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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!



Nov 28
  • Registration Starts, and dinner ( - Hell Pizza) & networking
  • Opening keynote: Trina Isakson
  • Icebreaker activity
  • Attendees pitch
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Top ideas announced, teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Teams are formalized and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may work until the venue closes at midnight.


Nov 29
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and start working
  • Customer validation speaker: Angèle Beausoleil
  • Customer validation coaches arrive, introduce themselves, help teams
  • Lunch (Maple Leaf Delicatessen)
  • Business model coaches arrive, introduce themselves, help teams
  • Dinner ( - Las Tortas)
  • Finished for the day, the venue closes.


Nov 30
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Pitch coaching speaker: Janice Tomich
  • Pitch coaches arrive, introduce themselves, help teams
  • Lunch (Maple Leaf Delicatessen)
  • Tech checks start
  • Dinner ( - Nikkyu Sushi)
  • Closing keynote: Mike Rowlands
  • Judging and awards
  • Networking and wrapup
Platinum Sponsors

Opening Keynote: Trina Isakson

Founder/Principal Thinker of 27 Shift   |   LinkedIn

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.

Customer Validation: Angèle Beausoleil

Professor/ Mentor to young entreprenuers   |   LinkedIn

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.

Pitches and Presentations: 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.

Closing Keynote: Mike Rowlands

Principal at Junxion   |   LinkedIn

Mike is an accomplished entrepreneur, consultant and advisor who is engaged by mission-based organizations around the world to craft distinctive strategies and support visionary entrepreneurs and leaders. He's a Principal at Junxion Strategy, a consultancy that delivers strategy, branding, and market outreach & engagement services to responsible enterprises around the world. Junxion has offices in Vancouver, London and Delhi. He also serves as an Ambassador of the Social Venture Network, and an Executive Producer of the celebrated, annual Social Venture Institute. He sits on the Advisory Council to the Faculty of Management at Royal Roads University, and is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at RADIUS Ventures, an impact venture accelerator and incubator at the Beedie Graduate School of Business at Simon Fraser University. As a keynote speaker and frequent workshop presenter, he has taught strategy, entrepreneurship, sector collaborations, branding and communications. During his career, Mike has worked with a broad range of clients, including Prince Harry's charity, Sentebale, 1% for the Planet, and its members, Mountain Equipment Coop (Canada's REI), and many startup ventures and not-for-profit organizations. He pioneered a holistic approach to brand strategy that unites values-driven leadership, compelling communications and authentic customer experiences and donor journeys. The 'AVID Brand Architecture' approach has been used by organizations as diverse as social enterprises, technology startups, government agencies, and many not-for-profit organizations.

Gold Sponsors

Keith Ippel

Co-Founder   |   LinkedIn

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   |   LinkedIn

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.

Kate Storey

Vice President Renewal Funds   |   LinkedIn

Kate is a social venture capital investor with Renewal Funds in Vancouver, BC. Renewal Funds invests in sectors critical to a sustainable economy and supports meaningful shifts in consumer behavior through investments in organic and natural food, green products and environmental innovation. In her role with Renewal, Kate is a Board Observer with various portfolio companies including Sweet Earth Natural Foods. Outside of work, Kate has a passion for the ocean - she skippers an all-female sailing team and sits on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Strait Alliance. She holds an MBA (Finance) from Dalhousie University, a B.Sc. (Honours, Biology) from Mount Allison University and a Certificate in Carbon Finance from the University of Toronto.

Silver Sponsors

Kathryn Loewen

Founder and CEO of Control   |   LinkedIn

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   |   LinkedIn

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   |   LinkedIn

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

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.

Ilya Brotzky

Founder of   |   LinkedIn

Ilya is the founder of, a platform to digitally donate to directly to a member of Vancouver's homeless community. Tickett empowers Vancouver's most at risk community members to share their stories online and receive funding and support through a community of engaged citizens. Previously, Ilya spent 4 years living in Brazil where he was a 2 time startup cofounder, helping raise multiple seed rounds and source deals worth over $500,000.

Jacinthe Koddo

Founder & Dinner-Based Facilitator at Pilot Kitchen   |   LinkedIn

A communicator, educator, and conversationalist, Jacinthe believes that when we personally connect to the people around us, our lives and businesses are infinitely better. With her newest business venture, Pilot Kitchen, Jacinthe draws on her background in Interior Design, Nutrition, Business, and Yoga, to facilitate experiences where people feel at ease, let down their guards, and connect in authentic ways.

Jacinthe also teaches public speaking and presentation skills at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and volunteers with Junior Achievement of BC, which delivers entrepreneurial skills curriculum to grade school students.

Kellan Higgins

Founder at 8Bit Goose   |   LinkedIn

Kellan is the founder of 8Bit Goose Games, a local Indie video game company creating a new zombie apocalypse simulation game. Before 8Bit Goose, Kellan worked at a SilkStart, a SaaS membership management platform. He's been involved in the Startup Scene in Vancouver since 2011, managing client relations, planning projects, doing user feedback studies and programming in C#. Kellan has diverse experience, serving on both the development and business side of startups. No longer excited about the B2B space, in the last year Kellan taught himself to program, left SilkStart in early 2014 and founded 8Bit Goose. In his off time, Kellan plays Ultimate and is currently addicted to Kerbal Space Program. He also is really good at Vancouver history.

Chad Fryling

Business Advisor / Adult Educator / Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Chad is currently Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Futurpreneur Canada. He is a resource for entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of Futurpreneur’s Startup Program He offers one-on-one business coaching and workshops to help young entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. Chad has startup experience across multiple industries and is passionate about inspiring people to do what inspires them. When he’s not working with entrepreneurs, you’ll find him designing, 3d printing and prototyping new products.

Ruth S. Hoffman

CPA, MBA, MEd, Masters in Microfinance   |   LinkedIn

Ruth has over 30 years experience in accounting, IT, education and small business consulting. She is passionate about empowering people to understand how financial information can help individuals and businesses achieve their goals. Ruth has extensive overseas experience and is an expert in developing accounting systems and procedures for projects in developing countries.

Iain Verigin

E@UBC Lean LaunchPad Instructor & Entrepreneur in Residence at Sauder School of Business at UBC   |   LinkedIn

I'm part of the entrepreneurship eco-system at UBC. I teach Lean LaunchPad (LLP) workshops with e@UBC (@ubcentrepreneur) and genomics.e@UBC (@UBC_GenEnt). I’m also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence that mentors teams pre & post LLP workshops. We’ve now had more than 50 teams go through our LLP workshops. Many teams came to us with Start Up Weekend experience.

Way back in 2008, I started teaching Steve Blank's "Customer Development" in UBC's MBA Module program because I felt that it was very close to my startup experience at PMC-Sierra and Packet Engines. It has been amazing that the idea of "Customer Development" has grown to become a world wide movement.

On the Social Entrepreneurship front -- I'm very excited that the UBC Sauder Social Entrepreneurship (@UBC_SSE) initiative has been experimenting with "Lean Startup" techniques. This summer we used the Business Model Canvas in Kenya with great success.

Jon Cartwright

COO of Zolo, Executive Chair at   |   LinkedIn

Jon is the Founder and CEO of is an easy way to order great meals for groups in offices. They favour local ingredients, biodegradable packaging and their drivers are always on time.

Jon is also a Co-Founder of Getsnackbox. He is a Growlab and Invoke Labs alumni, and loves adventure, entrepreneurship, and moving fast.

Renee Mynott

Life and Business Coach/Cohousing Consultant   |   LinkedIn

Renee is Cocreator of the In the Possibilities Company a Sustainability Life & Business Coach/Consulting business. She works with Social Entrepreneurs & Cultural Creatives to move from Inspiration to REalization! She is passionate about the co-creative process & Healthy Community REdevelopment using The Four Agreements communications model. She meets people where they are at and then with joy & curiosity discovers the Possibilities!

Cheryl Mack

Chapter Director at Startup Grind Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Cheryl Mack is the Managing Director for Startup Grind Vancouver. She is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several startups, accelerators and investors. She is dedicated to building a thriving startup ecosystem in Vancouver and growing access to funding, developers, and other resources. UBC Sauder alumni, technology geek, and travel enthusiast.

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

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