Startup Weekend Iowa City 2019

    Friday, July 12 - 14, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Iowa City 2019

Friday, July 12 - 14, 2019

Friday, July 12 - 14, 2019
Event starts at 5:00 pm

MERGE Iowa City
136 S. Dubuque St.
Iowa City, IA 52240

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Your idea in 54 hours... are you up for the challenge?

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.

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 July 12th

5:00 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

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams and Begin Work
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

11:00 pm
Venue Closes

Saturday July 13th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:45 am
Business Model Presentation
Learn the basics of putting together a startup business model and doing customer discovery before beginning work for the day.

9:00 am
Begin Work

12:00 pm

12:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help! Coaches will be available noon-3 pm, but most coaches will stick around as long as they are needed.

6:00 pm

6:00 pm
Full group dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

11:00 pm
Venue Closes

Sunday July 14th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:45 am
Final Pitch Discussion
Learn what each team needs to have in their presentations for the judges on Sunday evening.

9:00 am
Begin Work

1:00 pm
Lunch and End of Work
Pitch decks are due at this time. Enjoy lunch as a full group before tech check begins.

2:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Presentation run-through opportunity for each team.

3:00 pm
Final Presentations
Doors open to the public for final pitches at 3 pm, pitches begin at 4 pm.

5:30 pm
Wrap-Up Party at a Secret Location
Join us for a post-Startup Weekend celebration in downtown Iowa City!

Event Judges

Samantha Ferm

Mark Nolte

Kimm Harris
President, IPC of Iowa inc.

Kimm is a passionate businesswoman with the ability to create a vision for the future, to transform ideas 
into action, and to connect individuals across a broad spectrum of industries. Through her business and 
non-profit work, Kimm has developed relationships with successful individuals worldwide, allowing her to 
grow a personal network of thousands.

As President of IPC of iowa inc., a company that creates software solutions for CPAs, accountants, attorneys and other business professionals, Kimm has experienced over 20 years of business success. Using her skills in leadership, problem solving, and discipline she provides her customers with quality assistance from start to finish.  In addition to purchasing companies, she has been involved in start-ups and franchises.

Kimm received both her undergraduate and MBA from the University of Iowa and is passionate about entrepreneurship.  She is an Adjunct Lecturer through the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa.

Coaches and Mentors

Dan Smith
Director of Product and Operations, Suredbits

Accountable for the strategic direction of the Service Lifecycle including holistic business services, managing end-to-end services as perceived by the customer and ensuring service is delivered consistently across the organization. Own the technology product development and lifecycle for customer success capabilities. Anticipate and manages the risk of operating global services, serves as a point of contact for escalation for major incidents and ensures customer benefit is understood and measured. Create and maintain the Customer Care Service Roadmap, including ensuring alignment and integration strategies to provide the best customer experience aligned with ACT’s Customer Experience Strategy. Provide thought leadership in the definition of an excellent end to end customer experience, acting as an enabler for the delivery of the experience across services

Josh Krakauer

Rina Jensen


Amanda Lund
Brand Storyteller

Amanda has wanted to tell stories since before she knew how to write them. As a brand storyteller, she specializes in creating digital content that connects women led brands to their ideal clients. A University of Iowa graduate and Iowa native, Amanda has worked with both local and nationwide brands, bringing clarity to communication through that foundational “why.” She has helped her clients tell their stories on platforms like, Wedding MBA, Rent My Wedding Magazine, The Bridal Society, and the Corridor Business Journal.

Shamus Roeder


Julie Lammers


Ryan Smith


Caroline Edmunds-Diez
Founder, Kulture Vaccine

Caroline Edmunds-Diez graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Enterprise Leadership and a certificate in Philanthropy and Fundraising Communications. She founded the company "Kulture Vaccine," a music consulting and promotion company that has helped over 280 musicians internationally. As a professional seamstress that has been featured in several fashion shows, Caroline also sells her fashion line. She has served on the Executive Boards for four nonprofit organizations as well as serving as their fundraising specialist. As a member of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, winner of many awards in pitch competitions, and regular mentor for student entrepreneurs, Caroline knows what she's doing.

Robin Springer


Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Iowa City 2019 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.

Bronze Sponsorship




Organizing Team

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

  • Mark
  • Ian
  • Jay


Ian Castillo

Ian Castillo is an entrepreneur, photographer and community builder based in the midwest. He enjoys teaching and learning about product management, rapid prototyping, and social media tools. Ian thinks startup weekends are incredible and hopes you can attend one soon. 

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