Startup Weekend Evansville 7.0 (past event, see link below for 8.0)

    Friday, April 6 - 8, 2018

  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 Evansville 7.0 (past event, see link below for 8.0)

Friday, April 6 - 8, 2018

Friday, April 6 - 8, 2018
Event starts at 5:30 pm

USI Business & Engineering Center
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, Indiana 47712

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Less talk, more action!

Startup Weekend Evansville 8.0 is coming April 12-14, 2019

2018 was a great startup weekend, but now we want to get ready for new ideas in April of 2019. Click here to visit the event page. 

This event is sold out except for a few remaining spots for the Saturday luncheon with Google keynote speaker, Erin Bemis.  

Startup Weekend Evansville is an excellent way to find someone you can actually launch a startup with that shares a common mission: to change the world. Our goal is to continue to create an environment where passionate people can come together to get things done; to learn, network, bridge the gap between trades, expose potential and see actual results. We are proud to be a part of this type of innovative collaboration and we hope you will help us reach our goals by once again supporting this global movement on a local level.

Moving into our seventh year, Startup Weekend Evansville remains the largest event of its kind in Indiana open regionally to all students and community. You have 54 hours to take an idea and turn it into a business. We provide the coaches and food - you bring the talent and ideas. Developers, designers, educators, students, and those with an interest in entrepreneurship, business, marketing, strategy and more are welcome - no previous entrepreneurial experience is required!

Erin Bemis, professional speaker for Google's Get Your Business Online program. Erin will be speaking for an hour starting promptly at noon on Saturday, April 7.  Erin’s focus will be on educating small businesses about how to get found online and training them in Google's tools. This session is open to the public but seating is limited.  Those persons not attendting the entire Startup Weekend Evansville 7.0 event need to purchase a $25.00 ticket which includes lunch for the Saturday keynote. To get a ticket, simply click the Buy Tickets tab at the top of this page, then click tickets on the Eventbrite page and choose the Google lunch ticket. The public needs to pre-register. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Here are just some of the benefits of participating!
  • Invaluable entrepreneurial education
  • All meals, snacks, and drinks provided for the weekend
  • Access to Mentors and Coaches to help develop, refine, and pitch your idea
  • All working materials included
  • A chance to meet and collaborate with other creative, smart, motivated, awesome people like you!
Teams that make it through very trying and demanding rounds of voting, judging, and persist will be named this year's winners of SWE 7.0.  Teams (up to five members) will be recognized with Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals for first, second, and third place respectively.

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: We have participants from outside the Evansville area. Very near to the USI campus are two good hotel options. They both provide a discount rate if you mention you are attending an event at USI. Fairfield Inn Evansville - West and Holiday Inn Express Evansville - West.    

Your ticket supports local businesses providing yummy food all weekend from:
  • Bauerhause Catering
  • Acropolis Restaurant 
  • Vescovi Catering
  • Rafferty's 
  • Chick-fil-A
No matter how you get here, you'll leave having learned a new skill, met a new friend, or discovered that you love being an entrepreneur. 


Friday April 6th

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 (brief awards recognition ceremony for our long-term sponsors)

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Line up to give your pitch.

8:45 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

11:00 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 April 7th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee (Business Model Canvas with Coach K)

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

10:30 am
Coaches Arrive
Coaches arrive for mentor orientation and "rules of engagement"

11:30 am
Grab your lunch, provided by and get ready to hear our speaker from Google.

12:00 pm
Keynote speaker / lunch
Keynote speaker, Erin Bemis, professional speaker for Google's Get Your Business Online program. Open to the public but seating is limited and requires pre-registration ticket which includes lunch.

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

11:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday April 8th

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
Final Preparations and Pitch Smoothing

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Dinner

8:30 pm
Judge Feedback and Awards

9:30 pm
Wrap Up and Go Home!


Erin Bemis
Professional Speaker for Google's Get Your Business Online program

The Get Your Business Online with Google program aims to get every small business in the United States online and on the map.

Since 2011, the Get Your Business Online team has been on a mission to make it fast, easy, and free for businesses to get online. We’ve travelled to all 50 states where we’ve helped thousands of businesses. But we have more work to do. Only 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine–that’s a lot of missing information. And with 4 out of 5 people using search engines to find local info like business hours and directions, it also means a lot of missed opportunities for local businesses.

Lloyd Winnecke
Mayor of Evansville

The Mayor will provide opening remarks regarding Startup Weekend Evansville and the relevance and importance within our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Mohammed Khayum
Dean, USI Romain College of Business

Event Judges

Josh McWilliams
Product Manager with MetroNet Fiber

Josh is a Product Manager with MetroNet Fiber, a 100% Fiber Telecommunications company headquartered in Evansville, IN. Josh is responsible for developing the strategy and bringing to market new offerings and platforms for the company’s video offering. Prior to joining MetroNet, Josh was the Technology Commercialization Manager at Uuniversity of Southern Indiana (USI) where he was charged with helping startups in the region in launching with the assistance of University resources including workshops, competitions, and access to USI faculty, students, and equipment. Josh came back to Evansville in 2010 to join ChronoTrack Systems, a technology startup that makes UHF RFID timing equipment for events like the NYC Marathon which was successfully launched, scaled, and acquired by Lifetime Fitness. Josh and his wife Brittney also own and manage McWilliams Vision Care - an eye healthcare facility on Evansville’s east side.

Ellen Horan
President of Growth Alliance of Evansville

Ellen joined the Growth Alliance in the early part of 2017. With over twenty years of experience in the civic, business, and non-profit arenas, operations management, workforce development, public policy and government affairs, Horan leads the organizations’ objectives to retain, expand, incubate and attract businesses in Evansville and Vanderburgh County.

Jennifer Lehman
Product Launch Manager

Jennifer is with eLuxury, an Evansville start-up that is now over a $30-million-dollar company.  She is responsible for successfully launching hundreds of new luxury home good products on their e-commerce platform. Jennifer graduated from USI with a Bachelor’s in Economics and is currently pursuing her MBA at USI as well. She has a unique view on business as she had the opportunity to study international business in Sweden during part of her time at USI. She also worked for Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville and became involved in the community during her time there. Jennifer comes from a family of small business owners and truly appreciates the entrepreneurial spirit that Startup Weekend Evansville brings to the region.

Dan Hendrickson
Director of Marketing and Business Development

“Dan is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Peoples Trust & Savings Bank in Newburgh. He is also the fourth generation of his family to be involved at Peoples Bank since 1939. He is a graduate of Evansville Day School, Indiana University, and St. Mary’s University School of Law. Dan firmly believes that a community bank should be truly involved in the community which it resides. He is active in numerous civic organizations including Historic Newburgh, Boonville Now, and the Evansville Networking Coalition.”

Zac Parsons

Zac Parsons is the co-founder of the Honey Moon Coffee Co., which was a pivot that sprung out of a 2016 Startup Weekend entry (Collide Coffee Space). Zac has served as a mentor or judge in most of the previous Startup Weekends in Evansville. He’s also an organizer for Tech on Tap, as well as the licensee and lead organizer of TEDxEvansville.

Through the launch of the coffee shop and TEDxEvansville, Zac was identified as a social entrepreneur by the University of Evansville, and began teaching Social Entrepreneurship in the spring 2017 semester. In the spring 2018 semester, he also began teaching Strategic Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern Indiana. Zac speaks on social entrepreneurship
around the region and regularly advocates for mission-oriented, for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations with revenue models. Zac has 3 children and is engaged to be married in 2018 to his Honey Moon co-founder, Jessica, who has 3 children of her own.

Coaches and Mentors

Kevin Celuch
USI Blair Chair of Business Science and Professor of Marketing

Kevin Celuch is a Professor in the Department of Marketing and Business Communications and holder of the Blair Chair of Business Science at the University of Southern Indiana.  Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., he worked in program evaluation/applied research for the State of New York.  His active engagement approach to teaching has been recognized for innovation in business graduate education.  He is the co-creator of the Entrepreneurship Minor at the University of Southern Indiana which has been internationally recognized as an outstanding emerging undergraduate program.  He is a presenter on such topics as critical and creative thinking, collaborative learning, change, and innovation.  Kevin has been actively involved in marketing communication, market information, customer engagement, and organizational partnering-related research.  He has worked with numerous profit and nonprofit organizations.

Gongjun Yan
USI Assistant Professor in Computer Science

Gongjun Yan, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science in University of Southern Indiana. He has worked for years in the areas of smart phone design/development, Internet technologies, Business Intelligence, and Machine Learning. He has published Android games currently on the market and partially owns a machining/prototyping plant in China. 

Mark Elliott
Media and Marketing Consultant

Mark Elliott is a media and marketing veteran of the radio business, with 20+ years of experience in programming and marketing radio stations and other businesses.  In the early 90’s, Mark started a small agency specializing in audience acquisition and retention for radio stations, which quickly grew to over a million dollars in billing.  Mark’s experience as an entrepreneur was helpful as one of the co-organizers of the Startup Weekend Evansville 1.0 in 2012 and a mentor for “Pitch Practice” for GAGE.   Mark resides in Columbus Ohio, where he works as a consultant to media companies and entrepreneurs, teaching and coaching the art of storytelling. 

Scott Massey
Co-Founder and CEO of Heliponix™

Scott is a 2017 graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor in science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has designed and managed the manufacturing of industrial fluid equipment such as transload skids, diesel exhaust fluid systems, blending/separating/storage/dispensing systems which handle diesel, ethanol, biodiesel, crude oil and/or other liquids, built several drones and 3D printers. While finishing his undergraduate degree at Purdue University, Scott Massey became a research engineer his sophomore year, and designed a NASA funded, hydroponic growth chamber to grow food in future space colonies. Inspired by this research, Scott designed and patented a food computer (the Heliponix™ GroPod) capable of growing a head of leafy greens every day in user's home. It was funded by delivering newspapers and competing in business plan competitions as a full-time student.

Karen Cupp

Karen Cupp is a Cupp of Wisdom when it comes to entrepreneurship.  As a business owner for over 24 years she has successfully started and run multiple businesses both brick and mortar as well as her latest ventures in real estate investment and business leadership coaching.  Karen also brings her experience as a coordinator/facilitator with Operation Bootstrap, a Kaufman Foundation based six week program that trains individuals in the grass root tools needed to start and run their own ventures.  With a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Texas Wesleyan University and a Distinguished Toastmasters Designation, Karen say’s “successful entrepreneurs not only continue to learn they are dedicated to sharing what they learn with others. “

Lin Schussler-Williams
Speaker, IndieSalesCoach, Author

As a speaker, coach and author, Lin teaches a thinking technology that changes perspectives and increases results.

For over 10 years, Lin has worked with individuals, groups, business owners and sales people, helping them build their dreams, accelerate their results, and create richer, more fulfilling lives. 

Named to internationally acclaimed Moody's 50 Favorite People of 2012, Lin is the author of 9 Little Words to Change Your Results and a contributor to the groundbreaking collaborative work 50 Seeds of Greatness.

Rick Martin
Registered Patent Attorney

Mr. Martin's patent practice has the depth of skill and breadth of experience to respond to business needs and address technological matters in any dispute or transaction involving patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition issues, known collectively as Intellectual Property. With 20 years of experience in the area of Intellectual Property, C. Richard “Rick” Martin can assist you or your company in acquiring and protecting your valuable ideas, products, trademarks, and other intellectual property. As a former patent examiner with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Rick has a unique understanding of the patent prosecution process from an inside perspective. 

Dr. Drew Peyronnin
Entrepreneur in Residence Purdue Foundry@WestGate

The Purdue Foundry helps take ideas to impact. We assist entrepreneurs and innovators commercializing their own innovations as well as technologies from Purdue University and NSWC Crane. Our goals include creating strartups, empowering existing companies and improving the human condition with life changing technologies, while creating a ripple of impact to our region and state. The Foundry at Westgate Academy creates an entrepreneurial and commercialization hub where "learning" becomes "doing".

Pat Heck
Partner, Director of Development, Lieberman Technologies

As one of the principal partners at Lieberman Technologies, Pat Heck oversees technical operations as well as directly managing the application development group. Prior to joining Lieberman, Pat served as the General Manager for Norlight, Inc., a $50 million telecommunications and technology company that was acquired by Windstream in 2010. He also served in a variety of roles for Q-Comm Corporation, the parent company of Norlight, before taking over the management of Norlight following Q-Comm’s acquisition in 2007.Pat is best known as the person who first brought Internet service to the tri-state. In 1994, he founded World Connection Services/Evansville Online, which was acquired by Q-Comm in 1998. He has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Evansville and a MS in Computer Science from the University of Virginia. He also served as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Evansville from 1991 to 1996.

Edwin Cahill
Certified Business Coach & Trainer

Edwin Cahill is a Certified Business Coach and Trainer who partners with business owners, corporate leaders, professionals, and non-profits to achieve their goals. He specializes in business & strategic planning, marketing, sales, team building, time management, organizational assessments and intercultural competencies. He helps business leaders put proven systems in place, measure progress and remain accountable.  Before launching his business coaching practice, Edwin held a variety of leadership positions at organizations in a broad range of industries, including: Hospitality, Food/Beverage/Catering, Franchises, Health Care, International & Graduate Business in Higher Education, Logistics, and Martial Arts. He was a coach for Startup Weekend EVV 7.0. Most recently he has worked with the University of Southern Indiana, YMCA and consulting local business owners and non-profits. Prior to that Edwin served as Assistant Director of Global Programs at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. 

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of multiple small businesses in the Evansville, Indiana area. She knows first-hand the challenges of launching and growing a business and is always ready to roll-up her sleeves and help other companies and startups do the same. Sarah earned a degree in Advertising and Graphic Design from the University of Southern Indiana in 2001 and earned her MBA from Baker College of Graduate Studies in Michigan in 2006. She has started and scaled a successful brick and mortar business and is Founder and CEO of Think Tank Small Business Solutions, working as a business coach and consultant where she engages business owners throughout the U.S. in a collaborative, one-on-one process that identifies challenges, clarifies objectives, and helps a company achieve its fullest potential.  

Brittany Kessler
Educational Relationship Consultant

Brittany is a 2017 graduate from the University of Southern Indiana. She received her BS in Management and a Certificate of Innovation Management. During her last year at USI, she was engaged heavily with the entrepreneurial initiative. She competed in AppCom and placed first for Legal Text, alongside Pat Heck, a partner at Lieberman Technologies. She participated in Start-Up Weekend 6.0 and placed second for Grill Doctor. Lastly, she competed in BizCom and placed second for the Lighted Marshalling Gloves. Brittany now works with schools throughout the United States and internationally as an Educational Relationship Consultant for Motivating Systems LLC.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Evansville 7.0 (past event, see link below for 8.0) 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

Community remains a core value for Vectren and its employees supporting creative solutions in meeting community needs, and the Vectren Foundation contributes to the well-being of the communities in which we live and work, and focuses its efforts on opportunities that help contribute to a sustainable future.

Visit Website





Organizing Team

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

  • Bryan
  • Dana
  • Chris
  • Rick
  • Janet
  • Bobbie


Dana Nelson

Dana Nelson is a social media digital strategist, the Marketing Coordinator at Signarama Evansville, a Local Authorized Expert and Local Product Trainer for Constant Contact, and a Startup Weekend facilitator. She is a noted speaker, co-chair of Evansville Girl Geek Dinners, freelance writer for the Evansville Business Journal, Purdue master gardener, and 4-H Technology Club leader.

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