Startup Weekend Louisville

    Friday, April 7 - 9, 2017

  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 Louisville

Friday, April 7 - 9, 2017

Friday, April 7 - 9, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

745 W Main St
Louisville, KY 40202

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It's time for the 10th Startup Weekend Louisville! April 7-9 2017

Bring your idea, skills & determination and see how far you can make it in 54 hours.

We bring together designers, programmers, hustlers & anyone else interested in learning how to take an idea and quickly validate it and make progress throughout the weekend.

You'll be guided by Louisville's entrepreneurship community to find early stage customers, measure your market and if you move quickly -- even generate revenue.

Learn shortcuts to determine pricing, find those early stage adopters or key connections that you normally couldn't find or contact.

What you get with registration:
  • 54 hours of hustle with likeminded team mates
  • An opportunity to pitch any idea for up to 60 seconds
  • A great T-Shirt (always the high quality soft cotton blend type, none of the heavy cotton ones)
  • 7 meals (see if you can do that for the price of the ticket)
  • Coffee, drinks & snacks all weekend
  • Exclusive access to a happy hour & mixer the the week of April 3 (details TBD)
  • Mentorship by the region's who's-who of startups
  • Ability to pitch the progress you've made to a panel of entrepreneurs & funders
  • FREE .co domain (given out Friday)
  • $300 Google Cloud credit 
  • Fun, tons of fun!
Q: Who is this event for?
A: Anyone that wants to experience the rollercoaster of an early stage idea.  

: Do I have to have an idea to join?
A: No; you can just join up, lend your talents & have a great time.

: I have to go to XYZ event for 2 hours, can I still come?
A: Yes, just let your team know you have a prior obligation.

: Do you take any part of equity in my idea or ownership?
A: No, Startup Weekend, the organizers and mentors take zero ownership or part of the idea you bring to the weekend.  We are only there to support you, provide guidance and help you move quickly.  Your idea is 100% yours and your team's!

: You all have to be getting something out of this, what gives?
A: This is a global event where local community members (see the list of organizers below) want to open the door & access to entrepreneurship.  We get a lot out of helping you through the weekend and learn from you too.

: I can't attend the event, when is the next one?
A: We usually throw 2 events a year, pay attention to Startup Louisville's event calendar for our event or our social media feeds on Facebook or Twitter.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday April 7th

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 April 8th

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 April 9th

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

4:00 pm

4:30 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

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Greg Fischer
Louisville Mayor

Greg Fischer is now in his second term as Louisville’s 50th Mayor. 

His administration is focused on three top goals: creating good-paying jobs, improving education at all levels, and making Louisville an even more compassionate city. 

He was named a 2013 “Public Official of the Year” by Governing Magazine, the only U.S. mayor to earn the distinction. 

Mayor Fischer is a trustee for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is past chair of the Conference's Metro Economies Committee which addresses economic problems facing the nation’s cities and their citizens.

He was also honored by the Kentucky League of Cities as top “Large City Mayor” for 2013. 

He is an entrepreneur who started several businesses including SerVend International and Iceberg Ventures, a private investment firm. He also co-founded bCatalyst, the first business accelerator in Louisville.

Event Judges

Chris Head
Cofounder, MobileServe

Prior to co-founding MobileServe, Chris started four other companies in industries ranging from urban development to entertainment. A proud graduate of Xavier University, he obtained his BSBA in Entrepreneurship in 2012, and in 2015 he received an MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Louisville. Before taking on the business world, Christopher has a longstanding core relationship with volunteer work with youth and has been working with organizations like Surgery on Sunday and the YMCA.

Lesa Seibert
CEO, Mightily

Lesa Seibert is the founder and CEO of Mightily and Xstreme Media. Mightily, founded in 2013 is a digital first branding agency that takes a deep dive into brands to drive customized web, design and marketing strategies. Xstreme Media, founded in 2000, focuses on small to medium size companies with template driven web design and internet marketing. Combined they serve over 200 clients coast to coast.

Lesa has 16+ years in the web design and digital marketing industry, overseeing all facets of the company with a focus on strategy, consulting and operations. She is a featured speaker around the region and hosts seminars on web design, social media and internet marketing for groups and companies. She has been involved in the Entrepreneurial community not only as an entrepreneur but also as a consultant and mentor. Since 2005, Lesa has consulted with clients at the Small Business Development Center and multiple local startups including Bourbon Barrel Foods, Blue 222, Metro Startup Launcher, and Rudy Greens Doggy Cuisine. Lesa is very involved in the community, serving on the Louisville Regional Airport Authority Board, Enterprise Corp Board, Venture Connectors Board, Women 4 Women Board, and IdeaFestival Planning & Taste of Innovation Committees.

In her spare time, Lesa likes to sing, play golf and travel.

Maggie Galloway
CEO at Inscope Medical Solutions

Maggie Galloway is CEO and co-founder of Inscope Medical Solutions, a medical device company that is developing connected medical devices for emergency medicine providers. Inscope Medical’s first device is the Inscope Laryngoscope, is a wireless disposable video laryngoscope with integrated and controllable suction that makes emergency intubation safer for patients and easier for providers. Before founding Inscope Medical, Maggie was an Innovation Consultant at Humana where she specialized in clinical product development from user research to concept development to product scale. Maggie received her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Louisville.

Coaches and Mentors

Amber Windell
Director of Marketing, Blackstone Media

Amber Windell is the Director of Marketing at Blackstone Media, a web design, development and digital marketing firm in Louisville, KY. Amber works closely with clients to identify, establish, and reach business goals through online marketing. With certifications in Google Analytics and AdWords, she's able to craft lead-generating campaigns, track their results and optimize them to reach optimal cost-per-acquisition. She has an uncanny ability to spot trends and take immediate action that capitalize on any marketing opportunities, which often have a positive impact on the client's bottom line. 

Hailing from Southern Indiana, her philosophy of putting others first creates a ripple effect that spills over onto her friends, family, co-workers and her clients. Amber received her MS in Strategic Communication from Purdue University and her BA in Advertising from Indiana University Southeast. Recently she returned to her alma-mater as an Adjunct Professor at IU Southeast. She is a 2016 AAF-Louisville Hot 10 Award recipient and also serves as the President of The Dream Factory of Louisville.

Lisa Bajorinas
Director, Kentucky Innovation Network

Lisa Bajorinas is the executive director of EnterpriseCorp, an entrepreneurial support organization serving the Louisville region.  Lisa is responsible for the development of innovation-driven, technology based companies through client services including capital access, talent attraction, key strategic introductions, and business coaching. She creates and directs programs, workshops, and events that add to the culture of Louisville’s vibrant startup community.  Lisa is also the Executive Manager of the Enterprise Angels, a Louisville-based angel investor network comprised of high net-worth individuals actively seeking investments in well vetted, investment grade deals. Under her leadership, the (former) High Impact Program, focusing on fast growth companies, received the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Excellence in Economic Development Award, was a finalist for the CoreNet Global Economic Development Leadership Award, and received Honorable Mention from the International Economic Development Council’s Excellence in Economic Development Award.  Lisa’s career began in the online travel industry in Miami through successive positions in technology, software project management, and marketing and eventually led her to a product marketing role in Silicon Valley with BroadVision while managing a global team of software developers located in Nice France. She holds a B.A. in organizational psychology and an MBA, both from the University of Miami (FL).

Bob Saunders
General Partner, OCA Ventures

 Bob is a General Partner of OCA Ventures (Chicago), a Founding Partner of Saunders Murdoch and Associates (Louisville/Boston), and is an active investor in many healthcare startups.  Bob was a Managing Director and General Partner at Chrysalis Ventures from 1997 to 2009. Bob was a founding board member of MetaCyte Business Lab, the University of Louisville’s life science incubator. Over the last 30 years, he has invested in several dozen startup companies and has mentored 100+ startups. Bob received a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.Sc. from the London School of  Economics, and an M.A. from Harvard University. He was both a Fulbright Scholar and a Marshall Scholar. 

Ben Marcum
Owner, Ben Marcum Photography

Ben Marcum launched Ben Marcum Photography in 2013 with the goal to fill a niche for local performing artists by specializing in headshot photography. After spending years in theatre doing stage and sound design, Ben decided to leave the stage and step behind the camera to pursue his true passion. Ben studied headshot and portrait photography under world renowned photographer, Peter Hurley and has the honor of being Kentucky’s first, and only, associate photographer and mentor in Mr. Hurley’s affiliate program, “The Headshot Crew”. While growing his business, Ben expanded his services beyond theatre professionals. His portfolio includes models, actors, corporate, non-profit and small business clients who need quality images for websites, social media, print periodicals, and directories. Ben is regarded as the “GO TO” for headshots throughout the Kentucky region. Most importantly, this Louisville native loves his work and has a true gift with headshot photography making his clients feel comfortable enough to share their personality while being carefully directed to capture their best features. No one leaves the studio until they are satisfied.
As a true artist, Ben now creates individual portraitures. He offers elite portrait sessions to give people the "Vanity Fair Experience" while creating images that his clients will cherish for a lifetime. Each carefully crafted session offers styling and direction  Ben’s creative vision can really draw out depth and emotion in each person making them a living piece of art. In his free time, Ben and his wife Heather share their love for their pets including their four cats Ophelia, Neville, Louise, Minerva, and Mavis, the one lone dog.

Reanna Smith-Hamblin
President/CEO, Better Business Bureau

Reanna Smith-Hamblin is the President/CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Louisville, Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky. She has been with the organization for 11 years. Her expertise in communications, marketing, customer acquisition, and public relations better equips BBB to serve businesses and consumers.

Prior to the BBB, Ms. Smith-Hamblin was a news producer at WHAS11 News, in Louisville, KY, and a reporter/anchor for WKAG in Hopkinsville, KY.  

A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Ms. Smith-Hamblin holds an MBA and is currently in the dissertation phase of a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, where her topic is non-profit organizations.  

Ms. Smith-Hamblin was recognized by Business First as a Top 40 under 40 in 2011. She is a graduate of Ignite Louisville class of 2012 and is the Chair of the KY Press Association Associates Board.  

Originally from Prospect, KY, Ms. Smith-Hamblin is married with two step-daughters, and she is a 7-year cancer survivor. 

Greg Langdon

Mr. Langdon works with early-stage companies and related programs in Louisville, KY, and is a board member or advisor for several Louisville startups. He’s an active mentor with accelerator programs including XLerateHealth, the Vogt Awards, and Nucleus LaunchIt, and is a board member with GLI’s EnterpriseCorp and with Venture Connectors. Langdon was part of the executive team that led Efficient Networks from a venture-funded startup into a market-leading position in broadband Internet equipment, a successful initial public offering, and subsequent sale to Siemens AG. Prior to Efficient Networks he held marketing, product development and system architecture positions in the telecom and computer industries. Langdon has a degree in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University. 

Dr. Sharon Kerrick
Dean, Bellarmine University Rubel School of Business

Rider Rodriguez
Director of Sector Strategies at KentuckianaWorks

Rider Rodriguez is the Director of Sector Strategies for KentuckianaWorks - Greater
Louisville’s Workforce Investment Board. In addition to helping local companies find a 
skilled workforce, he is starting and leading initiatives like Code Louisville to close the  Louisville area’s skill shortage in information technology and Louisville Sells to provide a trained and ready sales workforce. Prior to this, Rider was a technology project manager with Humana. Rider served as a Signal Officer in the United States Army for nine years to include service in Afghanistan. Rider’s experience includes technology project design, strategic planning and workforce development. He holds a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University and he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Suzanne Bergmeister
Entrepreneur In Residence

Suzanne Bergmeister has eighteen years of experience working with entrepreneurs and start-up companies.  She is currently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Louisville.  In this capacity, she teaches across all the UofL MBA programs including the nationally-ranked Entrepreneurial MBA Program, and the undergraduate Entrepreneurship Minor.  She also teaches two electives in the MBA program:  New Ventures and Social Entrepreneurship.  In addition, Suzanne teaches an engineering entrepreneurship elective and Entrepreneurship-600, an entrepreneurship elective open to any graduate student at the University.  She also mentors the MBA and undergraduate Business Plan Competition teams.  Suzanne formerly worked in the Private Equity Industry for Fort Washington Investment Advisors, and as a Venture Capitalist with Blue Chip Venture Company in Cincinnati and Chrysalis Ventures in Louisville. In 2004, Suzanne founded Sunflower Business Ventures Inc.  Sunflower specializes in business consulting and management, education and training, and angel investing activities.  She founded the Sunflower Seed Funds as an investment vehicle for not-yet-accredited investors.  Suzanne has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University, an MS in Electrical Engineering from California State University and an MBA from Cornell University, concentrating in Finance. Suzanne is the Chair and former President of Venture Connectors (formerly the Venture Club of Louisville).  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Louisville, Algood Food Company and several start-ups.  She is also on the Advisory Board of Greater Louisville Inc’s Enterprise Corp.  Suzanne is a Business Coach in the Launch-It Program, a 10-week Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.  She is active with the Leadership Louisville organization and is a graduate of Focus Louisville (‘02), Leadership Louisville (‘05), and Bingham Fellows (’07, ‘16).  Colonel Bergmeister is a retired Air Force reservist with 30 years of service.  She began her Air Force career at Edwards Air Force Base in California where she was an Avionics Flight Test Engineer on the B-1 Bomber and the B-2 Stealth Bomber, and taught Electronic Warfare Testing at the Air Force Test Pilot School.  As a reservist, she was assigned to the AF Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, where she was the National Training Director for the entire Admissions Liaison Officer force.  Suzanne currently lives in the St. Mathews neighborhood of Louisville, KY with her cats, Lola and Vivian, and her dog, Toby Keith.  Suzanne’s son, Karl is an Ensign in the United States Navy.  

Stacy Griggs
President & CEO, El Toro

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Paul
  • Daniel
  • Austin
  • Elizabeth
  • Eric
  • Dave
  • Greg
  • Zack
  • Jacy
  • Robert
  • Melissa
  • William
  • Kelby
  • Shane


Shane Reiser

Former COO of Startup Weekend. Doing about 2/year now. Maybe yours?

Event Blog

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