Startup Weekend Columbus - Maker Edition

    Friday, June 23 - 25, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Columbus - Maker Edition

Friday, June 23 - 25, 2017

Friday, June 23 - 25, 2017
Event starts at 5:45 pm

Columbus Idea Foundry
421 W State St
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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Startup Weekend Columbus Returns!

We are excited to announce the next Startup Weekend Columbus on June 23-25 in collaboration with The Columbus Idea Foundry!

What does Maker Edition mean?! Glad you asked.
Today’s Makers are crafters, artists and artisans, technologists, hobbyists, amateur scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, woodworkers, roboticists, and many others. They are young people engaging in hands-on projects that introduce them to science and technology in creative ways. Makers are also adults who see themselves as inventors and experimentalists. Some have PhDs and others are self-educated. Makers are practicing a craft or challenging themselves to learn a new hobby. They are creative problem-solvers who gain the confidence that they can tackle ever-larger problems.

At this next startup weekend we expect to see over 100 hackers of all sorts - makers, developers, designers and hustlers - come together to build 10+ companies over the course of one weekend. We expect to see a bunch of companies that blend the boundaries between hardware and software, IOT devices, and beautifully designed prototypes. It will be a ton of fun and we guarantee you’ll make a friend or two!

You'll get access to the largest makerspace in the U.S., with mentors who are experts in making shit and taking names. This means no maker skills required, the Idea Foundry will have staff to help you make your laser cutting and 3D printing dreams come true.

For $99, you'll receive:
  • Space to work for the weekend at the beautiful Columbus Idea Foundry
  • A "How to Make Anything 101" class at the Idea Foundry ($25 value)
  • Access to a community of entrepreneurs and mentors (even more coming soon!)
  • Access to expert makers from the Idea Foundry to help you with manufacture and design
  • 3 dinners, 2 lunches, 2 breakfasts
  • A sweet t-shirt
  • All the coffee, soda, energy drinks, and water you could ever need
  • An amazing experience and chance to get a taste of the startup world
What are you waiting for? Get your ticket now!

The "How to Make Anything 101" pre-event will be hosted at the Idea Foundry multiple times. Upon purchase of an early bird or How to Make Anything 101 ticket, we'll confirm your registration for one of these classes. 
  • Wednesday, May 31st: 6-9pm
  • Tuesday, June 20th: 6-9pm
(Want to join but feeling strapped for cash? Our generous sponsors have made a handful of scholarships available. Please submit an application here - )
(Student tickets will be available for $60. Use promo code STUDENTS)

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday June 23rd

5:45 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:20 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

Saturday June 24th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:00 am
Mentor Meetings
Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Fun Stuff!
We'll bring in cool new tech to demo throughout Saturday afternoon. A Hololens, drones, VR headsets, and maybe even a Tesla ;-)

3:00 pm
Mentor Meetings
Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

5:00 pm
Startup Grind featuring Beam
A mini Startup Grind featuring Alex Frommeyer, CEO of Beam Dental - an IOT & insurance company

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 June 25th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Yoga at the Idea Foundry
We'll have some light yoga for anyone who would like to start their day with a stretch

11:00 am
Mentor Check-In
Mentors arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

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!


Alex Bandar

Alex’s career bridges the technical, creative, educational and business communities, and he enjoys helping others to do the same. As the director of the Columbus Idea Foundry he and his team teach classes on design and fabrication, provide consulting and production resources, perform micromanufacturing services for local businesses, and incubate artists, entrepreneurs and small businesses within the walls of the shop. Alex and the Foundry are striving hard to demonstrate a new type of business that can empower individuals to explore technology, art, design, education and entrepreneurship.

Alex Frommeyer
Founder and CEO, Beam Technologies

Alex Frommeyer is the Co-founder and CEO of Beam Dental, a dental benefits company that offers employers a fundamentally unique approach to dental coverage by incorporating hygiene behavior into policy pricing. He has two engineering degrees from the University of Louisville's Speed School of Engineering, where he graduated magna cum laude and founded his first company in 2010.

Ryan Frederick
Principal, AWH & Director, Startup Grind Columbus & Director, i.c.Stars | * Columbus

I have had the privilege of helping many companies grow their sales, revenues, market share, and profitability. I have worked with companies across a variety of industries and of all shapes and sizes. I have helped startups grow from inception, to viability, through to sustainability. I have also helped to establish multi-national companies to improve and grow.

Event Judges

Christopher Slee
Principal @AWHNET

Christopher Slee is a Principal at AWH, which is a digital products firm in central Ohio, and helps run the Dev:Launch apprenticeship program. With close to 40 years of software development he is passing that knowledge down to groups of apprentices that get their careers going at AWH and now at The Ohio State University.

Brooks Myers
CEO of Knockout Concepts

Brooks Myers is the CEO of Knockout Concepts, a Columbus, Ohio-based Computer Vision company best known for the development of Mobile 3D Scanning software. Brooks is a graduate of CCAD where his focus on Industrial Design and Time Based Media Studies inspired the vision for Knockout and an overarching goal to revolutionize the digital design and manufacturing industry.

Bethany George
Senior Director of Investment Funds @ Rev1 Ventures

Bethany’s responsibilities include managing Rev1’s  investment, portfolio, and fund processes. As a member of the investment team, she contributes to due diligence and closing processes. Bethany has worked with startups and venture development organizations for more than a decade all over the world. She has a BS degree in Journalism and a MA degree with an emphasis in business, economics, and political science from Ohio University.

Matt Hatcher
Shop Manager of Columbus Idea Foundry

Matt Hatcher, CIF shop manager, instructor, lifelong woodworker. You can't miss him at the shop--helping our members get started on the tools, troubleshooting projects, and fabricating commissions.Matt is always learning new tricks, fusing traditional craftsmanship with high tech processes; he might not call himself one, but if you've seen any of his work, he's a woodworking artist. You can see more of Matt's work on Instagram (@ideafoundrymatt).

Matt Anthony
Director at Cincinnati Made

Matt is the director at Cincinnati Made. Cincinnati Made is a non-profit effort to promote, connect, and scale the small batch manufacturing community in Cincinnati. He runs their flagship First Batch accelerator program that pairs product entrepreneurs with business resources and local manufacturing to scale their ideas. Matt has been working with entrepreneurs for the last 9 years and is an industrial designer by trade. Matt was an adjunct professor at the prestigious University of Cincinnati School of Design -DAAP.

Coaches and Mentors

Kevin Mack
Chief Experience Officer for BYBE

Kevin is the Chief Experience Officer for BYBE where he focuses on strategy, branding, and creative solutions for their customers. His background includes creating user experiences around web interfaces and the crafting of large-scaling websites and applications. Kevin is the co-founder and organizer of The Columbus Web Group where he actively participates in growing and educating the community around design, development, best practices and standards for the web. You can find him on Twitter (@nicetransition), YouTube (, CodePen (, or GitHub (

Gered Bowman
Co-Founder of TITAN Mixer Bottle & FIVE ID Studio

Attended Ohio State University pursuing Industrial Design, Gered started his own Industrial Design Agency Called FIVE ID Studio, and launched TITAN Mixer Bottle, the worlds first mixer bottle that doesn't require shaking.

Mackenzie King
Director, User Research and Design

Mackenzie believes in customer led innovation and has worked with clients across industries to help them integrate their customers' voices in their innovation process from the fuzzy front end of a business challenge to co-creating a design strategy or business model, to iteration and implementation.  She has engaged physicians to design smart devices that integrate into complex hospital informatics systems; NYC students to create a hip hop-themed college prep high school, Millennials to design the car of the future and community leaders to envision an innovative live-work development. With over 10 years experience, Mackenzie served as Director of Design Research and Insight Translation at Lextant. Her clients included Best Buy, Nissan, P&G, Pepsico. Mackenzie holds a design degree from Pratt Institute and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

Jared Friesner
Founder and CEO of Cliff Original

Jared is a lifetime entrepreneur whose most recent business, Cliff Original, grew out of a personal desire to find healthy grooming products for men. Inspired by his Grandpa Cliff, Jared's collection of skin, hair and beard care products evolved from his personal commitment to hard work, integrity, and respect for the life around us. A firm believer in giving back, especially to causes that impact him both personally and professionally, Friesner is always looking for ways to serve the community. Cliff Original products can be purchased at Whole Foods Markets, Lucky's Market, MOM's Organic Markets, and barbershops and boutiques nationwide.

Alex Bandar

Alex’s career bridges the technical, creative, educational and business communities, and he enjoys helping others to do the same. As the director of the Columbus Idea Foundry he and his team teach classes on design and fabrication, provide consulting and production resources, perform micromanufacturing services for local businesses, and incubate artists, entrepreneurs and small businesses within the walls of the shop. Alex and the Foundry are striving hard to demonstrate a new type of business that can empower individuals to explore technology, art, design, education and entrepreneurship.

Alex Brown
Partner at Dickinson Wright

Alex is legal counsel to privately held companies, focusing on tech and software startups. He helps clients with capital raising, commercializing and protecting intellectual property, e-commerce, and mergers & acquisitions. He is also a member of Ohio TechAngel Funds IV and V. Alex’s law firm, Dickinson Wright, has 17 offices in the United States and Canada.

Dr. Elizabeth Sanders
Founder of MakeTools & Associate Professor at the Design Department - The Ohio State University

Liz Sanders has worked as a design research consultant in industry since 1981. She introduced many of the methods being used today to inspire design from a human-centered perspective. Her many design awards, patents, publications, presentations, and her proven track record in the marketplace have established her as a global leader in the field of design research. Liz joined the Design Department at The Ohio State University as an Associate Professor in 2011. She is also the founder of MakeTools, LLC where she works at the front end of the changes taking place today in design. Liz is co-author of the book Convivial Toolbox: Generative Research for the Front End of Design (BIS, 2012).

Dan Rockwell
CEO, Big Kitty Labs

Dan is a startup-launching engine that keeps big kitty purring by applying his passion for helping businesses leverage their technology to provide a superior experience for their customers. He is a regular speaker and mentor at Startup Weekend Columbus, hosts and organizes the monthly Wakeup Startup series, and fuels innovation at The Ohio State University.

Michael Kindrat-Pratt
Senior Director, Ohio TechAngel Funds at Rev1Ventures

Michael is a Senior Director at Rev1 Ventures, a Columbus-based venture capital fund that helps entrepreneurs build great companies. Michael leads investments in concept, seed, and early-stage technology companies ($200K - $1mm investments).  Since joining Rev1 in 2014, he has participated in $6.8mm of direct investments across 18 unique companies. Michael works with entrepreneurs through screening, due diligence, and investment closing, with a focus on investment terms, financial projections, capitalization table modeling, capital access planning, closing documentation, and exit strategy.

Michael also co-manages Ohio TechAngel Funds (OTAF). OTAF is a series of six for-profit funds, managed by Rev1 Ventures, which invest in promising Ohio-based corporations. More than 300 high net worth, accredited investors have joined one or more of the funds, making OTAF one of the largest in the United States. Since 2004, Ohio TechAngels’ five funds have invested more than $16 million in 50+ Ohio-based technology startups.

Gina Winkler
Senior Vice President of Product at PriorAuthNow

Gina is a long time digital product leader, having delivered several large scale web products for leading internet companies.  She is currently Senior Vice President of Product at PriorAuthNow, a startup in Columbus that provides software to submit, monitor, and complete health procedure prior authorizations. 

Entering the industry at its roots with CompuServe, Gina learned the value of user research, data analytics and engineering on the edge. This path led to heading up product teams at America Online and later Netscape. Prior to taking time off for family, Gina served as VP of Product in starting up ShareThis (formerly Nextumi), one of the top share icons on the web today.  Her experience defining products to both meet a market need and fulfill the business goal led her to enter the consulting world with Mutually Human Software. As Director of Product Strategy, she taught companies how to execute in a way that delivers products people want to use. 
Gina is a proud mother of three, and a Michigan Wolverine living in Buckeye Country.

Steve Sauer
Chief & Industrial Designer

Steve Sauer is an Industrial Designer with 18 years of professional experience. As a named inventor on seven USPTO Patents his work experience in design & development is well suited to working with independent inventors and start-ups as they develop ideas and products for the marketplace. Skill sets are heavy in Prototyping, Patenting and the overarching arena of Product Development.

Ariana Ulloa-Olavarrieta
Executive Coach - Ohio University

Ariana Ulloa-Olavarrieta is the Executive Coach for the Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability (LIGHTS) program. Prior to her role with LIGHTS, Ulloa-Olavarrieta was the District Director of the Ohio SBDC at Columbus State Community College (Ohio SBDC) which serves the business community by providing business assistance for Franklin and the ten contiguous counties. The Ohio SBDC is an award winning center which offers clients the confidential advising services, management training and technical assistance of the Core SBDC and those of programs specializing in manufacturing and technology, international trade and Latino owned businesses. 

Ulloa-Olavarrieta has served the New Direction Career Center as a board member and treasurer, the Hispanic Chamber of Columbus as board treasurer, as well as the ACEnet board. Currently, she serves on the MidOhio Food Bank board and the Community Capital Development Corporation (CCDC) board. Ulloa-Olavarrieta was also a small business owner; launching Bébo Naturals, an organic baby food company in 2010. 

Community service has always been tremendously important to Ulloa-Olavarrieta. She has been a United Way volunteer, Junior Achievement teacher, Women’s Fund volunteer, taught English as a second language and is currently on the scholarship committee for the Fund for Appalachian Ohio. 

A graduate of Ohio University, she holds a Masters in Financial Economics as well as a BA in Economics with specializations in Latin American Studies, Spanish and German. Born in Mexico City, Ulloa-Olavarrieta immigrated to the United States when she was 5 years old. Currently, she lives in the Columbus area with her two children.

Brooke Paul
Founder & CEO

Brooke is a serial entrepreneur and corporate intrapreneur with more than 20 years of senior executive leadership ranging from green-field startups to Fortune 500 companies.  He has worked in technology and innovation for Reed-Elsevier, Allstate, Lexis-Nexis, and American Financial Group. Brooke has founded, built, and successfully exited startups in the Internet, cyber-security, and hospitality industries.  He currently leads Taivara to bring the lean and nimble product management practices used by startups and venture capitalists to enterprise customers.

Kevin Dwinnell
Head of Product and Strategy

Kevin has a history of driving product innovation, testing promising business markets and forging robust client relationships to boost top-line revenue. With more than 20 years of experience in the interactive and digital media space performing work for leading brands like AOL, HP, Netscape, and Sony, he offers insights and perspective that will minimize missteps and improve the chances for success. His experience in launching and growing new business in both B2B and B2C categories also include efforts for Hanna-Barbera Studios, Liebert/Emerson Network Power and Turner Broadcasting.

Kishore Ravilla
Vice President of Enterprise Architecture at State Auto Mutual Insurance Companies

Kishore is a Vice President of Enterprise Architecture at State Auto Mutual Insurance Companies. With 17+ years of experience with special expertise in enterprise architecture development, change management,
and best practices for architecture and application planning, design, and implementation. Highly adept at
building and leading top-performing teams, exceptional problem solving, technology, and relationship management skills. He has an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelors In Mechanical Engineering from India.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Columbus - 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.

Signature Sponsors




In-Kind Sponsorship

Organizing Team

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

  • Matthew
  • Jay
  • Molli
  • Matt
  • Brian
  • Andrea
  • Nora
  • Tom
  • Eric
  • Brandon
  • Kyle
  • Josh
  • Sandhya
  • Yi-Ruei
  • Lucas
  • Ryan


Cynthia Macias

Cynthia Macias is the Membership Relations Manager at mHUB, Chicago's first innovation incubator for physical product development and manufacturing where she is in charge of building a diverse community of hardware entrepreneurs and innovators. Her passion is supporting entrepreneurial communities by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch their ideas and grow their business. Prior to moving Chicago, she was part of the Startup Weekend organizing community in DC for four years, starting with organizing the first Women's Edition event in that community. She was also part of a DC-based startup, Startup Angels, where she developed and implemented programs to educate angel investors to invest in early stage startups across the U.S. and around the world. Cynthia also worked at a boutique consulting firm managing projects across Latin America and West Africa supporting a variety of economic development initiatives. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, she strengthened women-led small businesses. 

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