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No Talk, All Action

Here's how Startup Weekends work:

On the first day, participants pitch their startup ideas and receive feedback. Teams are then formed organically around the top ideas. After that 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? Not to worry! Our facilitator will be there to help you along the way. Local entrepreneurs and business professionals will also be there to provide invaluable mentorship. This weekend-long event is an incredible opportunity to launch into entrepreneurship, expand your network in Vancouver, and meet like-minded, ambitious people.

Vancouver’s startup scene is growing rapidly, with each year seeing more and more startups launched. The founders of some of Vancouver’s most renowned startups, such as Hootsuite and Clearly Contacts, are investing millions into local startups in hopes of making Vancouver a world-class startup hub. Now is an optimal time to become part of the scene and make your mark.

To find out more about how Startup Weekends work click here!

You won’t want to miss this year’s Startup Weekend. Register today!



Mar 22
  • Birmingham Undergraduate Centre, 2053 Main Mall
  • 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


Mar 23
  • Engineering Design Centre, 2345 East Mall
  • 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!
  • Fundrazr Workshop
  • 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


Mar 24
  • Engineering Design Centre, 2345 East Mall
  • 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
  • Move to Henry Angus (2053 Main Mall)
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Mark Williams

Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Elastic Path

Mark Williams co-founded Elastic Path alongside Harry Chemko in 2000. With over a decade of experience in consulting on enterprise-level ecommerce projects for major brands, Mark has become fluent in the world of ecommerce and enterprise software implementation.

Today he manages the global sales team and is responsible for driving Elastic Path's sales and channel strategies. Mark's passion and leadership has helped Elastic Path double revenue in the past three consecutive years and expanded the customer base worldwide. Mark is a fervent advocate for customers and works closely with their senior level executives to help develop their long term ecommerce strategy.

Around the office Mark empowers staff to challenge the status quo and push the envelope of ecommerce innovation. When Mark isn't winning over global enterprise clients, he is watching football games and waving his foam finger for the Dallas Cowboys.

Michael Fergusson

CEO & Founder, Ayogo   |   LinkedIn

Michael Fergusson, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Ayogo, is dedicated to the idea that playing is one of the most productive things we can do.

He’s been an entrepreneur and innovator on the Web for over 15 years. Millions have played the games he has developed on computers and Smartphones all over the world. Michael has been invited to speak on game design at SXSW, Casual Connect in Seattle, Vancouver’s F5 Expo, Games and Health — Vid Week, Banff Television Festival and NextMedia in Toronto, and has been featured by Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CBC, and the Globe and Mail.

Kenshi Arasaki

Co-Founder, A Thinking Ape

Kenshi Arasaki was previously a software engineer at Amazon working on special initiatives before leaving the company to start A Thinking Ape in the Bay Area. Kenshi graduated from the University of Calgary in computer science.

Anuj Singhal

Program Director, entrepreneurship@UBC

Anuj leads the entrepreneurship@UBC initiative at the University of British Columbia out of a broader commitment to upgrade higher education institutions in providing value to entrepreneurs and maintaining relevance to society.

Prior to this he was a software entrepreneur in Vancouver, Silicon Valley, Toronto and London.

He holds a combined bachelors/masters degree in Engineering, Economics & Management from Oxford University.

Sarah Lubik

Lecturer, SFU & Marketing Director, Lungfish Dive Systems

Sarah Lubik is currently focused on stimulating and supporting university-based entrepreneurship. She is particularly interested in early-stage strategy formation, partnerships, market selection, innovation ecosystems and incubation.

Prior to joining the Beedie School of Business, Dr. Lubik worked in the Sarah is a lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Beedie School of Business (SFU) where she is dedicated to creating a supportive ecosystem for early-stage ventures and encouraging student entrepreneurship through hands-on experience, interdisciplinary teams and close community engagement. She is also actively involved in entrepreneurship (and diving), as the Marketing Director of Lungfish Dive Systems.

Prior to joining SFU, Sarah worked in the field of university spin-out and start-up strategy at the University of Cambridge in the UK, where she completed her masters and PhD. She has also worked as a business coach, specializing in market analysis, and project manager and coordinator on a number of international European projects aimed at supporting start-up firms through incubation.

Jason Xu

CEO, Battlefy

Gamer, banker, bio-chemist, and startup addict. Despite his eclectic background, Jason's passion for gaming led him to create Battlefy, one of the fastest growing startups in Vancouver and Los Angeles.

Silver Sponsors

Kemp Edmonds

Sales Engineer, HootSuite

A strategist and speaker with experience in sales, marketing, training, services, product development, business development, support and post-secondary education. Kemp is deeply invested in online communications with a dual focus on big data analysis and human behaviour.

He is currently a Sales Engineer at HootSuite but continues to run his own site, where he provides online marketing strategy and planning.

Thealzel Lee

President and Director, E-Fund

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, and is active in the New Ventures BC competition. She is co-founder of Nelsa Investment (VCC) Inc.

Pankaj Agarwal

Founder & CEO, Optimus Information

A "40 under 40" award recipient, Pankaj is building a global company focused on “providing outsourced technology services to global corporations”.

Pankaj started his career with Wipro, one of the world’s leading IT Services companies. He co-founded Momentum Technologies in 2000. Momentum Technologies was one of the most successful outsourcing companies in Vancouver. In 2005, Momentum Technologies was acquired by Sopra Group, a Billion Euros French IT Consulting Firm. Pankaj worked for Sopra Group as Member of Executive Board. He grew his team from 150 people to more than 500 people and made the business profitable with strong execution capabilities.

Robin McFee

Co-Founder, Clinicbook

Robin is a co-founder of Clinicbook- the online booking engine for healthcare providers.

Before starting Clinicbook Robin studied electrical and computer engineering at UBC where he also played on the varsity men's volleyball team.

Kinman Lam

Sales Engineering Manager, Rx Networks   |   LinkedInGoogle+

My goal in life is to have my code running on as many mobile devices as possible. I have a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria. I have spent my whole career in the mobile telecommunications industry. I first started developing firmware and system drivers for Windows Mobile smartphones (pre iPhone era roughly over 6 years ago). I moved into Sales Engineering (FAE) and eventually became the Sale Engineering Manager at Rx Networks. Rx Networks develops licensable software technologies that provides GPS (GNSS) assistance and indoor location. I ensure customers successful integrate our products into their smartphone, tablet or PND device which may running any OS from Android to QNX.

Alex Hobbs

Managing Director, CampusAuction

Managing Director of CampusAuction: A social enterprise which raised several million dollars for its privatization in 2012.

He has trained university students on over 30 university campuses in the UK and Canada, sharing his knowledge as a judge of numerous entrepreneurship competitions and having awarded grants on behalf of companies such as HSBC and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Alex himself has been awarded the Millennium Trust's UnLtd Social Enterprise Award, Young Enterprise Award and helped others to learn by helping to organize and co-present the TEDxUBC “Evolution of Learning” event.

Stephen Duke

Co-Founder, George Mobile and MASHPOTATO

Stephen is co-founder of startups George Mobile and MASHPOTATO. As a serial entrepreneur with experience founding and operating companies (Public and Private) in hospitality and real estate development, he brings a consumer-focused perspective to his projects. Creating and managing unique customer experiences is his passion. He completed an MBA with a thesis on the topic of stakeholder management theory and governance. His business development skills make him a valuable asset to early stage companies. Stephen loves surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and travel.

Geoffrey Auchinleck

BASc., P.Eng., CEO Claris Healthcare Inc.

Geof has 30 years experience in the medical device field. He was part of the Vancouver-based team that built and tested the world’s first robot specifically designed to assist in surgery, then went on to develop a number of other surgical technologies, including surgical tools for laparoscopic surgery, surgical limb positioning, blood sample handling equipment, apparatus for total knee arthroplasty and surgical drapes.

In 1997, Geof co-founded Neoteric Technology Ltd. Neoteric developed and commercialized technologies for ensuring the correct storage, tracking, handling and administration of blood for transfusion in hospitals. This technology, BloodTrack®, is now in daily use in hospitals in the UK, Canada, US, Australia and the EU.

In 2009, Neoteric Technology Ltd. was sold to Haemonetics Corporation of Braintree Massachusetts (NYSE:HAE). Geof left Haemonetics in 2011.

Geof serves as Chair at the Medical Device Development Centre in Vancouver (, a position he has held for more than 20 years. The MDDC is a not-for-profit incubator centre promoting the commercial development of new medical devices. He is also an active technology business mentor through the BCIC mentorship program and AceTech Growth Strategy Program, serves on the AceTech board and a number of private boards, and is a program advisor for BCIT.

Geof holds 16 US patents for a wide range of medical devices and technologies.

In 2012, Geof was awarded the Encana Principal Award by the Manning Innovation Awards Foundation, Canada’s highest award for industrial innovation, in recognition of his development of the BloodTrack transfusion system.

Casey Era

Operations Manager, Mostad Print & Design

Casey's entrepreneurial journey has led him down the path of two start ups where he has been fortunate enough to work with great mentors, clients such as Starbucks and Wal-mart and have raised a considerable amount of funding. Currently, Casey is the Operations Manager at Mostad Print & Design.

Mike Abasov

Founder, Marketing before Funding

Mike helps startups kick ass at marketing by developing strategies and tactics that contribute to their goals while staying within their budget constraints.

Over the last 4 years, Mike has worked at established companies, such as HootSuite and uCoz, as well as a variety of brand new ventures. He is currently working as a marketing coordinator at Mobify where he tackles social media, SEO and email marketing.

Kimberly Kaplan

CEO, Offeron

Kimberly Kaplan was one of the initial employees of Plentyoffish,
having been a part of the company for over 4 years. Throughout her
time at POF Kimberly's role adapted to the changing environment,
originally being responsible for business development and monetization
and more recently growth and product development. Being in on the
ground floor, Kimberly gained immense insight into startup life as
well as what it takes to grow and emerge as a leader. It's this
knowledge combined with her passion and drive that propelled Kimberly
into founding a number of different companies under the POF umbrella.
This experience serves Kimberly well as she continues to mentor
startups in the Vancouver community as well as sit on the board of

Rob Adamovsky

Senior Business Analyst, Best Buy Canada

Rob Adamovsky develops innovative warranty and service solutions for Best Buy Canada and its customers. Rob recently graduated with an MBA from the Sauder of School of Business, where he specialized in Entrepreneurship and Strategy.

In the past, he has worked on startups, and with a local accelerator, institute B, where he helped its partner companies develop retail strategies. Rob’s passion is planet exploration and restoration.

Ash Khan

Co-Founder & Director, Stratescope Consultants

Ash is a seasoned management consultant and a market intelligence professional with experience serving large enterprise and Fortune 500 clients with M&A due diligence and complex market research studies.
He started his career in the Silicon Valley at bulge-bracket IT & management consulting firm, BearingPoint (now part of Deloitte). More recently, Ash served as a Director at Kennedy Information Advisors, the consultants to the consulting industry. Along with his entrepreneurial activities (which involved a portable water purification business) and pro bono involvement with CPAWS-BC, an environmental conservation organization, Ash is currently the co-founder and Director of Stratescope Consultants – a strategic intelligence and marketing strategy firm that serves the SME market and helps startup founders make better informed decisions.
Ash holds a B.Sc., in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and is Six Sigma Certified. Currently a resident of Vancouver, in his free time he enjoys improving his landscape and wildlife photography skills at famous locations around the city.

Lisa Cheng

Business Development Canada for SustaiNet Software

Lisa is a Sales Strategist with a local Startup that delivers cloud based solutions to Government, Oil & Gas, and Mining companies.
Prior to joining SustaiNet, Lisa held senior sales and business development roles at ADP, where she was fundamental in developing strategic sales channels to market ADP’s WorkForce Solution Product Lines. She was also Corporate Account Manager at SAP Business Oblects and held a Sales Representative role with Intrawest.
Lisa received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Victoria, Faculty of Social Sciences.
She welcomes any questions and opportunities to make new connections.

Mary Connolly

Principal, Business Elements Consulting

Mary Connolly has over 25 years experience working with companies to develop and execute strategic B2B marketing and channel strategies and has held executive positions in the wireless, clean energy, telecom, and software industries. She co-founded an educational software company that produced marketed six award winning products. She has secured commitments for seed capital of $500K and $5 million in venture capital. Mary is Co-Chair of the BCTIA Sales and Marketing Peer Group, is active with the New Ventures BC competition as a mentor and juror, and with Junior Achievement where she teaches the investing and business programs.

Elizabeth George

Senior Marketing Director, YWorld

Elizabeth George is a startup veteran who created her own successful platform shortly after graduating from UBC. As Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Chattback, Elizabeth enjoyed the entire startup experience, from creating a branding theme to connecting with new customers. Elizabeth now brings her experience to YWorld as the Senior Marketing Director and works to bring order from chaos as the platform spreads from North America to Europe to Australia.

Matthew Borghese

Communications Director & Community Manager, YWorld

Matthew Borghese is a journalist, retired restaurateur, and sushi lover. Matthew serves as Communications Director and Community Manager at YWorld, a Vancouver-based startup that tackles the professional networking landscape. As a journalist, Matthew has covered a variety of topics, from politics to popular science, at an American wire service. As a restaurateur, Matthew co-founded a successful fusion New York-style delicatessen and Cuban cafe in sunny Miami. Now, Matthew spends his downtime as a Food & Culture writer for the Vancouver Observer, exploring the endless tastes and events in his new home.

Branka Jokic

Educational Outreach Coordinator, YWorld

Branka Jokic is a UBC Sauder Business School graduate and YWorld's Educational Outreach Coordinator. As a member of the founding team that created YWorld, Branka has helped the community expand from testing to Alpha to Beta.

Bret Conkin

Marketing VP, FundRazr

Bret Conkin is the Marketing VP for FundRazr - Canada's largest crowdfunding platform. has raised $20 million globally for personal campaigns and many non-profit FundRazrs including a $1 Million campaign for Save the Children. He has founded and collaborated on multiple tech start-ups and has been involved in Crowd-funding software since 2007. An alumnus of Sauder ('90) and the Faculty of Education (Business Ed ‘10), and past Board member of the Stanley Park Ecological Society, Bret is also the licensee for TEDxUBC. An oft injured recreational athlete, Bret plays younger than his years.

Bret can be followed socially on Twitter @bretconkin, on Linked In and Facebook /bretconkin.

Ray Torresan

Partner, Zero Degrees Consulting   |  

Ray is a venture capitalist and marketing specialist who raises money for early stage companies. He was founder and partner institute B, a prominent Vancouver-based social enterprise incubator, and now spends his time working as partner of Zero Degrees Consulting Inc., a consultancy focused on second and third round financings.

Ray started in the technology sector back in 1998, when he co-founded and managed MindfulEye, Inc., an artificial intelligence company whose technology became a standard for determining the meaning and implications of information disseminated online. Prior to MindfulEye, Ray was president of Torresan

Andy Nguyen

Co-Founder, Corporate Champions Vancouver

Andy Nguyen is a Sauder School of Business alumnus and a co-founder of Corporate Champions Vancouver. Andy graduated with honors from UBC with a double major in Logistics and Marketing. His five year plan includes completing an Olympic distance triathlon, growing the Corporate Champions Vancouver business model across Canada and rolling out a lead generation co for small to medium sized businesses.

Karyn Zuidinga

Founder, Analytic Design Group   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Karyn founded Analytic Design Group ( in 2005, a company dedicated to the cause that great design is not just a great idea well executed, but an idea that resonates, an idea that knows not just what it's doing but why it will work. We help our clients design powerful digital experiences, reduce the risk of innovation, and, sometimes, predict the future, through deep analysis and contextual inquiry aimed at getting to the why. Knowing why puts our clients in the driver's seat. Instead of following the latest trends, copying their competitors, they can drive change.

Since then, she has led the company to be a leading user experience firm with offices in Vancouver and Seattle. Karyn has been working in the digital experience space (web, software, mobile) since before there were animated GIFs, social media was a bulletin board on your website, and the hottest thing in smartphone was voicemail.

Steve Woodhouse

Founder, New Media Projects   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Electronic business is becoming increasingly competitive. Relationship building and strategies for optimizing revenues, profitability and customer satisfaction are essential to the success of both commercial and non-profit enterprises. Steve Woodhouse has experience in all aspects of corporate development

Sophia Lee

Director of Design, Battlefy

Sophia Lee has a passion for web design and web development for over 6 years spanning multiple industries. She recently joined Battlefy, playing a large role in the design and implementation of a game changing web platform for the growing e-sport gaming community.

Justin Wong

Founder & CTO, Battlefy

Justin has been fiddling around with computers since the age of 7 - dialling up to the Internet to adventure in his favourite MUD or to hack away on his websites with PHP 2.0. Justin graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Cognitive Systems degree. Because he's a big gamer and sports fan, he worked at Electronic Arts helping to create the sports video games that he loves to play himself.

Now, combining his passion for gaming and web development, he's looking forward to revolutionizing the eSports competitive gaming genre as the founder and CTO of Battlefy.

Bronze Sponsors
Ben Cappellacci
Rob Foxall
Salima Hirji
Juan Francisco Tellez

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