Techstars Startup Weekend Grand Rapids

    Friday, February 28 - March 1, 2020

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Coaches and Mentors
  4. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Grand Rapids

Friday, February 28 - March 1, 2020

Friday, February 28 - March 1, 2020
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Grand Rapids, MI

Buy Tickets

Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

This year’s Startup Weekend will offer a unique opportunity to work on an idea utilizing a new technology! Grand Rapids is one of the few cities in the world which has full LoRaWAN coverage blanketing the city. If you are unfamiliar with LoRaWAN, think of it as a city-wide 'WIFI' network for low bandwidth data communication by low-power IoT devices. Using a cheap Arduino and a bit of code, you can setup your own device on the network for your Startup Weekend project! There will be a workshop on February 22, 2020 in order to learn more about it.  This workshop will contain two main parts with a provided lunch in-between! The first part will focus on teaching attendees what the LoRaWAN network is, how to use it, and which applications are best suited for the network. Attendees will also be shown how to setup a Things Network account and how to add their application to it. The second part will be more hands-on where attendees will work to create their own application using a provided arduino module. Workshop Link: If you have any questions please feel free to contact Laurie Supinski of the Startup Weekend team.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:

  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday February 28th

5:30 pm
Registration/ Dinner
Arrive at the venue and get checked in. Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:15 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:45 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 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 February 29th

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

12:00 pm

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

8:00 am
Doors Open
Continental Breakfast

9:00 am
Get back to work
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

11:30 am
Light lunch

1:00 pm
Final Presentations

3:00 pm
Judging & Awards

3:30 pm

4:00 pm
Go Home!

Coaches and Mentors

Jason Wagner
Web Developer

Jason is a local web developer and tester with marketing and analytics experience.  He has contributed to many software and web projects, currently developing customer facing apps in React Native.  He has been a hiring manager and team leader and can jump in at any stage of a project and contribute.

Charles Elwood

Charles Elwood has over 15 years of experience as a Project Manager and Project Engineer. 
He has worked for Delphi Automotive, General Electric, Electronics for Imaging (EFI-Vutek), and Johnson Controls. 
Charles is passionate about improving business processes to help companies become more efficient and make better decisions using PowerBI.

Matthew Gira

Founder of FounderCo. 

Corey Hart
Chapter Director of Startup Grind

Corey Hart is a West Michigan native who's recently returned from ten years in California. He’s an educator, speaker and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of success across the entertainment, food, hospitality and tech industries. His last role was as Co-founder and COO of Chef Meal Kits and he now works as the Director Of Communications for BloomBright, LLC, a boutique technical recruiting consultancy, as well as a Partner with MiSE: Culinary Logistics.

Thomson Dawson
Brand Strategist

Thomson Dawson is a trusted advisor to leaders of startup and emerging growth companies. He provides insight, guidance and creativity in the art and science of business transformation and strategic brand development.

Emily Staley
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Emily Staley has been working with businesses of all sizes through change management, marketing and public relations for over 20 years. She currently leads the marketing and communications efforts at Lakeshore Advantage, which includes assisting startup companies through SURGE, a one-stop entry point for entrepreneurs into resources and services for navigation and growth in Allegan and Ottawa counties.

Organizing Team

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

  • Laurie
  • Belen
  • Amanda
  • Mark
  • Steve
  • Holly
  • Kayla


Grant Carlile
Managing Director, The Mountains

Grant thrives on curiosity, coffee, and office supplies.
Drawing on my experience growing three businesses, building out content strategies, coaching teams in multiple capacities across multiple industries for 12+ years, and creating relationships with personnel of many walks of life, I thrive on curiosity, coffee, and office supplies.

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