Startup Weekend Kansas City

    Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015

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

Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015

Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Think Big Partners
1712 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Kansas City, MO

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54 Hours of Kansas City Startup Weekend on Main Street - The Heart of KC Crossroads!

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. The weekend events are centered on action, innovation, and education. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through testing, business model development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs.  Participants are challenged with building functional startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.

Here's the short list of Startup Weekend benefits:
  1. Education: Startup Weekends are all about learning by doing, whether you’re learning a new skill or a new way of thinking.  Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.
  2. Co-Founder Dating: The people who come to Startup Weekend are serious about learning how to build and launch startups.  Create relationships that last long past the weekend.
  3. Have fun: During the weekend working alongside awesome people who share your ideas. Startup Weekend is meant to be fun and entertaining so enjoy it.
  4. Solve local problems with your ideas. Do you think that one of your idea can change your town or have a positive impact in your group of people? Bring your idea notebook with you and start making a positive change in your local community.
  5. Build Your Network: Startup Weekend works hard to recruit high quality, driven entrepreneurs- like you!
  6. Learn New Skills: With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or give marketing a try.  With nothing to lose there’s no reason not to step outside your comfort zone.
  7. Learn How to Launch a Business (and Actually Do It!): Startup Weekend is the epitome of Lean Startup Methodology.  
  8. Mentorship: Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends and give feedback to participants. Interact with the movers and shakers in your community.
  9. Get Access to Valuable Startup Resources: By participating in Startup Weekend you are given instant access to great products and tools. No one leaves Startup Weekend empty handed! Click here to learn more about some of the offers our Global Sponsors provide during the event.  
  10. Save Money: Startup Weekends are affordable. Your ticket includes seven meals, snacks, and all the coffee you can drink.
What you get from attending:
+ A free .co domain name for 12 months
+ $300 in credits to build web and mobile apps courtesy of Google for Entrepreneurs
+ Awesome coaching by industry leaders
+ Fun swag from Google, .co and more!
+ Breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole weekend
+ A network of new developer, designer, and entrepreneur friends

3rd Place: 
+ 1 meeting room at Think Big
+ 1 hour consulting EBCFO

2nd Place: 
+ 1 meeting room at Think Big
+ 1 hour consulting EBCFO

1st Place
+ Drop-in card worth 11 visits to Think Big's coworking space
+ Free legal consultation with the Venture Legal team
+ An interview on the Grill Nation Show, KMBZ Business Channel 1660AM
+ 3 months of Xero hosting & 3 hours consulting EBCFO

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Friday May 29th

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

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:30 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 you'd like

Saturday May 30th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Get Workin'

12:00 pm

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

1:30 pm
Mentor Meetings
Mentor 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
Figure out when to wrap-up for the day. You may stay and work as late as you'd like

Sunday May 31st

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

2:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm

6:40 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm

7:30 pm
Go Home!
...and hopefully keep building your startup!


Bo Fishback
CEO, Zaarly, Inc

Event Judges

Weston Bergmann
Investor, Betablox Business Incubator

Steve Stava
Co-Founder & CEO, Creelio

Melanie Haas
Biz Dev Coach [Saturday] | Marketing Director, Pinsight Media +

Willis Jackson
CEO & Founder, DevCopilot

Coaches and Mentors

Hal Gottfried
Founder, Level Up Labs

Idea Evangelist,Serial Entrepreneur, Data Head, Maker, Tinkerer & Shameless Self-Promoter, Strategic Coach & Freelance Problem Solver, @KCOHG OSHWA Founding Mbr

Joseph Barber
40 Digits

Maker of some things, Breaker of more. Mediocre Photographer Purveyor of unique gaming experiences. Senior UX Designer @40digits Organizer of @KcCoffeeDesign

Chris Morris
Group 3 Solutions LLC

Freelance Web Developer

Ryan Wyse
Founder & CTO, Code Koalas

Drupal Web Development
Web Design
PHP/MySQL Programming
Linux System Administration
Asterisk Voip Phone Systems

Cindy Fisher
Founder, Smart Steps

Cindy Fisher, President and CEO of Smart Steps LLC, is presently a co-organizer of KCedu, an education meet up at Kauffman Labs each month. She has participated in numerous startup workshops, including Fast Trac Tech Venture, Lean Startup Weekend, KC Startup Weekend (winning team), St. Louis Startup Weekend, and is currently involved with the eScholars program through the Bloch School at UMKC. She was awarded grant money from two sources to develop her prototype app called Smart Steps Mobile.

Jarrod Eyler
CTO, Creelio

I am a software architect with fourteen years of experience developing enterprise scale applications. My current role is co-founder and Chief Technology Office for Moose Labs, a full-service software development company.

Specialties include Android, PhoneGap, Appcelerator, JQuery Mobile, Backbone.js,, Java 6, JSF/PrimeFaces, Spring, Jersey, Maven, AWS, layered architectures, relational database design, communication, and presentation skills.

Andrew McGhie
Attorney at Venture Legal KC

Andrew is an attorney at Venture Legal, and offers an array of transactional legal services for the entrepreneurial community in Kansas City. His practice is devoted to helping KC entrepreneurs with the legal tools essential to establishing and running their businesses.

Andrew enjoys working with innovators and creative minds to actualize their unique goals as 
business owners. He is a firm believer of the philosophy that legal services should be tools used to do what needs to be done, not obstacles on the road to success.

Michael Grundvig
Director of Technology, High 5 Games

Kelly Tomlinson
Experience Designer, CremaLab, Coffee & Design, KELLYTDESIGN

Designs experiences for web, iOS, products, & events. Helping build a design community through @kcCoffeeDesign. Going where I don't always know the answer.

Melissa Roberts
Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation

Melissa Roberts works at the Kauffman Foundation, where she makes grants to nonprofits that support entrepreneurship. I’m her career, she has been a small business owner, nonprofit executive, and built educational program for entrepreneurs.

John Resman
Creative Lead, Sporting Innovations

All I want to be is a person who makes things and thinks about them. Creative Lead at @sportinginnov in #KCMO.#SKC #golf

Parker Hills
CEO & Founder, Keyzio

Entrepreneur / Engineer / Consultant @BurnsMcDonnell. Founder @KeyzioInc, a tech-driven real estate brokerage. Otherwise trying to keep up with two toddlers.

Dan Schmidt
Founder, Emerging Business CFO

Virtual CFO to the startup and entrepreneur world. Accounting. Analysis. Advice

Lesa Mitchell
Managing Director of Techstars KC

Passionate about enabling organization leaders to reduce failure rate and accelerate the scale of both not for profit and for profit organizations changing the world.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Kansas City 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.

Signature Sponsors



Contributing Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Bob
  • Jen
  • John
  • Neil
  • Troy
  • Scott
  • Ryan
  • Wayne
  • Natalie


Michael Norton
Entrepreneur In Residence

Michael has led over 60 Techstars Startup Weekend events throughout the US, Canada, and Australia. He teaches workshops, designs programs, and speaks on a variety of topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Michael has worked professionally in marketing technology startups, with big data, non-profit fundraising, customer support systems design, technical project management, educational program development, event production and decor, iOS app design, video games, user testing, prototyping, and in the coffee industry.

His own past and present business ventures include several SaaS web app platforms, photography, woodworking, printing, audio engineering, video production, musical composition/recording/performance, publishing, art curation, operating an Amazon Pro Merchant storefront, and a funnel cake stand.

Michael guides innovative communities to build and nurture regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He guides corporations through internal innovation and intrapreneurship. 

He frequently works as a freelance business development consultant, crowdfunding guru, technical project manager, and as a marketer — focused on branding, messaging, storytelling, social media, and email marketing.

Michael loves hiking in Yosemite, bicycling around San Diego, eating authentic Baja California Mexican food, and drinking amazing coffee in Seattle.

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