Techstars Startup Weekend Louisville

    Friday, June 7 - 9, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Louisville

Friday, June 7 - 9, 2019

Friday, June 7 - 9, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Story Louisville - 3rd Floor
900 East Main St.
Louisville, KY 40206

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From Idea to Business 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:
  • 7 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 “”.

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

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Friday June 7th

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

6:15 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:45 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

8:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 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 June 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 June 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

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!

Event Judges

Aaron Gani
Founder & CEO of BehaVR

Aaron Gani is the founder and CEO of BehaVR, LLC, creating digital therapeutics for behavioral health through the unmatched psychological power of Virtual Reality. Gani has been creating applications and experiences with technology throughout his career in healthcare and financial services, up to and including serving as Chief Technology Officer of Humana, a Fortune 50 managed care organization.After a decade+ in healthcare leading technology development of population health, utilization management, disease management programs, pharmacy, primary care, urgent care, Health IT, and clinical analytics, and constantly working on ways to improve and empower consumer health with technology, data and analytics, Gani identified the crucial gap between knowledge, tools, and activation of healthy behavior, and believes Virtual Reality experiences can close that gap.Gani is a founding member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Digital Medicine (DiMe) Society, and a founding advisory board member of the International Virtual Reality Healthcare Association (IVRHA). Gani holds a Master’s in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University, an MBA, General Management and Health Sector Management from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and a BS in Management/CIS from the University of Louisville.

Ashley Lamb-Sinclair
Founder and CEO of Curio Learning

Ashley Lamb-Sinclair is the Founder & CEO of Curio Learning, a platform to help teachers discover new ideas, curate them visually, and collaborate with other educators to become more creative and more empowered in their teaching craft.

Curio Learning has received numerous awards including acceptance into the LearnLaunch Accelerator in Boston, the Navitas Ventures Prize in the Milken Penn Business Plan Competition, and most recently, the grand prize in the Uber Girlboss Pitch Competition.

In addition to building Curio, Ashley was honored as the 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. In that role, she served as Teacher in Residence for the Kentucky Department of Education and cofounded multiple statewide projects including, Policy Together, and The Courier Journal Classroom Connections. As Kentucky Teacher of the Year, she created innovative lesson plans with the Spotify for Education Advisory Board and received an EF Education First scholarship to study the education system in Finland with other educators.

Prior to being honored as Kentucky Teacher of the Year, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Thailand and Vietnam and an English Speaking Union Scholarship to study creative writing at Exeter College at the University of Oxford. She is a contributing writer to the Atlantic and the Washington Post, among other publications, and taught secondary English and creative writing as a National Board Certified Teacher for thirteen years. She also founded an educator accelerator called School Startup, integrating entrepreneurship and human centered design principles into teaching craft. She also provided expertise as a curriculum and educator outreach consultant to TrueSchool Studio based in New Orleans.

Coaches and Mentors

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).

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.  

Steven Plappert


Justin Bailey


Stacy Griggs
President & CEO, El Toro

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. 

Amanda Bates
Executive Director of Wild Accelerator


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. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars 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

  • Steven
  • Michael
  • Austin
  • Amy
  • Ray
  • William
  • Cara
  • Dave
  • Greg
  • Zac


Austin Lopesilvero
Creative. Community Builder. Entrepreneur.


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