Startup Weekend Chicago - Maker Edition

    Friday, March 10 - 12, 2017

  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 Chicago - Maker Edition

Friday, March 10 - 12, 2017

Friday, March 10 - 12, 2017
Event starts at 6:15 pm

965 W. Chicago Ave
chicago, il 60642

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Join Startup Weekend Chicago & mHUB in Building the Future!

Startup Weekend Chicago is kicking off 2017 with Startup Weekend: Maker Edition!  

What does Maker Edition mean?
Participants will pitch startup ideas that include the development of a physical product or software+ (delivery system). No, you don’t need to be a Maker to participate. Successful startups leverage a team of diverse skill sets including business, marketing, tech development, and design! 

Sound like a tall order in 52 hours?
No worries! We’ve partnered with mHUB to provide participants access to 63,000 square feet of state-of-the-art machines, workspace, and material! mHUB is Chicago’s first innovation center focused on physical product development and manufacturing. mHUB galvanizes the manufacturing ecosystem by bringing innovative ideas, attracting world class talent, and driving greater productivity and profit. mHUB provides members access to 63,000 square feet of state-of-the-art machines and work space, and a vibrant community of manufacturers, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and investors. mHUB ensures Chicago’s legacy remains that of a beacon to a region that builds products, and also the future.

Join Startup Weekend Chicago and mHUB in Building the Future! Come pitch, join a team, iron out your business model, and tinker away! Startup Weekend  is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.  

Questions? Email us at


Friday March 10th

6:15 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

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

7:20 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 11th

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
Mentors will help teams with soft prototyping and iron out design details.

4:00 pm

5:30 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 12th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Mentors are on hand to help you craft your prototypes. Final products to be developed.

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
Final Hour of Mentoring/OPEN SHOP

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

5:30 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Edward Colgate
Co-Founder and Chief Haptic Officer at Tanvas
Ed has dedicated most of his career to the study of haptic interface, and is considered one of the leading scholars in the field. As a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, Ed has maintained a robust research program that has led to two previous spin-off companies: Cobotics (acquired by The Stanley Works in 2002), and Kinea Design (acquired by HDT Robotics in 2011). He is a prolific inventor with twenty-five issued patents with several more pending. He is recognized for seminal contributions to the design and control of haptic interfaces, and in 2007 was selected as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics. In recent years, he has focused on Surface Haptics, developing the technological foundation for Tanvas.

Event Judges

Dima Elissa

Dima Elissa is CEO and founder of VisMed-3D, a medical 3D printing company. It creates anatomical replicas to assist surgeons with complex procedures, and other medical models and tools. She founded the Evanston-based company in hopes of creating a better pair of custom-made shoes for her business partner, who has spina bifida.Today, their company prototypes forceps for eye surgeons, creates lifelike models of a patient’s spinal column for medical students, and converts pre-surgery MRI scans into 3D models of soft tissue to help surgeons find weak spots that might be undetectable on a flat screen.“Every day we’re learning something,” Elissa told Blue Sky. “We’re not linear thinkers.”She is also president and CEO of tech consulting firm Visual Media, LTD and teaches entrepreneurship at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest in Chicago. She serves on the boards of Ms. Tech, Women in Bio, World Business Chicago and is on the STEM steering committee for the Aparecio Foundation, which provides mentoring to high-achieving, low-income female high school students.
Elissa has an MBA from Texas A&M University. @dimaelissa

Miachel Donnelly
Founder CEO Investor

Michael has been the force behind some of the country's most popular large-scale tech and business events, including Techweek, Fear Paradox Summit, and FUND Conference. After helping to put together a number of events for clients, she decided to follow her passion of encouraging professional inclusion at all opportunities and founded FWD (For Women & Diversity) Collective, formerly known as VentureFWD. 

Formerly the CEO of Techweek, the nation's largest traveling technology festival. Prior to Techweek, I was the President and Founder of SocialKaty, Inc, Chicago's largest social media marketing agency. Founded in 2010, SocialKaty exploded, offering a rich set of services to a diverse portfolio of over 60 full-time clients, including AAA, Spartan Race, Beanie Babies, ServiceMaster, and Firestone Tires. In July of 2014, I announced the merge between SocialKaty, Inc and Manifest Digital, a Chicago-based experience design agency. This combination created one of the largest social and content marketing teams in the U.S.

► Named 'Top 50 Tech Influencer' by Crain's Chicago
► Placed on Thrillist’s 'Top 50 Twitter Feeds To Follow'
► Listed on Chicago Tribune's '10 Chicago Entrepreneurs to Follow on Snapchat'
► Featured on BuiltInChicago's '50 Chicago Tech CEOs, Founders, Designers & Hackers to follow' 
► Creator of popular hashtag #TravelTuesday
► Actively involved in Mark Zuckerberg's immigration reform organization, FWD.US
► Model and Brand Ambassador for The Limited's 'Leading Looks Like' National Campaign:

Sean Corbett
CEO Crafty Machine

Sean has been creating digital products for multiple decades. He has been called on to provide insights on new business creation in local and international forums. He is a passionate technologist and digital craftsman with experience in mobile technologies and application development across a variety of platforms and organizations. He participated in the TechStars incubator program in Boston with HaveMyShift and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s engineering school where he concentrated on computational robotics and artificial intelligence.

Coaches and Mentors

Chris Bue
Founder of LBKD Corp.

Chris Bue is the Founder of LBKD Corp. After spending many years focusing on Finance and Operations in the health insurance industry, both as a consultant and an employee, she left the corporate world to work with small businesses. 

Her first "maker" engagement was with Unatronics, and since then she has immersed herself in the business world of physical product companies. She runs the Chicago chapter of MakerBiz, and she currently works out of Catalyze Chicago, a co-working space designed for physical product companies. She also conducted the first StartupBus to focus on hardware in the summer of 2015.

Chris received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris and then earned an MBA at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. She lives in Chicago with her dog named Squirt and her Roomba named GRoomba.

Kate Drane
Senior Director of Outreach for Tech and Hardware

Kate Drane is Indiegogo’s Senior Director of Outreach for Tech and Hardware. She loves democratizing access to resources, and considers herself as a VC of the people. Since starting at Indiegogo in July 2012, she's empowered more than 500 entrepreneurs to collectively raise over $80M on the Indiegogo platform, including Canary, Misfit, and Skulpt.

Craig Koszewski

Craig Koszewski is a product manager in the financial technology space. He previously won two startup weekends and loves coming up with new ideas which typically involve mixing beer and technology. He holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and International Business.

Frank Ursetta
Engineer in Bionic Medicine

Frank Ursetta is a Research Engineer III within the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. His main focus is to use his engineering experience to develop rehabilitiative technology that is both innovative and practical. He also has experience with magnetic sensor technology, advanced FEA and manufacturing, and holds multiple patents.  He received his BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MS in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
In his spare time  he enjoys building furniture, playing soccer and cooking.

Elizabeth Koprucki
Assistant Director of Fab Lab and Design

Elizabeth Koprucki is Assistant Director of Fab Lab & Design at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. She manages the Fab Lab, a state-of-the-art space for digital fabrication and rapid prototyping. She led the build-out and design of the Lab, and develops programming to introduce Polsky Exchange members, affiliates, and the public to design thinking and digital fabrication. She also offers mentorship to members and incubated companies on the design process, and works to connect the Lab to other University resources, as well as the larger making and manufacturing ecosystem in Chicago and beyond.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Chicago - Maker Edition 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

  • Maggie
  • Juan
  • ken
  • Cynthia


Brien Buckman

Brien works at Magic Leap where he is excited to help redefine the human experience and the definition of "real." Previously, he worked within MasterCard's Digital Labs group, for Apple's education group, founded an HR SaaS company that was acquired, and consulted for a university technology incubator working on nano-particle production. Outside of work, Brien enjoys traveling to new places, eating good food and supporting entrepreneurs. 

Event Blog

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