Techstars Startup Weekend Kansas City: Make, Design, Build

    Friday, September 20 - 22, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Techstars Startup Weekend Kansas City: Make, Design, Build

Friday, September 20 - 22, 2019

Friday, September 20 - 22, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

2114 Central Street, 6th Floor
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

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Make, Design, Build

Do you have a business 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 we are focusing on hardware and product design. You can build a software-based component that connects to a physical product. You will see your ideas come to life. Example ideas can be around solar energy, robotics, construction, labor, environment, and so much more. You do not have to be a developer to be a part of this amazing weekend, as long as you have the idea your team can find cohesion.

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, make changes, 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!

No talk, all action!


Friday September 20th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 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 21st

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

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to 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 September 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Tammy Buckner
Founder & CEO

Tammy Buckner is the Founder & CEO of Techquity Digital, LLC. a technology solutions company focused on corporate infrastructure, industry-recognized frameworks and standards. In doing so, we provide project management and business development strategies. Implementing business-centric IT services and business process environments. When not training clients on business processes and sharing with entrepreneurs how to increase productivity using effective technology, Tammy spends her time teaching kids about STEM related careers and cool projects using Raspberry Pis or she's in her kitchen pretending to be a chef.  Tammy is very involved in the Kansas City Tech and Startup ecosystem working with community leaders to create programs that bridge the gap in technology for urban youth, girls and women.

Dave Dalton
Makerspace Operator

I have been making and breaking things from a young age. My grandfather showed me that you can make anything you can imagine by putting a steam engine into a Ford Pinto. My dad is an interior designer who taught me to appreciate the beauty of good design and by filling my childhood with creative construction. My mother taught me how to build costumes and work with fabric and has always had 4 or 5 projects under construction at any time.
I started silversmithing at 15 and blacksmithing and bladesmithing and bronze casting at 19. For the next 20 years I built quite a lot of things. I have designed and rewired homes and factories. I have rebuilt engines and designed and built factory robotics.  I've built antler flinging catapults and paper rocket launchers and fortune telling robots an cellphone rollercoasters.

Tim Dunn
Chief Investment and Treasury Officer

Charged with evaluating and overseeing all real estate-related activities and new development initiatives for JE Dunn Construction, Tim Dunn serves as Chairman/Chief Investment and Treasury Officer for the family-owned company. Started in 1924 and now in its fourth generation of family ownership, JE Dunn serves clients nationwide out of its 20 offices and brings in approximate annual revenues of $3.6 billion.
Active in the community both personally and professionally, Dunn sits on numerous boards, such as UMKC Bloch School Advisory Council and the Downtown Council, and helps Kansas City’s youth become leaders through his work with Junior Achievement. In addition, he serves on the board of many JE Dunn subsidiaries and investments, such as Site 1001, Prescient, Bolts N Nuts, William Henry Insurance, William Henry Agency, and Dunn Realty.
Mr. Dunn is a graduate of the University of Richmond and holds an MBA in Real Estate Finance from UMKC. Prior to his current role, Dunn held various positions for KPMG LLP, Chubb Corp., and Hartford Financial.

Coaches and Mentors

Kaila Wilson
System Engineer / Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur enthusiast with a background in BioSystems Engineering. President of the KC NSBE Professional Chapter, Aerospace Ambassador, and founder of 2 businesses: SEEK Resources & BioStrandz LLC

Eldor Fazilov
Legal and Financial Services Consultant

Matt Heelan
Director of Operations/Business Development

Growing small businesses from 1-20 million during my 10 plus year career. Expertise in Operations, Finance, Sales/Marketing and Client/Customer Service

Louis Byrd
Creative & Engineer

Husband and father born and raised in KC. Professionally I live at the intersection of design, art, business and technology.

Erayna Sargent
Senior Marketing Manager

Erayna is an entrepreneur, speaker, life coach & experienced marketing strategist. She is the founder of Hooky Wellness, a new mental health brand focused on combating the stress and burnout epidemic. She is passionate about helping individuals better understand their past and their power in order to unlock their future. 

Dan Stifter

Partner at Stratex Solutions, a successful start up focusing on strategic planning software. "Retired" senior executive with 15 years as a general manager at Hallmark and 7 years in global product strategy for Coca-Cola. Professor in Executive MBA program for the Bloch School.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Kansas City: Make, Design, Build 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 Kansas City is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Rebecca
  • Alex
  • Lesa
  • Larissa
  • Melissa


Dee Hamill
Program Officer

Momma Bear of 1 Million Cups at @KauffmanFoundation. 

Jesus. Startups. Wine. Community. Inclusiveness. Techstars. Huge advocate of chasing those incredibly big dreams. Adrenaline Chaser. Lover of Life.


Event Staff

Adora Yang

Adora graduated from the University of Kansas (KU) with a background in Business Marketing and Anthropology and a minor in Psychology. As an aspiring business socialite, Adora has built her evolving career in a variety of roles and industries. She loves to learn about digital marketing, technology, data and research. During her free time, she loves trying new foods and experiences with close friends and family. 

Mohamad Ainieh
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management student

Mohamad is an Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management student at UMKC, and as an immigrant, Mohamad understands the need for a helpful community to grow together, which is why he's always up to help passionate business owners and startup founders in the Kansas City area. His theory is "it's something in the BBQ".

Adam Larson
Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Student

My earliest days as a young Cub Scout was selling popcorn to pay for camp. Then I went to starting a painting company my sophomore year of high school, to working with UMKC Enactus and the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I've always been interested in entrepreneurship and how one person or a group's success can impact a whole community. Using profits from my pavement marking business, The Line Kings, I helped support a community resource closet at my high school, providing essentials like cleaning supplies and hygiene products to local families in need.

Samira Zantout
Clinical Pharmacy Intern

Samira is a student at the UMKC School of Pharmacy and has been an avid Kansas City explorer ever since she immigrated from Lebanon a decade ago. From the healthcare industry to entrepreneurship and non-profits, she is passionate about connecting with various Kansas City sectors to propel the city forward. As the founder and lead curator of TEDxRockhill, Samira seeks out all the novel ideas and interesting people that Kansas City has to offer. She believes ice-cream is a meal option and loves coffee, lots and lots of coffee. 

Lyuda Stewart

I currently work for COUNTRY Financial in the Insurance Department and capturing beautiful moments is my hobby. My previous experience includes supervising college students, organizing different local research competitions among students in Izmail, Ukraine. Being an educator myself, my passion for learning didn’t stop after I moved to the US, banking, insurance or IT skills – you share what you know with others, do things what you are afraid of and encourage those who have the sparkle to go further.

Event Blog

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