Past event…

Event Ended

Shopify's Lounge, 126 York Street, Ottawa, Ontario


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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!



May 24
  • Registration & Networking
  • Dinner
  • Beer Tasting w/ Kichesippi Beer Co.
  • Red Bull Street Team Party
  • Kickoff & Welcome
  • Guest Speakers: Tattoo Hero, Fall '12 Cohort
  • 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.


May 25
  • Doors
  • Breakfast
  • 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
  • Treats by B's Bakery
  • Quick group activity (TBD)
  • Finished for the day. Go home and try to get some sleep.


May 26
  • 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!

Harley Finkelstein

Chief Platform Officer @ Shopify   |   LinkedIn

Harley Finkelstein is an entrepreneur, lawyer, and the Chief Platform Officer (CPO) at Shopify. He has a background in startups and eCommerce, and started his first company at age 17 while a student at McGill. Harley completed his law degree as well as his MBA at the University of Ottawa, where he co-founded the JD/MBA Student Society and the Canadian MBA Oath. Harley serves as a mentor and advisor to a number of entrepreneurial organizations and incubators, including Founder Fuel & Extreme Ventures.

Andrew Draper

Chief Product Officer @ Openera   |   LinkedIn

Andrew Draper is a designer and developer, and the Chief Product Officer at Openera. He’s been an entrepreneur in one way or another for most of his life. Andrew ran a success design company, Hashbrown Interactive for more than 10 years before co-founding e-commerce company in early 2009 and successfully raising investment from Dave McClure (500startups), Dan Martel (Clarity) and others. He has been part of the founding team for several startups including Gijit, ScratchPad, Snapable and Boxseat and was accepted into startup accelerators in both the US and Canada.

Mikael Cho

Founder @   |   LinkedIn

Mikael’s been involved in startups since graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Psychology in 2008, and has also done consulting work with agencies and businesses to develop creative social media strategies.

Stephanie Liverani

Co-founder and Head of Data @   |   LinkedIn

Stephanie is an Actuarial Analyst with a a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Mathematics from Concordia University. Stephanie has worked for Actuarial consulting firms in Vancouver and Montreal and she is passionate about making sense of large samples of data. Her deep understanding of analytics and metrics has helped multiple companies make data-driven decisions.

Nazim Ahmed

Co-Founder @ CanvasPop / DNA11   |   LinkedIn

Nazim Ahmed is an entrepreneur, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of both CanvasPop and DNA11, and an expert at scaling bootstrapped companies. With a focus on long-term vision, an emphasis on company culture, an obsessive approach to customer service and a relentless drive to re-invent his companies, Nazim helped turn DNA 11 and CanvasPop into global e-commerce leaders in the digital art space. Both companies now serve over 150,000 customers in over 50 countries.

Nish Patel

CEO @ ConceptShare Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Nish is the CEO of ConceptShare Inc, a collaboration tool that makes it dead simple, quick and easy to share, communicate and collaborate on creative work. He spends his time at ConceptShare driving the overall strategy of the company, as well as working closely with lead customers and the company’s growing list of partners. Nish is passionate about using data, combined with gut instinct to turn business ideas into tangible results. In addition to his work at ConceptShare, Nish serves as a mentor and advisor to many emerging businesses throughout Canada and the US. Nish also been known to make omelets that would make Gordon Ramsey smile, has never successfully resisted a challenge - even if the odds are against him, and was a stand-up comedian in another life.


Luc Levesque

General Manager / Founder @   |   LinkedIn

Luc Levesque is a web entrepreneur from Ottawa who, at age 21, founded the world’s first travel blogging website, TravelPod was acquired by Expedia 10 years later in 2006. Luc is currently TravelPod’s General Manager at TripAdvisor. In 2008 Luc was a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 award. Luc has lead the creation of several award winning products such as the Traveler IQ Challenge ( “Excellence in Social Media” - CNMA ), TravelPod ( “Top 100 sites you can’t live without” – PC Magazine ) and (“Outstanding Achievement Award” - Web Marketing Association ). Luc stays involved with the startup community as an active advisor to several companies and is also a mentor with startup accelerator FounderFuel.

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

Co-founder @ DIGIA UX Inc   |  

Jeff Parks is the co-founder of DIGIA UX Inc, a past Executive on the Board of Directors for the Information Architecture Institute, was the Program Chair for UX Poland conference in 2013, and has been a trusted mentor to over a hundred designers for the past five years, the world over. He presented at the 2011 Information Architecture Summit in Denver, was the Closing Keynote at the 2012 Polish IA Summit, and presented at UX Camp Ottawa last year. In addition, he has lead commodities and e-commerce teams through new strategies for both web and mobile in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Ron Warburton

Managing Partner @ BDC Venture Capital   |   LinkedIn

Mr. Warburton is an experienced senior executive with a proven record of building successful software companies over the past 26 years. During the early part of his career, he held progressively senior positions in engineering, product management, software sales and marketing. In 1991, Mr. Warburton became President and CEO of Simetra Inc. after leading a management buyout. Over the following nine years, he grew Simetra\'s software business across Canada and the U.S. and successfully sold it in 2000. In the process, he co-founded a second software business which he helped build and eventually sold. Mr. Warburton has actively participated on the board of directors of a number of IT companies. Mr. Warburton is a registered professional engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Queen\'s University and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.


Tattoo Hero

Startup Weekend Ottawa Fall '12 Cohort   |  

Tattoo Hero is a community based website that will connect tattoo enthusiasts with artists and shops locally and around the world.

Cheryl Draper
Royce Haynes
Myles Foster
Blair Beckwith
Nicole Belanger
Platinum Sponsors
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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