

Andy Stoll
Co-Founder Seed Here Studio & Iowa Startup Accelerator

Andy Stoll is a social entrepreneur and media producer. He co-founded Seed Here Studio, Vault Coworking and Collaboration Space and The Iowa Startup Accelerator, three organizations dedicated to building a stronger community of entrepreneurs and creatives in the Creative Corridor.

Stoll is a global facilitator for Startup Weekend and recently facilitated events in Kiev, Ukraine and Anchorage, Alaska.

Andy previously co-founded The James Gang, a community-building, social entrepreneurial-incubator that was named the Iowa City Press Citizen ‘Person of the Year’, as the individual or group that had the largest impact on the community. 

Stoll was named one of the top 25 most influential leaders in the Corridor and is a member of the Corridor Business Journal 2006 class of 40 Under 40. Andy holds a BA in film production and a BBA in Business Management from The University of Iowa, as well as a Masters Degree in Media Cultures from The City University of Hong Kong.

Andy recently completed a 4-year, 40-country solo trip-around-the-world, and moonlights as a photographer, sometimes chef and occasional cooking class instructor. 

Michael Ott
Entrepreneur In Residence / Nidus Investment Partners & Founder / Terra Biologics

Michael Ott is an Entrepreneur In Residence for Nidus Investment Partners and the founder of Terra Biologics, an algae biofertilizer company. For the last 9 years, he has helped raise capital and create strategic partnerships for young companies looking to grow. Over the course of his career he has raised over $150 million for various projects and been the first employee at 6 different startups. He has a Master's degree in Chemistry but has mostly worked in finance.

Devin Miller
Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Product Management for TaxACT

Devin Miller is Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Product Management for TaxACT.  TaxACT provides online tax preparation software and services to nearly 7 million consumers and small businesses annually and is based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Devin joined TaxACT in 2013 through the acquistion of his company Balance Financial, a financial SaaS startup based out of Seattle Washington.  Devin was a founder and the CEO of Balance starting in 2010 where he oversaw product development and led the company through a $2M venture round of financing and the successful exit to TaxACT.  Prior to Balance, Devin held product management, business development and operational roles at several financial technology startups in the Seattle area.  Devin holds multiple patents, is a three time entrepreneur and with his wife Rebecca spends his free time seeking out new adventures with his 4 young daughters. 

Peter Awad

Peter Awad is the co-founder and connector at GoodBlogs, a content marketing company for brands interested in generating massive amounts of targeted content and leads by rewarding user generated content. He is a husband and father of four little gremlins. Also, owns an automotive ecommerce business and recently launched a business lifestyle podcast Slow Hustle. Learn more about Peter at and on twitter @peterawad

Derek Balsley
Founder and CEO at The Art of Education

Derek Balsley is the Founder and CEO at The Art of Education ( AOE is the world's largest provider of of professional development for K-12 Art Teachers and currently employs 20 remote team members scattered across the country. The Art of Education provides degree-level graduate accredited classes through a strategic partnership with Morningside College in Sioux City, IA. 

Derek grew up on a farm near Osage, IA and recently moved back ‘home’ along with his 3-year-old daughter Nora and his wife (and AOE co-founder) Jessica Balsley, to run their business and spend time ‘hobby farming.’ Learn more about Derek at or on Twitter @derekbalsley.

Trace Steffen

Trace is the CEO of the Cedar Falls based startup HowFactory.

In 2014, Kyoger officially became HowFactory and is now a Delaware C-Corp based in Cedar Falls, IA. HowFactory is a subscription based web application for managing standard operating procedures, training and work instructions. 

At, or on our mobile app, we make it fast and easy for your people to share what they do. Your people can quickly capture each step of a process and automatically create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for your entire team, and save your company's critical knowledge.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids 2015 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.




Sponsor An Entrepreneur

Sponsor Startup Weekend Cedar Rapids

Organizing Team

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

  • David
  • Sarah
  • Joshua


Max Farrell

Max Farrell is a Little Rock native splitting time between Arkansas and the road. As co-founder of Create Reason, Max works with companies to engages employees through innovation and rethink how we approach work. Prior to Create Reason, he worked with Iowa-based payments startup Dwolla as the team raised $30 million and expanded the network nationally. In addition to professional efforts, Max is also a facilitator for Startup Weekend events across the United States. In his spare time, Max is a sound hip-hop artist and avid sportsman. 

Event Blog

See Full Blog