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Wayne and William White Engineering Design Centre, 2345 East Mall, Vancouver, BC

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No Talk, All Action

Stay tuned for more information about our social themed Startup Weekend, November 28th-30th
This year, Startup Weekend at UBC is challenging Vancouverites to develop ideas that will have a measurable impact on major social challenges facing our community. Vancouver is quickly becoming a global leader in social and caused-based ventures and we want to give you the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills while tackling some challenging problems for all walks of life.
We are excited to announce partnerships with several major social impact organizations to develop a list of real world challenges to help inspire creativity and problem solving for Social Innovation Startup Weekend Participants. If your dream is to use technology, innovation and teamwork to make a difference, you can’t miss this unique edition of Startup Weekend at UBC.
Here's how it works:
On Friday, anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from the rest of the participants. You then get to form teams organically 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 resulting in a minimum viable product (MVP)... Don't know what that is? That's fine! Our facilitator will be there to help you along the way. Local entrepreneurs and business professionals will also be there to provide invaluable mentorship.
The weekend culminates with presentations in front of Vancouver's entrepreneurial leaders where the top three teams are awarded prizes in addition to bragging rights and media coverage.
Now what's stopping you? Register today!



Nov 28
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • 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


Nov 29
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 30
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Trina Isakson

Founder/Principal Thinker of 27 Shift   |  

Trina Isakson is founder and principal thinker at 27 Shift and leads research and strategy projects that challenge assumptions of how people contribute positively to society. She also teaches a variety of university courses on community development and nonprofit leadership and management, and is founder of the Quiet Changemaker Project. Trina is a sought out thought leader in volunteer and employee engagement, community-university engagement, inter-generational dynamics, women and leadership, introverts, and innovations in nonprofit sector governance and leadership.

Janice Tomich

Founder of Calculated Presentations   |   LinkedIn

Janice Tomich is the Founder of Calculated Presentations, a communications firm that helps professionals and executives improve their public speaking skills, create winning presentations, and deliver them to boards, investors, employees, or the marketplace. She also works with TED and TEDx speakers getting them ready to share their “Ideas Worth Spreading”. Janice believes that anyone can become a presenter that people will sit up and take notice of ... that it is a muscle that anyone can build. The secret of an engaging public speaker is speaking confidently from the heart whereas the problem often is letting go of “death by PowerPoint”. Janice helps her clients acquire the skills to let go of status quo and truly engage
and compel their audience.

Angèle Beausoleil

Professor/ Mentor to young entreprenuers

Angèle Beausoleil is a pracademic who combines her penchant for starting new ventures with teaching young entrepreneurs how to think for the future. Angèle is an adjunct professor at UBC's inside the Sauder School of Business, runs a boutique innovation agency and juggles her current PhD research on business innovation processes. Prior to UBC, she spent 20 yrs working with creative agencies, tech start-ups and global brands on researching and building new products, processes and business models. She led UK and Vancouver-based Dare Labs as VP of Innovation for Dare North America, and was VP of Strategy for Cossette West. She lectures internationally on strategic design and sustainable innovation, is the editor-in-chief for the Society of Digital Agencies' global trend report, a board member of the Telus Fund, and is a mentor for Spring Activator and Merging Media Association.

Gold Sponsors

Keith Ippel


With over 15 years experience as a leader in technology-centric businesses, Keith has helped companies of varying size and stage to develop growth strategies, launch new products, and raise over $15M in angel and VC funding. In early 2014 along with co-founder Bonnie Foley-Wong, Keith launched Spring Activator, a purpose-driven accelerator focused on helping high growth, for-profit, purpose-driven companies create meaningful change in our world.

Nathalie Baudoin

CEO Modo

Nathalie Baudoin is the current CEO of Modo, Vancouver’s local carshare. She has spent her career dedicated to building brands with a conscience. From Chief Marketing Officer for Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada's largest consumer co-op to Patagonia, she has worked consistently with companies invested in social and environmental responsibility. For MEC, she was able to leverage Vancouver’s community of outdoor lovers to create a strong brand around adopting active lifestyles. At Patagonia in Paris, she launched the company into 12 different European countries while working to bolster their mandate inspiring and implementing solutions to the environmental crisis.
Originally from France, Nathalie brings a wealth of business, marketing and retail experience to her role at Modo. She is well-versed in alternative transportation, using the Velib bike share and Blablacar rideshare when she is in Paris. A skier, hiker, runner and overall outdoor lover , Nathalie prides herself on integrating her personal and professional values. She is a graduate of the INSEAD International Executive Programme, and holds a master’s degree in foreign languages from La Sorbonne University. She speaks French, German and Spanish.

Praveen Varshney

Director at Varshney Capital Corp.   |   LinkedIn

Praveen Varshney is a 1987 University of BC ("UBC") Commerce graduate who subsequently obtained his C.A. designation at KPMG. He is a principal of Vancouver-based Varshney Capital Corp., a family-owned venture capital, merchant banking & corporate advisory services firm. Varshney Capital invests in a wide variety of industries such as resource, real estate, technology & alternative energy. Current projects include Mountain Province Diamonds, the largest diamond mine under development globally with DeBeers as partner, Canada Zinc Metals, a significant zinc deposit being developed in BC, and, Canada's largest online unsecured consumer lending company.

Mr. Varshney is an active angel investor, investing in many companies over the years including being the first investor in that got bought in 2014 for $430M. Other current projects include,, and

He is along time member and past President of the Vancouver chapter of The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) and a founding director of the Vancouver chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE). Mr. Varshney was a 12 year member of the Sauder School of Business Faculty Advisory Board, a former Director of The Vancouver Board of Trade, and a past recipient of Business in Vancouver's 40 Under 40 Awards. He is currently a Director of the Varshney Family Charitable Foundation, a SVP Vancouver Partner, a Director of and on the advisory board of Room to Read - Canada.

Married since 1992 and with 2 young kids, Mr. Varshney is very actively involved with his family & community including coaching his kids' baseball & softball teams. He also makes daily exercise a priority through a variety of activities like working out with a personal trainer 3 times a week, hockey & yoga. Other interests include travel & reading.

Silver Sponsors

Kathryn Loewen

Founder and CEO of Control

Kathryn Loewen is the Founder & CEO of Control, a software company that produces business tools for the payments industry. Kathryn has been working in the payments space for over 15 years at companies including Citigroup and SAP, working on solutions for notable brands such as Apple, Toyota and Oakley.

Kathryn obtained an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce from Royal Roads University, and an Executive Certificate in Marketing Management from UBC Sauder School of Business. Kathryn is also certified in Product Management from the Pragmatic Marketing Institute and is a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Kathryn is also involved in supporting various social charities. She sponsors 50 entrepreneurs in developing countries via, supports childhood education and development in rural China via Plan B, and has been a sponsor to Out on Screen for 10 years.

Alexandra T. Greenhill

Founder and CEO of myBestHelper

Alexandra T. Greenhill is the Co-founder CEO of myBestHelper, a place where families find amazing helpers. myBestHelper won Startup Weekend Vancouver in 2011, third place in the BC New Ventures Competition 2012 and was selected for the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Silicon Valley by the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX). myBestHelper is an Invoke Labs alumni company and recently won the Plug’N’Play 2014 Pitch event in Vancouver. Alexandra is a physician leader, past public school board and chair of the board, and has served on numerous non-for-profit boards, passionate about big ideas that use tech to make people's lives better. She has received numerous awards, including BIV Top 40 under 40, the Queen Elizabeth II Medal of Service and WXN’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.

Rob Attwell

Co-founder and COO of myBestHelper/ Chair of Neil Squire Society   |  

Rob Attwell is Co-founder and COO of myBestHelper, a Vancouver-based platform for families to find amazing caregivers. myBestHelper won Startup Weekend Vancouver in 2011, was third in the 2012 New Ventures BC Competition and is now an Invoke Labs company in residence. Rob is Chair of the Neil Squire Society, a national not-for-profit that serves over 1000 people with disabilities across Canada each year.

Thealzel Lee, BSc (Alberta), MBA (Ivey)

Founder, Director and President at E-Fund   |   LinkedIn

Thealzel is an entrepreneur, angel investor and business strategy adviser to companies with a focus on strategy development and operational alignment. Thealzel is a senior partner with management consulting firm Rocket Builders, co-manages the monthly Vancouver Angel Technology Network (VANTEC) and the Keiretsu Forum Northwest Region-Vancouver Chapter for her fellow angel investors. She is co-founder of Nelsa Investment (VCC) Inc.

Alfred Lam

Associate at Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital   |   LinkedIn

Alfred Lam joined Chrysalix in 2012 with 10+ years R&D experience and is currently focused on Oil & Gas investments. He is a technology innovator with 3 patents/applications, 10 peer-reviewed papers and was awarded an NSERC Innovation Challenge Award recognizing his entrepreneurial spirit and the commercial potential of his PhD research. Dr. Lam has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UBC, a BASc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and currently serves as a Board Director on Agilyx and a Board Observer on Axine Water Technologies.

David Turner

CFO of Lignol Energy

Mr. Turner has served as a director on the board of a number of companies and has held senior executive positions with large and small public and private corporations in diverse industries including healthcare, cleantech, consumer and industrial products, and financial services. He has worked in companies ranging from start-ups to working as Regional Director with a leading international Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Marketing and Distribution Company with responsibility for an international region with sales exceeding $1 billion. Mr. Turner has significant international business turnaround experience and has led several financing transactions on international and Canadian stock exchanges. He has successfully built a $100 million nutritional ingredients company and has also served
as a mentor to several groups seeking to commercialize emerging technologies.

Bronze Sponsors
Brandon Yen
Trina Wang
Ben Cappellacci
Cole Nakatani
Rob Foxall
Ryan Fetterly
Hamza Ahmad
Jasdeep Grewal
Lingxi Li
Timothy Burke
Lara Stevens

Order of Presentations

by swubc

The following is the presentation schedule for teams at Startup Weekend @ UBC (March 14-16, 2014): 1) Regular 2) TechMat […]