Techstars Startup Weekend Chicago Social Impact by Grow With Google

    Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Chicago Social Impact by Grow With Google

Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018

Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Blue Lacuna
2150 S Canalport Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

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Your idea in 54 hours

Techstars Startup Weekend and Grow with Google have joined forces to offer this special event FREE of charge to the first people who register. The event is designed to help you launch a business that will positively impact communities near and far! We’ll help you design and launch a double bottom line tech-enabled company which will both product a profit and benefit society in a positive way. 

Areas of impact can be almost anything including: Poverty, Education, Homelessness, Healthcare, Public Safety, Hunger, Nutrition, Sustainability, Aging, Social Justice,  Equality, and lots more as long as it utilizes technology for good!

Hurry to secure your spot; this event will sell out quickly!

Techstars Startup Weekend is the best place to learn how to build a startup in a weekend and connect with your community; a melting pot of the area’s most creative thinkers, builders and implementers.  It’s a 3-day long sprint to launch new products and services that solve real-world problems.

Grow with Google is an initiative that draws on Google’s 20-year history of building products, platforms, and services that help people and businesses grow. Through Grow with Google, Google aims to help everyone across America – those who make up the workforce of today and the students who will drive the workforce of tomorrow – access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses.

Techstars Startup Weekend Chicago and Google have joined forces to bring this special event to life.

See what it's all about

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Friday September 28th

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

6:45 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. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday September 29th

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 September 30th

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!

Event Judges

Beth Bond
Head of City Development at Bosch

Raised in a military family of nine, I believe in the power of service and collaboration as the key drivers of positive change. I work with nonprofit organizations and businesses to leverage technology to improve and engage communities.

Volunteering is my passion. It gives me the opportunity to teach elementary school kids about social innovation and entrepreneurship, mentor courageous women battling cancer, read The Lorax to kindergarteners and even see the fastest runners in the world cross the finish line at the marathon -- The perspectives we can tap into through service are invaluable.

Michael Tu
Founder and CEO of Voyant Diagnostics

Founder and CEO of Voyant Diagnostics, an angel funded, digital hardware health company that is developing the first fully automated urine diagnostic platform for the connected health provider. Voyant has completed a clinical trial with one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. The venture has also been recognized as a Finalist in startup competitions on the national and international scale.

Roger Liew
Partner at Impact Engine

Roger Liew is a Partner at Impact Engine, a venture fund investing in software companies providing a social or environmental benefit. Previously, Roger was the CTO of ShopRunner and Orbitz where he started as the first software engineer. Outside of work, he is a Trustee of the Catherine Cook School and a Director of the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

Coaches and Mentors

Fermin Fernandez
Certified Sr. Project Manager at Robert Bosch

Experienced Senior Project Manager with a demonstrated history of leadership in strategic, complex and cross-functional projects. Skilled in International Project Management, SAP Implementation, Technical Support, Value Stream Mapping, Coaching and Consulting. Industrial Engineering Major with Masters in Business Administration and PMP Certified. 
Fluent in English, Spanish and German. Intermediate Portuguese.

Brigitte Anderson
Founder and Principal Orange Vista

Brigitte Anderson is the Principal of market research consultancy Orange Vista, LLC.  She has over 16 years of experience mostly in financial services but also has spent time in the education, non-profit, manufacturing and digital health sectors in the US and abroad. Brigitte holds an AB in Anthropology from Princeton University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with dual concentrations in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. She is currently pursuing an MS in Biomedical Informatics at The University of Chicago.  Within the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, Brigitte is active as a mentor at the Polsky Exchange and 1871. 

Emily Wengel
Product Owner at Evolent Health

Emily Wengel has a background in startup, finance, analysis, research, and product. She is currently a product owner at Evolent Health, where she defines product roadmap and user requirements. At Healthbox, she launched and managed a product aimed at helping healthcare organizations find and select digital health companies. During her time there, she evaluated hundreds of digital health technologies, reviewing pitch decks and interviewing C-suite employees. At SVB, she conducted over 150 valuations of private companies, with a focus on digital health. Emily studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated with a BA in Biology and a BS in Economics (Operations and Information Management) from the Wharton school. You can learn more about her work at

Kael Shipman
CTO and Senior Web Applications Architect for the OpenFinance Network

Kael Shipman is CTO and Senior Web Applications Architect for the OpenFinance Network, a Chicago-based startup providing a fully-compliant and regulated trading platform for tokenized securities. He has built several production applications in the financial technology space and enjoys being a part of the fast-paced startup lifestyle. Before his time with OpenFinance Network, Kael explored the world as a digital nomad, eventually dedicating himself to the leadership team of a small non-profit in Panama, where he developed many of his ideas about system dynamics and the tools necessary to bootstrap a dream. He enjoys exploring and developing new ideas in collaboration with other curious individuals, and he never misses an opportunity to indoctrinate the youth :).

Hemil Patell
Solutions Consultant @ Google

Hemil grew up in Chicago, completing highschool in Elmwood park area before moving to Canada for University, where he completed a degree in Nanotechnology Engineering at the University of Waterloo. This is where he grew closer to entrepreneurship, formally learning tools and skills needed to succeed in the startup world. Hemil now lives in California, working for Google as a Solutions Consultant. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, outdoor activities, dance, and all things tech.

Victoria Bujny
Account Manager, LCS (Chicago)

Victoria is a Michigan native who first discovered her love of entrepreneurship at a Lansing Startup Weekend at Michigan State University. From there she graduated with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. She has been with Google for 4 years in various roles empowering companies both big and small to leverage data and storysell. Her passions include helping entrepreneurs (#InvestMidwest) and improv.

Surbhi Verma
Incubation Lead, Trust & Safety (Sunnyvale, CA)

Surbhi works at Google in Mountain View as an incubation and strategy lead managing projects to fight abuse at scale on a suite of Google products like Youtube, Ads, Gmail. Over the course of her 5 year stint at Google across 2 countries, she has been on varying roles including working with small and medium businesses to help with digital marketing solutions to program managing high impact launches. She is an active contributor to the startup community by participating in mentoring startups; she was also the mentor of the winning startup at Google Demo Day 2016!

Eddie Lin
data scientist at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy of University of Chicago

bio: Eddie Lin is a data scientist at the Center for Data Science and Public Policy of University of Chicago. His works focus on data science projects through engineering, machine learning and analysis to tackle operational problems that have tangible impact, and result in open-source software that can be used by organizations or individuals for social impact and improved policies. He was a fellow of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good fellowship in 2016. Prior to joining the DSaPP team, he was a Data Analyst at a health care start-up company in Taiwan. 

Nicolette Stosur-Bassett
Founder: Do It Better Design

Nicolette Stosur-Bassett is a social entrepreneur with eight years' experience helping mission-driven organizations find, tell, and share their stories. She earned her B.A. in Sustainable Business and her M.A. in Social Innovation and Sustainability from Goddard College; Nicolette also holds certificates in Public Interest Design and Media Psychology. She is the founder of Do It Better Design, a think-and-do agency that provides strategic communications for businesses that benefit people and the planet. 

Melissa Hamilton
Director of Business and Clinical Analytics, AVIA

Melissa is the current Director of Business and Clinical Analytics at AVIA, an innovation company that brings together forward-leaning health systems to solve shared, pressing challenges through the use of emerging digital technologies. In her role, Melissa views health system challenges through the lens of key ecosystem stakeholders and develops value frameworks that support strategic investments in early stage technologies. Melissa also has prior work experience in the strategy consulting space, technology space and both healthcare and FinTech startup spaces. Melissa is a licensed CPA and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and both a Masters of Accountancy (MAcc) and Bachelor of Science in Accountancy (BSAcc) from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Melissa is a startup mentor with the Chicago Urban League's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She is also an engaged philanthropist and member of Social Venture Partners Chicago. 

Lauren Collalto
Chief Marketing Officer of Contap Social

Lauren Collalto-Rieske is the Chief Marketing Officer of Contap Social, a networking and event organizing mobile app. At Contap, she’s been responsible for developing and executing the startup’s brand and launch strategies. She has over 10 years of experience in marketing, client service and sales in three industries: financial services, CPG and technology. She holds a BA in Art History from Wellesley College and an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Jessica Dalka
Founder, Chicago Planner Magazine

Jessica Dalka graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Advertising & PR.  After working in advertising, she moved to the hospitality and events industry where she has worked on a wide range of events from conferences, to tv show launch parties, to athletic meet & greets, private parties, weddings and political events.  She started Chicago Planner Magazine as a blog in 2012 and further developed it into digital magazine starting in 2016.  While she continues to work in events through Chicago Planner Magazine, she also has pushed for grittier content to talk honestly about the industry, which included an interview with Homeland Security and the State Department regarding the Travel Ban and is impact on the events industry.  She has been featured in Forbes, and has covered major events like Obama's Final Speech at McCormick Place in 2016.  When she isn't working, she enjoys cooking, learning about wine, and creative writing and art. 

Matt Pelton
Deal Advisory Manager, KPMG

Matt is inspired by the power of business and entrepreneurship in driving social and economic change.  He is an international business professional that has worked with entrepreneurs, clients and senior leaders from around the globe while living in Nairobi, Madrid, Mauritius, Connecticut, San Francisco, and Chicago. Currently, he is an experienced Manager in Deal Advisory at KPMG, where he leads international projects focused on cross-border M&A, accounting policy, and financial reporting considerations. Matt previously served in strategy, operations, and business development roles for ventures within the African Leadership Group.  He helped build the African Leadership University (ALU) as a member of the co-founding team and led the initiative to design its ALU School of Business from idea stage to launch.  In addition, he led a pan-African entrepreneurship program to identify, support, and connect high-growth, high-impact businesses from across Africa.  Matt has advised entrepreneurs and companies on market research and growth opportunities and also has led workshops and events on entrepreneurship, leadership, and professional development as a coach, facilitator, and speaker.  Matt obtained a Master in International Relations from IE Business School and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Augustana College (IL) with a B.A. in Accounting and Business and Minors in Spanish and Economics.  He is a licensed CPA and a facilitator for KPMG Business School.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Chicago Social Impact by Grow With Google 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.


Organizing Team

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

  • Kevin
  • Matt
  • Cynthia
  • John
  • Gigi


Luis Rodriguez
Product Manager @ Techstars

Event Staff

Ifeanyi Nwachukwu
Growth Associate at Chicago Beyond

With a background in business and design-thinking, Ifeanyi has continuously worked to apply his passion and experience in an urban context. At PwC, Ifeanyi participated in a fellowship where he utilized human-centered design to partner with Detroit nonprofits and tackle issues such as transportation, health, and education. Later, Ifeanyi worked on several initiatives designed to foster local businesses, and attract investment for high-growth startups. As a Growth Associate at Chicago Beyond, Ifeanyi continues to apply his strategy background to help intensify the impact of Chicago Beyond’s partners.

Alexander Li
Sr. Consultant Corporate Strategy Operations

I am deeply curious about and focus immensely on the only constant in business and life: change.

To do so, I have been building experience as a corporate adviser, strategy & management consultant, entrepreneur, volunteer, and student across multiple industries and regions. I partner with organizations and leaders to secure market positioning, build sustainable competitive advantages, understand market demands & trends, formulate unique and compelling strategic initiatives, identify growth opportunities, improve operation efficiency and profit margins, and manage hyper-growth or turnaround situations.

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