Startup Weekend Louisville

    Friday, October 13 - 15, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Louisville, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Louisville

Friday, October 13 - 15, 2017

Friday, October 13 - 15, 2017
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The PNC Gigabit Experience Center
1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd
Louisville, KY 40203

Buy Tickets

It's time for Startup Weekend Louisville #11! Oct 13-15 2017

Startup Weekend Louisville is coming on Friday the 13th - Bring your ideas...if you dare!

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

We bring together designers, programmers, hustlers, and 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 like minded 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 (date and details TBD)
  • Coaching 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: Literally anyone! Aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Amateur and professional developers, designers, makers, and more. Anyone that wants to experience the roller coaster of an early stage idea coming together in a single weekend.  

: Do I have to have an idea to join?
A: No! Just join up, lend your talents, and 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 have events a year, Spring and Fall. Watch our social media feeds on Facebook or Twitter for updates.


Friday October 13th

6:00 pm
Doors Open and Registration Starts
Arrive at the Gigabit Center and get checked in

6:00 pm
Time for Dinner & Networking
Once you're checked in, grab some food and meet other attendees. Share ideas, practice pitches, and get to know each other

7:00 pm
Kickoff & Welcome
Meet the organizers coaches, and community leaders; review the agenda for the weekend; introduce special guest speaker(s)

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Pitching is optional. If you have an idea, now's the time to line up to pitch. There are no bad ideas, so if you've got one, get in line!

8:30 pm
Voting Begins
All attendees can vote for their favorite pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams
After voting ends, the top ideas will recruit people to form their team. Attendees choose the team they want to work with.

9:30 pm
Find Your HQ
Establish your team's work area for the weekend. Trade contact info and start to better define your team.

10:00 pm
Get to 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 October 14th

8:00 am
Doors Open
Get back to the Gigibit Center

8:00 am
Breakfast & Coffee
Get your fuel for the day!

8:30 am
Teams Get Together
Get your team together and get your workspace set up for the weekend

9:00 am
Tips and Help
Get more detailed information about what comes next

9:30 am
Get to Work
Get out of the building, on the phone, or on the web for research, discovery, and validation.

12:00 pm
Get back for a grab & go lunch to keep your energy up

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 October 15th

9:00 am
Doors Open
Get back to the Gigabit Center

9:00 am
Breakfast & Coffee
Fuel up - you've got a big day ahead!

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Jeana Dunlap
Director at the Office of Redevelopment Strategies

I currently serve as the director of Louisville Forward's Office of Redevelopment Strategies. I have worked to leverage community development strategies and resources to improve quality of place for Louisville residents since 2004.

As a subject matter expert on vacant and abandoned property I recently lead Louisville Metro’s cross-functional efforts dedicated to code enforcement, foreclosures, landbanking and real-estate development. I credit my success to an ability to connect with people through education, innovation and community engagement. Government stakeholders, non-profit organizations, affordable housing developers and entrepreneurs have benefitted from my professional contributions.

I currently volunteer as a board member for the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, recently served on the advisory board of the Samuel Plato Academy for Historic Preservation Trades. I received my Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Louisville as a Woodoford R. Porter Scholar. I also earned graduate degrees in both Public Administration and Economics as a Lyman T. Johnson Fellow at the University of Kentucky.

Event Judges

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. 

Amanda Dougherty
Owner/Founder at The New Blak

Amanda’s dream has always been to have a fashion line with a mobile boutique, made sustainably and ethically at an affordable price point. With a background in theater arts and retail management, Amanda has a passion to see positive change in the fashion industry starting at the local level. In 2015 Amanda began developing The New Blak in Louisville KY.

Melissa Chipman
Writer and Journalist

Melissa is a freelance writer and journalist. For five years, she covered entrepreneurs, startups, technology, and more for Insider Louisville, writing well over 2,500 articles.

As one of the few reporters covering the startup community, she has learned the ins and outs of hundreds of startup companies in order to most effectively tell their stories.

Melissa attended (and won!) the first Startup Weekend Louisville in 2012 and has been involved with it ever since.

Coaches and Mentors

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

Pip Pullen
President, Mightily

Craig Fairfield
Senior Director of Accounts, Mightily

Grace Simrall
Louisville Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology

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.

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.

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.

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).

Chris Bailey
Cofounder & CEO, Revio

Chris founded GearBrake in 2013 after a motorcycle wreck set him on a path to make riding safer.  Since that time, Chris has gone through the Nucleus LaunchIt program twice, the Velocity IN Accelerator, was one of 4 Vogt Award finalists in 2014 and went on to win the $100K prize at the Vogt Demo Day.  He also won the 2014 Venture Connectors Venture Sharks competition and took home both the regional and state Kentucky Innovation Network pitch competitions that year.  Enterprise Corp named them as a 2014 Hot Dozen company.  Chris and his team recently completed the prestigious Techstars accelerator program in Detroit where less than 1% of their global pool of applicants are accepted.  Through that program, his team rebranded as Revio and built a connected motorcycle IoT platform.

Formerly, Chris was an Account Manager at Siemens where he was responsible for $20M in annual accounts, as well as Vice President at Bailey Tools.  He received his undergrad in management from the University of Louisville and his MBA from Bellarmine University.  Chris is a lifelong resident and supporter of Louisville and regularly gives back through his mentorship of Startup Next and teaching at Junior Achievement.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.




Giddy Chalenge Sponsor

Prize Sponsor


Organizing Team

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

  • Paul
  • Austin
  • Eric
  • Greg
  • Zac
  • Dave
  • Wes
  • Paul
  • Phil
  • Cara
  • Ember
  • Raechele
  • David
  • Elizabeth
  • William
  • Jacy
  • Robert
  • Zack


Event Staff

Amy Shah


Event Blog

See Full Blog