Startup Weekend Lansing

    Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015

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

Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Hatch (
325 East Grand River Ste. 345
East Lansing, MI 48823

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Lansing Startup Weekend!

Calling all innovators, entrepreneurs, designers, programmers and business gurus-Lansing Startup Weekend is back!  Have a great new business idea?  Have a great skill or talent to share?  Want to engage in Lansing's awesome startup community?  Then this event is for you!

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. 

Hope you can join us! 

See what it's all about

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Friday February 20th

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

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

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

9:30 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 as the venue will allow

Saturday February 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
Enjoy lunch while obtaining valuable information from a guest speaker

1:00 pm
Meet coaches and mentors, status reports, call for help

6:30 pm
Enjoy dinner while obtaining valuable information from a guest speaker

7:30 pm
Meet coaches and mentors, 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 February 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Final opportunity to ask questions. Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Final Presentations

3:00 pm
Judging & Awards

3:30 pm

4:00 pm
Go Home!


John Allison

VizKid Design

Nevin Brittain

Health Numeric

Event Judges

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.

Travis Stoliker
Chief Marketing and Sales Officer

Travis is an experienced Marketing Director with a skill for creative storytelling. He is the Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for Liquid Web Inc. with expertise in AdWords management, marketing strategy, sales management, brand/creative management, writing and new media advertising through Twitter & Facebook. Travis helped grow Liquid Web to $60million in yearly revenue, over 450 employees and an INC Magazine Fastest growing company for 8 consecutive years.  Travis was key to the launch of the company's proprietary cloud computing platform, Storm On Demand. Previously he was a global product marketing manager at TechSmith corp.

Amber Shinn

A graduate of Michigan State University, Shinn manages public relations and marketing strategy and execution for MSU's Innovation Center (MSU Technologies, Business Connect and Spartan Innovations.) 
Before joining the MSU Innovation Center, Shinn was CEO and creative director of Shinn Marketing, LLC, and deputy campaign director of Cure Michigan.   Shinn serves on the board of Impression 5 Science Center, the Capital City Film Festival, the Michigan Technology Network, and was named one of the Lansing Chamber of Commerce “10 Over the Next Ten” young professionals in 2012.

Coaches and Mentors

Don Waskiewicz

Don has over 30 years experience solving business problems and contributing to profitability and growth goals. I have created products for Automotive, Retail, Insurance, Financial Services, Pharmaceutical and Packaged Goods. I believe in delivering solutions through the appropriate use of technology avoiding over-engineering and prefer to deliver systems with short payback periods. This approach provides the opportunity to enhance over time as the marketplace or needs evolve. Systems I have worked on have delivered expanded market reach, lower production costs, improved reliability and enhanced Business Insight. My goal is to find customers who will let me apply my years of experience to help both of us achieve professional and financial success.

Specialties: - Solutions Architect
- New Business/New Product Development including revenue and profitability forecasting. 
- Expert in compiling Consumer (Credit & Non-Credit) and Business Data
- Custom Lead Acquisition and CM Systems
- Business Analysis/Opportunity Analysis/Competitive Intelligence
- Process Improvement/Quality Management
- Data Mining
- Strategic/Tactical Technology Planning Market Analysis
- MS/SQL Server Development, ETL
- Business Intelligence Implementations
- Experience evaluating ERP solutions

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.

Ken Szymusiak

Ken Szymusiak is 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. 

Isil Berkun

Işıl Berkün is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at Michigan State University. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with industry-leading partners to transform multidisciplinary technological ideas into business solutions.   Her engineering expertise includes building measurement instruments for advanced nanomaterials and cleanroom fabrication techniques for semiconductor devices for various applications, including nano/micro electromechanical and energy systems. In 2013, she applied her expertise as a PhD intern at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and AKHAN Technologies, Inc., the leading start-up company in diamond semiconductor technology.   Işıl holds an M.S. in Mechatronics Engineering and a B.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering and has been teaching engineering courses for over 10 years. She also strives for balance in her life through the practice of yoga as a certified instructor.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Lansing 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 Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where businesses can thrive. To do this, we help entrepreneurs start new businesses, help existing businesses grow, and attract new businesses to the region.

Visit Website


Organizing Team

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

  • Lori
  • Ken
  • Tony

Event Staff

Allison Monroe

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