Startup Weekend Kansas City

    Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

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

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Spint Accelerator
210 W. 19th Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64108

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Kansas City Startup Weekend - November 13-15, 2015

Kickoff Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) with Startup Weekend * 54-hour event supports GEWKC theme: Start Local. Grow Global.  

Start Local with Kansas City Startup Weekend and Grow Global with the biggest Startup Battle ever!
This November, Kansas City Startup Weekend will be held at the Sprint Accelerator and highlight the hottest technologies, innovations, mentors, and idea makers to support and create businesses within a 54-hour period. The Startup Battle begins when the top three winning teams enter the Champions Track, which showcases the best from every city, region, and ultimately, the globe. Additional tracks will open by November, click on the link to learn more about #GSB2015.  KC will also compete against other cities for bragging rights in a Global Hashtag Battle. Follow the action with #KCSW or

Startup Weekend
is a global organization that supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship through events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. Startup Weekend has built a network of more than 100,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer Organizers and more than 100 trained facilitators spanning more than 400 cities in more than 100 countries. Startup Weekend is one of Techstars Community Programs and is supported by Google for Entrepreneurs and other corporate partners. For more information visit ‪

Pitches begin Friday night with demos rounding out the weekend on Sunday, spectators welcome! This event is open to all innovation: smart city, connected homes, agribusiness, financial tech, gesture tech, wearables, social good, sustainable energy, plus more. Tickets can by purchased at Eventbrite by searching Startup Weekend, Kansas City, and include all meals for the weekend.

  • Everyone: Google SWAG, awesome event tshirt, seven KC meals, and huge congrats for making it work! 
  • Crowd Fave: All of the above + A BIG pat on the back!
  • 3rd: You are the third winner!
  • 2nd: Right on the bubble!
  • 1st: Ermagherd, your team ROCKS!
Traveling from out-of-town? AC Hotel by Marriott is the official hotel sponsor for KC Startup Weekend, located at 560 Westport Road, KC, MO 64111. Use this link to book your room today. 

Be sure to give a shoutout to our sponsors - without them we would not be able to hold such an incredible event!

Startup Weekend Networking Event - Thursday Nov 12th at Thou Mayest 6-7PM - FREE to attend. Meet community members, organizing team, and Startup Weekend alumni. Run your pitch by the group for feedback, learn about the Startup Weekend journey, and hear about Global Startup Battle! 

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is November 16th-22nd, 2015. Plan your week by following #GEWKC, or for full details visit KCSourcelink.  But wait, there's more! Revisit Startup Weekend with the Techstars crew on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 at the Sprint Accelerator - sign up here.

See what it's all about

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Friday November 13th

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 November 14th

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 November 15th

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

4:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm


Ilya Tabakh
Founder, Edge Up Sports

I strongly believe in the power of community, which has led to multiple efforts to build an ongoing conversation around important topics. Early experiences include building a community of student organizations around the problem of sustainability at the University of Kansas. More recently I have worked to strengthen the Kansas City entrepreneurial community and to further empower the Kansas City technical community.

Seth Kakuske
Product Manager, Veriship

Participant & Founder, November 2014 Startup Weekend. Submitted video for Global Startup Battle and won 'Do the KIND Thing Track'! Watch the video submission: .

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.

Event Judges

Matt Watson
Founder, Stackify

Founded Stackify in 2012 to create a suite of tools designed specifically for developers to improve their ability to support, manage, and monitor their production applications. Stackify brings a much needed DevOps approach to improve application support. First startup was VinSolutions (2004, co-founder, CTO). Bootstrapped the entire way and sold to in May 2011 for $150 MM. [Areas of Expertise: Entrepreneur and product visionary]

Alisha Templeton
Program Manager for the Sprint Accelerator powered by Techstars

Alisha is a program director for Techstars, running the Sprint Mobile Accelerator in Kansas City. Techstars provides seed funding for early stage startups, offering an interconnected network of over 3,000 successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, helping the most promising startups do more faster. With 15 programs worldwide, Techstars mentorship-driven accelerators fund the best companies in the most entrepreneurial communities. [Areas of Expertise: all aspects of startup businesses including strategy, product, marketing, partnerships and fundraising]

Coty Beasley
UX Architect, Product Ecosystem Designer, Front-End Developer, and Entrepreneurial Technologist

Coty is a technically oriented person with a strong aptitude for user experience and aesthetics. He loves connecting people with technology in the easiest and most enjoyable ways.  [Areas of Expertise: Design (extensive), Filmmaking, Front-End Dev/General Dev, Social & Metrics, Apps - to list a few]

Coaches and Mentors

John Fein
Pitch Coach [Sunday] | Managing Director, Techstars

Co-founder of a startup, led IT, product, and large-scale projects for startups and Fortune 20 companies. Speaker/Panelist at events and organizations including Carnegie Mellon University, CTIA Super Mobility, SXSW V2V, Techweek, HIMSS, mHealth Summit, Health 2.0. 

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.

Dustin Abercrombie
Founder & CEO

I'm currently the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of PreScreend in Kansas City. I have a passion for startups & connecting in #KC.

Chris Brown
Entrepreneur, Attorney, & Ukulele Strummer

Chris Brown is an attorney and the founder of Venture Legal, a law firm serving the Kansas City entrepreneurial community. The attorneys at his firm enjoy practicing law using new technologies such as online document sharing, online billing, and electronic signatures and he prefers to bill using fixed fees whenever possible.

Chris is the founder of Twenty30Mentors and a proud member/mentor with Think Big Partners, Social Media Club Kansas City, The Kauffman Foundation, UMKC E-Scholars, The Sprint Accelerator, Coffee + Design, Startup Grind, and Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts.

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

Rebecca Dove
Biz Dev & Education Coach [Saturday & Sunday] | Founder & Innovation Officer, Pennez

My objectives are to be a catalyst within the education system with a focus on improving the literacy of children. I am passionate, dedicated, and engaged within the community. With over 10 years of experience as an educator, teacher leader, grant writer, professor, and researcher I am excited to continue changing education and to continue building partnerships with local school districts and organizations in order to improve the lives of children. 

Irit Gillath
Biz Dev & Marketing Coach [Saturday]

Irit brings over 15 years of experience in technology business-to-business (B2B) marketing and business development with a long track record developing strategic partnerships and managing cross-media global marketing. [Technolgy Areas of Expertise: Cloud based solutions, SaaS, Application performance management (APM), Carrier-Ethernet networking, Fiber and wireless based networks]

Andrew Sloan
Graphic Design

I have been a professional creative talent for fourteen years. My passion for illustration, graphic design and web design has led me to work with many wonderful companies and freelance clients. It has also given me an impressive and wide list of skills to provide any prospective employer or client.

Bruce Flanders
Director, Mabee Library, Assistant Professor

Tom Newell
Founder, CEO

Tom Newell is a local entrepreneur and founder of ONI Technology, a Kansas City- based business that sells 3D printers and parts as well as provides 3D design and printing services. Newell is the creator of the Oni H Bot 3D printer, a highly effective and affordable device that can be purchased pre-built or purchased as a kit.

Quest Taylor
Digital Mercenary (Product Developer/Investor)

Quest Taylor is social serial entrepreneur specializing in Product Creation and Software Engineering. Quest uses his extensive business & technology knowledge and passion in helping other entrepreneurs build out their dream business ideas.
Quest has a strong passion for helping others in achieving their goals and dreams. Quest is the co-founder of Pennez, and is using his skills in technology to help increase the reading skills of illiterate diverse children using artificial intelligence.
Quest has a very diverse background from technology, high tech, retail, and business. In 2010, Quest created BTP (Beauty To The People) Hair, a successful online beauty store. BTP Hair went on to raise funding from outside investors, and eventually made a successful exit in 2014.
Present day I work full time as a founder of ProjectUK, helping Minorities and Women led startups to create new technologies, innovate new ideas, and receive infusion support.

Travis Stewart
Graphic Designer, REACTOR Design Studio

Travis is a designer at REACTOR Design Studio in Kansas City. There he enjoys brand design, finding clever solutions to design problems, doodling in a sketchbook, and tacos for lunch.

Jena Nesbitt
Trend Forecasting Specialist

Jena is a creative entrepreneur with an education in fashion design and professional experience in product development, trend forecasting, and textile design. Jena led team FreezePup at PDXSW in April 2013, winning two judging categories for a product line of vegan gluten-free desserts for people and their dogs. Inspired by the Lean Canvas for startups, she designed the Creative Canvas; a visual business model for artists, makers, and creatives.  Jena's next workshop "The Art of Pricing Your Work" is November 18th at PNCA Bridgelab, where she will give an overview of the Creative Canvas and dive deep into developing a process for pricing creative work. 

Stephanie Davidson
Director of Creative at Gift Card Impressions, LLC

Specialties:I develop brand recognition through the design and use of essential marketing materials, including: logos, brochures, emails, direct mailings (postcards, multifold mailers, catalogs), advertisements, signage (geographic and in-store), seasonal campaigns, flyers, business suites, packaging, flyers and specialty pieces (preferred customer cards, scratch-off cards, reusable coupons).

Brad Thies
Principal @ Barr Assurance & Advisory, Inc. | Risk Optimizer | GRC Advisor | Regulatory Compliance Specialist

Brad's focus is helping each client optimize their risk and manage the litany of regulations and compliance requirements in the ever-evolving business environment. He provides a unified approach to compliance, risk consulting, and attestation services focused in the technology and cloud service industries.

Eric Shaumburg
Founder/CEO at

Chris Morris
Group 3 Solutions LLC

Freelance Web Developer

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

The Sprint Mobile Accelerator powered by Techstars is helping mobile companies move forward! From our community space to a co-working space and large event space, the award-winning Sprint Accelerator facility has something for everyone. Located within the beautiful Kansas City Crossroads.

Visit Website



Startups For Snacks

Organizing Team

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

  • Jen
  • Natalie
  • John
  • Neil
  • Scott
  • Hal
  • Madison
  • Sarah
  • Justin


Max Farrell

Max Farrell is a Little Rock native splitting time between Arkansas and the road. As co-founder of Create Reason, Max works with companies to engages employees through innovation and rethink how we approach work. Prior to Create Reason, he worked with Iowa-based payments startup Dwolla as the team raised $30 million and expanded the network nationally. In addition to professional efforts, Max is also a facilitator for Startup Weekend events across the United States. In his spare time, Max is a sound hip-hop artist and avid sportsman. 

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