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University of Toledo

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The first Startup Weekend Toledo took place in September, 2012. Check out the 2nd one, September 20-22, 2013!

What happened at the first Startup Weekend Toledo?

Group photo



Sep 14
  • Registration & Dinner
  • Welcome & Speakers (Matt Braun, Jonathan Buchanan)
  • Pitches
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Top ideas announced & teams start forming
  • Teams call it a night or keep working
  • Seed Coworking opens for night owls


Sep 15
  • 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!
  • Dinner & Speaker (Steve Schwartz)
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Teams call it a night or keep working
  • Seed Coworking opens for night owls


Sep 16
  • 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 & Speaker (Tim Varner)
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Monetary Sponsors

Brian Hock

Simple Hydration + Brian Hock Design, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA   |   LinkedIn

Brian is a passionate award-winning designer and entrepreneur with over 20 years of business experience. Brian's active in the Cincinnati design community having served many positions with the AIGA Cincinnati Chapter including President from 2002 to 2004. In August 2011 Brian successfully crowd funded and launched a new innovative hook-shaped water bottle for runners called Simple Hydration. The Simple Hydration Water Bottle has received great reviews from the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and Washington Times among others. Prior to Simple Hydration Brian launched in 2006, as a tool for designers to promote themselves and share their work online. Brian's a graduate of Bowling Green State University and the AIGA / Harvard Business School "Business Perspectives for Creative Leaders" program.

Dr. Sonny S. Ariss

Chairman of the Department of Management and a Fellow of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization in the College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo

Dr. Sonny S. Ariss is the Chairman of the Department of Management and a Fellow of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization in the College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo. He is a result oriented educator and leader who has held many leadership positions such as the Director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Institute, the Director of Undergraduate Programs, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, and the Interim Dean of the College of Business and Innovation. Dr. Ariss is a recognized expert on strategic planning, entrepreneurship and business management and is an active consultant for both Inc. 100 companies and large Fortune 500 companies in both strategic planning and management development.

Dr. Ariss holds a B.B.A. in Management, an M.B.A. in Finance, both from the University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from The Ohio State University. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards including The University of Toledo Outstanding Teaching Award, the Dejute Memorial Outstanding Teaching Award, the Simonetti Outstanding Graduate Teaching award, the Brunner Outstanding Service Award, and the University College Outstanding Teaching Award. In addition, he has been a multiple recipient of the Small Business Administration Best Small Business Case of the Year Award.

As Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Innovation, Dr. Ariss teaches entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and new venture creation, at the graduate and undergraduate levels. His passion for entrepreneurship has led him to go beyond academia to apply what he teaches to the world of business. He has assumed the role of Interim CEO of many stalled start-ups that have required his expertise in dealing with the inherent problems associated with entrepreneurial enterprises and in navigating the venture capital world. His research articles have been presented at many national and regional conferences, and have appeared in numerous national and international business publications. In addition, Dr. Ariss has served as a reviewer on review panels and editorial boards of several books and journals in the field of management.

He has served also as the chairman of the City of Toledo Regulatory Study Commission and the Chairman of the Board of the Center for Technology Commercialization. He serves on the boards of numerous for profit and not-for-profit enterprises.

Dr. Ariss is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society, the National Academy of Management, the Strategic Management Society, the Decision Sciences Institute and the Society for Advanced Management.

Stephen Y. Nose

Founder and CEO of SYN Associates   |   LinkedIn

Stephen Y. Nose (pronounced “No-sé”) is the founder and CEO of SYN Associates LLC, an Ann Arbor-based consulting firm specializing in strategy, systems, and social innovation. For 25 years, he worked in a wide range of businesses and NGOs—academia, biotechnology, information systems, packaged foods manufacturing, retail, and wholesale distribution. In 2001, he founded his company. An experienced executive, he recently returned a nearly 100-year-old company to profitability.

Stephen’s client portfolio includes consulting with Ann Arbor SPARK, TechTown, the University of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer, and ProsperUS Detroit, a neighborhood-based entrepreneurial initiative focused on low-income immigrant, ethnic, and African American communities. He continues to explore and refine new models of social innovation, including social enterprise.

Stephen worked and lived in San Francisco, Tokyo, and London. He now resides in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Gene Poor

Director of the Entrepreneur Program, BGSU   |   LinkedIn

Dr. Gene Poor is the first Scott Hamilton Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship in The College of Business Administration at Bowling Green State University and Director of the Entrepreneur Program.

In addition to his academic roles, Poor is also the founder of LifeFormations–an innovative animatronic company that designs and builds life-like characters for theme parks, visitor centers, museums and retail establishments.

Dr. Poor has received numerous awards and citations including the Student Alumni Association Master Teacher (which is considered the highest honor given to the faculty at BGSU), the Kent State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Poor has given hundreds of presentations worldwide, written numerous articles, and nine books.

Bob Savage

Founder & President, Savage Consulting   |   LinkedIn

Prior to founding Savage Consulting, Savage was a General Manager and ran the International Sales Division at New Waste Concepts, a startup environmental firm. During his time at New Waste Concepts, Savage grew sales tenfold and generated approximately 25% of the firm's sales revenue.

Previously, he worked as a consultant and trainer at Monoky Associates, where he worked in sales leadership development and strategic account management. His client roster included KeyBank. Savage also worked in mergers and acquisitions at Libbey-Owens-Ford and Seagate Venture Management (venture capital) while earning his Bachelor's degree from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Savage has served on a number of Boards, including the Corporate Board of Hilgraeve, Inc., which sold to Compuware (NASDAQ: CPWR) in early 2008. He currently serves on the Board of American Broadband & Telecommunications and is a Board observer for Mithridion, Inc. His extensive community involvement includes the Investment Committee at the Toledo Community Foundation, the University of Toledo College of Medicine Advisory Council and the Toledo Chapter of Rotary International, where he serves as a Board member. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the Planning Commissions for both the City of Toledo and Lucas County.

Prize Sponsors

Matt Braun

Magnate Interactive   |  

An advocate for the union of modern Web standards and multimedia technologies, Matt believes that rich user experience and community-driven content can convert your website’s users into your brand’s evangelists. With a background in both design and programming, Matt is an accomplished UX designer and iPhone, Flex, and JavaScript developer.

Jonathan Buchanan

10-year-old developer and entrepreneur

A self-described computer fanatic, Jonathan has developed mad skills in everything from php and MySQL to Ruby, Rails, Javascript and all points in between. He's the world's youngest developer to have an app in the App Store that he coded entirely on his own and he's got several more in the pipeline. Jonathan is a big-thinker, too - after questioning why social sharing sites work as they do, he started developing Daystream, a social journaling ecosystem, with his dad and plans to launch it long before he reaches middle school.

Steve Schwartz

Founder at Alfa Jango   |   LinkedIn

Steve graduated from Kettering University as a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer. He founded his first company as a freshman in college, selling used car parts. In 2007, he co-founded RateMyStudentRental, selling private-label software to colleges and universities to help improve off-campus housing. Then in 2008, he founded LeadNuke, which generates B2B sales leads by monitoring online conversations. He is now managing member at Alfa Jango Software, partnering with and building web applications for startups.

Tim Varner

Digital Marketer and Content Strategist for Whisper Labs   |  

Tim Varner cut his teeth in tech as a digital marketing & content strategist. Tim’s expertise is in customized digital marketing strategies—SEO, blog strategy, analytics, reporting—for clients and newly-realized businesses. To date, Tim has created winning digital marketing strategies for dozens of businesses. In addition to his work at Whisper Labs, a Toledo-area agency and business incubator, Tim moonlights as a journalist, regularly contributing to SXSWORLD and Most recently, Tim has worked with Givt, a social gifting platform that found its genesis at Whisper Labs.

Media Sponsors

Brandy Alexander-Wimberly

Founder/CEO, Buyvite   |   LinkedIn

Brandy Alexander-Wimberly is founder and CEO of Buyvite Group Pay, an early stage group payment platform that allows friends and family to group pay inside any ecommerce cart at the point of sale.

She has an extensive background in digital marketing and has been working in the space since 2005. Her background includes web design & development account and project management, digital marketing strategy, product development, UX consulting, SEM project deployment and management, email marketing project management and copy writing, video production, iOS app development project management, social media marketing strategy, mobile marketing strategy and creating customized digital marketing campaigns.

Brandy has a MA in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Film/Communications from Bowling Green State University.

Justin Blanchard

Founder & CEO of Givt   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Justin Blanchard is the founder and CEO of Givt, a social gifting app that makes it super simple to give free gift cards to Facebook friends.

An accomplished designer and strategist, he has a knack for understanding trends and putting together amazing teams to make ideas come to life. Each day, he's privileged to work with some of the best digital marketers, designers, and developers in the region.

He also owns a Toledo-based digital agency, Whisper Labs.

Steve Schwartz

Founder at Alfa Jango

In addition to speaking at Startup Weekend Toledo, Steve will be coaching teams to help them develop their ideas.

Gene Powell

President, Spoke

In addition to helping organize Startup Weekend Toledo, Gene will be a coach.

Stuart Bertsch

Founding Partner,

In addition to helping organize Startup Weekend Toledo, Stuart will be a coach.

J. Matt Buchanan

Registered Patent Attorney, Buchanan Nipper LLC   |   LinkedIn

Matt is a Registered Patent Attorney and has more than ten years experience in patent and trademark practice. Matt earned a B.S. in Microbiology from The Ohio State University, an M.S. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Medical College of Ohio, and a J.D. from the University of Toledo.

In addition to drafting and prosecuting patent applications and trademark registration applications, Mr. Buchanan assists clients with the design and implementation of patent-related corporate systems that continually and reliably contribute to an effective portfolio, including patent knowledge management, invention identification and processing, and portfolio review systems. His practice is tailored to the needs of start-up and early stage entities, as well as established entities looking to implement a start-up/early stage approach to their efforts to build an intellectual property portfolio

Matt has taught patent law to law, business and engineering students, and currently teaches patent law and strategy in the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan.

Matt is also an entrepreneur. He is the founder of Daystream Inc., which develops and operates the Daystream social journaling platform.

Food Sponsors
Dr. Sonny S. Ariss
Lindsey Danforth
Joe Minock
Keith Instone
Gene Powell
Timothy Van Tuinen
Stuart Bertsch
Sabah Sufi
Sally Ng
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