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Startup Weekend Hamilton #4

Join us April 25-27th, 2014

Our 4th annual event will be held at Innovation Factory & The Atrium @ McMaster Innovation Park (175 Longwood Rd S, Hamilton), and will run from Friday, April 24th (6:30pm) to Sunday, April 27th (8:30pm).

Click here to get your ticket!

Over $20,000 in prizes to be awarded! (full list below)


Additional tickets are available to the public for the Sunday night Entrepreneur After-Party Event at Stonewalls Restaurant (339 York Blvd). Cost is $5 per ticket, purchase extra After Party tickets here.


  • All participants receive a 1-month subscription to (Value: $25). Treehouse is a service you can use to learn web design and programming languages online through their comprehensive video tutorial library. Learn more.
  • All participants receive a “hot desk” for a week at co-working space Platform302, so you can have desk space to work on your business and try out a co-working space after the SWH event is over.
  • All participants receive a 30-day premium subscription to Blinkist, a website and mobile app that provides access to a massive library of short, easily readable passages from non-fiction books so you can quickly read the best highlights from some of the most popular books related to business and startups (among many others).
  • 100 Startup Weekend MiniCards or 50 free Startup Weekend Business Cards from offered to participants that sign up early. Cards can be picked up when you arrive on Friday.


Click here to get your ticket!

Photos from Startup Weekend Hamilton #3

Click here to get your ticket!



Apr 25
  • Registration Starts
  • Networking & Appetizers
  • Welcome
  • Speakers
  • Idea 'Pitch Fire' Starts
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams form and discuss ideas
  • Teams 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.
  • Go home and get some sleep!


Apr 26
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Mentors arrive to assist teams. They are here to help!
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Experts Panel Coaches Arrive… ASK QUESTIONS! (Each group is given a 30-minute coaching session)
  • Optional: Keynote on IP Law (Ballagh + Edward LLP)
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Optional: Sunday Presentation Prep & Video Interview (The Digital Grapevine / TDGv Studios)
  • You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow (or go home and get some sleep!)
  • Sleep!


Apr 27
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Prototyping and business building
  • Lunch
  • Preparing your Pitch with Harry Mahler
  • Start prepping for presentations
  • Judges arrive
  • Judges deliberate
  • Exclusive After-party Event at Stonewalls (Awards & Winners Announced)
  • Wrap-up
  • Go home, and continue your business dreams
Food and Beverage Sponsors

SPEAKER: Kevin Craig

President and Intellectual Strategist at Mental Espresso

Kevin partnered with well-known artist, Brian Melo, to form their personal development company, "Mental Espresso".

Native of Toronto, Kevin learned most of his “Street Smarts” from being raised in a more challenging area of Hamilton. His adventures and “street schooling” along with his positive outlook and belief in his future, gave him a strong desire for change, growth… and Success.

With the creation of “Mental Espresso”, a personal development company, Kevin was able to drastically transform his mind set and there in, his life, career, his success and his income!

What would be considered by most as a random job offer, Kevin took a position in sales for a struggling company selling, of all things, automatic doors! With zero experience in sales or business and no training behind him, Kevin set a goal to develop a multi-million dollar business. In his first year, Kevin increased company sales by 200%. In sales for only 3 years, Kevin’s last year’s sales were over $2 million, and was ranked #1 Sales Rep in North America for 2012 and 2013 for his product! The once struggling company now projects $3 million in sales for 2014!

Kevin Craig and Brian Melo have now expanded their personal development company, “Mental Espresso” to new heights. With the introduction of the Mental Espresso “FML (Fulfilling Meaningful Life) Mentorship Program”, Corporate Team Building “Mind Mechanics” Sessions, Evening Seminars, and the Powerful Life Transforming “Recipe for Intentional Creation” Weekend Workshops.

Brian McHattie

Hamilton City Councillor, Ward One

Brian McHattie is a Canadian politician and planner who is a Hamilton City Councillor. He believes strongly in supporting entrepreneurship in Hamilton.

McHattie was born in Weston, Ontario and, in 1987, moved to Hamilton, Ontario. He graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in environmental studies and went on to complete his MSc degree in rural planning and community development from the University of Guelph, where he studied the effects of globalisation on farmers in southern India. He is a Registered Professional Planner and a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planning. Prior to his election, McHattie worked on his PhD in planning, investigating the issue of limits to growth in North American municipalities.

McHattie is currently the President of the Hamilton Conservation Authority and CityHousing Hamilton. In addition, he is a Board member of the Hamilton Future Fund, Hamilton Renewable Power Inc., and the Royal Botanical Gardens. During his time as Ward 1 Councillor, McHattie has chaired several important municipal committees including the Hamilton Association of Business Improvement Areas, the Provincial Gas Tax Steering Committee, the City of Hamilton/Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Liaison Committee, the Hamilton Triple Bottom Line Business Criteria Task Force, and the Social Services Downloading Sub-Committee. He is also an active member of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council and Arts Hamilton

SPEAKER: Barry Brownelow

FCPA, FCA, Partner

Barry is the founding partner of Brownlow Partners, Chartered Professional Accountants. He supports entrepreneurial clients with ownership and management succession advice.

Barry is Chair of the Board for the Bay Area Health Trust, Chair of the Board for the HNHB Community Care Access Centre and Member of the Board, Treasurer and Chair of the Audit Committee for OACCAC.

JUDGE: David Carter

Executive Director at Innovation Factory

David is the former CTO and co-founder of Awareness Inc. He is enthusiastic about the technologies, processes, and team building and their measurable impact on a company. David will tell you his sweet spot is where technology, sales and marketing intersect, and also warn you that new technology does not always solve the problem. Before founding Awareness inc., Dave worked as an Internet Strategy Manager at Microsoft.

JUDGE: Dr. Lotfi Belkhir

Associate Professor and Chair of Eco-Entrepreneurship at McMaster

Before joining McMaster, Lotfi was the CEO and founder of Kirtas Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that invented the world’s first and fastest automatic book scanner. Under his leadership, Kirtas ranked twice in the Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing companies in America and a winner of Popular Science “Best of What’s New Award” in 2003. Today, Lotfi’s mission is teaching and coaching aspiring entrepreneurs on how to do good and do well through innovation.

JUDGE: Stephanie McLarty

CEO at REfficient

In 2010, Stephanie founded REfficient, an online marketplace for companies to buy, resell and recycle surplus telecom/AV equipment and receive sustainability reporting. Stephanie has grown the technology-based company to a customer base spanning 12 countries and in the last year has ensured over 30,000 products were reused. REfficient was Hamilton’s first Certified B Corporation and was named in 2013 as one of 63 companies globally as Best For The World for environmental performance.

JUDGE: Ben Zlotnick

Ben brings a wealth of traditional business knowledge from a decade plus of starting, buying, selling and scaling companies. His grooming of execs & building of early-business infrastructures, results in success. With a Business Degree from York University, Ben built one of Toronto’s most successful Landscape Design & Construction Companies. Having launched several companies, he’s made the prestigious Profit100 Guide for 4 consecutive years.

Ben is also the CEO & Founder of the INcubes Technology Accelerator program, which has been recognized as one of the top accelerator programs in Canada. Ben has been on “both sides of the table” both as a founder & as an investor, Ben brings connections to Corporates, Government, Investors & Startups.

SPEAKER: Abdullah Mayo

CEO Raise an Aim

Abdullah Mayo is part of two successful start-ups and is the founder and CEO of Canada’s first

Civic Crowdfunding service for civic natured/government approved projects. He is here to talk about entrepreneurship and what it takes to be successful in the long-run.

Mentors + Expert Panel

Michele Ballagh & Valerie Edward

Partners at Ballagh & Edward LLP

Michele and Valerie are lawyers and trade-mark agents who practices exclusively in the field of intellectual property law. Valerie is also a patent agent. With more than 15 years experience each, they have assisted many established and start-up businesses identify their intellectual property and take steps to protect their exclusive rights in it. They are especially interested in helping businesses identify opportunities to develop intellectual property that will add genuine value to their bottom line.

Andrew J. Holden

Chief Experience Officer at Weever Apps

Andrew is the co-founder and CXO of Weever Apps, a Hamilton startup that began with two "tech guys" in 2011 and is now a global businesses with customers in over 60 countries and 16 languages. He is familiar with the mistakes a startup can make and emphasizes the importance of early customer validation and experience design.
Andrew is an award-winning technical designer and project engineering lead. He holds a patent on Weever Apps' mobile app generation technology and believes that anything is possible in Hamilton, Ontario.

Matthew Hollingshead

Owner & Creative Director at Hifyre/Hiwyre

Matthew Hollingshead has spent the last 17 years as a Creative Director in the Advertising and Video Game industries. Matthew has lead projects for clients such as Mattel, K-Swiss, Puma, Universal, Playboy, GSK, and Novo Nordisk. These projects have ranged from print packaging, television commercials, to mobile games and applications that have reached over 10 million installs. As part of Groove Games, Matthew built the prototype and played a major role in raising $36m in funding to build the first video game based skill gaming site. According to his children, he is now too old to be any good at video games. They are correct.

Kyle Kuchmey

CEO, New Motto   |   LinkedIn

Recognizing a growing market for web design, video, and social media support, Kyle Kuchmey founded New Motto in the summer of 2010. Kyle’s versatile background in digital technologies as well as his passion for creative collaboration shapes the direction of New Motto. He strives to bring his clients’ vision to reality, by connecting the right talents with the right project. Kyle is a proud member of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and is an Accredited Member of the Better Business Bureau with an A Rating.

Bernard Lim

Executive-in-Residence at Innovation Factory

As the resident health and life sciences Executive-in-Residence, Bernard has an outstanding track record of leading strategic development and innovation, driving change to achieve exceptional performance improvements and growth which span multiple industry sectors including biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics, electronics and high technology within both start-ups and corporate multinationals across US, Canada and Europe.

Bryan Lynch

Small Business Advisory Group

Retired, Brian has over 30 years financial services and business experience covering private debt and equity investment, corporate finance, banking, marketing and investor relations achieved through management positions at Royal Bank, OMERS, Canada Life and Intact Financial. A Certified General Accountant and MBA, Brian has served on the board or otherwise in an advisory capacity for many small and medium-sized businesses and continues to provide consulting services as a member of the Business Advisory Group in Oakville.

He is an active volunteer at Dog Guides of Canada, Treasurer of Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto and recently completed the Baking Arts Certificate Program at George Brown College.

Al Mithani

Entrepreneur and Technologist

Consumer technology products have fascinated Al ever since he quit his job at a top-tier advertising firm to start, an e-commerce platform with hundreds of thousands of users. After moving back to his hometown of Hamilton in 2012, Al entered Startup Weekend Hamilton 2013 in a bid to meet like-minded people. He led a team of 12 to victory by pitching, a mobile app which allows users to share walking tours in Hamilton.

Tshenolo Mosimaneotsile

Web Developer, McMaster University (UTS)   |   LinkedIn

Tshenolo (aka. Tmo) is an experienced web developer and McMaster Computer Engineering alumni. He has worked for McMaster University Technology Services for over 7 years and now works as a Java Developer on key McMaster projects. Tmo has extensive knowledge in programming and web development languages including Java, JSP, JSTL, C/C++, Objective C, Javascript, PHP, HTML, CSS, and XML/XSL and has implemented projects using popular frameworks and API's such as WordPress, JQuery, cakePHP, Spring, Hibernate, Camel, Facebook API, Twitter API, Google API, PayPal, and much more. He has successfully launched iOS apps and games, and continues to share his expertise and experience at workshops and events in Hamilton.

Bryan Poetz

Software Developer   |  

Bryan Poetz is an experienced IT professional and software developer. He's currently trying to make the world a better place for coffee farmers by connecting them to coffee fanatics at Bryan co-organizes CoderCamp in Hamilton, Ontario, an informal gathering for developers to share their knowledge and experiences in the field. In mentoring he hopes to help startup weekend developer participants avoid shaving any errant yaks or arguing about the paint colour of bike sheds.

Alex Ross

Partner in Intellectual Property at Gowlings

Alex Ross is a partner (lawyer and registered patent agent) in the Intellectual Property Group of the Hamilton office of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. His practice includes all areas of intellectual property law, in particular patent drafting and prosecution, preparation of patent infringement and validity opinions and advising on patent strategy, with a focus on mechanical devices and computer and information technology.

Jim Rudnick

Online Marketing Specialist, CEO, MCSD at KKT INTERACTIVE

Jim is an Online Marketing Specialist with over 26 years on the net. He is a proud Contributor/Mentor to Hamilton’s Innovation Factory and Small Business Enterprise Centre as well as Innovate Niagara. After many discussions about funding, he decided to develop, a crowd funding website to help Hamilton based startups! He specializes in SEO Strategist, ASP, .NET, XML, HTML, JavaScript, usability, CSS, WYSIWYG layout tools, CRM Systems design/development and rapid tactical deployment of new technology as an MCSD. He loves what he does and is always up for a challenge.

Anand Sinha

Principal, Sinha Consulting Group Inc.

As an experienced SW professional, Anand has delivered commercial solutions in all areas of SW development, from embedded systems, customized desktop software, websites and shrink-wrap Enterprise software. he was a member of the team that first created and delivered the BlackBerry handheld and Enterprise Servers. He has experience with networks, systems and improving reliability and scalability of systems. Anand has a strong design and development skills, as well as strong troubleshooting skills. He has worked with small organizations and helped them grow into larger ones.

Anand has a keen desire to close the loop between the customer and development to ensure that development is focusing on areas of frustration for the customer. He also has solid skills in leadership, driving solutions, driving change, and building leadership skills across teams.

Anand is a Hamiltonian who wishes to see local business thrive and succeed.

John Stevenson

Small Business Advisory Group

John currently serves as President of the Small Business Advisory Group, an organization of volunteer consultants that assists small business in the Toronto / Hamilton region.

Following 10 years of sales and marketing management positions with Procter& Gamble, John joined the Playtex Corporation as Sales Director for Europe and later as Commercial Director for the United Kingdom.

Upon his return to Canada, John assumed the position of President and C.O.O of H.H Brown Canada Ltd, a major Canadian footwear manufacturer later purchased by Berkshire Hathaway.

John went on to be president of Alberto Culver Canada Ltd., a large consumer package goods company which is now part of the Unilever family. Since his retirement John has been active as a volunteer mentor with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and to the Summer Company Program administered through the Hamilton Small Business Economic Development Center. He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recognizing his contributions as a mentor.

Nick Tomkin

Director, Designer/Developer at Orbital Studios

Nick Tomkin is a multi-talented web designer and developer, currently residing in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Nick has successfully managed, designed and developed numerous websites and applications for a long list of high-profile organizations including Rogers, Microsoft, Pepsi Co., Disney Co., and McDonalds Canada. Nick has also had the opportunity to apply his wide range of skills for the benefit of several, well-known international agencies, such as Tribal DDB, Wunderman and Juniper Park, working on smaller to large-scale projects and campaigns.

Tanisha White

Project Manager

Tanisha is the newest member to join the Platform 302 team. Her role as Project Manager allows her to be involved in multiple projects. With a history as an entrepreneur and working with other small businesses, she has a firm understanding of how your passion drives you.

Simon Woodside

Entrepreneur & Owner of Monolith Interactive

An entrepreneur with experience at Apple and a degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, Simon owns and run Monolith Interactive, a startup focused on mobile apps for health. He collaborates with clients and his employees to create outstanding software in areas such as long-term care, brain injuries, and hearing. His work at a previous startup earned him awards including the silver Clio, and he works with Engineers Without Borders to solve the root causes of poverty.

Andrew Yoshioka

President & Owner of Sanbonki Inc.

Andrew is the President (Owner) of Sanbonki Inc., a Mississauga management consulting startup he founded. Andrew brings the insight of 28 years of broad-based life sciences industry and consulting experience. Consulting assignments focused on positioning companies for investment, partnerships and value growth. Business development projects for revenue companies and pre-revenue startups including business plan and pitch deck revision, venture capital financing search, international product licensing projects in pharmaceuticals and medical device sectors, investor due diligence and development and implementation of a turnaround plan. Reviewed and rewrote grant applications successfully positioning the business case for government funded centre of excellence client companies. Developed and validated a set of sector-specific review criteria to assess startup life sciences and healthcare companies for a government grant funding programs.

Suzanne Zandbergen

Social Media Consultant

Suzanne Zandbergen is the owner of The Generator, a social media marketing company in Hamilton. With over 15 years of marketing, writing, sales and advertising experience, Suzanne knows how to create campaigns and posts that will generate an engaged audience. Suzanne created the first photo-sharing social media channel at the Hamilton Spectator in 2007, where she managed a large sales team. Since then, she has focused on building the brands of small businesses via social media. Her client, the Green Smoothie Bar, surged to nearly 10,000 followers across all of its channels, resulting in a rapid expansion into three locations. After The Generator took over its social media, Platform 302 experienced quick growth as well and filled all of its private offices within a matter of months. Suzanne believes in the power of local, relevant content to build the brand of small companies, and creative ways of delivering a message via social media to capture the audience’s attention.

Nageeb Twal

A self-proclaimed "Problem Solver", Nageeb is a proud Hamiltonian technical consultant. A graduate of Mohawk College's Software Engineering Technology program, Nageeb’s projects have since taken him from Kelowna, BC, to Abu Dhabi, UAE. From developing million dollar online Lead Generation systems, to designing enterprise-level radio networks, Nageeb's experience span many branches of the tech field. Trying his hand at startups for the first time at Startup Weekend 2013, Nageeb counted himself on the team that built Walkbug, a mobile walking tour application, which won 1st Prize followed up by ranking 4th place at Lion's Lair 2013.

Trish Uhl

International conference speaker, author, facilitator & trainer
Over 20 years experience as a seasoned trainer, facilitator, project manager, change manager, consultant, and coach. Recipient of Training magazine’s Top Trainer Award. More about Trish at


Full-time Desk For 3 Months

Value: $1200

One team will be awarded a full-time desk at Seedworks Urban Offices for 3 months. Learn more about co-working spaces and tour the office at

1 Month Free For All Startup Weekend Participants

Treehouse is giving all Startup Weekend Hamilton participants a 1-Month FREE Subscription.

1 year, 6 month, 3 month Subscriptions

Value: $1000+ combined

Treehouse will award the top 3 winning teams with subscriptions to the technology education membership website. Learn HTML, CSS, iPhone apps & more.

1 Week FREE Hot Desk to all Startup Weekend participants

Platform 302 is giving 1-week Free to all Startup Weekend Hamilton participants to come in and use a hot desk. Learn more at

6 MONTHS Office Space

One team will be awarded 6-months of office space at Platform 302 which includes all building amenities, mentorship program, and event access. Learn more at

One Hour Of Legal Consultation

One of the top winning teams will be awarded ONE HOUR OF LEGAL CONSULTING: Related to Business, Risk Management, Technology Issues with SimpsonWigle Law. Learn more at

Focus Business Consulting - 20 Hour Package

Value: $1000

20 hours of consultation time towards one of the following:

1. Working session with the team
- Vision, mission, values development
- Business plan framework
- Social media strategy
2. Market research report

Learn more at

1-Year Linux Cloud Server Hosting

One winning team will be provided 1-Year Linux Cloud Server Hosting from Cloud I.T. Canada. Cloud I.T. Canada’s cloud servers offer the building blocks necessary for your business ecosystem. We offer a simple web service interface, which provides complete control of your resources in a proven computing environment. Learn more at Learn more at

One-year, 6-month, and 3-month Subscriptions

Value: $400

With Blinkist, you can hone your skills by learning a little every day. They are providing the Startup Weekend Hamilton 1st Place team with a one year subscription, a six month subscription awarded to the 2nd place team, and a three months subscription for the 3rd place team. PLUS all participants will receive a 30-day free premium subscription.

Learn more at

Startup Framework Commercial License Package

Value: $250 each

Designmodo has redefined the process of building a startup website using a new block model based framework called the "Startup Framework". Learn more at

Pluralsight Annual Plus Subscription

Value: $499

One team will be awarded a Pluralsight Annual Plus Subscription. Pluralsight provides the largest dev and IT training library on the planet. They call it hardcore developer training. Learn more at

Digital Phone & Hosting Prize Packages

Value: $1500 combined

1st Place Prize: 6-month digital phone plus 6 months hosting w/email (Value: $149.95/month)

2nd Place Prize: 6-month hosting w/ email (Value: $99.95/month)

Learn more at

Half Day Business Consultation with 3 or more Advisors

Value: $300 combined

Two teams will each be awarded a Half Day Business Consultation with the Small Business Advisory.

Each half day business consultation/session consists of an informal meeting with a minimum of 3 experienced Business Advisors. All meetings are followed up with a written summary report of the discussion to facilitate implementation of business strategies, tactics, and recommendations. The same fee applies for the initial and subsequent meetings.

Learn more at

Weever Prizes

One of the top winning teams will be awarded one consulting session: Related to Technology or Business with Weever Apps.

Weever Apps will award the top 3 winning teams with subscriptions to their AppBuilder Cloud Platform.

Over $12,000 in prizes from Innovation Factory

Value: $12,900 combined!

Innovation Factory is giving 2 seats for their Summer Intensive Workshop series - it's a 12 week crash course on building your business valued at $6000/person.

Also 1 desk in our Factory Floor for six months valued at $900.

Larissa Drobot
Chad Fullerton
Nicholas Ivanecky
Nathan Jervis
Alex Pineda