Startup Weekend Columbus August 21-23

    Friday, August 21 - 23, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Columbus, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Columbus August 21-23

Friday, August 21 - 23, 2015

Friday, August 21 - 23, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Rev1 Ventures
1275 Kinnear Rd
Columbus, OH 43212

Buy Tickets

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday August 21st

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

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

6:30 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 August 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Coaches Arrive
Mentors will arrive to meet with teams.

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!

6:00 pm
Dinner + Speaker
Dinner and our fireside chat between Ryan Frederick and Don Wright.

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 August 23rd

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!


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.

Don Wright
EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Assurex Health

With over 25 years of experience in the information technology, product development, operations and life sciences fields, Don Wright works hard to bring the latest technology and brightest minds to Assurex Health. As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Don can be counted on to keep Assurex Health working smoothly as a market leader in pharmacogenomics for neuropsychiatric disorders. Before co-founding the Assurex Health team, Don was co-founder and CTO of SaaS Capital, a specialty finance company serving the SaaS (Software as a Solution) enterprise software application market. He has also served as Vice President of Global Product Development at Attachmate Corporation, directing a product development team with over 450 people worldwide that served over 65,000 customers and accounts in nearly all the Global 10,000 enterprises. Don has previously held positions as Vice President and CTO for Spotlight Solutions and Vice President and CIO for Domin-8 Enterprise Solutions. Don earned his B.S. in Computer Science with a Business Minor from Xavier University.

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

Rich Langdale
Managing Partner, NCT Ventures

Rich is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor. In 1986, while attending The Ohio State University, Mr. Langdale founded Digital Storage, Inc. ("DSI"). Since that time he has founded, co-founded, acquired or invested in several more under the umbrella of NCT Ventures. Through his capacity as a Managing Partner of NCT Ventures, he is still actively involved with several portfolio companies. 

In 2001, Mr. Langdale (along with other persons affiliated with NCT Ventures and OSU) founded and developed the Center for Entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University, which quickly earned a tier one ranking from Entrepreneur Magazine. Mr. Langdale helped develop the Entrepreneurship curriculum in addition to teaching undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA courses on Entrepreneurship. Mr. Langdale has been an executive board member of The Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Entrepreneurship Steering Committee, OSU's Center for Entrepreneurship, Columbus Technology Council, and Nationwide Children's Hospital (Research Board). 

Tom Walker
CEO, Rev1 Ventures

Tom Walker has been a leader in entrepreneurship and turning innovation-based discoveries into commercial opportunities for more than twenty years. As President and CEO of Rev1 Ventures, Tom applies his experience as a seasoned founder and manager of venture funds and entrepreneurial initiatives to accelerate Central Ohio’s innovation economy. Tom organized his first angel investment group and seed fund in the late nineties and has been involved with angel, seed and early stage investing ever since. He’s advised numerous states and the Southeast of England on the creation of high impact entrepreneurial ventures. He is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Handbook, an easy-to-understand step-by-step guide to commercialization for entrepreneurs with big ideas.

Mel McGee
Founder & CEO, We Can Code It

Coaches and Mentors

Matt Scantland
Co-Founder and CEO at CoverMyMeds

Matt Scantland is CEO and Co-Founder of CoverMyMeds, the nation’s largest electronic prior authorization platform.
As CEO, Matt is responsible for overall company leadership and growth. He brings a product and technology perspective to the management team, and helps drive the company’s innovation strategy. Matt also is a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.

Matt and Co-Founder Sam Rajan started CoverMyMeds to help patients get the medications they need to live healthier lives. Through its innovative products and partnerships with the nation’s largest health plans, pharmacies, providers, and clinical systems, CoverMyMeds helps millions of patients access their needed medications each month.

Prior to co-founding CoverMyMeds, Matt was Co-Founder and President of a software development company in Columbus that served large healthcare companies. Matt is active in Columbus’ business, civic, and technology communities, and is an enthusiastic supporter of the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Columbus.

Brian Link
Software Engineering Director at Dell Software

Brian is a software technology executive, passionate technologist, and Internet start-up enthusiast. He is a strategic web, engineering and product manager addicted to the agile development process.

Brian was the first CTO at where he led Development, Product, QA and R&D for 3 years as Digg grew to be one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world. Today, Brian is also an advisor and board member to various Internet startups in San Francisco, Austin, Boston and Columbus.

Brian has been the CTO of multiple startups and co-founded, a grassroots startup networking and monthly pitch event to help connect entrepreneurs, technologists and investors. He is also one of the founders of Columbus TechLife, one of the largest technology meetup groups in the country. Brian started his career in consulting where he spent 13 years at Cambridge Technology Partners in technology leadership roles on dozens of multi-million dollar consulting and system integration engagements.

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.

Andrea Archibald
Owner at Simply Vague

Andrea and her husband Nate own the Simply Vague stores in Polaris Fashion Place, The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, The Greene Town Center, and South Campus Gateway (Devoted by Simply Vague). All of our stores sell OHIO MADE products from over 300 local vendors. In 2013 she began hosting the largest local shopping event in Columbus. Made LOCAL Marketplace shows feature over 80 Ohio vendors, local music, and the proceeds from each show benefit a different Columbus non-profit organization. In February Andrea created Live Columbus, an online publication that features Columbus people, places, food, fashion, and fitness. Andrea also loves to write and currently contributes to Columbus CEO and Cbus Chic. In addition to writing, she love photography and enjoy taking photos for both families and businesses in her free time. Andrea recently began helping small businesses with their marketing and PR, and is passionate about small businesses and helping them grow.

Jesse Lear
Co-Founder, V.I.P. Waste Services; Founder, Nellie's Natural Ice Pops

Jesse Lear, SBA's 2014 Young Entrepreneur Of The Year, is Co-Founder of V.I.P. Waste Services. Headquartered in Columbus, V.I.P. Waste contracts with apartment communities to pick up trash and recyclables at every resident's door as a luxury amenity. Since its launch in 2010, the company has grown rapidly and now serves more than 30,000 units with operations in multiple cities. In 2014, V.I.P. Waste was named one of the Top 30 Startups to Watch by Entrepreneur and was also recognized at the United Nations as one of the top companies in the U.S. run by entrepreneurs under age 35. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys discovering new restaurants, mountain biking, and mentoring aspiring young entrepreneurs.

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 (

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.

Chris Volpe
CEO and President, Multivarious Games

Angie Kilgore

JumpStart's talent services help entrepreneurial-minded companies and organizations identify, attract and retain the right talent to help them grow. Angie helps the organization deliver this assistance.

Angie joined JumpStart in March 2014, and prior to joining JumpStart, Angie was a Recruiting Manager at Robert Half Finance & Accounting, where she divided her time between business development and recruiting functions. In this position, Angie introduced the company's services to prospective clients and built upon existing client relationships, as well as recruited and placed accounting and finance professionals. Previously, she was a Campus Recruiter for Deloitte in Cleveland—where she coordinated and implemented the interview process for both interns and entry-level candidates—and the Recruiter and Internship Program Director for Cohen & Company. After having two internships under her belt at Cohen & Company in Accounting and HR, she transitioned as their corporate recruiter for the Ohio office locations as well as the southwest Florida-affiliated office, and coordinated and supervised the Accounting and the Information Technology internship programs.

David Harrison
Owner, Mammoth Media

After organising multiplayer video gaming events for several years, David co-founded Mammoth in 2002 to provide commercial gaming services for Telstra, Australia's largest ISP. Since then the company has grown to around 30 staff and has been responsible for developing and managing some of Australia's largest websites, specialising in media and broadband content delivery. David moved to the US in 2013 to expand Mammoth's growing virtual server hosting business. 

Nikola Ranguelov
UX Lead, Express

User Experience Designer with a passion for engaging users and ensuring that their voices are heard throughout the organization as well as that their feedback successfully influences design to deliver truly user-centric products. Former local leader of IxDA Chicago.

Amelia Gandara
Director of Strategic Partnerships

Amelia joins Nationwide’s ventures team to manage strategic partnerships having been an early team member of two corporate innovations teams within GE where she contributed to product development efforts ranging from novel home appliances to industrial inspection technologies. She also managed an evergreen startup seed fund in Louisville, Kentucky. She is former professional ballerina and actively supports dance and visual art in the Columbus, OH region. Amelia earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering.

Ben Blanquera
VP Delivery and Experience for the Columbus Collaboratory

Ben Blanquera is husband, dad, thought leader, entrepreneur, geek,  and unabashed advocate for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

Ben is VP Delivery and Experience for the Columbus Collaboratory. Columbus Collaboratory is a cutting edge startup  focused on rapid innovation that delivers business impact in the areas of advanced analytics and cyber security.

Senior leadership roles previously held by Ben include VP of Growth Hacking for Pillar Technology, VP of IS for Progressive Medical, Director of the Columbus Technology Council, and Director at Owens Corning.  His first successful exit was in 1996.

Ben is a frequent conference speaker on a wide range of topics including project management, enterprise agile, entrepreneurship and lean startup. Teams that Ben has lead have won numerous industry recognitions such as: Computerworld 100 Best Places To Work, InformationWeek 500, TechColumbus Innovation Awards. Additionally Ben has been named by Computer World to its Premiere100 list of top IT leaders nationwide.

As a community leader Ben founded TechLife Columbus, and is the curator of the Columbus Startup Digest. Ben resides in Dublin with his wife Sandy and his 4 daughters.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Columbus August 21-23 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 Columbus is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Suzy
  • Jay
  • Steve


Jay Clouse
Founder, Unreal Collective

I am a writer, entrepreneur, and community builder. After discovering the power of small groups of driven individuals who meet regularly to make rapid progress, I founded Unreal Collective. Unreal Collective creates micro-communities to help individuals accomplish more, faster. 

Previously, I spent several years in tech startups as COO of a ticket exchange called Tixers (sold in 2015) and a product manager at CrossChx, a healthcare startup. Now, I serve as a Create Columbus Commissioner and Facilitator of Startup Weekend. The Create Columbus Commission exists to advocate for young professionals to the city officials in Columbus, Ohio. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour community event that teaches individuals how to conceptualize, build, and launch a startup company. 

My mission is to help and empower others to achieve more through community. With a love for music, I am exploring the intersection between entrepreneurship and the arts. I once bought 500 Startups founder Dave McClure a beer and he said that my pitch “didn’t completely suck.”

I write a daily newsletter on life, learning, and personal growth at

Suzy Bureau

The ebullient Suzy Bureau (as she was referred to in TechCrunch) hails from Columbus, Ohio USA and is dedicated to building communities – locally & globally: from facilitating Startup Weekends in Mexico, Ireland and across the US, representing the US alongside delegates from 100+ other countries at Global Startup Youth in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to facilitating the invite-only Startup Extreme conference in Norway. 

She honed her technology & startup chops as the first product employee at CoverMyMeds, an HIT startup that grew to be Ohio’s first unicorn acquisition. 

Now, Suzy is focused full-time on bridging the gap between technology, social impact and sustainable entrepreneurship through the organization she founded, GiveBackHack. GiveBackHack starts with a weekend event pulling top hackathon participants together and continues throughout the year in communities to create lasting social enterprise.

Recently, Suzy was named the first “Create Columbus Visionary” by Columbus City Council and the Create Columbus Commission.

Event Staff

Lucas La Tour

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!