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The 2nd Startup Weekend Toledo took place Friday, September 20 – Sunday, September 22 at the University of Toledo.

Team that completed the weekend: Grypshon (1st), startbox (2nd), Cloud Control (3rd), Writing Along, Soundarific, Music Minion, and CRUMS.

Thanks to all of the participants, organizers, sponsors, coaches, judges and supporters!


Covered of Startup Weekend Toledo 2013


About Startup Weekend

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: 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 it’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.

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.



Sep 20
  • Registration & Dinner
  • Welcome & Speakers (Erika Carlson, Detroit Labs and Girl Develop It Detroit)
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Top ideas announced & 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
  • Teams call it a night or continue working


Sep 21
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch & Speakers (Bill Sattler and Rob Seiffert from MadHouse)
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner & Speakers (Dustin Hostetler)
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Sep 22
  • 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 (Joe Gough, Entrepreneur in Residence at Rocket Ventures)
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Monetary Sponsors

Erika Carlson

Software Developer at Detroit Labs, Girl Develop It Detroit   |   LinkedIn

Erika Carlson was studying clinical psychology in 2011, when she wrote her first line of Python code. She fell in love with programming, decided to change paths, and is now a software developer at Detroit Labs. The mission of GDI resonates personally for Erika, and she is deeply passionate about creating a community of female peers and mentors for women exploring the field of technology for the first time.

In addition to her work with Girl Develop It, Erika teaches web development and gives introductory programming presentations at elementary and middle schools. She is passionate about the potential of technology to create positive change in the world, and is working to create more opportunities for technology education in Detroit.

Bill Sattler

Partner - Madhouse   |  

Bill is the founder and prime motivator behind Madhouse Creative. Under Bill's leadership, the Madhouse team has grown in size and stature, garnering prominent accounts on the local and national level. He is a respected and sought after artistic director who brings a calm demeanor and generous wit to any problem solving scenario.

Rob Seiffert

Partner- Madhouse   |  

Cofounder and award-winning designer, Rob plays an integral role in the concept and design of all projects at Madhouse. His attention to detail is unmatched and he has the ability to bring a fresh creative touch to every project he’s involved with. Rob’s artistic skills and extensive understanding of visual communication design have proven to be a great asset to Madhouse and their clients.

Dustin Hostetler

American Graphic Artist, Curator and Publisher   |   LinkedIn

Dustin Hostetler is a Toledo-based graphic artist, curator & creative director.

Through publishing his independent art zine Faesthetic, as well as working as a curator for brands like Scion & Threadless, Hostetler has had pleasure of working with well over 700 internationally recognized artists.

Via his commercial illustration work, Dustin has worked with corporate clients such as Mountain Dew, MTV, Converse & Skittles.

Dustin is currently a creative director for El El See LLC, a Chicago based technology company specializing in modern, creative solutions for digital architectures, applications, ops and branding.

Joe Gough

Entrepreneur In Residence - Rocket Ventures

Joe Gough is an Entrepreneur In Residence at Rocket Ventures. His role focuses on the Information Technology & Multimedia companies within their growing portfolio. His mission is dedicated to advising companies as they navigate the dangerous and exciting waters of entrepreneurship.

RV provides venture capital investments, access to additional sources of capital, IP consulting, financial modeling, business development strategy, prototype and market testing partnerships as well as professional development for would-be entrepreneurs and inventors.

Prize Sponsors

Gene Powell

Entrepreneur Repeat Offender   |   LinkedIn

W. Gene Powell is President and Chief Creative Officer of Spoke, a Toledo-based design & digital marketing agency. Spoke was launched in 2009 with the goal of helping businesses define and build digital marketing platforms that empower, influence and add customers. Since then it has grown to serve enterprise-level B2B customers in healthcare, supply chain and startup spaces. An award-winning designer, Gene's interactive, film and print work has been honored by the Detroit and Toledo chapters of the AIGA, STEP Inside Design Magazine, The Toledo Ad Club, the e-Healthcare Leadership Awards and The Communication Union of Norway.

Since 2011, Gene has co-founded several startups including Seed Coworking — Toledo’s Original Coworking Community

Vijay Raghavendra

Strategy & Corporate Business Development Executive with IBM   |   LinkedIn

Vijay is a Director at IBM with responsibility for strategy & business development (M & A). Vijay has extensive global experience evaluating technology based business models and executing subsequent M & A transactions. He has a passion for business, technology and technology driven public policy and is also involved in a couple of entrepreneurial ventures as well as being an angel investor. Vijay works with the technology transfer office evaluating new ventures at the University of Michigan and is involved with GLEQ (Great Lakes Entrepreneurial Quest) as a mentor. Vijay has been an Engineer in the automotive industry, a management consultant and is an MBA from the Stephen M Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Henry Balanon

Co-Founder, CTO at Protean   |   LinkedIn

Henry is an entrepreneur. He is the Co-Founder and CTO of Protean. The company is creating the Glass Card, the next-generation payment card.

Henry has passion for startups, technology, culture, and above all: people. Previously, he co-founded Detroit Labs, a mobile app company funded by Detroit Venture Partners. He's also worked at Bickbot as well as Cynergy Systems and Lockheed Martin in Washington DC.

He was born in Philadelphia. Raised in Detroit. Refined in Michigan State University. He lives in West Bloomfield with his wife Angela and daughter Charlotte.

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.

Anneliese Grytafey

Senior Program Officer - Toledo Community Foundation

Anneliese Grytafey, Esq. currently serves as Senior Program Officer at the Toledo Community Foundation, but her career has always focused on economic development. She most recently served as Manager of ECDI Toledo, where she brought new tools for small business capitalization and technical assistance to the Toledo Region. ECDI is a Central Ohio-based community development non-profit, with offices in Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio.

Before coming to ECDI, Ms. Grytafey served as the JobsOhio Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Regional Growth Partnership, a regional economic development organization serving Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. At the RGP, Ms. Grytafey helped high-level decision-makers across institutions of higher education, government, and economic development improve institutional strategies, refine cross-institutional communication, and develop competitive Federal grant applications to advance innovation, entrepreneurship, and brownfield redevelopment projects.

Ms. Grytafey started her legal career has a community development attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc., a Toledo-based non-profit civil legal aid provider. Ms. Grytafey founded ABLE’s Microenterprise Legal Assistance Program, which connects low-income entrepreneurs to business attorneys. At ABLE, Ms. Grytafey advocated for the establishment of a local microfinance fund. This groundwork directly led to the establishment of the ECDI Toledo office.

Ms. Grytafey was recognized as Greatest Person of the Day by the Huffington Post in January 2011 for her support of microenterprise in Northwest Ohio. Having delivered many public talks and lectures on a variety of topics ranging from student debt reform to small business law, Ms. Grytafey was honored to speak on the topic of domestic microfinance at the inaugural TedXToledo conference in 2012.

Ms. Grytafey obtained her B.A. in from SUNY College at Buffalo and her J.D. from the University of Akron. She is licensed to practice law in Ohio. Prior to her career in economic development, Ms. Grytafey operated a successful violin studio in her hometown of Buffalo, NY.

Food Sponsors

Gwen Betts Mitchell

Senior Web Designer/Developer - Thrive Internet Marketing   |   LinkedIn

Gwen spends her days pushing pixels, crafting code, perfecting internet goodness, and other fun digital happenings. Gwen prides herself on lifetime learning, so she's constantly striving to be the best she can possibly be through many DIY methods

Kristin Kiser

Owner of Black Kite Coffee   |   LinkedIn

Joe Minock

In addition to being an organizer, Joe will be around to assist teams. He attended one of the first Startup Weekends in the Midwest and has helped to organize two in Toledo.

Media Sponsors
Lindsey Danforth
Brandy Alexander-Wimberly
Zac Rosenbauer
Molly Reams Thompson
Dr. Sonny S. Ariss
Joe Minock
Keith Instone
Tim Van Tuinen
Maureen Brogan
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