Startup Weekend Toledo

    Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015

  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, Toledo, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Toledo

Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015

Friday, October 2 - 4, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The University of Toledo (LaunchPad)
1510 N. Westwood Ave
Toledo, OH 43606

Buy Tickets

Join us at Toledo's 3rd Startup Weekend!

What to know what it's like to be an entrepreneur?
The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. This is Toledo's third event, which is a part of one of largest communities of entrepreneurship events that have taken place at over 120 countries around the world.

All are welcome, but come prepared to work, learn, brainstorm, build, break and collaborate. Students with an interest or skill set in design, web development, business and marketing are especially encouraged to attend.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.

The weekend ends with presentations in front of local leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Whether entrepreneurs establish companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

If you want to learn more about launching s startup and becoming an entrepreneur, register now. T
his will be our best Startup Weekend Toledo yet!

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday October 2nd

6:30 pm
Welcome, check in.

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Time to share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants, all while enjoying some of the area's best local food!

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches and community leaders.

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Get ready to pitch, or at least hear some great pitches.

9:00 pm
Get ready to crowdsource! Time for the group to vote for the top ideas.

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams form and start discussing ways to make the concept come to life.

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 3rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm
Get ready to nosh on some of the area's best local food!

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
Who's hungry for local flavor?

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 4th

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
Time for the final pitches, shark tank style!

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Judges go to a private area to discuss their top choices.

8:30 pm
Winners are announced!

9:00 pm
Time to celebrate another successful event!


John Amato

John Amato is a local entrepreneur and founder of JupMode, an ecommerce apparel shop known for the "You Will Do Better in Toledo" brand. John will be talking about how to make it as an entrepreneur in Toledo.

Joe Minock
CPO and Co-Founder, PaymentScholar

Joe is a long time high school ski coach who has more than 10 years of experience in e-commerce. He blends these two backgrounds to bring the expertise needed to create a secure and user-friendly enrollment, payment processing, and reporting system. Prior to co-founding PaymentScholar, Joe was the lead e-Commerce consultant at Adrenaline Commerce where he was responsible for the system, site design, and implementation and training for B2C e-commerce solutions.

Bill Messer
Vice President of Research, The University of Toledo

Dr. Messer received his B.S. in biology from Springfield College in 1979.  He did his graduate work in the Center for Brain Research at the University of Rochester, where he received an M.S. in Neuroscience in 1983 and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1985.  After completing his doctoral work, he joined the faculty at The University of Toledo in 1985 as Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry.  In 1990, Dr. Messer was the recipient of a five-year Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.  He was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in 1990 and to Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in 1995.  He served as Interim Chair of Pharmacology for the 2000-2001 academic year before being named Professor and Chair of Pharmacology in 2001.  In 2013, Dr. Messer was appointed as Vice President of Research at The University of Toledo.

Event Judges

Anita Holman

Anita Holman is an Executive Creative Director and Brand Strategist with Interrupt. As an accomplished creative director with over 16 years of agency experience, Anita is a problem solver who thrives on challenges and excels in developing creative solutions that enhance clients’ market value. She understands that exceptional creative has to be grounded in strong strategic thinking and is driven to find that "a-ha" moment that pushes clients ahead. 

Will Lucas

Will Lucas is founder and CEO at Classana, an edtech company which helps people learn anything, anywhere. He also founded Creadio, a brand marketing technology company servicing nationally recognized brands in 2007, and is one of the few young minority TEDx organizers in the United States, curating TEDxToledo. Will was listed in Business Insider among The 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Tech in 2013, and in The 46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology' in 2014. Lucas was named as Co-Chair of President Obama's Ohio Small Business Committee - OFA during the 2012 campaign cycle, and was appointed a State Commissioner serving on the Ohio Casino Control Commission by Ohio Governor John Kasich in May 2013.

John Pletz

John Pletz is an Analyst with Rocket Ventures, one of the area's largest venture capital funds. Prior to joining Rocket, John was with Savage Consulting and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in Sylvania. As a Financial Advisor, Pletz worked with his clients to develop financial plans tailored to help each client realize their personal goals. He has several years of experience evaluating investment opportunities, performing due diligence and financial analysis.

Coaches and Mentors

Matt Davis

Matt Davis is an Associate Creative Director with Interrupt. After two decades, Matt still gets a kick out of designing, and delivering the appropriate solution. With a wide range of client and senior creative leadership experience, he leans on his passion and abilities as an award-winning designer and accomplished professor to quickly dissect the challenge at hand. Along the way, he feeds off of the collaborative process, in the pursuit of refreshingly innovative clarity in communication. In his spare time, he points out improper uses of punctuation marks to total strangers. Matt is also a volunteer with AIGA Toledo.

Don Miller
Founder GroundSpeed

Founder and Principal Consultant of GroundSpeed™, the name brand of JADR [jey-der] Consulting, LLC. GroundSpeed is a software consulting company focusing on web and mobile technologies to implement technology solutions to automate business processes.

Aaron Harwell
Founder of

Aaron Harwell is a local entrepreneur and venture funded startup founder. He started photo sharing platform out of his passion for creating an easy, social and fun way of capturing images at events.

Dan Stever
Developer Evangelist at Roost

With a strong background in front-end development and web apps, Dan's focus with Roost is on integrations, websites, and UX. Past positions in marketing, design, and other startups have given him a well-rounded approach to problem solving, development and user experience. Worked with Google and on projects for large organizations such as the NFL and SI.

Josh Baltzell
Director Ecommerce & Development

Josh Baltzell is an ecommerce and software development expert with more than 15 years of technology experience. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies like Owens-Illinois, Microsoft, and Xerox in the past and currently is the Director of Ecommerce and Development for Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies. Josh has participated in several Startup weekend events and has pitched ideas, given final presentations, and participated as both a designer and a developer. With partners Olivia Richman, Scott Stocker, and Zach Kraner, Josh launched a Startup Weekend project as a successfully funded Kickstarter. 

Matt Wojtowicz
Vice President

Matt Wojtowicz is an inspired entrepreneur with many interests.  His experience ranges from real estate, finance, IT & now pizza. Matt completed his Bachelors & Masters degrees in Finance at the University of Toledo. His current project is helping Original Gino's Pizza meet the demands of the next 60 years as VP.  He enjoys trying new foods & volunteering for anything challenging. 

Zach Kraner
Founder of Cleveland Supply Co.

Zachary Kraner is a graphic designer and entrepreneur living and working in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to his five years of experience as a professional designer, Zachary started his first company, Intrinsic Made, in 2013 after attending his first Startup Weekend. The following year after with partners Olivia Richman, Scott Stocker and Josh Baltzell, Zachary launched a Startup Weekend project as a successfully funded Kickstarter and in 2014, he co-founded companies Cleveland Supply Co. and LSTER.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Tim
    Van Tuinen
  • Scott
  • Brandy
  • Molly
  • Stuart
  • Nick
  • Evan


Lindsey Danforth

Lindsey Danforth works in the field of Geospatial Information Systems (think of Google maps on steroids) and is also the co-founder of Girl Develop It Toledo. When not slaving away at the computer she enjoys high-adrenaline sports like ski racing and rock climbing. 

Event Staff

Nick Kubiak
Owner - Kubiak Wine Consulting

Nick is a passionate wine professional and businessman.  His career has spanned 15 years in the wine business as a retail wine buyer, wholesale representative, and wine bar owner.  His entrepreneurial life began with an idea to make learning about wine easier.  In 2013 after attending Toledo Startup Weekend 2012, that idea flourished into a reality.  Nick patented his idea for the Bordo Tasters Tablet in 2013 and launched it at the Boston Wine Expo that same year.  In 2014 he helped to take an idea for a wine bar in Downtown Toledo and made it a business called Veritas Cork and Craft.  Nick currently runs his own consulting company, Kubiak Wine Consulting, and focuses on teaching about wine, as well as, consulting on beverage programs for local businesses.  In his spare time, he enjoys learning new technologies, running, and blogging and podcasting about wine.

In The Press:
Hi Velocity
Toledo Blade – Veritas Cork and Craft
Toledo Free Press – Veritas Cork and Craft Opening Toledo Blade – Food and Wine Pairing Toledo Blade – Wood County Fair Wine Judging

Evan Feldstein

Evan Feldstein is a Registered Patent Attorney at Buchanan Nipper LLC in Toledo, Ohio. Born and raised in Toledo, Evan is excited to begin his career downtown, in the Warehouse District. Evan has a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Miami (Fla.) and a J.D. from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He works every day with innovators to protect and develop their valuable intellectual.

Stuart Bertsch
Company Owner at Organized Adventures

Stuart grew up in an entrepreneurial family and started working in businesses at age 14.  He worked as a watchmaker, gemologist, and goldsmith while running or helping to run a retail Jewelry business, Trophy manufacturing business, a Hallmark store, and several commercial real-estate ventures.  He received a BS and MS in computer science  from BGSU and partially completed a PhD at OSU before leaving to do full-time consulting.   He consulted for roughly 20 years at all levels from 2nd level support to MIS Director and Director of Operations. He consulted on product design, marketing, and web development for the BayWeb Internet Thermostat.  He wrote an applicant tracking program for Kidder Peabody NY, and a national bid program for Owens Corning as well as forming and managing a global email team of seven for Owens Corning which supported 5000+ users on five email systems.  Stuart founded an email consulting company in 1996 and did work for various hospitals, companies, and local governments on projects involving up to 50,000 users. Stuart participated in a Startup Weekend in Ann Arbor in 2012 and was part of the team that brought the first Startup Weekend to Toledo.  He has been investigating lean tech startup opportunities for the past three years and is currently working on an application to change the way we vote.

Event Blog

See Full Blog