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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!



Jun 6
  • Registration & Networking
  • Dinner
  • Kickoff & Welcome
  • Guest Speaker: VidRack
  • 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.


Jun 7
  • 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.


Jun 8
  • 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
  • Guest Speaker: GroupFly Direct
  • Final Presentations begin
  • Awards & Wrap-up
  • Go home!

Tanya Snook

Tech Blogger and Co-Chair, UXCamp Ottawa   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Tanya Snook has spent her 15 year career bouncing between the public and private sectors. Her experience spans corporate, internal and e-communications, web and software design, information management and user experience. She is an avid fan of technology and its impact on culture, and is happiest when nerding out on Lego, Star Wars or technology giving away information on the Twitters, or sipping espresso.

Peter Lalonde

Founder and CEO, Openera   |   LinkedIn

I am really interested in technology that works harder for us, but doesn't require us to change the way we work. Automation, context and ubiquity are very important themes in the projects that excite me.

I also like to work with smart people to solve real problems.

One of the projects I'm working on is TenStartups. We're working with smart, enterprise startup entrepreneurs at the very earliest of stages. We help them avoid common startup pitfalls and focus on MVP development, customer traction and validation.

Greg O'Donnell

Founder, Plant Your Flag Commercial Real Estate Services, Brokerage   |   LinkedIn

Greg is the founder of Plant Your Flag Commercial Real Estate Services, Brokerage. Plant Your Flag is focused on providing commercial real estate services to small and medium enterprises in Canada and the United States.

Greg is focused on building a new global brand in commercial real estate services, that is focused on a sector of the economy representing 98% of all enterprises in North America. While building this brand, Greg represents his current client base of small and medium enterprise with their commercial office space needs in the Ottawa market.

His focus and professional passion has provided Greg an opportunity to work with many startup firms and he enjoys mentoring new founders and salespeople.

Robert Venczel

President & CEO, Bivium   |   LinkedIn

Entrepreneur. Management consultant. Instructor/Teacher/Mentor. Lifelong learner. Family man. Fellow traveller.

Robert is passionate about helping his clients take control of business risks & improve their bottom line results. Whether it is about a new, exciting start-up idea, or about how to push your business to the next level, his consulting company – Bivium ( – will guide you towards achieving excellence through change.

Kyle Braatz

CEO and Founder, Healthwave   |   LinkedIn

Kyle is the CEO and co-founder of Health Wave, a company focused on helping integrative health professionals improve patient outcomes. The first step towards this vision is a free platform to dispense supplements and facilitate product compliance (launched in early 2012). Since 2009, Kyle has started and run a not-for-profit, cycled across Canada, and co-founded Netgen which spawned Simple Story Videos. When He's not working, he enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing and cottage life.

Matt Whitteker

Founder,   |  

Matt Whitteker (28) is a serial entrepreneur. He has been founder or co-founder of: (E-Commerce Transcription / Call Recording / Apps)

Assent Compliance (Environmental Software / Consulting Services)

Final Round (Ottawa's Best Rated Boxing Gym)

Fight For The Cure (Charity Boxing Gala )

10Count Group (Partner)

Elizabeth Lance, M.A.

CEO & Co-Founder, SR&ED & OIDMTC

Elizabeth Lance is an award-winning management consultant specializing in the Ontario Interactive Digital Media (OIDM) and the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) programs. With a Master of Arts degree focusing on discourse analysis, she helps organizations navigate the complex world of indirect funding policy compliance, where one wrong word can cost hundreds of thousands.

Elizabeth’s writing, research, and commentary have been cited in news outlets (CBC, Ottawa Business Journal), she is the creator of the 200-page interactive learning resource A Comprehensive Guide to SR&ED, and manager of the largest LinkedIn group focusing on SR&ED.

The combination of Elizabeth’s passion, dynamic background, and problem-solving nature makes her invaluable to the many multi-million dollar projects clients entrust her with on a daily basis.

Nilufer Erdebil, P.Eng, MBA, PMP

CEO, Spring2 Innovation   |   LinkedIn

Nilufer has over 17 years of experience in innovation within various fields including telecommunications, application development, program management and IT management. Throughout her career she has always had a passion for technology, business, commercializing technology and navigating change. Having worked in a number of international organizations and lived on three continents, Nilufer has a global mindset.

Prior to launching Spring2 Innovation, Nilufer began her career working at Procter & Gamble, in sales, and moved into software engineering. As a software designer she has worked on leading edge technologies and products, in a variety of international defense and telecommunications companies, including General Dynamics, CrossKeys Systems (now Oracle) and Marconi Wireless (now Ericsson). After going back to school to earn an MBA, she has worked in a number of Technology, Project Management and Marketing positions at Bell Canada.

It was in Technology Development at Bell Canada while working in the Advanced Solutions Innovation Center that she truly began to understand and become passionate about that special mix of environment, people, partners, and insight that made innovation possible. Nilufer has a B.Eng in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from Queen’s University.


Code Cubitt

Managing Director @ Mistral Venture Partners   |   LinkedIn

Code is the Managing Director at Mistral Venture Partners, focusing on venture capital investments in Mobile, Digital Media, eCommerce and Enterprise applications in Canada and the United States. Prior to Mistral, Code was the Chief Operating Officer at Zephyr Technology - a Venture Capital backed startup company based in Annapolis MD, focused on Remote Physiological Monitoring. Before joining Zephyr, Code spent nearly a decade investing in and growing a number of startup companies including mFoundry, Intelleflex, Apprion, Dilithium Networks, and many others. Prior to his investing career, Code spent 8 years as an electrical design engineer, beginning with IBM, where he worked on the original IBM Multi-processor mainframe computers. Code then specialized as an RF hardware designer and subsequently designed a number of products, some of which are still in volume production today. His technical experience includes digital, analog, radio frequency and optical circuit design.

Jeff Parks

VP Visioning & Customer Experience @ Kina'ole   |   LinkedIn

Jeff is the co-founder and V.P. of Customer Experience and Visioning for the Service Design Management consultancy, Kina’ole Inc. where he empowers teams from the global Fortune 500 to non-profits to break down silos for the betterment of the design process and their customers. Recent clients supported in both business and design strategies include: Boeing, Alcatel-Lucent, Rogers, Zappos, GEICO, SEGA, and TribalDDB WorldWide. In addition, Jeff has been a trusted mentor to over a hundred designers around the world over the past decade. His thought-provoking presentations on the cultural and human aspects of an always-connected marketplace have earned him accolades at conferences and workshops in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.

Jeff was most recently the opening keynote speaker at UX Poland, Central Europe's largest conference on user experience design, in April 2014.

Susan Richards, FCMA

The Casual CFO   |   LinkedIn

Susan Richards is a contract CFO, and Co-Founder of Givopoly. Equal parts entrepreneur and accountant, Susan takes a holistic approach to business strategy and says that is the value she brings to the executive table.

A Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Susan has had an active career in Ottawa, including CFO positions of a number of local tech companies including Magmic, bitHeads, Chipworks, and Momentous.

Susan has received employment awards throughout her career including a 2009 Leadership Award presented by CMA Ontario & Canadian Business Magazine for business achievement for creative vision and “Intuition”. In 2010, Susan was one of 14 appointed to become a Fellow of the Society of CMAs of Canada (FCMA). The FMCA designation demonstrates excellence in management accounting, commitment to and pride in the profession, and a civic mindedness that brings community respect.

In her non-core hours, Susan is a big community supporter and has served on the Board of Governors for CMA Ontario, the steering committee for OCRI’s Dollars and Sense program, and has volunteered for many local non-profits.

Richard Monk, FCPA, FCMA, CMC, CFE, C.Dir, A.C.C.

President & CEO of msight global inc.

Richard works with both profit and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of governance, strategy and performance. He is a highly qualified executive manager offering over 30 years of experience within a wide range of industries, bringing an integrated perspective to consulting assignments. He also acts as a mentor and advisor to SMEs and their owners.

In his work with boards of directors, he emphasizes that effective governance leads to effective strategy, ultimately delivering superior organizational performance.

Richard is a chartered director and sits on two boards. He is a past Chair of the CMA Canada National Board of Directors and a past Chair of the Board of Governors of CMA Ontario.


Vidrack (SWO4 Winner)

Tattoo Hero (SWO3 Winner)

Paul Austin-Menear
Myles Foster
Krissie Thornton
Robert Venczel
Alexander Mahon
Aron Mrugalski
Lida Tohidi
Moni Assi
Ryan Parent
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Contributing Sponsors


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 […]

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