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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!



Nov 9
  • Registration
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Kickoff & Welcome
  • Icebreaker
  • Attendee Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming/recruiting
  • Team check in
  • Finished for the day


Nov 10
  • Doors open. Breakfast served
  • Mentors office hours begin
  • Lunch
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Dinner
  • Quick group activity (TBD)
  • Finished for the day


Nov 11
  • Doors open. Breakfast served
  • Mentor office hours begin
  • Moment of silence in honour of our veterans, and all who served Canada during war, armed conflict and peace.
  • Lunch
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Judges arrive & registration for Sunday-only attendees
  • Final Presentations
  • Awards & Wrap-up
  • Go home!

Scott Annan

CEO & Co-Founder @ Mercury Grove   |   LinkedIn

Scott is a startup entrepreneur, mentor, blogger, and speaker. His passion lies in the social and technological implications of global collaboration. His current projects include,,,,, &

Mikael Cho

Founder and CEO @ ooomf   |   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.

Andrew Draper

Co-Founder @ Snapable & Scratchpad   |   LinkedIn

Andrew is a designer, developer and hacker. He likes to make awesome stuff that peole love to use and has done a few startups (you may have heard of Manpacks, we got a bit of attention). He’s been an entrepreneur in one way or another for most of his life.

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 Startups. He blogs via

Stephanie Liverani

Co-founder and Head of Data @ ooomf   |   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.

Aydin Mirzaee

Co-CEO & Co-Founder @ Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Aydin is currently Co-CEO at Inc. where he spends his time focused on product strategy, marketing and sales for the company\'s FluidSurveys ( and myReviewRoom ( products. Aydin co-founded in 2008 and since then it has grown to a multi-million dollar a year business with over 20 people in staff and customers in over 40 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.

Matt Roberts

Analyst IT Venture Fund @ BDC   |   LinkedIn

Matt Roberts has worked as an investment and business development advisor for several start-ups, Private Equity and Angel Investment Groups in Canada. He also co- founded and acted as CEO at his own startup, JohnnyVoIP, a company that developed a web based VoIP application platform. Previous to this he was the Business Development & Strategy lead at an Ottawa based startup investor ( and at eighteen was the youngest Project Coordination Manager at Newbridge Networks working in the LMDS wireless group (now part of Alcatel Canada).


Fiona Gilligan

Entrepreneur, Investor, Speaker.   |   LinkedIn

Fiona's passion is entrepreneurship and encouraging others to think differently: To consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option. She mentors, coaches and invests in StartUps that are making a difference. Through public speaking, she shares her story of how she became a successful entrepreneur. (Elle est bilingue). MSW, BA (Honours) with extensive and demonstrated experience in StartUp innovation, business strategy and corporate leadership as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for 12 years of the Trauma Management Group, Canada\'s largest private sector trauma services company. Authored one of Canada’s first trauma response programs titled: Critical Incident Stress Management: From Theory to Practice.

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.

Code Cubitt

Managing Director @ Mistral Venture Partners   |   LinkedIn

Code is 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, focussed 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. Most recently Code was a Partner at Motorola Ventures where he invested in the wireless and mobility space. Code also has experience managing publicly traded portfolios while working as a buy-side investor at a hedge fund based in Palo Alto with a focus on the wireless sector

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.

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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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