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5th Street Arcades @ 530 Euclid Avenue

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Registration is now open!

We are very excited to be bringing Startup Weekend back to Cleveland.  We can’t wait to see you this weekend!



Mar 8
  • 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 9
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Business Model Canvas Workshop
  • Coaches Arrive! They are here to help
  • Team Stand-up / Coach Intro
  • Lunch
  • Team Stand-up / Call for needs & skills
  • Break
  • Dinner
  • Team Stand-up / Call for help
  • Finished for the day?


Mar 10
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Team Stand-up / Final Check-in
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Tech check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Closing Remarks
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrap-up!

Wade Foster

Co-Founder & CEO,   |  

Co-founder, marketing, support and amateur bug fixer at Zapier. When he's not running to the moon for Zapier customers, he's obsessing about tiny details in the product. Will do anything for a big ole Chipotle burrito.

Dan Young

Founder, DXY Solutions, LLC   |   LinkedIn

Daniel is the founder and Principal Partner of DXY Solutions, a mobile technology consultancy.

DXY designs and develops products and software for mobile devices. Their clients range from brands such as Goodyear, Moen and FedEx to healthcare heavyweights such as the Cleveland Clinic and Cardinal Health.

Since founding the firm in 2006, Daniel has grown the firm into a leading mobile technology firm with offices in Cleveland and Cologne.

Daniel’s background has been with startups. Prior to DXY, he ran a boutique consulting firm that specialized in the protection of technology-related intellectual property. He has won a number of awards related to his companies.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with friends and family. He is a passionate photographer, an instrument-rated private pilot, an avid cyclist and soccer (both to play and to watch).

Aaron LeMieux

Founder & CEO, Tremont Electric   |  

Aaron founded Tremont Electric in 2007, and by 2009, nPower® technology was patented and the first nPower® PEG was launched, the most acclaimed clean energy technology to emerge from the industrial rust belt city of Cleveland, Ohio, or anywhere, in a generation.

Before founding a clean energy startup, Aaron was a crisis and business turnaround manager for small-cap manufacturing companies in Northeast Ohio for over ten years, learning manufacturing technologies from the ground up in capital constrained environments. Aaron was an important consultant for the launch of Alcoa Subassembly and Logistics (ASL) a Just-In-Time facility serving the Freightliner division of Daimler Chrysler. Aaron collaborated with Stryker Howmedica Osteonics to develop a manufacturing method for implantable devices. Aaron has served in the US Naval Reserves.

With five granted patents to date, Aaron holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo with a specialization in Biomedical Engineering. Aaron lives with his wife Jill and their two dogs Harvey and Bianca, in the company’s namesake neighborhood of Tremont in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Contributing Sponsors

Paul Allen

Leader, Bizdom

Paul Allen is the Leader of Bizdom. In this capacity, he oversees the recruiting, training, and business launching process. He joined Bizdom in 2011 to assist in establishing Bizdom Cleveland. Paul has spent over 20 years working as a technology strategist, product designer, writer, and marketing executive with large companies and startups in the software, hardware, education, healthcare, payments, games, and non-profit sectors. He helped create LaunchHouse, a first-of-its-kind co-working and pre-seed investment incubator located in Northeast Ohio. Paul also is the Founder of Tribe of Angels, a network of over 6,000 investors, and Reach Ventures, a private equity firm focused on big data.

Paul has held a wide range of positions including Chief Marketing Officer of Monarch Teaching Technologies, Director of the Connecticut Software Association, Vice President of the Connecticut Technology Council, and Director of Corporate Marketing of Qbiquity, where he helped lead the team to secure in excess of $12 million in funding from investors whose portfolios included Overture, DoubleClick, CommerceOne, Wit Capital, and Epicentric. He also served as the Director of Marketing of BetaSphere, where he led new product development initiatives for Intel, Adobe, Motorola, and Palm and was instrumental in positioning the company for investment by J.P. Morgan Partners and GE Equity.

One of Paul’s greatest passions is coaching and teaching entrepreneurs. He holds a BA and an MA in Psychology from UCLA and currently resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Jeff Hoffman

Co-Founder, ColorJar &

Jeff Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and internationally recognized innovator who has been a founder and CEO in a number of startups and high growth companies, including,, and ColorJar. Jeff writes a regular column on innovation and entrepreneurship for Inc. Magazine, and works with the White House, the Executive Office of the President, the US State Department, and the US Department of Commerce to support business and economic growth initiatives all over the world.

Jeff serves on the international advisory boards of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Kauffman Foundation, the APEC Startup Initiative (21 member nations), JumpStart, and the US State Department’s GIST program (Global Innovation through Science and Technology), as well as private organizations including Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), Startup Weekend, Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization (CEO), and more. Jeff’s work has included building entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging nations on every continent.

Jeff also works with universities globally to support entrepreneurship, including serving as a mentor for the Stanford University Venture Lab, MIT’s Enterprise Forum, the University of Chicago’s New Venture Challenge, Kent State University’s LaunchPad, and many more.

Jeff recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization for his contributions to the field of entrepreneurship, as well as being inducted into the Hall of Fame by the National CEO Council, and receiving the 2012 Champion of Entrepreneurship Award from Rising Tide Capital and JP Morgan Chase. Jeff has twice been honored as one of the 25 Most Influential Executives in Travel and Tourism Worldwide.

Morris Wheeler

Drummond Road Capital   |   LinkedIn

In 1999, Mr. Wheeler founded Drummond Road Capital, an investment management company managing Venture Capital, Private Equity and other direct and portfolio investments. As Chairman and CEO of Cohesant Inc. and CEO and President its predecessor Cohesant Technologies Inc., Mr. Wheeler delivered greater than 28% annualized return to the public investors of Cohesant. Prior to founding Drummond Road, Mr. Wheeler was the Chief Executive Officer of an Internet media company co-founded with former MTV, Island Records, and Gateway computers executives. This company was the first online music distribution company and won a Webby for Music Entertainment. Prior to April 1998, Mr. Wheeler served in various executive capacities with Clarion Capital Corporation, a Venture Capital company. Mr. Wheeler holds a degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.

Kendall Wouters

CEO, Reach Ventures   |  

Kendall is the CEO of Reach Ventures which builds ‘big data’ ventures.
Kendall is the founder of BlueHornet, enterprise email marketing software
used by Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Citysearch Ticketmaster, and Yum Brands. (BlueHornet was acquired by Digital River in 2004).

Kendall is an avid Agile Developer specializing in Ruby on Rails and has
created profitable applications for over 7 years. Kendall recently was an
EIR for the State of Ohio raising over $1.5M and creating 49 jobs for 27+
start-ups. Kendall is an Entrepreneurial Fellow for Akron Research Foundation, mentors entrepreneurs, and participates in various volunteering projects including MedWish and Lost Boys of Sudan programs.

Kendall lives with his wife and 3 children in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.


John Knific

CEO, DecisionDesk   |  

John Knific is a entrepreneur, startup mentor, and pianist. He is currently CEO and Co-Founder at DecisionDesk, a venture-backed provider of video-based admissions to higher education institutions. Starting in his college dorm room at Case Western Reserve University, John and his co-founders took DecisionDesk idea phase to 100 universities in under three years. He was nominated among the Top 25 Best Young Entrepreneurs by BusinessWeek in 2010. In addition to work at his startup, John is very passionate about entrepreneurship education, serving as a Creativity & Leadership Associate at Oberlin College.

Margey Lowery

Owner, Ladies Who Launch Cleveland   |   LinkedIn

With a Masters in Consumer Psychology, early in her career Margey worked in market research for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation before spending much of her corporate life in product development. After spending 10+ years working for American Greetings where she was responsible for the profit and loss of numerous product lines, Margey purchased the franchise Ladies Who Launch Cleveland.

As owner of Ladies Who Launch Cleveland (, Margey has helped numerous female entrepreneurs at all levels help grow their business and reach their dreams. LWL Cleveland has been recognized by CBC magazine as ‘Cleveland’s Best Female Networking Organization’ in 2010 and 2011, and is a finalist for the 2012 title.

Most recently, Margey founded Scientific Entrepreneur Evaluations (, an industrial psychology firm that specializes in entrepreneur personality assessments of candidates that need start-up funding. With Scientific Entrepreneur Evaluations, Margey's mission is to provide those organizations, businesses and individuals who provide funds to entrepreneurs with a scientific tool that helps discern which endeavor to fund so that their ROI increases.

Mike Belsito

Co-Founder, eFuneral   |   LinkedIn

Mike Belsito is a startup business developer who loves creating something from nothing. Currently, Mike serves as Co-Founder of eFuneral – a comprehensive online resource that allows those thinking of end-of-life to research, plan, and arrange a wide variety of funeral related services. eFuneral offers pricing information for over 1,000 funeral homes in 11 major markets throughout the United States and boasts the largest collection of funeral home reviews (over 3,500) anywhere online. Belsito co-Founded eFuneral in June of 2011 with his partner, Bryan Chaikin.

Prior to eFuneral, Mike served in many progressive roles at Findaway World, an Inc. 500 technology products company in Northeast Ohio. Mike joined Findaway World as its first employee in 2005. He went on to lead teams in Sales, Business Development, and Product Innovation. Mike was responsible for establishing Findaway World’s institutional sales division, which became its core business unit – accounting for over $20M in annual revenue.

Mike also co-invented Appstand – the first frame-style stand for iPhone. Appstand was named one of the Top 10 iPhone Gifts and Accessories of 2009 and earned a positive review from David Pogue in the New York Times.

Mike earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2005 and his Bachelor’s Degree from Bowling Green State University in 2003.

Mike, his wife, Hannah, and their 6-month old son, Edison, reside in Lakewood, Ohio -- where Mike also serves as the City's Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

Bryan Chaikin

Co-Founder, eFuneral   |   LinkedIn

Bryan Chaikin is a technologist consumed with innovative ideas & systems, their underlying processes, and achieving optimal efficiency via elegant software & hardware development solutions. He has managed, developed and designed within the web, digital publishing, consumer electronics, and medical device industries.

Bryan’s interests include product and software development, digital media publishing/processing/delivery systems, intuitive hardware and software design, and all around problem solving.

- Co-Founder
- Managed software and product development teams at a startup turned Inc. 500 company
- Completed MS required coursework in Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University (before joining startup)
- Bachelors of Science in Computer Science Kent State University

Mel McGee

President & CEO, imageNation Web Experts   |   LinkedIn

President & CEO of imageNation Web Experts, Mel prides herself in providing customers with phenomenal results & returns on innovation in their websites, web applications & marketing investments. She enjoys using her unique training in computer science and psychology as a Gestalt-trained facilitator to approach technology in a human-centric manner, providing a holistic approach to all things web/internet.

Her interest in adding a human component to technology, combined with an incredibly creative approach to development has landed her in books like Smart Mobs (Howard Rheingold) & Beyond the Browser (Curt Harler), as a speaker at the Securing New Ground conference in NYC, and as a member of the COSE Venture Quest winning team in the Startup category.

With over 16 years of experience in award-winning development and design, imageNation Web Experts serves a wide variety of clients both large and small, including organizations such as DeLorean Motor Company, Tyco Int'l, Grinnell Fire Protection, and Tyco Asia, to name a few.

Visionary projects have included ZOE bot, artificial intelligence chat bot, Skeletor bot -- a fun speech recognition / TTS chatting skeleton, wearable computer development, Tyco Service Manager web proposal system, and augmented reality apps that are starting to gain interest as Google Glass is launched. New avenues of cutting-edge development are branching out into the frontiers of augmented reality.

Lindsay Sims

Founder, Renter's BOOM

Lindsay Sims was working on a PhD in Political Science when she moved to Cleveland in 2008. Her move to Northeast Ohio sparked an entrepreneurial fire that she didn’t know she had. In 2009, Lindsay won the Cleveland Professional 20/30 Business Plan Competition. She did not have the funds to start the business that won her the competition, but the flame was completely lit. After internally searching for the right business idea, she happened upon a property management job and the ideas started flowing. She started Renter’s BOOM in 2011 while she was still working in property management and her first client was the company she’d been working for. Lindsay has been active in the Cleveland funding community, receiving funding and support from Bizdom, Tech Sprout, Beta Space, Bad Girl Ventures, and most recently the Lorain County Innovation Fund.

Ryan ODonnell

Founder, Let's Gift It

Ryan’s insatiable curiosity led to the co-founding of Let’s Gift It ( which recently completed a data driven business pivot into Sociagram ( Ryan recently moved from New York to Lakewood where the company is poised to grow with a new investment from JumpStart (March 2013).

Prior to co-founding Let’s Gift It, Ryan held management positions at several Web start-ups, including Right Media, a company that revolutionized the online advertising exchange marketplace and was acquired by Yahoo! in 2007 for $860 million.

Ryan holds a degree in Marketing with an International Business concentration from Kent State University and has over 10 years of experience building online technologies and marketplaces.

Bob Sopko

Case Western Reserve University Director Blackstone Launchpad

A member of the CWRU community for over nine years, Bob assists
students and alumni explore starting a business and provides guidance
to expand their knowledge and skills to be successful. Previously, he
was a member of Information Technology Services, managing key
strategic technology partnerships.

Bob was part of the management of a Bain Capital backed company
growing 80 plus annual High Tech recruiting events and 600 employment
sites to a successful sale to the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.
Since the inception, Bob has been involved with the international top
level domain .jobs -

Bob began his career with Revco Drug/CVS Pharmacy and continued for
over 18 years. He was part of the team which took the company from
bankruptcy to a successful IPO. He directed various marketing areas
with a strong emphasis on the creative use of technology.

In addition, he is an Executive in Residence at the Youngstown
Business Incubator, Jumpstart and assists growing
companies at Launchhouse and Bizdom.

Ryan Marimon
Brian Adams


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