Startup Weekend Evansville 4.0 (past event, follow link for 6.0 in 2017)

    Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015

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

Event Alerts and Updates

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

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Evansville 4.0 (past event, follow link for 6.0 in 2017)

Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 5:20 pm

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

Buy Tickets

Update your Startup Weekend to version 5.0!

Click here for 2017's Startup Weekend Evansville 6.0

To see the next Startup Weekend Evansville, follow this link. 

Everything below this line is out of date, but left up for archive purposes. 


Prize Package: $2,000 in idea development scholarships; $2,400 in transferable memberships for
Innovation Station co-work space (courtesy of Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville) and $500 in software services from Lieberman Technologies.

Startup Weekend Evansville is hands down the best 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 fourth year, Startup weekend Evansville (SWE) 4.0 remains the largest event of its kind in Indiana.  Open regionally to all students and community, Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups.  


Friday February 20th

5:20 pm
Doors open
registration, mingle, dinner

6:30 pm
Certified Startup Weekend Facilitator

7:10 pm
SWE Developing Idea
Mark Crowson of 3Caps brief discussion of their SWE idea progression.

7:20 pm
Let's Get Ready to Rumble
Mohammed Khayum - Dean Romain College of Business

7:30 pm
Pitches begin
60 seconds per person

9:00 pm
Idea voting
Mingle and vote for best ideas to move forward for weekend

9:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:45 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

11:00 pm
Roll out
Venue closes at 11:00 p.m.

Saturday February 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Heads Up
Coach K - Business Model Canvas Instruction

10:00 am
Teams continue working
Coaches arrive and begin working with teams

12:00 pm
Guest speaker during lunch; Brad Niemeier - Owner/Pizza Enthusiast, "AzziPizza"

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help, continue working and receive guidance from coaches

7:00 pm
Teams continue working after dinner

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

11:00 pm
Roll out
Venue closes at 11:00 p.m.

Sunday February 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions, teams continue working on ideas

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

5:00 pm
Evansville Mayor, Lloyd Winnecke
SWE and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

5:15 pm
Final Presentations

7:00 pm

7:50 pm
Debbie Dewey, G.A.G.E.
Briefly explain entrepreneurial resources and context of SWE prizes: $2,000 in idea development scholarships; $2,400 in transferable memberships for Innovation Station co-work space.

7:55 pm
Rick Culiver, Lieberman Technologies
Briefly explain SWE prize: $500 in software services.

8:00 pm
Judging & awards

9:00 pm
Wrap up and Go Home!


Mark Crowson
Co-owner 3 Caps

Mark is co-owner of 3 Caps; a small business that manufactures and sells Oyster Mushroom growing kits.  As a former SWE participant, the small business is growing and operates at the intersection of agriculture and manufacturing to make products that reflect quality, sustainability, locality, and respect. 

Mohammed Khayum
Dean, USI Romain College of Business

Brad Niemeier

Brad Niemeier, 25, is a graduate of Purdue University and owner of local restaurant Azzip Pizza, an innovative fast casual restaurant concept.  Brad won the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition at Purdue and used the prize money to make his dream a reality.  After opening his first restaurant in February of 2014, he has since expanded into a second location and has plans to open 2-3 more restaurants in 2015.  

Lloyd Winnecke
Mayor of Evansville

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

Event Judges

Jason Salstrom
USI Technology Commercialization Manager, Entrepreneur

Daniela Vidal
USI Director of Opportunity Development, Entrepreneur

Tony Schy
‎Managing Director, Velocity Indiana, Entrepreneur

Ruth Jenkins
President and CEO, Heritage Federal Credit Union

Ruth Jenkins has over 28 years of executive level experience in credit union leadership covering all areas of the credit union operation including positions of Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, and Regional Vice President.  Since 1987, she has managed credit unions in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Indiana.  Her senior-level leadership experience extends from small, single-office rural credit unions to a large cooperative of over $1.4 billion in assets.  Mrs. Jenkins is a graduate of the Credit Union National Association Management School and has received her Credit Union Enterprise Risk Management Expert designation.  She has completed the CUES CEO Institute and received her Certified Chief Executive designation and also holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University.  

Jonathan Weinzapfel
Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College, Southwest and Wabash Valley regions

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.

Coaches and Mentors

Charles Kelly
USI Instructor in Finance and Management

Charles Kelly is an instructor in Finance and Management at the University of Southern Indiana.  He has over 30 years of experience in banking and finance.  At Citicorp Industrial Credit (a Citigroup company) he was a member of the equipment financing group. At PNC Financial Corp he introduced the leveraged leasing, facility leasing and lease advisory products. He introduced and developed the leasing products at National City Bank of Evansville and German American Bank in Southern Indiana.  At the University of Southern Indiana he teaches entrepreneurial finance, real-estate finance, personal financial management, and strategic planning. Mr. Kelly sits on pitch panels for Romain College of Business entrepreneurship courses. He recently presented a paper on equipment finance at the Federal Reserve System Community Banking Research Conference.  Mr. Kelly received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dinko Bačić
USI Assistant Professor in Computer Information Systems

Dinko Bačić is an Assistant Professor in Computer Information Systems at the University of Southern Indiana. He has over 11 years of experience in information systems-related roles. He served various roles in large financial institutions (National City Bank, PNC Financial Corp), boutique consulting firm and his own practice. The roles ranged from Business Intelligence/Reporting Manager and Special projects (high impact) leadership involving analytics, supply chain management, activity based costing, forecasting/budgeting,  and finance organization transformation. He also served as a CFO, Variable Compensation, Customer Analytics manager and various leading consulting roles.  At the University of Southern Indiana he teaches Management Information Systems, Enterprise Resource Planning and Web Application Development (Senior Project). Dr. Bačić received his undergraduate degree from John Carroll University and his MBA degree from Miami University (OH) in Finance and his doctorate degree from Cleveland State University in Information Systems.

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. 

Jack Smothers
USI Assistant Professor of Management

Jack Smothers is an Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Southern Indiana. Before working at USI, he obtained a Ph.D. in Management at the University of Mississippi, an MBA from the University of Tennessee, and a BSBA from Union University. Jack co-founded Revisus which specializes in personnel selection services and is currently expanding globally. He has won, judged, and coached several business start-up competitions and teaches two of the three courses in the entrepreneurship minor at USI. His research interests include innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship, personnel selection, and business education. Jack has published in various peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Human Relations, Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Journal of Management History, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, and the Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching.

Drew Peyronnin
Entrepreneur, Angel Investor

Dr. Peyronnin has been an active Angel investor since 2005. In the past eight years he has completed due diligence on over 25 early stage companies and has made investments in Indiana startup companies. His investment focus is on near revenue Indiana companies in Life Sciences and Information Technologies.  Dr. Peyronnin is an investor and director of Perfinity BioSciences, Inc., a West Lafayette company engaged in the development of automated systems for proteomics and large molecule research. He chairs the Perfinity BioSciences audit committee.  Dr Peyronnin’s other angel investments include Courseload, Localstake, and Curvo Labs. Dr. Peyronnin is the organizer of Evansville Tech on Tap ( , which seeks to support the development of innovation based companies in the Southwest Indiana region. He has participated as a mentor, judge and speaker at Startup Weekends in Evansville, Bloomington, Terre Haute and Crane.

Rick Culiver
Director of Business Development

Mr. Rick Culiver serves as Director of Business Development and previously as Senior Solutions Consultant at Lieberman Technologies, LLC. Prior to joining Lieberman, Mr. Culiver served positions in technical sales, voice and data solutions management. He served as an Account Manager for Southwestern Bell Communications and Matrix Integration, he designed complex solutions and collaborated with clients on a wide array of IT solutions to fit their needs. He has extensive professional experience in providing technical solutions and a strong reputation of quality service. His broad technical expertise, with an eye for detail and follow up, make him an excellent solutions consultant.

Doug Wurmnest
President, Solomon Business Solutions

Since 2008, I have worked with over 50 businesses ranging in size from $500,000 to $250,000,000 in annual revenues. I helped them create strategic plans, buy businesses, sell divisions and whole companies, improve sales, reduce costs, improve cash flow resulting in increased business value, greater liquidity, reduced stress and reaching their goals. I help small and mid-sized businesses and owners in the greater Evansville area free themselves from being slaves to their business. Owners become slaves when they worry over making payroll, employee conflict, or are unable to retire from their business. Benefits to owners include improved cash flow, working out of troubled debt situations, reduced stress and worries, establishing clear direction and implementation of a proven plan for the eventual exit from the business. In addition, I help owners create and implement plans to transition their business to family members, employees or third parties.  Specialties: Cash flow improvement, bank loan financing, strategic planning, exit planning and execution, family succession planning, business brokerage.

Andy Moad
USI Crane Partnership Manager, previous SWE winner

Previous winner of Startup Weekend Evansville, Andrew J. Moad, PhD is the USI Crane Partnership Manager at the University of Southern Indiana. He holds a BS in Chemistry from Indiana University and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University. His graduate work focused on spectroscopy and nonlinear optics and in 2006 he was honored with the M. G. Mellon Award – Top analytical chemistry graduate student at Purdue. Andrew also did post-doctorial work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology researching organic electronic materials. He has published 15 peer reviewed research articles and given 11 professional presentations. He has 14 years experience (9 academic) working in chemical research with a focus in utilizing and developing analytical techniques to solve problems. The last five years have been devoted to developing and supporting polymer-based technologies. He has been at USI since 2012. His work is focused on technology transfer from federal laboratories and K-12 STEM outreach.

Richard Martin
Registered Patent Attorney

Richard is an Attorney at Law with Martin & Martin, Attorneys at Law, P.C.
Areas of practice:
Intellectual Property Law
Patent Law
Trademark Law
Copyright Law
Criminal Law
Civil Litigation
Corporate Law
Family Law/Domestic Relations
Estate Planning

Jamie Bass

CEO/President of GRAVICOM LLC. Jamie is a cyber security specialist, but also has an extensive background in robotics, automation, plastics, electronics, mechanics, and systems engineering. He holds 5 patents, and is 1 of 800 CISSP-ISSEPs worldwide. 

Bob Scales
President, Max Productivity, Inc.

Max Productivity, Inc. is a consulting services company dedicated to helping businesses achieve "break-through" performance and improving bottom line results. Specialist in recognizing flaws and waste in processes and working with employees at all levels to develop strategies and implement the changes that will deliver significant productivity improvements.  Specialties: Business leadership, lean Integration, productivity improvement, safety, quality and cost improvement programs, new product delivery, project management, innovation, strategic planning, budgeting, cash flow, process engineering, six sigma.

Matt Koewler
USI Art Major

Matt is a senior art major studying graphics design and entrepreneurship at the University of Southern Indiana with interests in product design and development.   Matt is currently researching 3D printing materials, processes, and workflows for creative purposes as well as 3D computer modeling and rendering graphics.  

Andrew Epperson
Partner, Director of Web Services at Lieberman Technologies

As a Partner | Director of Web Services at Lieberman Technologies, I manage a team of Internet professionals that work with our clients to create maximum impact of their online presence. My management responsibilities include: project management, customer relationship management, workflow, WordPress Development, SEO, and front-end development.

Bobbie Gilman
Consultant / Owner of Maple Hill Engineering, LLC

My name is Bobbie Gilman.  I am a Mechanical Engineer with more than 26 years of experience.

My specialty is efficiency; simpler product designs, improving processes and designing facility layouts.  

I have helped businesses all over the U.S. and globally, develop simpler, customer-centric products, processes and layouts.  I hold three U.S. patents all stemming from having the courage to ask, "Is there is a better way?"

If a company deals with volume of information flow, material flow, product flow, people flow, customer flow... I can help them make it better.  I have worked in the manufacturing, distribution, medical and the food industry.  I have helped improve information exchange processes.  For instance, I led efforts to develop a global performance dashboard, eliminating hours of reporting efforts. In addition, I have helped designed facilities in Washington, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.

Norman J. Hedges

Norman J. Hedges joined the law school in January 2015 as a clinical associate professor of law. He came to Bloomington with over 16 years of experience in patent practice in Indianapolis, including 10 years in the Indianapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels, where he was named partner in 2007. He had been a member of the law school’s adjunct faculty – leading the IP Clinical Project – since 2014.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Evansville 4.0 (past event, follow link for 6.0 in 2017) 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

Organizing Team

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

  • Bryan
  • Dana
  • Doug
  • Janet
  • Bobbie
  • Rick


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.

Event Blog

See Full Blog