Startup Weekend Detroit 6 - Global Startup Battle 2014

    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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Startup Weekend Detroit 6 - Global Startup Battle 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

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

Grand Circus
1570 Woodward Ave
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Buy Tickets

Startup Weekend returns to Detroit for Global Startup Battle

Pitch an idea. Form a team. Launch a product. All in 54 hours.
Tickets for Startup Weekend Detroit are now on sale. Buy tickets here.

Why should you attend Startup Weekend Detroit?
  1. You have an idea for a company, app or website that could be the next big thing.
  2. You're interested to see what it's like to build a business idea from scratch.
  3. You want to meet people and network in a new and unique way.
  4. You want to meet designers, developers, marketers and other professional who just might be your next hire.
  5. You like to build cool stuff.
What does a ticket buy you?
  1. Access to all three days of the event.
  2. Seven meals and snacks/drinks throughout the course of the weekend.
  3. Time with seasoned entrepreneurs, startup veterans and energetic community members
  4. SWAG!
  5. The opportunity to take a concept from idea to execution over the course of 54 hours!
Need more incentive to attend?
The top teams from this event will go on to battle against the best startups in the world as part of the 2014 Global Startup Battle!

Last year, not only took home 1st place at Startup Weekend Detroit, but also went on to win the Innovator's Circle powered by .CO. They were the ONLY team from a U.S. city to make it to the finals in a circle and take home a big prize. We're hoping to send another team to the finals again this 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

8:00 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

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

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
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 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

5:00 pm

6:00 pm
Final Presentations

8:00 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Natalia Petraszczuk

Natalia has a B.S. in International Relations from Michigan State University and is a certified Life Coach from the World Coaching Institute.  She has been the Executive Director of various non-profit organizations, and is highly experienced in business development.

Natalia and her team created - a web-based motivational and productivity tool - in just 54 hours at the 2013 Detroit Startup Weekend and earned the team a 1st place finish and qualified them for entry to the Global Startup Battle, sponsored by Google and UP Global. After a public vote that earned them top-ten finishes in every competition category, was selected by a panel of judges as the winner of the Innovation Circle, beating out 2,300 teams from over 200 cities worldwide. 

In February 2014 the company was featured at San Francisco’s LAUNCH Festival which helped them to capture nearly 1,500 pre-registered beta users in just over a week. The concept has drawn interest from major investors, including but not limited to Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, and has also been featured in major media outlets including Crain’s Detroit, StartupNation Radio, Trendhunter, and Michipreneur.

David Binkowski
President & CEO, Large Media

David Binkowski is a Detroit native and the President & CEO at Large Media, a thriving, Catskills-based agency that has shattered records for crowdfunding campaigns for notable startups including Tile, Coin, Moov, Ringly, Navdy and Vessyl. His no-nonsense style and brand marketing experience delivers practical, honest, easily digestible advice and information that can be put to use immediately without the marketing hype.

Event Judges

Brad Hoos
Co-Founder, Grand Circus

Bradley Hoos is the co-Founder of Grand Circus, an inspired learning institute for both startups and corporations alike. In addition to delivering programming focused on learning, Grand Circus operates a co-working facility and event space that is home to the Detroit tech and entrepreneurial community. Recently, Google selected Grand Circus as one of its seven tech hub partners in North America. 

Brad has been involved in starting a number of businesses - both inside the structure of existing organizations and "in the wild". Brad's experience as an engineer allows him to understand and apply technology in the start-up world. His passion is creating new ways to make a meaningful difference in people's everyday lives. In addition to working with countless start-ups, he has worked with leading technology organizations globally including Accenture, Red Hat, Caterpillar, and USAA. Brad holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS and MS in Engineering from Michigan State University and the University of Iowa.

Paul Czarnik
Co-Founder and Managing Director, MadDog Technology

Paul Czarnik is the co-founder and managing director of MadDog Technology and former Chief Technology Officer at Compuware. A Venture Technologist looking for disruptive entrepreneurs and programmers who have great ideas and the motivation to see them to business success, Paul loves technology due-diligence and helps entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs scale their enterprises. He is currently focusing on big-data analytics, mobility, tablets, cloud, and augmented reality. He has founded two startups and is always looking for ways to create disruptive technology. Because of his background in medical software, he is especially interested in applications that will reduce cost, improve caregiver productivity, and empower patients. Paul is also a former Startup Weekend attendee and coach.

Jonathon Triest
Founder and Managing Partner, Ludlow Ventures

Prior to launching Ludlow, Jonathon worked as Creative Director for New York’s Discovery Productions. He founded and operated Triest Group, a design firm with a deep UI/UX focus. In addition to his role at Ludlow, Jonathon is a mentor at numerous technology accelerators including Silicon Valley’s Up West Labs, Cincinnati’s The Brandery, and San Francisco’s Highway 1. He is a board member of the Trico Foundation and Venture for America.

Tim Davis
Director of iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Tim Davis is the Director of iLabs, the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Center for Innovation Research, and a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the College of Business.  He creates research and engagement connections for UM-Dearborn students and faculty with entrepreneurs and economic development organizations across Michigan.  Through those connections, Tim has established opportunities for students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills and  make a difference in their community.

Angel Gambino
CEO, Alchemists Collective

Angel Gambino is a WIRED Top 100 executive and serial entrepreneur with 20 years experience working with innovative media, tech and retail businesses offering extraordinary consumer experiences. She is a problem solver with a unique blend of general management skills having demonstrated particular success transforming and accelerating growth of businesses by creating and identifying the right marketing, distribution and monetization models and partnerships. She is an intuitive strategist, natural networker and tenacious business developer who instinctively delivers results with impact. 

Recently, Angel held the position of Global VP, Music & Content at social media giant Bebo, where she was responsible for accelerating the growth and enhancing the popularity of bebo by creating and executing bebo's music strategy, product and partnerships. Her focus on building the valuation of the company through entertainment content helped ensure AOL's acquisition of the company for $850m.

Previously she was VP, Commercial, Strategy & Digital Media for MTV Networks where she oversaw MTVN’s strategy & P&L across MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Paramount and Comedy brands where she launched the first IPTV, VOD, mobile and social channels.

Prior to MTVN, Angel was Controller, Business Development & Emerging Platforms at the BBC where she lead the company's expansion into mobile, broadband and on-demand platforms including creation, development and launch of the iPlayer.

Angel was a founding Director of Broadband at gameplay where she lead business development and has consulted to a number of Fortune 500 companies in the area of online commerce.

Earlier in her career she served as Director of Legal and Business Affairs for several NGOs protecting wildlife and their habitat.

Coaches and Mentors

Paul Chambers
CEO at Element5

Never one to work for another, Paul Chambers actually began his entrepreneurship rather late in life - in fifth grade. From then on, he's been his own boss, going on to co-found Detroit IT, Mac Detroit, Element5, and holding company, Core3 Solutions. Paul has been recognized by Crain's Detroit Business as a 20 In Their 20's. In his spare time Paul collects arcade games and oversees the digital marketing efforts of The Gentleman's Boxs. Paul is married and is ruled by his five-year-old twin daughters and one-year-old son.

Jordan Skole

Jason Raznick
CEO, Benzinga and

Jason is a passionate entrepreneur and the founder of Benzinga, a financial media company based out of Metro Detroit. He founded two successful Internet companies prior to Benzinga. In the first five months, Benzinga grew to over 50k active members. Benzinga currently serves over 3 million readers in over 125 countries each month. Jason has been quoted throughout the media in places such as CNBC, Fox Business, NPR and Wall Street Journal.

Adam Bratt
Head Developer, Benzinga and

Adam is the Head Developer for, the first ever curated & verified Marketplace for everything trading. currently supports more than 30,000 members. Previously, Adam founded and grew web studio to 100+ clients in 3 years. With his work, he has created a network of viral image sites with over 150 million page views to date.

Kyle Bazzy
President, Benzinga/

Kyle Bazzy is the President of Benzinga and Marketfy. He joined Benzinga in 2011, and led the creation of Marketfy in 2012. He was previously an executive at a Michigan-based private equity firm.

A leading voice in the financial media industry, Kyle often appears on international television. 

Ken Wohl
Co-founder, Cybrid Media

Ken Wohl heads up growth and user acquisition for Prior to working at Benzinga, Ken co-founded Smore Marketing Group which provided growth marketing to top 1,000 media sites. He's been involved in web startups since college where he co-founded his first company,, which was later acquired. He's a strong supporter of everything Detroit and follows the Detroit Tigers closer than Mike Illitch. 

Sandy Barris
CEO & President of Business Marketing Services

Sandy Barris, CEO & President of Business Marketing Services, a local Detroit direct response marketing company. Sandy is also the CEO & Chief Accelerant at Call On Fire LLC  the creator of the iPhone app Sales Goals On Fire Pro. He is the author of Sell More of Your Products, Services and Ideas, plus has written over 97 articles, reports and guides. He's been married more than 34 years (to the same woman), has 4 kids and 2 grandkids. Hobbies include cooking, home brewing and reading over 75 books a year. Sandy holds a BS in Business Management from Lawrence Technological Institute and a Masters from the University of Hard Knocks.

Scott Kloustin
CTO, Funding Roots

Scott Kloustin is the CTO of Funding Roots, a real estate focused investment crowdfunding startup, and also helps clients with various marketing and web development projects. He spends his days at Bamboo Detroit co-working space where he works on his startup and helps Bamboo members with their technology needs. Scott has appeared on several startup-related panels, including discussing the local Detroit startup community and investment crowdfunding developments. Scott is a graduate of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Tifani Sadek
Founder, Sadek Legal Services

Tifani is the founder of Sadek Legal Services, a Detroit-based business law firm that focuses on startups and entrepreneurs. She launched her own practice after spending several years in large corporate law firms in her hometown of Houston, Chicago, and Detroit. Tifani mentors new businesses through many programs, including Ann Arbor SPARK and D:Hive's BUILD and absolutely loves her job. When she's not working, she's watching college football, exploring Detroit, or playing board games with her husband in their Woodbridge home.

Dave Anderson
Co-founder, Bamboo Detroit

Dave Anderson is a tech entrepreneur with a strong background in electrical engineering, program management and finance. He’s a co-founder of Bamboo Detroit, a popular members-only co-working space in Downtown Detroit and the Founder & CEO of Health Crunch, a mobile startup using predictive analytics to suggest healthy eating alternatives in real-time. Dave sits on the board of the Detroit Historical Museum, enjoys serving the community through youth mentorship and entrepreneurial growth initiatives, and is a University of Michigan graduate. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Detroit 6 - Global Startup Battle 2014 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



Organizing Team

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

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