Miami University Startup Weekend

    Friday, October 17 - 19, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
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Miami University Startup Weekend

Friday, October 17 - 19, 2014

Friday, October 17 - 19, 2014
Event starts at 4:00 pm

Farmer School of Business, Miami University
800 E High Street
Oxford, OH 45056

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Build your network. Inspire and be inspired. Take action. Start something!

Startup Weekend engages a highly motivated group of Miami University students who want to learn what it takes to start a business in one weekend.  All undergraduate students are welcome to participate whether you have an idea or just want to work on a business startup team to understand the ‘how-to’ of launching a business. Miami University Startup Weekend is a 48 hour startup immersion that provides the mentors, resources, processes and incentives for individuals to go from idea to launch.

In one weekend, you will:
  • build a team, pitch an idea, test your skills, and have fun!
  • meet web developers and designers that can help you build your idea
  • learn the process of launching a business
  • be guided by experienced entrepreneurs throughout the weekend
  • win cool prizes to help support the growth of your business idea
  • get all your meals for the whole!
  • earn course credit for ESP 102 by completing the weekend activities

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Friday October 17th

4:00 pm
Registration Starts
(Course Credit Check-in #1) Arrive at the venue and get checked in

4:30 pm
Mandatory Startup Weekend Overview and Logistics

5:00 pm
Welcome & Kick Off
Introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:00 pm
Pitches Start
60 seconds per pitch (if you have an idea for a product)

7:00 pm
Dinner and Networking

7:30 pm
Attendees and facilitators vote for the top ideas

8:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Begin Work
Formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Develop basic business concepts and paper prototypes.

Saturday October 18th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Group Session
Customer Discovery Session with Speaker Mark Lacker (Course Credit Check-In #2)

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Mentor Office Hours
Mentor Office Hours Team Sessions Begin

4:00 pm
Workshop Sessions
Prototyping Workshop and Startup Financials Workshop (1 person per team)

6:00 pm
Dinner and Guest Speakers: Miami Alum Entrepreneurs Panel with SW Sponsor, Bill Kling (Course Credit Check in #3)

9:00 pm
Gut Check
Gut check on the product (1 person per team)

10:00 pm
Wrap-Up Session
Finalizing Your Model: What does done look like? (Course Credit Check in #4)

Sunday October 19th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee...start working

10:00 am
Mentors arrive and call for help (this is self motivated, so don't be shy)

11:00 am
Products are being developed. Start preparing for presentations!

11:30 am
(Course Credit Check In #5)

12:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Submit presentations and equipment check

1:30 pm
Final Presentations

4:00 pm
Complete Final Assessment

4:30 pm
Judging & Awards


Bill Kling
SW Sponsor and MU Alumnus

Bill Kling, a 1972 Farmer School of Business alumnus, brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience and knowledge to Startup Weekend. Over 25 years ago, Bill founded Swiss-American, a healthcare company produces drugs, medical devices, and medical grade skin care products. During his time at Swiss-American, Bill played a significant role in new product development. After selling Swiss-American in 2012, Bill started a new venture, Water Works, on a ranch outside Dallas working with technology to improve water purification. He currently serves as CEO and Chief Idea Officer of Water Works.

Renee Murphy
Research Consultant, The Garage Group

Renee is driven by a desire to continually improve and innovate on the market research practice. She developed and scaled a netnographic social media research offering that has consistently delivered client praise for the past four years. Before joining The Garage Group, Renee was a mom-preneur, taking care of her daughter and running a research and communications consulting business. Renee has diverse experience with social and digital media, including social media marketing consulting. She speaks and writes for various market research industry events and publications, including Qualitative Research Consultants Association VIEWS magazine, Greenbook Blog and Market Research Association webinars. 

Jason Hauer
Cofounder, The Garage Group

Jason is a Cofounder of The Garage Group, a new kind of consulting firm with the mission of helping corporates to innovate like startups. Jason holds an MBA from Xavier University, is active as a member of the Marketing Advisory Board at Xavier, and guest lectures on the topics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in several MBA programs (including Miami). He teaches at various local Incubator and Accelerator programs across Greater Cincinnati, serves on the Advisory Board of Dooley Media, a Social Media Marketing Agency, services on the board of PDMA Cincinnati and is a recent organizer of ProductCamp Cincinnati. 

Event Judges

Samuel Frith
Investment Analyst, CincyTech

Samuel graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Samuel is an investment analyst at CincyTech, focusing on market opportunities for potential portfolio companies in the information technology field. He specializes in deal screening, company and industry due diligence, early stage valuation, and modeling. Prior to joining CincyTech, Samuel was an analyst at Vine St. Ventures where he focused on due diligence and quarterly reporting to the fund’s investors. He was also managing director of the Miami University Student Venture Fund, which is a comprised of a team of 20 students and advisors who invest in student and alumni startups. Samuel was also a summer analyst at Fifth Third Bank in its Syndicated Finance Group in Chicago, Illinois. He has had experience in account management, operations and logistics. Samuel works directly with three portfolio company management teams on a daily basis, to develop financial models and customer acquisition strategies while still remaining passionate about finding, building, and scaling disruptive, early stage businesses in the Midwest.

Jim Spinello
Managing Member, Birdsong Ventures

With over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, Jim has become a leading architect of innovative strategies for early stage companies. Jim has focused his professional career on building non-traditional approaches to growth and the efficacy of daring to be different in competitive verticals. Jim is the managing member of Birdsong Ventures a highly curated collection of investors, advisors and brand activists focused on building early stage companies. BSV provides access to capital, real world relationships and experiences. BSV investors and advisors facilitate the appropriate handshake between founders, financiers, brands and customers. Currently Jim sits on the boards of several Chicago and LA based startups, mentors at 181 and consults with global brands. Prior to BSV Jim founded Birdsong 3 a digital creative agency that produced more than 500 pieces of digital content and built integrated, multi-media consumer engagements for clients including; NFL, ESPN, X Games, Red Bull and Dyson. Another interesting thing about Jim is that he has twin sons who attend Miami University.

Mark Cialone

Mark is a Junior Finance major with double minors in Entrepreneurship and Interactive Media Studies. Mark is the President and Managing Director of Redhawk Ventures (formerly MUSVF or Student Venture Fund). Redhawk Ventures is a completely student-led venture capital fund comprised of students from a diverse array of majors who are committed to supporting student and alumni startups. They provide advisory services and funding to grow young business from the earliest stages of idea generation. This previous summer Mark worked with JobsOhio, a privately run statewide economic development authority, on new business creation strategy by working to identify pain points in Ohio’s early stage infrastructure and addressing these with JobsOhio and statewide resources.  

Matthew Dooley

Matthew Dooley is Cincinnati native whose life is all about connecting, innovating and giving back. He leads an exciting wearable tech company, Kapture, which is debuting their always-on audio recording wristband this fall. He also founded dooley media, a social media agency that services a growing list of small and medium-sized companies all throughout Greater Cincinnati. No stranger to the social media space, Matthew developed the curriculum at Xavier University and is currently teaching both MBA and undergraduate students. He spends his spare time hanging out with his family, dog Norman and wife Ashley, who’s currently pregnant with their first child. Follow him on Twitter @dooleymr.

Coaches and Mentors

Josh Green

Josh Green is an ’11 Miami alumnus where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and the proud recipient of the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award. From an early age (7 to be precise), Josh launched small company after small company. From a start in selling puppies to creating custom apparel and more, Josh learned the true fundamentals of business, sales, and hard work. In 2009 as a sophomore at Miami, Josh co-founded Virtual Chapter, which upon graduation took him to Silicon Valley in pursuit of the “Facebook Dream". For over two years, he worked with various startups (including his own) which exposed him to a multitude of markets, business models, and people, with his longest tenure at Piazza. From California, he moved home to Cincinnati where he joined the Brandery graduate, Roadtrippers, as “Special Ops” in helping them become the premier destination for road travel. Outside the office, Josh is a true sports fanatic and can usually be found watching, playing, or coaching.

Jonathan Poma
Co-Founder, Rocket Code & Whence

Jonathan lives in the future and build what's missing. He is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Code, a company based out of Columbus that builds solutions to fuel the revenue and profit growth of brands in the growing e-commerce world. Rocket Code designs, develops, and validates solutions that help brands and entire economies thrive with more effectiveness and integrity. Jonathan received his degrees from Miami in marketing and MIS and has since then held multiple positions in different businesses such as event specialist, strategist, sales director, director of digital marketing and head of product. He has been able to bring his skills in digital strategy, information architecture, user experience and social media marketing with companies such as Dynamit, Homage and Wence. His skill specialties include:shopify plus, ecommerce, data-informed and performance-driven design and UX, optimization and testing, experience contextualization, conversion optimization, software development, iA and business analysis.

Scott Avera
Co-Founder and Chairman, The Business Backer

Scott is a serial entrepreneur involved in a number of start-up, ongoing, and investment opportunities. Foremost he is Co-Founder and Chairman of The Business Backer, a leading provider of alternative funding for small and mid-sized businesses. The Business Backer provides funding by matching millions of investors’ dollars to thousands of businesses. This backing helps businesses survive and grow while yielding tens of thousands of jobs nationwide and a profit for its supporters. Also, as a member of Queen City Angels, Scott’s investments include Spineform, developer of less-invasive spinal deformity surgical treatment for conditions such as scoliosis, and QCA First Fund, the area’s leading early stage investment fund. Before Co-Founding the Business Backer, Scott was owner and General Manager of Ascent Solutions Inc (ASi), ranked 128th on the Inc. Magazine fastest-growing companies list and provider of the well-known data compression utility products, PKZIP and WinZip.

Scott Miller

Scott D. Miller, is CEO of YJC, LLC, a SaaS development firm. He is also an angel investor with Queen City Angels, focusing on SaaS startups, and founder of, a SaaS invoicing and light accounting platform for small businesses. Mr. Miller serves as a director/investor of Skyecube, LLC, a business intelligence resource provider, is a director of Paycor, a SaaS payroll and HRS platform, and is on the advisory board of The Business Backer, a financing platform for small businesses. Mr. Miller is a member of Queen City Angels, a Cincinnati based angel investment consortium. In addition, Mr. Miller has taught entrepreneurship at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and serves on the advisory board of Miami’s entrepreneurship department. In 2004, Mr. Miller sold Treadstone Group, LLC, an ERP software integrator and development company he founded and ran for fifteen years, to Exact Software, a multi-national, publicly traded Dutch company. Mr. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Miami University, Oxford, OH.

Nick Petit
Founder and CEO, Kahoots

Nicholas Petit is an entrepreneur, an innovator, and a thought leader. Currently he's founded and runs a technology startup, Kahoots. He's led global innovation teams for a major technology consulting company and was a senior leader with a Big 4 consulting firm focused on enterprise strategy & organizational transformation. Prior to Kahoots he led Infosys' North American Innovation Practice. Nick started his professional career serving as a small business volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Morocco. In his current role as Founder and CEO of Kahoots (, Nick leads an scrappy company of six people that's reinventing your phones contact application. Kahoots provides trusted recommendations from your friends in you new contacts’ app. Contacts can be more than an alphabetical list. Kahoots allows you to have access to the contacts your friends trust – on-demand.

Ken Valuska
Controller, Roadtrippers

Ken graduated with Honors from Miami University in 2010, with a major in Accountancy and a minor in Entrepreneurship. While going to school, Ken worked at KeyBank and operated a small online business selling consumer electronics. Ken began working for Ernest & Young and obtained his CPA. While at EY, Ken worked within the Financial Services Office, specializing in assurance services and working with public and private asset management clients. Ken also helped promote and grow EY’s relationship with Cintrifuse, a Cincinnati-based regional innovation network designed to successfully launch high-growth start-ups Ken is currently the Director of Financial Operations at Roadtrippers; Roadtrippers is a website and mobile app that helps travelers drive to the world's most interesting places. Ken works with a great team at Roadtrippers that are all focused on driving results and disrupting the road-travel space. He thrives in this team environment and works to make a difference in the travel industry.
His skills include, financial analysis, auditing and he loves to hit the ground running.

Web Smith
E-Commerce, Platform, Brand at Uncrate

Startups only, since 2008. A creative strategist in the digital marketing space who just so happens to have a knack for tech, sports, and fashion.

Sean Crowe

I fear boredom, practice yoga, and I have an obsession with tea (real tea...not that bagged stuff). My passion lies in creating technologies that make people’s lives easier; right at the intersection of business and technology. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to see someone excited to use a product that I’ve helped create. I co-founded a business while at Miami that brought me to San Francisco and most recently to Chicago. Currently I’m involved in empowering entrepreneurs bringing their ideas to life through technology. This involves a lot of web and mobile development, business model canvas consulting, and product management strategies.

Thomas Gorcynski

I embody a balance of absurdity and practicality. Navigate the unknown. Explore an idea. Start opportunities. Adventure lies due West. My fascination of the fusion between things technical and non-technical has brought me through a colorful entrepreneurial journey; one that began in Miami, flew me to San Francisco, and is now nesting in Chicago. I've learned how to iterating through business models, quickly adapt, how to hack, and how to hustle along the way. Leveraging my experiences, I'm currently involved in empowering entrepreneurs bringing their ideas to life through technology.

Joe Engelhart
CEO, Cincinnati Capital Corporation

Mr. Engelhart is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business as a Junior at Miami of Ohio. He developed Rivertown Industries into a tier 2 manufacturing supplier to the likes of Ford, General Motors, and The US. Dept. of Defense. In 1990, Mr. Engelhart founded Cincinnati Capital Corporation – a middle market boutique Investment Banking firm that specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Turnarounds/Workouts and Distressed Debt. Mr. Engelhart has managed over $1B in transactions in a diverse group of industries including software, banking, manufacturing, distribution, retail, healthcare and real estate. During his tenure at CCC, Mr. Engelhart has also served as the interim CEO / CCA (Chief Change Agent) for numerous companies facing a turnaround and currently serves(ed) on the Board of Directors of over a dozen companies. A true Redhawk family– wife Melissa Class of 82…. daughter Allie Class of 2015.

Chad Williamson

Chad Williamson is co-founder of Noble Impact, which is a non-profit organization that engages High School students at the intersection of public service and entrepreneurship. As a certified curriculum in Arkansas, Noble Impact has an introductory course for 10th graders (Noble 101) and an advanced course for 11th & 12th graders (Noble 201). Prior to launching Noble Impact, Chad was Director of Philanthropy for former NFL Player Dhani Jones, and CEO of their joint venture, BowTie Cause. As a platform to promote awareness for multiple causes, the organization raised over $500,000 for non-profits around the nation and is based out of Cincinnati. Chad is also a military veteran and co-founded a physical therapy company before becoming a teacher and coach at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Florida. At Berkeley, he launched a multi-disciplinary curriculum focused on leadership, group dynamics, and the study of poverty in America. He received his Bachelors degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and his Masters from the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is married to Heather Williamson and they have two chocolate labs, Moxie and Bristol.

Nikki Pfahler

Nikki is happiest when her time between the business and creative worlds intersect. As a self-taught designer, she's an avid user experience (UX) and usability enthusiast, mobile design junkie, and is currently having a blast expanding her knowledge in motion and interaction design. She's passionate about lean design methodology and UX research, using design to solve business problems, and is constantly working to improve her design projects using data, analytics, and user testing practices. Nikki was one of the original cofounders of LISNR in March of 2012 and stayed on as their Chief Creative Officer (CCO) for the first two years. Nikki continues to stay very involved in the Cincinnati startup, entrepreneur and design communities, serving as a member of IxDA Cincinnati, Startup Chair on the AIGA Cincinnati board, co-organizer of Startup Weekend Cincinnati, and co-organizer of the local User Enjoyment (UX) Meetup Group. Aside from all the #StartupDesign love, she gets really excited about trees, bunnies, sweet iced tea, and photography. 

Chris Ridenour
CTO, Cladwell

Chris Ridenour is a Cincinnati native and lifelong developer. Outside of the small branch into the mechanical world (with a degree in Mechanical Engineering), Chris has pursued his passion for technology in school, free-time and work. During his undergrad at University of Cincinnati, Chris worked as a software developer inside Procter & Gamble's GBS Innovation group. 
After graduating, Chris joined Rockfish Digital, one of WPP's premier interactive agencies. After participating in the Startup Bus in March of 2012, Chris made the decision to join Lisnr full-time as CTO to lead the product team. Outside of work, Chris stays very active in Cincinnati's thriving startup community. As the organizer of the Cincinnati Web/Tech Drinkup, Startup Weekend Cincinnati and CincyPy, Chris gets a chance to interact with much of the technical talent in the city and is working with a team to advance the Startup Cincy initiative. In 2014 Chris co-founded Casamatic, a truly personalized home search that learns more about you the more you browse. 
In 2017, Casamatic shut down and Chris moved joined the team at Cladwell to help launch and grow their new app Outfits for iOS.

Sean Lane

Sean Lane is an award winning entrepreneur and '02 Miami University alumnus. Sean spent the first six years after graduation as an Air Force Intelligence Officer where he served four tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
Sean is an inventor, investor and entrepreneur with a deep background in technology. A former Air Force Intelligence Officer and NSA Fellow, Sean served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq before founding Battlefield Telecommunications Systems (BTS). Sean has founded technology companies in Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of OmniScience Technology Partners (OSTP), CrossChx, Betamore, and Lane Capital.
A graduate of Miami University with an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Rio Grande, Sean was selected as an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Maryland.

Brad Mascho

Brad is a proven performer and change agent with rare leadership experience in both public and private sector enterprise. Brad spent a decade in Washington, DC as a senior advisor to several members of the United States Congress before becoming a senior executive of a leading trade association. Prior to founding CrossChx, Brad was a Venture Partner of an early stage venture capital firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, founded Elector Design and was VP of Emerging Media. These many accomplishments help to make Brad such a unique entrepreneur. An authority on financial management and maximizing efficiency through technological innovation, Brad holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree from Miami University.

Keith Saffles

Keith is the founder and CEO of Tornado Candy Company, a candy manufacturing company that is home to Yum Yum Gum – a new brand of chewing gum available in over 100 flavors. Previously, Keith was the co-founder and COO of Care 1st Solutions, a medical supply company that served over 40,000 patients. Care 1st Medical was acquired by NationsHealth in 2011. Keith enjoys brainstorming business ideas and being involved with start-ups. He is on the board of Gigcubator, a new unique collaborative office space in Chattanooga TN. He is also involved with the Concept Development Institute, an organization that provides entrepreneurs with advice, feedback, and assistance to help advance their ideas from concept to reality. Keith earned his bachelors degree in Hospitality Management from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, specializing in real estate and finance. When he is not thinking of new gum flavors, Keith enjoys spending time with his family and sitting on the beach.

Chris Kristas

Chris currently works as an associate at which is a digital advertising start-up in San Francisco. Chris graduated from the Entrepreneurship department at Miami in 2013 and immediately started working in digital advertising at the agency, Spark, in Chicago. While at Spark, he worked on the digital investment team handling the buying for Delta Faucets, AbbVie, REI, and the Dr. Oz and Queen Latifah shows. He had the opportunity to work closely with the new business team on pitching the REI client which was subsequently won and brought in over 20 million dollars of new business. While at Spark, Chris was nominated by my CEO for 18 of the last 9 at Miami, which highlights 18 of the top alumni of the past 9 graduating classes. After a little over a year at Spark he wanted to pursue more of an entrepreneurial role and sought out a position at Starting in September 2014, Chris joined as their 4th employee. He plays a hybrid role of sales, account management, and finding new start ups to represent. He currently lives the start up life of working from home every day in Chicago and travels to San Francisco one week a month. Every day, Chris finds inspiration from Jim Friedman's moustache and Mark Lacker's LinkedIn techniques.

Alex Burkhart
Founder, CEO, Tixers

Alex Burkhart graduated with bachelor degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship and an MBA from Xavier University. He has spent the last few years working in project management and strategy at Macy’s before starting his first entrepreneurial venture, Tixers. Tixers lets you upload tickets that you are unable to use in exchange for other tickets in the future. Tixers was originally funded by the UpTech Accelerator based in Covington, Kentucky right across the river from downtown Cincinnati and has since been acquired by Oneup Sports.

Craig Baldwin
Digital Strategist, Rockfish

Before his current position as a Digital Strategist at Rockfish, Craig Baldwin boasts an impressive resume that showcases his extensive impact on the startup world. After receiving an Accounting and Greek Classics degree from The Ohio State University, Craig went to work as a Audit Senior Assistant with Deloitte. Co-founded Upsourced Accounting and Sqrl after leaving Deloitte and both companies focused on developing accounting solutions for businesses. After leading Sqrl into the 2013 Brandery Accelerator class, Craig became an Entrepreneur in Residence at The Brandery, where he taught others to focus fiercely on idea and market validation, and eventually how to acquire customers at scale. Craig brings a lot of experience to Startup Weekend and is all about sharing his own failures and successes for the benefit of others.

Tony Alexander
General Manager, The Brandery

Bill Cunningham

Bill is Founder and CEO of OneMorePallet…and has done it all. He previously worked as director of NKU’s Entrepreneurial Institute, was Executive-in-Residence with Cincytech, and led Diamond Fiber Composites. Bill’s experience in sales and fundraising have resulted in over $23 million in equity financing for 5 different companies. He’s taught entrepreneurship on a variety of campuses, including Babson College and UC. Bill has also served as a trustee of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association. He is currently on the board of advisors for the Hamilton County Business Incubator, Northern Kentucky University’s Entrepreneurial Institute, University of Cincinnati Center for Entrepreneurship, and just finished a 22 year term as vice-chair of the Trustees Search Committee at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Bill has been a mentor and coach for the

David Eyman

 David Eyman holds a Bachelor of Science, Industrial Design degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, and is pursuing a Masters of Science in Creative Studies at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State University.  Having worked as both a business professional and a designer, David understands the multi-dimensional process that leads to innovation, from conceptualization and development, to planning and implementation.  As a facilitator, his expertise lies in guiding businesses, non-profits, and governments to develop infrastructures that allow new and productive ideas to emerge and flourish.  An expert in the creative process and creative problem solving, David facilitates visioning, idea-generation, consensus-building, and strategy.  He has worked with many organizations to create both physical and cultural environments that nurture innovation and creative thinking.   In any organization, success is founded upon the ability of each individual to utilize his or her strengths and talents, resulting in high engagement, satisfaction, and productivity.  To address the needs of the individual creative executive, artist, creative thinker, or designer, David has established a successful innovation coaching practice.  He has helped creative clients achieve levels of prolific innovation that they could have otherwise not imagined themselves capable of.   David began his career as an Industrial Designer, holding partnership at a multidisciplinary design firm that designed hundreds of products for companies including Fisher-Price, Huffy Bicycles, and Conair. An entrepreneur, he subsequently created a studio to brainstorm, design, and license ideas for consumer products. From there David created a way to help other individuals and organizations maximize their own creativity. His office is located in Wyoming, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Josh Klaben-Finegold

Josh Klaben-Finegold works for a software startup in Indianapolis called TinderBox as part of the Orr Fellowship Program and is a '13 Miami alumnus. At TinderBox, Josh works on the Client Success team working closely with the Development team to complete technical implementations involving heavy CRM integration.  Outside of work, Josh enjoys archery (just target practice), cooking with friends and reading.

Sarah Tynan
VP, Business Director, Farmhouse | Leo Burnett

Sarah's career in marketing and innovation started around the age of 10 when she thought up a deodorant called "Pit Stop" and videotaped a commercial for it. In the past 13 years working as a grown-up, she's contributed to breakthrough communications campaigns for clients such as Samsung, Nintendo, Kraft and the World Wildlife Fund. With the experience of developing never-been-done before ideas in experiential, digital and social platforms at Leo Burnett, she was tapped to lead Farmhouse as a business director 2 years ago.  Farmhouse is Leo Burnett’s innovation center focused on growing brands and businesses by revealing what they should do, not just what they could do.  In her time at Farmhouse, Sarah has worked on new product and brand projects for E. & J. Gallo, Pfizer and Allstate, as well as intellectual property for Leo Burnett itself.  When she’s not in the office, Sarah serves as brand strategy director for A Life Story Foundation, which is committed to generating awareness and finding treatments  for ALS.  She is a proud Miami University legacy and graduated in 2001 with a major in Mass Communication.  

Anna Fendley
Founder, Loteda

Anna graduated from Miami University in 2002. She recently launched, a marketplace where parents can buy and sell gently-worn children’s clothing - by the lot.  Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she worked at MKTG as a Word-of-Mouth Account Supervisor for P&G’s Vocalpoint Community - executing campaigns for brands such as Ford, Hershey’s, Pampers and Chiquita.  Her favorite part of the day is spending time with her husband and three little ones.

Organizing Team

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

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