Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend 2017

    Friday, September 15 - 17, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend 2017

Friday, September 15 - 17, 2017

Friday, September 15 - 17, 2017
Event starts at 6:00 pm

MatchBOX Coworking Studio
17 S 6th Street
Lafayette, IN 47901

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Take Your Startup Idea From Vision to Reality

#GLSW2017 is focused on helping do-ers, dreamers, and trailblazers create new ventures right here on our home turf! Whether it’s an app or new piece of unique hardware, a new service or a new product, this is where you can take your idea from #imaginary to #innovationIRL! With the insight of experienced mentors throughout the weekend, participants will be coached through various aspects of startup formation, including customer validation, design, and business model development. On Sunday, teams present their startup and receive the feedback of judges based on the feasibility of their startup as a real business. The top teams will win prizes to help them take their idea to the next level.

Ready to get your startup started? 

Make sure you keep up with our Facebook, Twitter, and Blog, we'll be posting promo codes for discounts on tickets!


Friday September 15th

6:00 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

6:45 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 September 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

10:00 am
Mentor Meetings
Sign up to meet with mentors to help guide you!

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
Mentor Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm

7:30 pm
Stay and work as late as you want
Doors will lock from outside; stay as late as you want, but don't prop the doors!

Sunday September 17th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

12:00 pm

1:30 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
Final Presentations!
Dinner and Final Presentations, followed by judging and awards!

6:00 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm


Kurtis Sluss

Kurtis Sluss is an American engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur. His focus is redefining medicine and disrupting current diagnostic technologies. He leads Brightlamp as Cofounder and CEO with experience in innovative detection and diagnostic methods and an intuition for startup success. 

Event Judges

Brian Casserly
Attorney at Gutwein Law

Brian is a local business attorney whose practice focuses on startup and growth stage companies, their formation, financings, and inner-workings, as well as mergers and acquisitions of companies. He has represented many companies through the fundraising process  from seed funding to growth funding, and counseled clients through the selling and purchasing of existing businesses. Brian has represented over 75 new companies in the last 2 years, working closely with local incubators and coworking spaces such as the Foundry and the Anvil at Purdue, as well as MatchBOX.

Kara Kavensky

Kara Kavensky is well known in the Indianapolis and central Indiana tech startup ecosystem for her communications and marketing expertise. Kara focuses on translating tech, making it approachable to attract customers, talent, and investors. 

Aside from her strategic consulting, Kara has amassed over 25 years experience as a serial entrepreneur and is very well connected. She is a graduate of Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, has owned several businesses, including a Pilates studio and her consultancy company. With years of team leadership experience and a diverse entrepreneurial background, she uses her powers for good. Her sales and marketing skill set is sought after by regional companies and organizations.

As a co-founder of inX3, Indiana’s largest event for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, Kara realizes her passion for helping others by facilitating connections to resources that enable economic development. While Kara is a strong proponent for home-grown innovation in Indiana, inX3 is focused upon the Midwest for economic impact.

Landon Young
Director, Creativity and Innovation, William Jewell

At William Jewell College, Landon helps to facilitate the infusion of innovation and creativity into the curriculum to meet the dynamic needs of the marketplace and society. Landon works to bring together the liberal arts and professional programs to implement an approach to innovation that will permeate the entire campus culture. Landon also work with entrepreneurial faculty and students to engage in workshops such as Lean Startup Machine, Startup Weekend, and 24 hour ART Project. Other tasks include administration of entrepreneurial grants via the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship and guide entrepreneurial investments through Jewell's venture capital fund.

Coaches and Mentors

Diana Hancock
COO at SPEAK MODalities

Diana has over 15 years of experience in operational planning and execution as she spent the first part of her career in sales and marketing management in the automotive seating industry. At Johnson Controls she directed Advanced Marketing, Sales, Design and Business Intelligence activities to develop profitable new product opportunities with Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers. At Purdue she served as Project Director for the HUBzero web-based platform for research, collaboration and education. Recently she has served as the Director of Commercialization for Information technology where she has nurtured key partnership opportunities, leveraging Purdue’s information technology resources in a commercial environment.

Juliana Casavan
Entrepreneurial Programs Manager

Juliana Casavan is the Entrepreneurial Programs Manager for the Purdue Foundry and Operations Manager of The Anvil, a student-run coworking space. As part of the founding team at the Foundry she provides clients with workshops, seminars and educational opportunities such as ideation, business model evaluation and customer discovery. As the operations manager of The Anvil she is responsible for guiding the student leadership team through the process of running a non-profit.

Corben A. Lee
Attorney in Business Law

Corben is an attorney with Gutwein Law. His practice focuses on startup law, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate general counsel. Corben provides counsel to emerging growth companies throughout their life cycle, specifically helping with entity formation, raising capital, hiring or incentivizing employees, or on their exit. Corben graduated with a BS in Management and a concentration in Corporate Finance from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management before moving on to earn his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

Brittany Collins
Public Relations and Event Manager at Purdue Foundry

Brittany’s seven years of professional experience have been in the support of small business owners and entrepreneurs. She obtained a degree from Ball State University in journalism with a focus in the areas of marketing and design. Previously, she worked in Muncie, Indiana at the Chamber of Commerce supporting small businesses. At the Purdue Foundry, she assists entrepreneurs with ideation validation and provides early branding services for clients. She also manages communications while helping to foster relationships and build the entrepreneurial ecosystem through various events.

Kyle Lutes

Founder, 35-year software development expert, and 16-year professor at Purdue University. His experience is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for our clients when his wisdom makes new problems seem like old hat on the path to a simple solution. A curse for his younger team members who have to suffer his "back in my day" stories.He's programmed everything from "big-iron mainframes" and Apple IIs in his early days, to Windows, web, and iPhone applications of today.

Judith Grossman
Brand Communications Strategist

Judith is an accomplished marketing professional with extensive experience in creative development, strategic planning and managing innovative product launches in the food, office supply and sporting goods industries. She was Swingline Brand Manager at ACCO Brands for 10 years. Before that she was Marketing Manager at Delicious Brands. She also has extensive experience in licensing and has successfully launched licensed brands with Chiquita, Skippy, Land-o-Lakes and other national brands. Currently, she is a Freelance Brand Communications Strategist for Panther Vision. 

Kurtis Sluss

Kurtis Sluss is an American engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur. His focus is redefining medicine and disrupting current diagnostic technologies. He leads Brightlamp as Cofounder and CEO with experience in innovative detection and diagnostic methods and an intuition for startup success. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend 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.




Prize Sponsor

Meal Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Emily
  • Amanda
  • Sarah


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

Event Blog

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