Twin Cities Startup Weekend Education (#TCSWEDU2017)

    Friday, June 16 - 18, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Twin Cities Startup Weekend Education (#TCSWEDU2017)

Friday, June 16 - 18, 2017

Friday, June 16 - 18, 2017
Event starts at 5:30 pm

St. Catherine University
Coeur de Catherine Library
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

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Help Solve Real Problems in Education Through Collaboration, Entrepreneurship and Innovation!

Join the Twin Cities Start Up Weekend for Education hosted by St. Catherine University the weekend of June 16-18, 2017. TCSWEDU brings together people of all skill-sets and experience to collaboratively launch startups that seek to solve the education industry’s most pressing problems.

This is a whirlwind, well-choreographed event that will benefit anyone interested in making a difference in the world, making meaningful connections with others, or making money. Everyone is welcome (educators, students, marketers, strategists, creatives, entrepreneurs, designers, developers, makers, hustlers and beyond!) and no previous entrepreneurial experience is required! However, we will be holding 50% of the seats for women in honor of, well, all of us benefiting when women have a seat at the table!

Food, training, materials, mentoring all provided.

Friday Night:
Anyone with any idea or problem broadly related to education has 60 seconds to pitch it to the whole group. After pitches, participants vote and form teams around the ideas they want to work on. After that, it’s all about action!

Saturday and Sunday are work days where teams will:
  • Validate their ideas by interviewing customers
  • Receive expert mentorship
  • Develop a business strategy
  • Build a prototype 
Sunday Night:
SWEDU culminates with Shark Tank-style 5 minute final presentations & prototype demos.
Winning projects earn ongoing support and opportunities to launch and further develop their business or non-profit idea. 

  • Questions can be sent to the event organizers at
  • Teachers will receive 54 hours of continuing education credits. 
  • We don't want childcare to be an issue, so we are exploring ways to help with that if an issue. If you think you have childcare issues, please feel free to let us know.

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Friday June 16th

5:30 pm
Venue Opens, Registration and Dinner
Arrive at St. Kate's Cour de Catherine and get checked in, network and eat!

6:00 pm
Programming Begins
Review agenda, introduce speakers, 60-second pitches, voting and team formation

7:30 pm
Worktime Begins
Enough talk! Time to start getting stuff done!

11:00 pm
Venue Closes
Feel free to continue working at home or other locations!

Saturday June 17th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Mentors Begin Arriving
This is your opportunity to receive feedback and connect with local startup and education experts! A list of mentors and availability will be posted at the event.

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

6:00 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 18th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Mentors Begin Arriving
This is your opportunity to receive feedback and connect with local startup and education experts! A list and schedule of mentor availability will be posted at the event.

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Presentation Rehearsals Begin (Dry Run)
Your opportunity to practice your presentation in front of mentors who have been there, done that. Receive feedback and make final tweeks!

2:00 pm
Tech Check Begins
This is NOT a dry run! Tech check allows each team to familiarize themselves with the presentation space and setup. Bring your computer, run your slide deck, try your demo, etc. Everything does not need to be 100% done now, but you should at least know what your setup for final presentations will be.

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Get your game face on!

8:30 pm
Winners Announced & Wrap-Up
Celebrate your accomplishments with your friends and family!

Event Judges

Paul Johansen
VP Product Management & CTO at Edmentum

Paul is VP Product Management and Chief Technology Officer at Edmentum

Nancy Lyons
Founder & CEO, Clockwork

Nancy is President/CEO of Clockwork Active Media, a leading digital agency specializing in designing and developing business solutions for web, mobile, and other digital environments. She speaks extensively about work culture, social media, technology, and leadership and has been locally and nationally recognized for her role as an owner and the CEO of Clockwork. She's co-author of Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process (New Riders, 2012), serves as Vice-Chair of the National Board of Directors at The Family Equality Council, is a member of Minnesota Public Radio's Board of Trustees and a an advisory board member for Giant Steps Minnesota.

Sona Mehring
Founder & CEO, CaringBridge

Sona Mehring is the founder of CaringBridge, the first and most widely used nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey through the use of free personal websites. 
In 2016, after nearly two decades as CEO, Sona transitioned into the role of founder and chief ambassador. As an author, speaker and community builder, Sona will elevate the awareness and use of CaringBridge on a national scale by speaking about improving health outcomes through the power of social support. Sona serves on the National Caregiver Council, a group of industry leaders that study the issues and technology impacting caregivers and their families. Sona is an active member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation. She is also on the board of Minne*, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing Minnesota’s technology community. She has also participated as a speaker and panelist at many health care, caregiver, technology and women in business related conferences and events

Nate Ober
Chief Technology Officer, Questar Assessment

Nate Ober has led both small and large organizations creating next generation, nationally recognized, summative and formative assessment software. He also has deep experience as a positive change-agent within for-profit, not-for-profit and government organizations.   Ober is currently an executive who is singularly focused on driving growth and sustainability by investing in people; delivering innovation in automation and configurability; and scaling with highly reusable processes and software systems. He work closely with stakeholders across organizations to bring all ideas to the table and facilitate collaborative success producing high quality, timely deliverables.

Josh Susser
VP, Strategic Planning, Corporate Development

Collaborative finance and corporate strategy executive with over 10 years of senior management and board-facing experience in increasingly challenging leadership roles.
Significant experience in higher education finance, education technology, career colleges and retail. 

Mike Palmquist
Senior Instructional Designer and Director of Product Development, myON

Mike Palmquist has been involved in Ed Tech product design and development since the Apple IIe. As one of’s co-creators, Mike directed product development for 6 years. He’s currently leading myON’s product development research and curriculum integration. He’s also an angel investor in myIGDIs’ early childhood assessments from Early Learning Labs. In the 2000s, Mike was Partner and President of Portage Interactive, a software development firm specializing in children’s learning games and creativity tools such as Focus Reading, NCAA Fastbreak, and HP/DreamWorks’ Activity kits for Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, and Madagascar. In the 90s, Mike was a software designer and producer for MECC and the Learning Company where he focused on Oregon Trail, Amazon Trail, and dozens of other interactive titles. He has a M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA from St. Olaf College.

Coaches and Mentors

Julie Carter
EdD, Co-Founder & CEO, GreyED Solutions

Dr. Carter has a passion for impacting the classroom through effective implementations of technology. Her background in education began as a classroom teacher and media specialist before becoming the Executive Director of Technology for Minnetonka Public Schools. She was named as Tech & Learning’s Leader of the Year in 2010 for her innovative use of technology and as one of “20 to Watch” by the National School Board Association in 2010. She was recently recognized on The Edvocate’s 2017 EdTech 20: A Ranking of 20 Global Edtech Influencers. 

Doug DeBold
Chief Technology Officer

As a founder of As Chief Technology Officer of Perk Health, Doug leads the product development team and is responsible for the engineering and architecture of the mobile and web applications. As a self-taught developer, he brings the experience of being on a team to the digital platform. Prior to Perk Health, Doug cross country skied professionally.

Angie Eilers
Founder & CEO, UR TURN SBC

Dr. Angie Eilers is an idea generator, policy wonk, multi-tasking mother of twins, and a first-generation college goer. Based on 25 years of research at Stanford and in the Big 10 (Universities of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois), she applies well-grounded evidence and in-depth analysis to problems that students face in education. She uses her research insights for good –publishing findings in a wide range of publications including academic journals, legislative policy papers as well as newspaper editorials. Angie launched her current educational software company, UR Turn, in 2016 with an award from the National Science Foundation. She was the founding Vice President at Sophia Learning, and was formerly a professor at the University of Illinois before moving to Minnesota. She received her Ph. D. at UW-Madison, Bachelors at Lawrence University and an Executive Education certificate at JFK School of Government at Harvard University. 

Kristi Hemmer
Social Entrepreneur

Kristi Hemmer, M.Ed.  is a social entrepreneur, storyteller, sojourner, albanil, and MOXIEmaker. Kristi started the social business AWEinc. (Academy for Women’s Empowerment) to answer her BIG QUESTION, Why do superstar women/girls shrink in a classroom, a boardroom, and in a conversation? She uses her 25+ years as an educator, entrepreneurial thinker, and feminist to develop programs and experiences that unleash the SUPERstar in each girl/woman by disrupting the status quo through Corporate America (Medtronic, General Mills, Accenture +) + Youth Programming (Girl Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters +) + International Travel (to El Salvador and Bali) + Entrepreneurship (National Coalition of Girls Schools,  AWEinc, public/private schools  + ). AWEinc.has impacted more than 5,000 girls/women over the past three years globally. 

Karin Hogen
Co-Founder, Insert Learning (formerly DocentEDU)

M.A., M.S.Ed. Cofounder @DocentEDU and @BarCampEDU.

Mary Jacobs
Director of Sales and Innovation and Coolness

Connect Pending Invitation Sent
Experienced sales leader, entrepreneur and strategist.

I am Director of The Center for Sales Innovation at St Catherine University. As Director, I oversee the Sales Program of Business to Business Sales and Healthcare Sales Majors. The Center for Sales also offers programs for business executives; The Sales Executive Forum for Twin Cities Sales Leaders.

I am the Founder and principal of The Women's Excelerator; educating, coaching and empowering women entrepreneurs over 40 to start and grow their businesses.

Kristie Lindell
Group Product Manager--Edmentum

Results-driven, experienced marketing leader with exceptional strategic, channel management, product marketing and communication skills.

Matt Nupen
Founder, CEO InsertLearning (formerly DocentEDU)

Co-founder InsertLearning, STEM Specialist at STEP Academy

Ben Pederson
CTO, Insert Learning

CTO of DocentEDU, a SWEDU alumnus company. 

Todd Radtke
Vice President Product Management, Questar Assessment

A highly strategic and forward-thinking Product Management Vice President, Todd Radtke drives the innovation and strategy to commercialize successful software and hardware products that the market values.   As a leader, Radtke believes that empowering people will drive results that exceed expectations. This philosophy has served him well in executive product management leadership positions in education, observational safety, marketing services, employee engagement, financial services, healthcare, transportation, and software and hardware sectors.

Mana Sanghvi
Founder, Sitterco

Founder of startup focused on empowering parents, sitters, and women.  15 year career focused on leading business across industries (CPG, banking, and tech)

Marty Wetherall
Director of Innovation at Fallon Worldwide; Founding Partner of FanChatter (Y-Combinator Alumnus)

Interactive and Integrated marketing; digital strategy; Entrepreneur

Laura Andersen
Vice President, Strategy--Bluespire Marketing

I help businesses and organization realize their opportunities by facilitating the inclusion of Service Design principles and practices into their development processes. Encouraging a broad range of stakeholders to creatively consider, prototype, test and reconsider their and others' roles in a service delivery ecosystem results in ideas and solutions that could not be discovered without their participation.

Steve Hupert
Director ECMC Innovation Lab

The ECMC Innovation Lab leads and fosters a culture of innovation to enable ECMC Group and its affiliates to identify and deliver innovative and powerful solutions that empower students to succeed in postsecondary education and in the pursuit of their career and experiential aspirations.   As the Director of the ECMC Innovation Lab, I oversee all activities for the ECMC Innovation Lab.  We utilize human-centered design and Lead Startup techniques to explore solutions to deliver on ECMC’s mission to help students succeed.

Margaret Owen
Professional Business Consultant, UST Small Business Development Center

Work with business clients one-to-one on market strategies and other business issues.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Twin Cities Startup Weekend Education (#TCSWEDU2017) 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 the Twin Cities is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Siri
  • Josh
  • Mary
  • Sibi
  • LeAnn
  • Steve
  • Ned


Roger Osorio
Entrepreneurship Program Leader @ IBM

Entrepreneurship program leader at IBM by day, math coach by night, and Startup Weekend global facilitator by weekend.  I deliver a powerful cocktail made up of education, psychology, neuroscience, leadership, and entrepreneurship.  I facilitate events to maximize the experience and learning for all participants.

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