Startup Weekend Inspires Entrepreneurs in Hamilton Again!

Originally posted on

54 Hour event brings together designers, developers, and more to launch companies quickly!

Hamilton, ON (April 30, 2012) – Last weekend, 95 developers, designers, marketers, business professionals, animators, and engineers came together in the Collaboratory at Mohawk College to spend 54 hours trying to launch new startups in Hamilton.

3 months ago, Hamilton’s Regional Innovation Centre (RIC), Innovation Factory (iF) announced that they were once again joining forces with Software Hamilton to bring the international movement of Startup Weekend back to Hamilton after their successful first event in October 2011. This time, other local organizations came onboard to help support and promote the event, including two other local RICs – Halton’s HalTech and Niagara’s nGen – and grassroots group Silicon Halton. In addition, Mohawk College (Host Sponsor), Ridout & Maybee LLP (Gold Sponsor), Coral CEA (Silver Sponsor), PopChips and Deliverizer (food and beverage sponsors) provided resources to help the event gain momentum.

The 54-hour event was designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning on Friday night, the 95 attendees met, shared their concepts through a series of public pitches, and voted on the most popular of 29 ideas before breaking down into 10 teams (they named themselves PassageU,, Honey Badger Automation, Pangea, The Help, SoLED, Nervu, Drawble, GymChum and Healthy Baby Steps). The teams spent the rest of the weekend on brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, and culminated on Sunday night with demos and presentations. Participants created working startups during the event and were able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.

The Friday night kickoff party included inspirational speeches by Kevin Browne (Software Hamilton), Robin Hopper (iF), and Dean McCall (Appficcient), while a panel of mentors worked with teams throughout the weekend to help refine their ideas and build better projects. On Sunday afternoon, each team presented to a panel of judges – Chris Farias (kitestring creative branding studio), Mark Pavlidis (Endloop Mobile), and Karen Grant (Angel One Investor Network) – who selected four winners: received a 6-month incubation package from Mohawk College, Nervu received a package from, PassageU received a $1000 credit from enthuzr, and Honey Badger Automation received a private SEO seminar from KKT Interactive. RIM provided 5 Blackberry Playbooks for teams to use throughout the weekend, which were given away as door prizes at the After Party at the Arnie Pub on Sunday evening.

And here’s some photos too, from same…

Stephanie and Tammy showing off the StartUpWeekendHamilton front page story in today’s Hamilton Spectator!

The Honey Badger team and yours truly in the pink sweater holding up their prize!


And our Event details are ~

Event metrics ~
Metrics: 95 attendees, 29 ideas pitched, 10 teams formed, 14 sponsors, 12 mentors,
174 cups of coffee, 402 bottles of water and 1 front page article!

Winners ~
• Congrats to for winning a 6 month incubation package from Mohawk College!
• Congrats to Nervu for winning a Net@ccess package!
• Congrats to PassageU for winning a $1000 credit from Enthuzr!
• Congrats to Honey Badger Automation for winning a private SEO Seminar from KKT Interactive!

In the news ~
In case you missed it, the Hamilton Spectator did a piece on SWH2 – see it here. Plus, it made the FRONT PAGE!

How you can stay connected with other attendees ~
• Join the Facebook group and upload your photos there
• Follow @starthamilton on Twitter
• Follow our blog
• Join us at Startup Drinks on each month for more collaboration!
• Join us at Startup Weekend Hamilton 3 – details to be announced soon!

Reflections/suggestions ~
This was our second Startup Weekend Hamilton and we are so proud of everyone who participated – it takes a lot of guts to try out a startup and a lot of strength to do it in 54 hours!. But, our next one will be even bigger and better! We’d love your feedback – there’s always something new to learn! Please send me your suggestions, big or small, on ways we can make the Startup Weekend experience better for YOU. Or, if you loved Loved LOVED it, send us a testimonial for our website!

Thank you ~
Organizers: Stephanie Shuster, Tammy Hwang, Kevin Browne, Ash Ayyaswamy, and Leah MacCharles
Sponsors: Mohawk College, Ridout & Maybee, Innovation Factory, Haltech, nGen, Software Hamilton, Silicon Halton, Coral CEA, Enthuzr, KKTI, Net@ccess, RIM, Deliverizer, and PopChips
Speakers: Kevin Browne, Robin Hopper, Dean McCall
Judging Panel: Karen Grant, Chris Farias, and Mark Pavlidis

My thanks too on a personal note for the great leadership of all the above…who gave freely and greatly to our wonderful startup community! #kudos to you all!