Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.
All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: after hearing talks by a few industry speakers, anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then itâ€™s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.
Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!
When: Friday April 26th – Sunday April 28th
Where: Radius Cafe @ 151 James St South in Hamilton
Stephanie McLarty – CEO, REfficient
Stephanie McLarty is CEO of REfficient, an online marketplace that allows you to go shopping in other companiesâ€™ surplus inventory for Telecom and AV product. Like an eBay for used and surplus new industry products, REfficient allows businesses to buy telecom and audiovisual equipment at significant discounts, keeping reusable products out of landfills. REfficient also allows equipment to be resold and recycled, and companies will receive sustainability reporting for their Corporate Responsibility reports.
Since launching REfficient in 2010, Stephanie has led the growth of the technology-based company to a customer base spanning 11 countries on 4 continents that have diverted over 1M pounds from landfill using REfficient. She and the company have received many accolades, including being the second-place winner at LiONâ€™s LAIR 2012 and profiled in Biz Magazine as one of 20 game changers for the Golden Horseshoe region in 2013. REfficient is also a Certified B Corp.
Stephanie has been a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) since 2008, where she sits as the Canadian Technical Expert on international standards for reuse and recycling. She was chosen to represent Canada at the 2010 and 2011 IEC Young Professionals workshops, and then selected by her peers as one of three global young leaders to work with the IEC moving forward.
Stephanie has a MA from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and a H.B.Arts.Sc from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON.â€‚She has lived, studied and worked in five countries outside of Canada. She currently resides in Hamilton, ON.â€‚
Heather Payne – Founder, Ladies Learning Code
Heather Payne is the founder of Ladies Learning Code, a Toronto-based not-for-profit startup that runs popular workshops for women (and men) who want to learn computer programming and other technical skills in a social and collaborative way. Ladies Learning Code now has chapters in Vancouver, Ottawa and Halifax. In 2012, she founded HackerYou as a way to bring more intensive technology learning experiences to Toronto and beyond. Recently she spent a year working on a project for the Mozilla Foundation: her job was to build a community of people and organizations in Toronto who care about raising youth as creators â€“ not just consumers â€“ of technology and the web. In December 2012, the project was granted $365,000 in funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Heather was an early investor in ShopLocket, and in a former life, she helped startups like Pinpoint Social and Shopcastr to acquire their first users. In her spare time, she enjoys building websites and furthering her knowledge of Ruby on Rails.
Damien Steel – Director, OMERS Ventures
In his role as Director at OMERS Ventures, Damien Steel is responsible for contributing to the identification and execution of investment opportunities in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors. Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Damien was a Vice President with EdgeStone Capital Partnersâ€™ venture capital funds. Damien has over 10 years of experience working with growth companies on all aspects of their business including finance, acquisitions, and overall growth strategies. Damien currently serves as a member of the Ontario Security Commissionâ€™s Small and Medium Enterprise Committee and is a member of the Ontario Center of Excellenceâ€™s CCR Commercialization Panel.
Damien has an H.B.B.A from Wilfrid Laurier University, is a CA and a CFA charter holder.
Matt Gardner – Founder, Groupnotes
Current owner of four companies ranging between technological marketing consultation to a technology-heavy startup. Passionate about proper software architecture as well as leveraging new technologies in marketing and design. Always keeping tabs on the newest UI/UX trends and using them to help clients as well as improve my current ventures.
Past work experience in software (RIM), hardware (RIM, BB10), and process automation and currently completing an undergraduate degree concurrently with an MEng and MBA at McMaster University.
Pitched the ideas and managed the team that won Toronto Startup Weekend 2012 as well as the world’s largest startup competition, Global Startup Battle 2012. The company, Groupnotes, was the first North American winner of this international competition run by the Kauffman Foundation. Groupnotes now works out of the HYPERDRIVE incubator in Waterloo, ON and me and the team could not be any more excited! Check out www.groupnotes.ca for more information and to get started with out platform.
Read more on my homepage, www.thatmatt.ca, and find articles about Groupnotes and myself in Techcrunch, Mashable, Venturebeat, the National Post, Financial Post, CBC, Spectator, Toronto Star, San Fransisco Chronicle, etc.