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Ever wondered what it takes 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. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

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 weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found 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 put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

We’re exciting to be bringing a special edition of Startup Weekend to Ottawa for our October event – Startup Weekend Women. Why a women-focused Startup Weekend? The entrepreneurial talent we see from women in Ottawa is inspiring, and we are excited about creating an event that will showcase it. It’s about changing the ratio in the tech-space by providing the opportunity for the aspiring women (and men) entrepreneurs in our community to (1) get inspired by an idea/product/team… perhaps even enough to explore starting their own venture, or (2) become more connected with other brilliant entrepreneurially-minded individuals in Ottawa and thus more engaged within our local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Are men allowed to attend Women’s Startup Weekend? Absolutely… but there’s a catch! If you are a man who wishes to attend Startup Weekend Women, you can if and only if you find a woman participant to bring you along. Since Ottawa Startup Weekend is about connecting entrepreneurial women (and men) through the process of building exciting companies, we want to connect them to the best resources and people out there – that includes both men and women. That said, to ensure that we maintain a high percentage of female participants, the number of tickets we issue to men will be limited (there will be a wait list). If you’re a man who wants to attend, find a female participant to bring you along, and do so quickly! (Note: Each female participant can only bring one male participant.) Will the participants be required to pitch or work on “women-focused” startup ideas? No, participants can pitch and work on any kind of startup idea they wish and all attendees are encouraged to pitch ideas.



Oct 3
  • Registration & Networking
  • Dinner
  • Kickoff & Welcome
  • Icebreaker Activity
  • Attendee Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming/recruiting
  • Team check in
  • Finished for the day. Go home and try to get some sleep.


Oct 4
  • Doors
  • Breakfast
  • Breakfast Seminar: Looper Labs
  • All teams briefing meeting
  • Scheduled Mentor office hours begin
  • Lunch
  • Mid weekend check-in. Status reports & call for help
  • Scheduled Mentor office hours end
  • Dinner
  • Finished for the day. Go home and try to get some sleep.


Oct 5
  • Doors
  • Breakfast
  • All teams briefing meeting
  • Scheduled Mentor office hours
  • Lunch
  • Start prepping for presentations
  • Presentation dry-run and tech-check for all teams
  • Stop working. Tidy up your work area. Prep for Judges & Sunday audience to arrive
  • Judges arrive & registration for Sunday-only audience
  • Final Presentations begin
  • Awards & Wrap-up
  • Go home!
Myles Foster
Krissie Thornton
Cheryl Draper
Renee Tavares


by Paul Austin-Menear

As we count down the final days to Startup Weekend Ottawa 5.0, we’ve got some exciting news to report about [...]