Chicago Startup Weekend - 2014 Global Startup Battle

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Chicago Startup Weekend - 2014 Global Startup Battle

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

320 West Ohio
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

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Chicago's best entrepreneurs will be competing in the 2014 Global Startup Battle

Global Startup Battle is back for 2014. As the world celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week, we'll be hosting the biggest startup competition the world has ever seen!  Join thousands of entrepreneurs from across the globe 
for one of the most innovative weekends of the year.


Friday November 14th

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 November 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Learn howto setup a FREE scalable Wordpress website using Microsoft BizSpark and Azure.

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
Check-In & Raffle
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help. We'll also be announcing the Microsoft Survey Raffle winner.

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 16th

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!


Tom Silva-Speaker
Principal - Silva Brand

Tom Silva is a brand humanist and steward going back 18 years. He has run PR, advertising, online marketing, brochures, billboards, film, video and social media for leading firms in the financial services, real estate, property management, healthcare and brokerage sectors. His work as a publicist, creative director and strategist in branding has been recognized with the Webby from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of the Visual Arts Award, three Silver International Davey Design Awards, the Summit International Creative Awards in 2008, the Silver Trumpet from the Publicity Club of Chicago, and the 24th Annual Healthcare Advertising Award. Tom’s writing about business and branding is featured in Thomson Reuters’ Inside the Minds series of books and in his regular column for the Huffington Post.

In addition to his branding work, Tom is a working filmmaker and musician whose work has been featured in Rolling Stone, PBS, iTunes and by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tom holds a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago and an MFA in Film from Columbia College.

Event Judges

Kirk Lashley
Co-Founder, CTO of WeDeliver

Kirk is  the Chief Technologist and Co-Founder of WeDeliver, providing on-demand delivery platform for unique, local businesses. His background is in software engineering, with well over 16 years professional software development experience. Kirk is experienced in the all aspects of the software development life-cycle, and has successfully managed over 60 web application projects since the turn of the century. He is constantly looking for applications of technology to address civic problems.

Since 2012,he has been a technical adviser to over five different digital startups in Chicago. He is also a startup and entrepreneurship protagonist for the Caribbean and has orgranized Startup Weekend Trinidad & Tobago, and Chicago.

Shruti Mehta Cruz
VP, Product Management at PinpointCare

Shruti has over 10 years of experience in healthcare strategy and operations. She currently is Vice President of Product Management at PinpointCare, a Chicago-based startup developing software applications that enable healthcare providers to create and coordinate care plans and engage patients in the management of their health. Prior to joining PinpointCare, she spent 6 years at Northwestern Medicine leading large-scale programs to respond to healthcare reform, deliver coordinated patient experiences, and improve clinical and financial operations. Most notably, Shruti was responsible for developing Northwestern Medicine's Care Coordination Strategy and Roadmap, including the launch of a novel, cost-effective primary care clinic model that has successfully prevented re-hospitalizations and empowered hundreds of low-income, medically complex patients to improve their health and livelihood. Shruti began her career as a management consultant at Sg2 and Deloitte Consulting, serving large hospital systems and health insurance companies in the areas of patient access, service line growth and mergers & acquisitions. She also has experience leading healthcare organizations through user-driven research and design methods to create new product and service offerings. Additionally, Shruti volunteers her time to support marketing and communications at Page Vault, an 1871-based startup that enables highly secure snapshots of web pages to be captured and stored for use as evidence in US courts. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Jeff Meunier
Director, Engineering / New Product Development at Shure

Jeff is an experienced leader and technical contributor to teams developing networked hardware & software systems, audio processing, and wireless technologies. He's repeatedly driven new products from concept to shipping systems, successfully putting new technologies in the hands everyone from major name musicians to millions of mobile phone customers. Jeff has extensive experience managing global teams of engineers, marketers, manufacturing staff, technology partners, and suppliers. Prior to Shure, Jeff specialized in mobile UI and speech recognition development at startup Auvo Technologies and Motorola Labs.

Coaches and Mentors

Robin Willson
Director of Marketing at Better Business Planning and Founder of Style by Bravura

Having sat on both sides of the table as both a business consultant and owner, Robin is no stranger to the triumphs and tragedies of entrepreneurship. Robin has been consulting small to medium sized firms with Better Business Planning since 2009. Her transition from Employee Benefits Consultant to Director of Marketing in early 2014 has her leading professional development forums, media opportunities, and business development for the agency. Robin is also the founder of Chicago-based Style by Bravura, and was voted Champion of the Under 30 CEO’s Entrepreneur Mashup in 2013.

JD Hartley
Co-founder and Front-end Developer at StageBloc

JD is a co-founder and front-end developer at StageBloc, a Chicago startup that makes your online presence simpler and smarter. JD leads the front-end team at StageBloc, where he focuses on creating beautiful and maintainable CSS and JavaScript. He has a passion for modern technologies and pushing browsers to their limits. If you have questions about CSS pre-processors like LESS or SASS, build tools like gulp or grunt, or JavaScript libraries like jQuery or D3.js, JD is your guy

Justin Conway
Front-end Developer at StageBloc

Justin is a front-end developer at StageBloc in Chicago, IL. A recent Chicago transplant, Justin has spent time at agencies in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA working on projects stretching from simple landing pages to leading teams through large scale e-commerce applications. Justin is well versed is CSS and JavaScript as well as using frameworks for each such as Bootstrap and AngularJS.

Patrick Farrar
Software Engineer

Patrick is currently working as a software engineer with Pinpoint Health and is the lead member of Livenine LLC, a web development consultancy based in Chicago. He has a background and degree in Marketing and specializes in product-focused software development, ui/ux, application design, and front-end development. Patrick's background includes working for startups in various different technical and non-technical roles from product development, market analysis, application design, application development, automated testing.  

Patrick is a two-time Startup Weekend Alum and now also a member of the core Startup Weekend Chicago Organizing team. 

Bill Fienup
President of Catalyze Chicago

Bill Fienup is the president of Catalyze Chicago, a co-working space and manufacturing network built to accelerate the growth of hardware startups.  He earned his Bachelors and Masters in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. After seven years of product design consulting for IDEO and Insight Product Development, he is now a full time entrepreneur working on three start-up companies.

Mason Cole
Attorney at Cole Sadkin LLC

Mason Cole is an attorney who focuses his practice in Intellectual Property. Whether you are looking to start a small entrepreneurial business or wanting to protect the next million-dollar idea, Mason specializes in guiding you from the initial incorporation or trademark to your exit strategy and every stage in between. 
Mason has spoken at several events such as, the Central Lakeview Merchant Association on landlord-tenant issues, Loyola University on intellectual property and at DePaul University MBA on corporate formation. Mason has a B.S in Political Science and English from Bradley University and a J.D from Georgetown law Center.

Michael Woyan
Social entrepreneur, collaborator, brand curator and strategic enterprise architect

Michael Woyan has over twenty-five years of entrepreneurial and strategic experience with concentrations in social enterprise, finance, banking, hospitality, real estate, technology, marketing, branding, project management, business plan and presentation development.  A creative problem solver, he especially enjoys collaborating with entrepreneurs helping them translate their vision to execution and facilitating successful outcomes.

Karen Goldner
Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at WBDC

Karen has spent over twenty years working with, in and for small businesses. She has worked in for-profit and non-profit early stage investment organizations, including creating and managing the first for-profit technology-focused angel fund in Northeast Indiana. Karen served as Interim President of a $6 million defense manufacturer that was owned by her investors. Prior to that, she managed a community development loan program for the City of Fort Wayne, and served as Fort Wayne’s Director of Economic Development. Karen earned her Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Nebraska.

Howard Jacob
Member, Board of Directors-Intel Alumni Network

Howard is a seasoned technical sales, marketing, and strategic business development professional with over 30 years of experience, and an additional 10 years of system architecture and design experience, with proven results as both a manager and individual contributor. During his 32 year career at Intel, his individual responsibilities included managing the technical design initiatives or overall account management for major OEM, software, interactive content, global system integrator, and reseller accounts.  His management roles included application engineering, product planning, and strategic technology, marketing and program teams. Prior to joining Intel, Howard was a Member of Technical Staff at GTE Automatic Electric Labs, and then managed all hardware and software development for a privately held instrumentation and control company.

Ben Brown
Front End Engineer at Pinpoint Care

Ben has over 9 years experience in web technology and online marketing with a focus on eCommerce. His past experience includes full-stack web development, search optimization, website revenue optimization, and lead generation. Industries in which he's been involved include national healthcare, manufacturing/distribution, retail, and local business.

Currently, Ben is a Front End Engineer at Pinpoint Care, where he is bringing actionable healthcare data to life in meaningful ways. Ben received his B.A. in Computer Science from DePauw University and his M.S. in Software Technology at Loyola University of Chicago.

Current tech stack of choice is anything that involves AngularJS and Bootstrap.

Lina Khalil
Co-Owner of Fetch Public Relations, LLC.

Lina Khalil is the co-owner of Fetch Public Relations, LLC. Fetch was founded on the principle that strong, unique brands deserve attention – and that media outlets deserve to know about those brands. They work with a wide spectrum of businesses and individuals - from hospitality to business experts. Fetch’s goal is always the same: create a regular stream of relevant, buzz-worthy press. Lina is also on the Membership Committee of the Small Business Advocacy Council.

Matt Meltzer
Founder & CEO, Sage Corps

Matt is the founder of Sage Corps, a global entrepreneurship program that sends top college students and young professionals abroad to work with foreign tech startups for 8-12 weeks. When he isn't touring global startup ecosystems with Sage Corps, Matt acts as an advisor to startups and dabbles in angel investing as well. Prior to Sage Corps, Matt was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP where he practiced commercial litigation. Matt graduated from Northwestern Law School and received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Most importantly, Matt spends his weekends touring Chicago construction sites and fire stations, thanks to his demanding sons Lucas and Ari.    

Ashish Patel
Director, Cloud Services at Terago Networks

Ashish is the Director of Cloud Services at Terago Networks. He is a high-performing leader and entrepreneur with the strategic business, engineering, and team leadership skills that consistently generate revenue from technology innovation. He has an impressive 14-year track record for identifying new opportunities, applying business acumen, and engineering products from concept to commercialization; while building customer relationships with a passionate entrepreneurial spirit. He has founded and led multiple products, services, and start-up projects including IBM Cloud OpenStack Services (, IBM Security AppScan Source, IBM Rational Application Performance Analyzer, Eclipse Build to Manage Toolkit, MarketPush,, Signia Analytics Inc., and BlueShift Innovations Inc.

Umang Desai
Partner at Desai & Patel, LLP

As an attorney and Certified Public Accountant, Umang works with start ups and small to midsize businesses to help them address the legal and tax issues arising out of their business activities. Umang has worked with businesses and non-profit organizations based in the US and India and enjoys learning from and working with entrepreneurs in a variety of industries. Umang is a runner, drummer, and Chicago sports fan.

Kyle Henry
CMO at Tide Spin

Kyle has worked with startups as an operator, investor and adviser over the past 5 years.  His passion for growing early stage companies has allowed him roles in brand strategy, strategic partnerships, business development, financial modeling and fundraising.  His teams have raised over $10M in funding across several verticals, including ag/food, tech and social impact.   Last August, he was sponsored by Up Global to travel and attend Startup Weekend Sertao in Brazil.
Kyle is currently leading marketing and strategy at Tide Spin, a delivery service launching out of 1871 in Chicago powered by P&G/Tide. 

Siôn Owen
Ringmaster, Pitch Circus

Siôn Owen is the Founder and Ringmaster of Pitch Circus, Chicago's freshest presentation training outfit. Siôn’s mission in life is to kill boring presentations before they kill us first. He fine-tuned his pitching skills while launching new products and training sales teams at tech companies Nokia and ShopperTrak. Now continuing his mission at Pitch Circus, Siôn specializes in teaching entrepreneurs and professionals how to get more creative and persuasive with their presentations to help their big ideas stick.

Ben Anderson
Founder of Bandwidth Pool, Director of Business Development at BDC Group, Inc.

Rob Volk
Co-Founder, CTO of Charlie

Rob is the co-founder and CTO of Charlie, a service that compiles one-pagers on the people you're about to meet with, before you see them.  He leads the development of Charlie and takes a process-driven, iterative approach to building software, using automated testing and continuous delivery to get there.  He was previously the CTO of a successful nutrition company and has built custom enterprise applications for many Fortune 500 companies.

He'll help you plan and build your MVP quickly so you can get fast feedback from your users.  He's experienced in Ruby on Rails, C#, SQL, MongoDB, as well as front-end languages.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Chicago Startup Weekend - 2014 Global Startup Battle 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

  • Andy
  • Ryan
  • Nirav
  • Simon
    De Brito


Nirav Amin

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