Startup Weekend Twin Cities

    Friday, October 5 - 7, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Twin Cities

Friday, October 5 - 7, 2018

Friday, October 5 - 7, 2018
Event starts at 5:00 pm

323 N Washington Ave
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday October 5th

5:00 pm
Registration & Networking
Arrive at the venue and get checked in! Once you’re checked in, network with attendees!

6:00 pm
Grab a bite to eat and continue networking until we officially kickoff!

6:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders.

7:00 pm
Get to know other attendees and become comfortable at Startup Weekend with a fun activity!

7:30 pm
Pitches on Friday night will be in a "pitch-fire" format, which means you will have just 60 seconds to get the audience interested in your idea. You will have no slides or props -just your voice. You won't have time to go over features, so just focus on the core of the idea and make your enthusiasm contagious. Here is the format for pitches that we recommend: Who are you and what is your background? - (5-10 Seconds) What is the problem that your product is solving? Or, begin with a story - (10-20 Seconds) Explain the product and how it solves the problem - (10-20 seconds) Who do you need on your team (a developer, marketing, designer?) - (5-10 seconds) Finally, make up a name for your startup.

8:30 pm
Discussion & Voting
After pitches, you will have more time to mingle. If you pitched an idea, this is your time to start recruiting others that may be interested in your idea. If you did not pitch, or if you are having trouble finding others to join your team, use this time to seek out those that pitched other ideas that you found interesting. Next, the crowd votes on their favorite pitches. This is simply a way to encourage quick team forming. From there we will form teams, and these are the startup ideas that will be worked on over the weekend.

9:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 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 6th

9:00 am
Arrive to bagels, fruit & coffee.

9:30 am
Work Time
Develop your MVP!!! This is a good time to be focusing on customer research and business model development.

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Check-In & Work Time
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help. This is a good time to be focusing on market research and hitting the streets.

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm
Coaches Leave

6:30 pm

7:00 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 7th

9:00 am
Check In & Breakfast
Arrive, Check-in, and eat breakfast before getting to work

9:30 am
Group Meeting
Group announcements and layout for the day

10:00 am
Coach Meetings & Work Time
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS. Start finalizing your ideas and integrating them into your pitch

12:00 pm

2:00 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
Final Presentations

6:00 pm
Judging & Awards

6:00 pm

7:15 pm
Final Thoughts and Wrap-Up

7:30 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

David Berger
CTO @ Integra Legal Ledger

David Berger is a computer technologist with extensive experience focusing on Mobile/Social content delivery. He has worked with numerous large and small clients including Sun, Oracle, IDG books, Pogo and NBC. David previously founded Scientia, acquired by the Princeton Review, and then co-created He followed that with work in Pharma marketing/education and then co-founded SciMediMedia servicing Merk, BMS, and Aventis. Currently, he is CTO of Integra, where he is the principle architect of the Global Legal Block Chain.

John Stavig
Director - Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship

Prior to returning to the University of Minnesota to teach and lead the development of theentrepreneurship center, John's professional background was in management consulting and privateequity in the communications industry. The mission of the Holmes Center is to inspire, educate and connect the next generation ofentrepreneurs. Lead the fundraising, development of outreach programs and implementation ofnew curriculum for undergraduate and MBA courses. Teach experiential courses in entrepreneurship and advise students and alumni on new ventures. Part of founding team for MN Cup, MIN-Corps and Grow North outreach programs.

Coaches and Mentors

Diane Rucker
Principal Consultant at Silverbow Consulting

Diane Rucker is an expert at making complex things seem simple.  She is an independent consultant in the Twin Cities, working on global entrepreneurship and data-driven strategy.    Diane’s fascination with innovation started when she failed her first interview at MIT Sloan.  She convinced them to admit her the following year, and graduated in 2014 with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  Diane worked with MIT on a program that fosters regional economic growth through Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship (IDE).  Her work on ecosystems has taken her to cosmopolitan cities and to a camel souk (market) in Al Ain.    Diane has extensive experience in technology and innovation.  She worked with Carrot Health, a data analytics startup in healthcare, as the Vice President of Client Services.  She has held leadership roles in the data storage industry in design engineering, product management, and technology transfer.   She has degrees in Materials Engineering from the University of Michigan and from MIT, and is an active part of the growing Twin Cities entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

Mary Grams
Thomson Reuters Senior Product Developer

Mary Grams has run the gamut from product development and management to marketing and content strategy roles at Thomson Reuters. While working in a large organization, she has focused on building skills as an intrapreneur participating in several internal innovation challenges (and winning at least one), as well as Start-up Weekends and other challenge-oriented activities. Since she likes a challenge, she has mentored for the past three years a team of five girls in a 16-week curriculum to build a mobile app and business plan for Technovation Challenge MN. From thousands of entries, they’ve made it to virtual semi-finals twice in three years! #coachbrag In coaching through product pivots and new technologies, Mary has found her passion and met great people in the Minnesota tech community.

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. 

Mark Borman
Strategic Board Member

A strategic Board Member with a passion for growing companies ranging from startup, private equity, IPO to publicly traded. Actively involved with public and private technology companies as a board member, audit committee chair and governance and finance committee member, as well has served on advisory and non-profit boards. Forte is helping companies achieve strategic growth, profitability, cash-flow, capital-raising, and valuation goals.

Meghan Sharkus
CEO @ ExpressionMed


Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend the Twin Cities is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Ian
  • Sharada
  • Zoe


Sibi Murugesan
Program Director @ gener8tor

Sibi has been building companies and supporting entrepreneurs for years. After helping lead Co-lab, a nationally-recognized startup incubator for students, Sibi became a 
Startup Mentor for Junior Achievement, a global entrepreneurship program for students K - 12.  

In a corporate setting, he served as the youngest Senior Strategy Development Analyst within Best Buy's Strategic Growth Office, where he identified, built and launched $1B growth strategies for the Fortune 100 technology retailer. 

At his day job, he is currently the Program Director for gener8tor, a nationally-ranked startup accelerator, where his portfolio companies achieve ~9 months of growth in just 12 weeks. And on the weekends? He's a Program Facilitator for Startup Weekend, traveling the country helping talented entrepreneurs build businesses in just 54 hours!

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