Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend

    Friday, September 14 - 16, 2018

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

Friday, September 14 - 16, 2018

Friday, September 14 - 16, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

MatchBOX Coworking Studio
17 S 6th St
Ste. X
Lafayette, IN 47901

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Ideas to Startups in 50 Unforgettable 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?

Greater Lafayette 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.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your 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.

Greater Lafayette 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


Friday September 14th

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

9:30 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 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

6:00 pm

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

Sunday September 16th

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

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

Event Judges

Ben Pidgeon
Executive Director at VisionTech Partners | VisionTech Angels

Ben works with a network of accredited investors who invest in seed stage and early growth stage companies for equity or variations of convertible notes. An accredited investor is defined as someone with at least 200k in annual income or 1m in net-worth excluding the equity in a home. Ben helps these angels identify life science and technology opportunities in the Midwest and gather financial interest to syndicate investments.

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Corben Lee

Corben is an attorney with Gutwein Law. His practice focuses on tax law, succession planning and various general business matters. He has past experience at the Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property Clinic and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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. While at Notre Dame, he served as a public defender at the South Bend Juvenile Justice Center. 

Riley Gibb
Director of Collaborations

Riley Gibb is the Director of Collaborations at the Purdue Foundry where he works to cultivate and effectively manage meaningful connections. Previously, Riley directed the marketing department at Transitions Dental Company (now North American Dental Group), a dental service organization focused on business service and development within the dental and healthcare industry. 
His other experiences include founding a marketing and small business consulting firm and leadership roles in marketing departments at Cengage Learning, TSJ network in the publishing industry, and ORS Nasco in the manufacturing industry.
He also teaches business and leadership classes as an Adjunct Instructor in the business department at Ivy Tech. 

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.

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.

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. 

Dustin Washington
Owner at The Token Shop

An entrepreneur, an analytical problem solver, and an impassioned innovator, Dustin is the owner of two businesses in dramatically different sectors.
As the owner of a new non-traditional location for a previously predominantly drive-in business, he is challenged with creating a drive-in dining experience in a food court location. The Token Shop is a niche market e-commerce site selling recovery related materials to a global audience. Since it's start in October 2010, The Token Shop has seen growth rates near 200% annually. Dustin brings a unique perspective to what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Stephen Leitch

Stephen was born in Scotland and moved to the US when he was 20 years old.

After graduating from Purdue, Stephen worked as a GM for Marshall Fields (later bought by Macy's) and later was Director of Operations for a large Catering Company in Chicago.

With a love for technology and retail, Stephen started his own online retail store called Savings Mall. He had 15 employees, a large fulfillment center and just over 1 million products for sale. He closed the business in December 2013, drawn to new and more intriguing ventures.

Roland's Consulting was born in about 2009 with the aim of helping other businesses sell online. 

Stephen now has a number of clients around the US and enjoys building their online businesses - all focused on multi-channel e-commerce, marketing and profitability.

In addition to his businesses, a Management Accounting class at Purdue and is currently working on a PhD.

Remy Thomas
Graphic Wizard at VeoRide

Fearless marketer, web & print designer, comic artist, and comedian who loves abstract thinking and matchmaking.

Douglas Dawson

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Greater Lafayette Startup Weekend 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.


Organizing Team

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

  • Emily
  • Amanda
  • Keith


Keith McMunn
Fellowship Director

Event Blog

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