Startup Weekend East Lansing

    Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018


  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend East Lansing

Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018



Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

MSU Innovation Center
325 E. Grand River Ave.
300 Room
East Lansing, MI 48823

Buy Tickets

Your idea in 54 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?

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:
  • 6 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 “eastlansing@startupweekend.org”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!


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EVENT SCHEDULE

Friday February 9th


6:00 pm
Registration
Arrive at the venue and get checked in


6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants


7:00 pm
Welcome
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce coaches and community leaders


7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch


8:30 pm
Voting
Attendees vote for the top pitches


8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas


9:00 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 February 10th


9:00 am
Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee


9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend


12:00 pm
Lunch


6:00 pm
Dinner


9:00 pm
Wrap-Up
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday February 11th


9:00 am
Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee


9:30 am
Mentor Check-In
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions


10:00 am
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place


12:00 pm
Lunch


1:00 pm
Final Presentations


3:00 pm
Judging & Awards


3:30 pm
Wrap-Up


4:00 pm
Go Home!


Event Judges


Denise Graves
University Relations Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Denise is the University Relations Director for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation team at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). In this role, she interacts with Michigan's public universities, key entrepreneurial stakeholders and investors, managing programs that support statewide collaboration, and the commercialization of early stage technology.
Before joining MEDC in October 2011, Denise held sales and business development positions in a number of small and second stage high-tech companies in Ann Arbor.  Her experience includes new business development, channel partner relations, client relations, sales, strategic planning, public speaking and contract negotiation and management. 


Jill Marlan
CEO/Founder

Jill is a Board Certified licensed Physical Therapist and a Certified Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist. She was appointed by the governor to serve on the State Board of Physical Therapy for 8 years and chaired the board for the last three years. Jill worked nationally on the continuing competence committee for the federation of state boards and currently had been appointed to chair this committee for two years by two different governors.She assisted in the development of the “Translatoric Spinal Manipulation” textbook that is currently used in Physical Therapy doctoral educational programs and is a resident instructor for Oakland University’s Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Program and Michigan State University’s Kinesiology Program.She has received numerous awards and recognition, including: Athena Powerlink 2013, Corp! Economic Bright Spot Award — 2016 and 2017, Entrepreneur of the Year GLBM – 2017, Goldman Sachs Award, and selected as a Finalist for the Ernst & Young Winning Women. She was also selected for Leadership Lansing in 2017.


Jesse Flores
Chief Web Pro

Jesse is the founder of SuperWeb Pros, Cognite Labs and StartupLansing.org. He is a results-driven leader with years of experience strengthening organizations via performance improvement initiatives, operations management, and technology-enabled innovation. He enjoys working with both technical and business stakeholders, taking the time to understand business needs and applying leading edge technologies to build important software. He loves startups and the entrepreneurial spirt, which prompted him to launch StartupLansing, which is dedicated to helping educate, connect, and promote startup activity in the Lansing region.


Sarah Barbo
Corporate Strategy at Consumers Energy

Sarah is a strategy and innovation professional and a U.S. Army veteran. Her professional interests center around how to utilize innovation, strategy, and science to solve our 21st infrastructure and natural resource challenges.

At Innosight, a growth strategy and innovation consulting firm, she helped clients in finance, healthcare, media, and additional industries develop dual strategies to strengthen their existing business and to “future-proof” by identifying areas of growth and building towards the business required in the future.

She is currently a Manager in the Corporate Strategy group at Consumers Energy, charting the future for Michigan’s largest electric utility. Her group assesses industry trends and technology advancements like electric vehicles and smart grids to define the utility of the future.

Sarah holds a BS in biology from the University of Dayton and an MBA and MS in Environmental Science from Yale University.


Coaches and Mentors


Paul Jaques
Director of Student and Community Engagement

As the Director of Student and Community Engagement for Spartan Innovations, Paul Jaques works with the MSU undergraduate students on their business ideas and inventions to potentially get them to market. Paul is a founding partner of Pure Venture Partners and has also co-founded his own startups that include Career Search Consultants, a nationwide recruiting firm and Bio-Green Environmental, a biosolids management company. 


Ken Szymusiak
Entrepreneurship Professional

 Managing Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (IEI) at the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.  The IEI is charged with developing and supporting entrepreneurship within the student body of Michigan State University through the development of curriculum, events, business plan competitions and support structures. Additionally, Ken serves as adjunct faculty teaching introductory courses in entrepreneurship and business model creation. Prior to joining MSU, Ken served as Co-Director of the New Economy Division at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) where he co-managed a technology focused business incubator and worked to develop a culture of entrepreneurship in the greater Lansing region. Ken has been instrumental the development of Lansing Startup Weekends, The Hatching - Business Pitch Competition, and Spartan Innovations’ Startup Boot Camp. Ken received his MBA from Northwood University and his Bachelors in Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University.  Ken and his wife, Kristin, just recently sold his wife’s retail business after eight successful years. 


Chris Sell
Director of Alumni & Entrepreneur Engagement

At my core, I'm passionate about creating synergy and connecting people to opportunity. I place tremendous focus on collaboration, strategic planning, creativity, and teamwork in any professional environment. As an alumnus of Western Michigan University (WMU) and Michigan State University (MSU), I'm equally committed to leveraging relationships with industry and students/graduates to retain and attract talent in the state of Michigan and contribute to the economic revitalization my hometown state that I love dearly. 

In my current role at MSU, I serve as the Internship Coordinator for the College of Natural Science. In this position, I strive to oversee our college's vision for creating a culture of internships and experiential learning for our undergraduate students. In the past I've also served as a leadership instructor, classroom facilitator, and program manager. I apply my passion for workforce development and Michigan's economic renaissance in several professional organizations, including Michigan's Employer Educator Partnership (MEEP), the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), and the Michigan Career Educator & Employer Alliance (MCEEA), for which I currently serve as President. My interest in helping Michigan's recovery has led me to partner with initiatives like MichAGAIN, LiveWorkDetroit! and local workforce development for young professionals. 

I am the founder of The Wednesday Wake Up blog, a site for which I write on topics such as leadership, career development, and self-improvement. When I’m not penning my musings on leadership and life, you can find me writing about my stellar wife, amazing daughter, and our mischievous Black Labrador as a regular contributor to Daddy Daughter Time (daddydaughtertime.com). For more information on my professional endeavors, visit www.christophersell.com for a comprehensive look at how I get to live the dream every day, doing what I love, in a state that I love.


Gabbi Allum
New Venture Associate

Gabbi currently works for Spartan Innovations as the New Venture Associate, and also is the manager of the Technology Innovation Center located in East Lansing. Her experience also branches to Lansing 5:01, as well as LEAP. 


Tom Stewart

Tom is a professional manager and business coach, with primary expertise in organizational design and operational strategy. Over the last decade, Tom has provided consultation to 44 organizations in a wide range of industries – the majority of which were new or small companies. Tom has also worked on transition teams for larger organizations such as Neogen Corporation, Demmer Corporation, the State of Michigan, and Michigan State University. In the last three years alone, my efforts have resulted in nearly $7M in new client revenues and 60 new jobs in the Capitol Region.

Tom is currently managing Quantum Medical Concepts, a pre-seed fund for medical startups. He also operates The Center for New Enterprise Opportunity (NEO Center), a small business incubator in Lansing. He was the winner of the Lansing Regional Chamber’s 10 Over the Next Ten award in 2010 and was named MLive Lansing’s “Ones to Watch in 2013.”

He previously served Downtown Lansing, Inc., the REO Town Commercial Association, and the Capitol Area United Way's Young Leader's Society. He currently serves on the board for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Neil Kane

"I've never been qualified for any job that I've had, but I always achieved success."​

Dynamic entrepreneur/executive/innovator with 25 years of general management, sales, marketing and investment experience in environments ranging from nanotechnology to advanced materials to consumer products. An acknowledged leader in technology commercialization with extensive start-up as well as big company experience. 10 year track record of raising venture capital, angel financing, strategic investments and government grants. Very experienced public speaker, writer and dealmaker.

Recognized for excellence in entrepreneurship by the National Science Foundation. Named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Contributor to Forbes.com on topics related to entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership. 

Specialties: Innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital, early-stage company formation, tech transfer, technology transfer, government grants, SBIR, technology incubation, barbecue sauce, diamonds, Rubik's Cubes.


Tyler Mehigh
MSU Entrepreneurship Association President

Tyler Mehigh is a current junior at Michigan State majoring in Business Management. He interned at Yanfeng Automotive last summer, and is a current intern at Spartan Innovations. In his free time he enjoys working on his own company, Northern Etiquette. Tyler hopes to one day own a Private Equity Firm.


Reuben Levinsohn
Partner, Financial Advisor



Jerry Norris
CEO at GAIA

I obtained a B.S. in Statistics from the University of Michigan, with a focus on Computer Science. I began my career as a Quality Engineer and ISO 9000 Lead Auditor in 1988. Throughout the years, I moved up through the ranks of the quality profession (i.e. Quality Manager, Director of Quality, and VP of Quality). I have worked in the following fields: telecommunications, automotive, furniture, food safety, environmental management. 

In 1988 as a Quality Engineer and Lead Auditor, I began developing a software product to help manage compliance activities. This product was my "hobby and baby" for 10 years, always keeping in mind patterns and system theory concepts that would help the software become stronger in all industries, before I decided to start my own company, jadian incorporated. In 2014 jadian was sold. The next logical step for me was to start a new software company developing a member directory of compliance professionals. 

Now I am the CEO of GAIA, LLC. We operate globally with customers in over 50 countries helping members connect based on expertise and vicinity. www,closeandcompetent.com.

My expertise includes software development, quality management, food safety management, automotive and aerospace related quality management, environmental protection and management, and safety systems. I also enjoy reading standards (e.g. ISO 17021, ISO 9001, GFSI) and following the industries that are moving from prescriptive systems (e.g. customer based, GMPs) to more agile and adaptive management systems.

Specialties: Quality Assurance, Statistics, Software Engineering, Sales, Food Safety, Compliance Management, Auditing, Inspections, International Business, Entrepreneurship, building Brands.


Tony Willis
Director, New Economy Division

As Director of the New Economy Division for LEAP, Tony establishes and extends programming for entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the Lansing region. With the goal of creating a culture of entrepreneurship, Tony works with local, regional, and state resources assist individuals and startups to launch products and companies.


Melissa Brennan
Digital Trends Analyst

Melissa Brennan is currently the Digital Trends Analyst at WLNS-TV 6 in Lansing. She now focuses on innovation within the television news industry and is looking at ways to shape the future of news in the world of social media. She moved to Michigan from Los Angeles where she attended business school at the University of Southern California. She founded a social travel startup called Sravel which won multiple awards and was funded by VC firm, Wasabi Ventures.  She went on to work with other portfolio companies within the firm to grow their bases and core business models.  Melissa also works as a startup consultant who works with people of all ages who want to turn their ideas into realistic ventures.


Organizing Team

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

  • Katie
    Chalker
  • Marie
    Clark
  • Holly
    Taipala
  • Katie
    Musial

Facilitators


Jeff Smith
Director, University Corporate Research Park at MSU Foundation

Jeff is the Director of the Michigan State University Corporate Research Park. Managing the development and funding of infrastructure for the recruitment of technology-based enterprises, university technology-development initiatives, and university/industry partnerships, in collaboration with relevant University and governmental units, as well as the lending community.  Jeff is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in both the public and private sector. He has a strong background in For Profit and Nonprofit Organizations, Government, Entrepreneurship, Venture Creation, Urban Planning, Event Management, and Media Relations. Jeff serves as founder and partner on a number of startup companies, working with companies to find funding, resources, and staffing to achieve scale.



Lori Fischer
Student & Events Project Manager

Lori Fischer is the current Events and Student Program Manager at Spartan Innovations.   Lori earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from St. Cloud University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Her background includes graphic design, as well as experience in general management, accounting, human resources, marketing, and supporting startup opportunities.   Previously, Lori worked as a graphic designer for multiple companies, she was the Graphics & Systems Administrator for General Motors, and then later opened a startup, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen.  In 2012, Lori assisted in establishing the new Spartan Innovations office at Michigan State University. She currently manages 20 interns, as well as The Hatch, which is an incubator for student entrepreneurs at MSU. She also coordinates and manages numerous entrepreneurial events in collaboration with MSU, students, local community initiatives and the State of Michigan.

Event Staff


Jeff Smith
Director, University Corporate Research Park at MSU Foundation

Jeff is the Director of the Michigan State University Corporate Research Park. Managing the development and funding of infrastructure for the recruitment of technology-based enterprises, university technology-development initiatives, and university/industry partnerships, in collaboration with relevant University and governmental units, as well as the lending community.  Jeff is an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of working in both the public and private sector. He has a strong background in For Profit and Nonprofit Organizations, Government, Entrepreneurship, Venture Creation, Urban Planning, Event Management, and Media Relations. Jeff serves as founder and partner on a number of startup companies, working with companies to find funding, resources, and staffing to achieve scale.



Lori Fischer
Student & Events Project Manager

Lori Fischer is the current Events and Student Program Manager at Spartan Innovations.   Lori earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from St. Cloud University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Her background includes graphic design, as well as experience in general management, accounting, human resources, marketing, and supporting startup opportunities.   Previously, Lori worked as a graphic designer for multiple companies, she was the Graphics & Systems Administrator for General Motors, and then later opened a startup, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen.  In 2012, Lori assisted in establishing the new Spartan Innovations office at Michigan State University. She currently manages 20 interns, as well as The Hatch, which is an incubator for student entrepreneurs at MSU. She also coordinates and manages numerous entrepreneurial events in collaboration with MSU, students, local community initiatives and the State of Michigan.


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