Startup Weekend Columbus: Smart City Edition

    Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

  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 Columbus: Smart City Edition

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016

Friday, May 13 - 15, 2016
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Rev 1 Ventures
1275 Kinnear Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43212

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Ever wonder what it takes to start a Smart City startup?

On May 13-15, Startup Weekend Columbus is taking part in the Global "Editions Month," a worldwide competition to pull off the best themed Startup Weekend yet! We're ready to show what Columbus is made of when it comes to Smart Cities, so we're channeling our community's expertise into Ohio’s first Startup Weekend: Smart City.
Come ready to hack on any of these verticals:
  • Transportation
  • Infrastructure
  • Internet Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • City Planning
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Waste/Recycling
  • …or any other Smart City vertical!
Anyone and everyone has something to contribute to Startup Weekend. Just bring your curiosity and enthusiasm and we'll take care of the rest!

Not sure what making a "Smart City" is all about?

Building a 'Smart City' is about using innovation, data, and technology to 
streamline transportation, reduce pollution, minimize energy use, cut costs of city living, and connect citizens. This is an exciting time for Columbus because the city is competing against 6 other cities around the nation for over $60 million in federal grants to fund initiatives in sustainable transportation, smart logistics, and access to jobs—learn more here! A 'Smart City' is a city built for the future.

What’s in it for you?

At Startup Weekend: Smart City, you’ll get to work alongside some of the top entrepreneurs, designers, coders, and innovators in Central Ohio. You’ll also get the chance to meet and learn from some amazing speakers and mentors. (And, of course, you’ll get plenty of food and swag throughout the weekend.)

Attendees will receive:
  • Sweet workspace at Rev1 Ventures for the weekend
  • Invaluable access to a community of world class entrepreneurs and mentors
  • 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
  • And more coming soon!


Friday May 13th

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

6:20 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 May 14th

9:00 am
Start your day off right with a morning yoga session courtesy of certified yoga instructor (and Thank Yoga owner) Josie Schweitzer.

9:15 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Coaches Arrive
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

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

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

6:00 pm
Dinner + Speaker
Join us for dinner and a fireside chat

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 May 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Check-In and Coaches
Coaches 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!


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.

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.

Randall Bowman
Assistant Public Service Director and Smart City Challenge Lead for the City of Columbus

Randy’s 29-year public service career includes positions in his home state of Illinois serving at Illinois DOT and Urbana, Illinois; Dublin, and Hilliard, Ohio.  Randy has helped introduce transportation innovation and build greater mobility into the Columbus transportation system over the past 15 years, including 9 years as City Engineer.  He is presently leading the City’s Smart City Challenge efforts and his other day job is Assistant Public Service Director, assisting with sustainable policy development and special projects. Randy is actively involved in the American Public Works Association at the state and national levels and played a major role when the association held its international congress in Columbus in 2009. He continues to speak to international and state conferences on topics including smart cities, sustainability, biking, community mobility and parking. Randy has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois.

Event Judges

Wayne Embree
Executive VP at Rev1 Ventures

Wayne is the Executive Vice President of Investments & Venture Acceleration at Rev1 Ventures. With the capital of a VC and the connections of an accelerator, Rev1 supports start-ups through their first milestones, increasing their probability of success. Rev1's experienced team includes entrepreneurs and investment professionals employing a continuous, data-driven process, ensuring that startups develop products people want and companies people need. After three decades of being an entrepreneur, investor, board member, and mentor, he  has no intention of stopping now. Wayne has a BS in Natural Sciences from Western Oregon and an MS in Urban Planning from the University of Oregon. He takes his favorite quote, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro,” seriously. Rev1 Ventures helps entrepreneurs build great companies.

Emerald Hernandez
Director of Government Affairs and Labor Relations at City of Columbus, Office of Mayor Andrew J. GInther

Emerald Hernandez has experience with the Ohio Department of Veteran Services, Legislative Liaison, where she represented the Dept. of Veterans services to the Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as outside stakeholders. She has worked as a legislative liaison for the Office of Governor Ted Strickland and the Ohio Department of Public Safety. She has also been involved with The United Way of Central Ohio and the American Society for Engineering Education. She is significantly involved in the City of Columbus's Smart City Challenge application.

Geoffrey Bibo
President and COO, Exacter

Dynamic, successful professional with 20 years of executive level management experience focusing on revenue generation, strategic alliances, marketing strategy, M&A, and operations. Background spans start up to Fortune 500 organizations and includes knowledge in software, electric utilities, e-commerce, professional services, wireless communications, and electronic security. Achievements include proven ability to lead organizations to accelerate growth by effectively blending marketing, IT, operations, and best practices to design and execute innovative strategic offerings. 

Geoffrey was the founder and President of Business Wholesale, Ltd. a value-added reseller of software and communications equipment prior to its sale through a private transaction. He is currently the President & Chief Operating Officer at Exacter, Inc. – a data analytics organization focused on electric utilities. His background includes successfully securing angel and venture capital, launching multiple Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiatives, leading an organization through ISO 9001 certification, M&A activity, and enabling Internet stores. Prior to his current role Geoffrey held senior level positions at Sypherlink, Astute Solutions, Marconi Data Systems (Boehm, Inc.), and Ameritech (now AT&T). His experience with publicly held companies includes working with American Electric Power, Pacific Gas & Electric, Chevron, National Grid, Nationwide Insurance, McDonald's, GlaxoSmithKline, British Airways, Microsoft, and IBM. 

Geoffrey is the former Chairman of the Marconi Data Systems Distributor Advisory Board consisting of 50+ North American distributorships representing annual sales in excess of $400 million. He has also participated in the formation and executive management of Customer Advisory Councils for multiple organizations primarily comprised of Fortune 500 companies.

Coaches and Mentors

Leah MacDougald
Design Research & Strategy Consultant

A Design Strategist with a focus on experience research. Ten years of gathering and translating consumer insights to improve human and design interaction on both emotional and functional levels. Leah provides the voice of the user within the innovation process to promote positive interactions where people live, work and play. She helps key stakeholders to achieve alignment for successful business strategies through the lens of their consumers. Passions include public speaking and providing user insight to inform great design / brand messaging, or to fuel innovation. Global travel and immersing in other cultures when possible is food for her soul.  

Thea Walsh
Director of Transportation Systems & Funding

Thea Walsh has worked in transportation and community planning at the local and state levels over the past 14 years. She joined the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission in 2014 as the Director of Transportation Systems and Funding. She loves working in transportation because it is the ultimate equalizer, we all need a transportation system to access our lives. How the system is developed is key to everyone's success. Thea graduated from Miami University and has a Masters of Public Administration from Wright State University. She is a National Development Council-certified Economic Development Finance Professional, Certified Member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and was tapped to join the Association of Ohio Commodores.

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.

Joshua Lapp
Principal, Designing Local and Vice-Chair, Transit Columbus

Josh is a Co-Founder and Principal of Designing Local, an urban planning firm that specializes in historic preservation, public art, and public engagement. Josh serves as Vice-Chair of Transit Columbus, a non-profit transit advocacy group and as a Commissioner on the Create Columbus Commission and Italian Village Commission. He is an Ohio native, graduate of Ohio State University and lives in Downtown Columbus. 

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.

Ida Abdalkhani
Founder, Ability to Engage

Ida is the Founder & Chief Catalyzer of Ability to Engage, Inc. Ability to Engage helps brands develop marketing communications, product ideas, brand strategies, and consumer segmentations. In addition to running a boutique consultancy, Ida is a professor at The Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business, where she teaches a course on Personal Creativity & Innovation. She also serves as a Brand & Consumer Behavior Advisor at TechArb at the University of Michigan and as a guest speaker at universities, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies. Ida holds six patents with the USPTO and has been published in various magazines, websites, and textbooks. She serves as an Advisory Board Member to several start-ups and is a certified Laughter Yoga instructor. 

Brian Begg
Attorney, Bricker & Eckler LLP

Brian Begg is a member of Bricker & Eckler’s Business, Tax & Estates group whose practice focuses on commercial corporate transactions; mergers and acquisitions; securities law and other corporate compliance issues faced by his closely held private company clients. Brian provides counsel to small cap and middle market companies to assist them through all stages of their business life cycle. His work with start-up companies ranges from business and capital formation to growth and exit strategy planning and execution. Brian is also a certified public accountant.

Mark Dravillas
Assistant Administrator, Columbus Planning Division

Mark Dravillas, AICP, is the Assistant Administrator with the Columbus Planning Division. He has twenty-five years of community development and planning experience. His primary roles in Columbus include development review, neighborhood and capital improvement planning, code development and other work in support of the city’s neighborhoods. He works regularly in partnership with Columbus neighborhood leaders on a variety of neighborhood based initiatives. Mark has previously served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, a water quality extension agent with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and a regional planner with the McLean County (Illinois) Regional Planning Commission.

Brian Bernstein
Associate, Urban Designer / Landscape Architect, NBBJ Design

As a Design Leader, Brian brings a wealth of knowledge to the development of complex, large-scale sites. Passionate about urban design, Brian focuses on the implementation of meaningful and connected environments. He has worked with both private developers and civic entities, leading clients to maximize their land value while creating a successful public realm. 

Working with multidisciplinary teams, Brian has established expertise in understanding site, environmental and regulatory constraints that are critical in successfully shaping site solutions. His work is driven by identifying the needs and desires of his clients to assure projects reach their maximum potential within the established budget. Brian’s work includes mixed-used commercial, hospitality and resort design, and geographically spans the US, Mexico, Russia and India. 

Brian has been central to the renewed energy and success of the Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects over the last decade having served on Executive Committee for over eight years and as President in 2010 and 2011. He continues to be active in the chapter and is also an active member of the Urban Land Institute

Susan Terry
President & Chief Strategy Officer, JadeTrack

Susan has extensive experience leading go-to-market and growth strategies for technology start-ups as well as developing pivot strategies for legacy businesses faced with the need to diversify. Spanning a wide range of industries, Ms. Terry has led global teams for direct sales, product management, channel development, innovation and M&A.
Susan currently serves as President for JadeTrack, a sustainability tracking and management startup in Columbus, Ohio. JadeTrack boasts customers such as Wendys, City of Columbus, and many more.

Dessa Augsburger
Director, Talent Connections

With a home base at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and in service of Columbus State convened Central Ohio Compact, Dessa Augsburger is leading community work to help align workforce system components, from people facing-organizations to business-facing organizations. Working between community organizations including United Way, Columbus State Community College, Franklin County Jobs & Family Services, Jewish Family Services, Goodwill Columbus, Alvis, and the Region's high schools. 

The work is being underpinned by a social enterprise endeavor currently in beta, TalentConnect, a web-based service that marries talent data, business data, and transit data, in order to arm practitioners and facilitators with intel on short term and aspirational job and company fits, as well as development & training gaps, and, in turn, help businesses identify and source local talent from local pools and pipelines. Check it out:

Dessa is driven by creating environments conducive to progress - especially through data-driven solutions; she's a creative problem solver, eager to make things happen. An extensive researcher, and fanatic developer of data dashboards in Excel, program/business models, outreach/execution strategies, slide decks, google maps, and basic WordPress sites.

Elliott Doza
Project Manager Service Planning, Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

As Project Manager of Service Planning for the Central Ohio Transit Authority, Elliott manages and leads transformative planning initiatives, ensure Title VI and EJ compliance and represent COTA on various regional committees and in the public.

Zachary Dziczkowski

Zak is the co-founder and CEO of Garageio, a internet-enabled garage door opener which brings the internet-of-things to the garage. Garageio works with many major home automation systems, including Amazon Alexa. Zak is a engineer with over 12 years of hardware and software development experience. He has brought a number of high-tech products to market, and lives to create new technology. 

Dr. Lena Furci
Director, CBRNE Defense Strategic Technical Initiatives

Director of Strategic Technical Initiatives in the Applied Genomics business at Battelle. Responsible for developing technical, market, operational and business strategies; developing strategic partnerships and managing internal investments. Also responsible for furthering Battelle’s technologies in the areas of CBRNE threat assessments, high hazards research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E), product and life cycle management, and applied genomics. 

Specialties: R&D portfolio management, business development, multi-institutional team leadership, product/service development, biochemistry and Life Sciences subject matter expertise, strategic partnerships, proposals and quality management. 

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.

Pete Scantland
CEO, Orange Barrel Media

Founder of Orange Barrel Media, a boutique outdoor company specializing in premiere properties in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, DC, Denver, Charlotte, Nashville, Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio. 

In addition to running OBM, I serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Museum of Art, and am actively involved in other activities and causes related to the arts and community development.

In collaboration with the Downtown Denver Partnership and other partners, Orange Barrel Media operates the nations' first interactive wayfinding and digital communications system, a key component of Denver’s leadership in Smart City initiatives. 

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.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Columbus: Smart City 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.




Contributing Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Matthew
  • Jay
  • Suzy
  • Louisa
  • Lucas
    La Tour
  • Lauren
  • Clayton
  • Steve
  • Brian
  • Molli


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.

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