Startup Weekend Rockford

    Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

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

Event Alerts and Updates

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

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Rockford

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Rockford University, Puri School of Business
5100 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61108

Buy Tickets

Learn to Launch a Startup!

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.  Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.  Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education.  Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.


Friday November 11th

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 November 12th

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 November 13th

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

5:00 pm

5:30 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Sunil Puri
Founder and President

Michael Hopkins

Michael is a developer at Quiet Light Communications, a full-service marketing agency. Previously, he ran a marketing company and has held various roles in marketing, IT, and financial analysis.

Mike Baima

Michael J. Baima is an attorney in Reinhart’s Intellectual Property Practice serving a wide range of clients involved in the mechanical and electromechanical industries. Prior to practicing as a patent attorney, Mike gained invaluable practical experience working as a product engineer for an electric manufacturing company where he was involved in product development for semiconductor and food processing industries. While working in this capacity, he designed a modular product system that reduced delivery time from three weeks to a single day. Clients value Mike’s practical work experience as it enables him to understand the technical aspects his clients are facing, and he is able to offer legal counsel at the intersection of technical and legal. Prior to joining Reinhart, Mike served in the Illinois Army National Guard for ten years where he was a Platoon Leader in an air defense artillery unit, a Company Executive Officer of a combat engineering unit, and an assistant to the Judge Advocate General Corps. During his time in the military, Mike successfully completed U.S. Army Airborne School training.Mike primarily serves the following industries:
  • Patent Prosecution – Protecting Inventions
  • Food and Beverage Law

Coaches and Mentors

Jason Todd
Managing Director

Brian McIntyre

McIntyre is the Principal of Thames Management Resources. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting and a minor in finance. He has worked in field offices and small entrepreneurial companies his entire career. He has held the roles of regional accounting manager, plant manager, director of operations, general manager and president of a number of companies in the manufacturing, distribution and service industries.

McIntyre is certified in small and family business development, technology commercialization and is a certified business exit planning advisor. His passion is helping business owners get more of what they want from their companies and from their lives. His vision started the firm in 2009.
  Thames Management Resources started in 2009 to assist small- and mid-sized business owners. We began by providing due diligence for a small, Chicago-area investment firm. In that role, we identified and vetted potential acquisitions. Once a business was acquired, we integrated it into the firm's portfolio and, if need be, assisted in improving its performance. We then had the opportunity to manage the assets and programming of the Illinois Small Business Development Center in Rockford, Ill. Our focus on small business in the region enabled the Rockford SBDC to be one of the top performers in Illinois.  We now help dozens of regional entrepreneurial led companies through various transitions including expansions, strategic growth opportunities, process improvement, and exit planning.

Phillip Ryan Block
Artist, Entrepreneur, Visionary

ARTIST, ENTREPRENEUR, VISIONARY... Biographies… always fun to write as you dance the line between bragging and self-depreciation. I have spent the better part of the last decade chasing my (crazy) dream of running an independent record label. My passion to not only help artists but also develop brand(s) to leave a lasting impact is what keeps me going when the dream seems to be a monumental task. For me being an entrepreneur is about building legacy and the grind that it takes to make that a reality.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Scot
  • Jorge
  • Sydney
  • David
  • Jason
  • Brian


Brian Nichols

Event Blog

See Full Blog