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TCO: 1524 N. High St. Columbus, OH 43201

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Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur? The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? 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.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

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.

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.



Nov 9
  • 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


Nov 10
  • 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
  • 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


Nov 11
  • 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
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Grant Miller

Co-founder at Look IO (now LivePerson Mobile)   |   LinkedIn

Grant Miller is a successful entrepreneur and Co-Founder of, which was recently acquired by LivePerson. was launched at Startup Weekend Los Angeles in 2011 and was acquired just 18 months later. Grant is now Mobile Strategy Director at and will be joining us on Saturday to discuss his journey from Startup Weekend to acquisition.

Grant is a Cincinnati native and is experienced in mobile strategy, marketing, PR, and SEO. Before starting, Grant was the Chief Marketing Officer for Columbus-based incubator Virtucon Ventures, which has portfolio companies like,,,, and Grant received a BA in Marketing & Finance from University of Cincinnati.

Dan Rockwell

Cofounder of Big Kitty Labs & Program Manager of the Software Prototyping Center at The Ohio State University

Dan comes from a heavy background of DIY self taught talents including video production and animation, design, and marketing. His mainline activities take him into the world of design research at Lextant where for 11+ years he’s been Lextant’s Tool Czar and key Futurist. In 2008 he stumbled upon Startup Weekend Columbus, and won the TechGenesis 50k grant fund for the creation of JoeMetric, a mobile survey startup he led and started with 7 others. With a compulsive vision and insane work ethic he created BKL in 2009 to explore the horizon of “what if and why not” with fellow JoeMetric co-founder and friend Tushar Kulkarni. Dan’s role in BKL is vision, concepts, brand, user experience, research and tactical yummyness.

Gold Sponsors

Ray Atilano

Executive Director Technology Commercialization & Knowledge Transfer The Ohio State University

Ray Atilano serves as the Executive Director of Technology Commercialization & Knowledge Transfer at The Ohio State University, where he is responsible for implementing the operations initiatives of knowledge transfer and technology development with a special focus on building a pro-active and responsive culture. In addition, under the leadership of Brian Cummings, Vice President of Technology Commercialization and Knowledge Transfer, he assists in the early stage technology assessment, licensing, start-ups, and innovation strategy. Ray was formerly with the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, he led the evaluation of commercial opportunities of life science inventions, marketing of technology to potential partners, and negotiation intellectual property licenses. While there, his office successfully started over 50 companies with combined annual licensing revenues of $27.5Million. Ray has more than 15 years of experience in evaluating research, presenting technologies to venture groups, angel investors, and companies, marketing early-stage inventions, and negotiating licensing. He has worked as a technical project director to support the Department of Defense, Air Force Research Labs on commercializing advanced biomaterials, biochem sensors, and product applications as a result of SBIRS and related DOD contractor initiatives. Previously, he held a technical management position with a startup micro-optoelectronic technology company. He has represented the technology of subject matter experts at trilateral technology and bio-defense summit meetings, and to the Under Secretary of Defense, DISA, NRO, and NSA. Ray is a certified civil & commercial negotiator from the Dallas Mediation Institute, and holds a B.S. from Illinois State University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University. He also holds a management certificate from Texas State University Center for Health Services Education & Research.

Victor Thorne

Entrepreneur, Startup Advisor, Angel Investor   |   LinkedIn

Victor Thorne brings a background of both investment and operating management experience, spanning Fortune 500 corporations to entrepreneurial ventures. He is Co-Founder of Broadline Capital, a global investment management firm. In 2008, Broadline Capital received the industry award for Asia Venture Deal of the Year, named by Private Equity International (PEI) for Broadline’s investment in China Risk Finance. PEI’s Global Awards are voted by the industry to recognize transactions for their impact on the private equity landscape. China Risk Finance is a leading provider of credit management solutions and financial products within China.

A decade ago Victor co-founded the leading provider of supply chain management and intelligence solutions to the trillion-dollar food system. Creating the industry’s first SaaS electronic supply network, the resulting company became an innovator in the automation of core business processes. The company’s robust and secure transaction engine facilitates more than $220 Billion in supply chain commerce transactions annually and converts traditional paper-based processes into more efficient paperless transactions for more than 6,000 manufacturers and distributors, and 100,000 retail operators throughout North America. In 2007, the company was successfully sold to institutional investors at a nine digit valuation.

Scott Gamble

Vice President, Digital Solutions at Alliance Data   |   LinkedIn

Scott Gamble, VP Digital Solutions, is accountable for all Alliance Data Retail Services’ consumer‐facing digital initiatives in the areas of web, mobile, e‐commerce, social, and email.
Scott and his team are responsible for the development and execution of the Alliance Data mobile strategy, which has led to multiple industry‐first products in the areas of mobile marketing, payments, and service.

Prior to his current role, Scott has worked in Strategic Development, New Entity Creation, and e‐commerce during his 15 years with Alliance Data. He has more than 20 years of experience in the retail payments industry, including management roles at GE Capital and SPS Payment Systems.

A frequent speaker and lecturer on the topic of mobile and financial services, Scott led the development of the first mobile payment proof of concept in the retail petroleum industry in 2000, and the nationwide launch of the first retail mobile account acquisition capability in 2009 and the first retail mobile payments product in 2012. In addition to his work at Alliance Data, Scott is a founder and board member of Central Ohio Mobile Monday, a community chapter of the world’s leading mobile-focused community, which strives to foster cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets. Scott also donates his time by serving the community as a volunteer payments strategy consultant for several non‐profit organizations.

Silver Sponsors

Mac Liaw

CTO of   |   LinkedIn

Mac Liaw is currently the CTO of and became known throughout the technology community when he entered The Ohio State University's Masters Program in Computer Science at age 15, now has more than 20 years of professional experience as a master programmer and technical strategist to internet-based companies.

Prior to joining BringShare, Mac Liaw served as CTO for GoAntiques Network, an online retailer of antiques, collectibles, and estate items. He continued as CTO for WorthPoint when it acquired GoAntiques in 2008.

Additionally, Liaw has numerous accomplishments throughout his career including serving as a member of the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) development team that established HTTP and HTML, and he is still active in the development of the Linux Kernel, and the development of the Groovy and Haskell programming languages.

Brian Zuercher

CEO & CoFounder of VenueSeen   |   LinkedIn

Brian is a longtime contributor to the Columbus Startup Community, including Startup Weekend.

Currently, he is the CEO & CoFounder of VenueSeen, a company that empowers owners, managers and marketers of physical locations by providing access and control of the social content tagged at their location.

John Myers


Jon Myers is a designer of games, user-interfaces and businesses and has been building digital products and services for the last 15 years.

His specialties include: User experience design, web marketing, branding, social technologies and mobile game development.

Derrek Seif

Vice President of Product Strategy at IRTH Solutions   |   LinkedIn

Derrek has more than 14 years of product management experience in the enterprise software industry. As Vice President of Product Strategy at irth Solutions, Derrek is currently expanding the technical solutions available to solve the biggest problems related asset and mobile workforce management for the energy & utility industry. Most recently, Derrek served as a product manager in the virtualization and cloud computing business at Quest Software. He is active in the local software community as an advisor and mentor to startups and small businesses. Derrek holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Villanova University.

Bill Forguer

Principal at Priiva Consulting   |   LinkedIn

Bill is the principal at Priiva, which specializes in the application of game theory to improve strategic decision making and optimize scenario outcomes. Their methodology is best used to develop or validate a strategic action plan that aligns management and its board of directors on strategic issues that are complex and involve multiple stakeholders.

Bill joined Priiva after having spent 29 years in the enterprise software market, including CEO of Battelle spin-off Information Dimensions and most recently as EVP of Marketing for Open Text Corporation.

Nick Seguin

Startup Weekend Facilitator, Entrepreneur & Strategist at The Kauffman Foundation   |   LinkedIn

Nick Seguin is manager of Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where his responsibilities include developing and deploying programs, funding initiatives, and continuing to build networks that advance entrepreneurship both domestically and abroad. In addition, Seguin also works on programs for Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Seguin was a principal, strategy practice lead for dynamit, in Columbus, Ohio, where he was responsible for the strategic direction of the agency and led new business development. He also was a principal and founder of weBuild, a web and mobile accelerator formed to help companies move to product, revenue, and seed funding quickly. He remains a partner in both ventures. In addition, Seguin is a facilitator for Startup Weekend and assists in running global events.

Seguin earned a Bachelor’s of Science in marketing with a concentration in international business from Miami University. During this time, he studied abroad in Luxembourg.

Dave Kratoville


David Kratoville, Vice President of Business Development, Retail Services Division, Alliance Data - leads the development of new revenue generating products, services and partnerships

Anand Capur


Anand Capur started his first company when he was 12 and has been interested in entrepreneurship ever since. He is currently the founder of Fluid Payments, which develops next generation payment solutions. Anand's specialties include technical strategy, systems administration, and scaling. He has 8 years of programming experience and is currently a student at The Ohio State University.

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Steve Gacka
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