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University Research Park (MG&E Innovation Center)

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. Startup Weekends can be found in hundreds of cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Madison, 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. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!


Matt Howard

CEO of EatStreet

Matt Howard is the CEO and co-founder of EatStreet, a online ordering platform that connects restaurants with diners. Founded in 2009, EatStreet has expanded to over 150 cities and 15,000 restaurant accounts under Howard’s leadership. His primary responsibilities include driving the strategic vision of the company, spearheading business development initiatives, and overseeing all expansion efforts. To date, Howard has raised $12.7 million in three rounds of funding. He leads an ever-growing staff of 80 employees out of EatStreet’s headquarters in Madison, WI.

Howard received his undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin (Class of 2011). He is active in the Wisconsin startup community and enjoys helping Gener8tor as a mentor to its companies. Outside of EatStreet and the startup community, Howard enjoys traveling, snowboarding, and spending time with friends and family.

Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

Monty Schmidt

Founder of Sonic Foundry and wuntusk

Only a few years after graduating with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Monty Schmidt Founded Sonic Foundry in 1991. Working alone in his apartment in downtown Madison he wrote the first 2 versions of the company’s flag ship product Sound Forge. For the next 10 years he served as the company’s president continuing to be crucial in the development of the company’s major audio/video products Sound Forge, CD Architect, ACID and Vegas. In 2003 after the company sold these products to Sony he became CTO to lead the development of the Mediasite product helping to take it from 0 revenue to over $20 million in 2011. In 2011 he left the company he founded to focus on the entrepreneurship community in Madison.

Since leaving Sonic Foundry, he has spent his time buried in the start-up community advising entrepreneurs young and not-so-young. After 20 years working within the Microsoft/.NET/SQL framework he decided it was time to check out the “other side” and moved his development to a mixture of Linux/Apache/Node/Ruby/Python etc.

Although well aware of Bitcoin in 2011 (a note in his product ideas book right after Black Friday says “Bitcoin Online Poker”) it wasn’t until 2013 that he looked deeply into the technology and realized it had the potential to change the world. Since then he has immersed himself in the technology.

Molly Lahr

Senior Analyst at American Family Ventures

Molly Lahr is a senior analyst with American Family Ventures. Prior to AFV, she served as the director of partner relations for Gillware a Madison-based data services company, director of marketing at Branch2, a health IT company and director of the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the membership and programming arm of the Wisconsin Technology Council. She is passionate about fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in Wisconsin and making Madison the best community it can be.

Troy Vosseller

Co-founder of gener8tor

Troy is the co-founder of gener8tor, a startup accelerator that invests its community, capital, network, mentorship and expertise in early-stage startups. Troy earned his BA, MBA and JD from the University of Wisconsin. As an undergraduate, Troy founded the apparel company Sconnie Nation. Sconnie Nation markets a line of clothing that focuses on celebrating the Wisconsin lifestyle. Troy is also an experienced business attorney, having worked as an Assistant Clinical Professor for the UW Law School’s Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, a program providing free legal services to startup businesses and entrepreneurs.

Forrest Woolworth
Chris Meyer
Amy Gannon
Allen Dines
Brian Samson
Lorin Toepper (In Memoriam)


Apr 10
  • Registration Opens & Networking Time
  • Dinner & 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. You may stay and work up to midnight.


Apr 11
  • Breakfast & coffee
  • Morning work time
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Recommended finish for the day. You may stay and work as late as you would like


Apr 12
  • Breakfast & coffee
  • Morning work time
  • Lunch
  • Start prepping and practicing for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!

2014 Event Wrap Up

by swmadison

The 2014 Startup Weekend Madison event is a wrap! Congratulations to all teams and thank you to everyone who participated. […]


by swmadison

We have some exciting prizes for top teams at this year’s Startup Weekend Madison. They include: Guaranteed interview for gener8tor’s […]

Speakers Announced

by swmadison

We have some stellar speakers on hand for Friday evening of Startup Weekend! These entrepreneurs (and both past Startup Weekend […]

Call for Sponsors

by swmadison

Startup Weekend Madison returns April 4-6, 2014! The event would not be possible without the very generous support from our […]

2013 Event Wrap Up

by swmadison

Success! After nearly 3 full days of exciting activity, the 2013 Startup Weekend Madison event is now all wrapped up. […]

2013 Project List

by swmadison

There were 41 different project ideas pitched Friday by the nearly 100 participants at the 2013 Startup Weekend Madison event. […]