Startup Weekend Louisville, KY

    Friday, October 14 - 16, 2016

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

Friday, October 14 - 16, 2016

Friday, October 14 - 16, 2016
Event starts at 6:00 pm

College of Business, Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Rd
Louisville, KY 40205

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Louisville's 9th Startup Weekend: Oct 14-16 2016

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 October 7 (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?
ANo, 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.

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Friday October 14th

6:00 pm
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 & 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 October 15th

8:00 am
Doors Open & Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Customer Discovery Workshop
How to find people to talk to, early tests to run, dos & don'ts of finding a valid market

9:45 am
Begin Work; Get out! Talk!
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 October 16th

8:00 am
Doors Open & Breakfast
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!


Joey Rivera
President, CEO

Dr. Rivera has over 25 years experience providing dynamic leadership within the software engineering domain. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and has 30 years military service ranging from a Private in the U.S. Marine Corps, to an Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel. He is currently assigned to the U.S. Pacific Command, J6 and provides expertise in Cyber warfare. In addition to his current role as CEO, Dr. Rivera also leads our innovative R&D team, and serves on the Board of Directors for One Southern Indiana, and the IN/KY Paralyzed Veterans of America. Dr. Rivera’s passion for improving Southern Indiana is also shown in his commitment to supporting the Town of Clarksville’s new alternative approach to education via the Renaissance Academy.

Event Judges

Grace Simrall
Louisville Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology

Fred Durham
Cofounder & CEO

Fred E. Durham, III, is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CafePress. Mr. Durham served in various executive positions at CafePress from 1999 to 2011 including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Product Officer. In 2011, Mr. Durham transitioned out of his role of Chief Executive Officer with the company to pursue other opportunities. However, he remained an active founding member of the Board of Directors. In August of 2014, Mr. Durham returned to his leadership post with the company to guide CafePress in its next phase of innovation. Prior to founding, Durham launched several consumer and business technology companies along with long-time business partner, Maheesh Jain. Durham earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northwestern University.

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.

Coaches and Mentors

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.  

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).

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Louisville, KY 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

  • Daniel
  • Zack
  • Austin
  • Kelby
  • Jacy
  • Eric
  • Greg
  • Paul
  • Kendra
  • Dave
  • Shalin
  • Robert
  • Sara


Serhat Kaya
Founder & Managing Director at XPERIENTS

Serhat Kaya is Founder & Managing Director of the Digital Agency XPERIENTS. He started the Hamburg Chapter of Startup Grind where he interviews successful entrepreneurs every month. Most recently he started to host the Growth Show podcast, where he explores the lessons learned and secrets of seasoned entrepreneurs. Besides that, he acts as mentor for corporate innovation. Serhat organized and facilitated 10+ Startup Weekends around the globe.

Formerly he worked at the recruitment firm D-Level, the online translation agency Toptranslation and the Hamburg based incubator Hanse Ventures. He is highly skilled in Marketing, Sales and Human Resources. 

Fun Fact: He meets a lot of people, who pronounce his name wrong – which he is used to. A while ago even Google Translate thought Serhat in English should be David. But eventually they got it right.

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