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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!

Speakers

Mark McGuire

Co-founder of Jellyfish.com, Alice.com, and Nextt   |   LinkedIn

Mark McGuire, is the President and co-founder of Nextt. Over the past 14 years, Mark has co-founded and helped lead three successful high-tech start-ups, two of which have already had successful exits that have generated over $75 million of shareholder value. Most recently, Mark co-founded Alice.com (2008), an online marketplace and platform for Consumer Packaged Goods. Under Mark’s leadership, Alice.com has become an innovative leader in the online CPG market, with hundreds of thousands of customers, relationships with over 300 CPG manufacturers, and operations in both the U.S. and Europe. Prior to Alice.com, Mark co-founded Jellyfish.com (2006). As President, Mark helped lead the company from conception to a private acquisition by Microsoft Corporation in less than two years. Mark’s first start-up, NameProtect.com (1997), was acquired 2007 by Corporation Services Company after carving out a successful and profitable position in the online brand protection and monitoring market. Mark holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin (BA with honors) and the University of Minnesota Law School (JD magna cum laude) and is a member of the Wisconsin Bar.

Alisa Toninato

Founder of FeLion Studios   |  

Wisconsin born sculptor & 2005 graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Alisa Toninato is the owner, designer & creator behind FeLion Studios LLC, located in Madison WI. FeLion Studios is a design / build sculpture studio specializing in cast iron art and cookware, commercial commissions & industrial manufacturing. Her credits leading up to the position at FeLion Studios include artist internship with public artist Jin Soo Kim, being lead thematic sculptor & fiberglass technician with Cost of Wisconsin building museum exhibits, and a 4-month residency at Franconia Sculpture Park in 2008.

Her pattern making and foundry work grew into the professional and commercial field through artistic mentorship and work experience inside Smith Foundry with artist and technician John Poole, founder of the Kohler Arts & Industry program. Further mentorship with the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network spawned new directions for her cast iron sculptures, including the iconic state pan series titled, “Made In America”, 2011.

Alisa has most recently showed her works in Manhattan’s Grand Central Station, New York, as an Honoree for Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards, 2012. Previous to this, her cast iron map had been presented in full on the Martha Stewart Show, April 2012.

Other group shows include the James Watrous Gallery, the Kohler Arts Center, Harley Davidson Museum, Brook Stevens Gallery, Soo Vac Gallery, Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham Alabama, AFA Gallery in Scranton, PA, Dowd Gallery in SUNY Cortland New York, and reaching the top 25 spot at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids Michigan.

Monty Schmidt

Founder of Sonic Foundry and wuntusk   |   LinkedIn

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. He consults with startups in the Madison area and is involved in promoting makership to kids as early as middle school. An avid gamer since he was young, he relaxes by writing code, loading the latest MMORPG or playing live tournament poker.

Natasha Vora

Co-Founder and CEO of Iristocracy.com   |   LinkedIn

Vora has experience as a small business owner, having owned a high-end furnishings store in Madison. She also has extensive knowledge in e-commerce, merchandising, supply-chain management and international sourcing from positions with Lands’ End and Rayovac Corporation. Currently Vora is a partner in the exclusive U.S. distributorship for ZIG Eyewear and is the co-founder and CEO of Iristocracy.com - an e-commerce start-up that will launch in Summer 2013. Iristocracy.com will offer a cutting-edge 3D virtual try-on technology to sell eyewear and coordinating fashion accessories. Vora is a serial entrepreneur with bachelor degrees from UW-Madison in French, Spanish and an emphasis in International Business.

Platinum Sponsors
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Judges

Matt Howard

CEO of EatStreet

Matt Howard is CEO at EatStreet, a company that provides an online and mobile ordering platform for restaurants. The company has locations in 25 cities and works with over 1,000 restaurants. He graduated with a double major in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Heather Wentler

Founder of Fractal

Heather Wentler is the Founder of Fractal, a program created to bridge connections for math, science, and technology through Project-Based and Challenged-Based Learning techniques for school-aged participants. Through fun, creative and engaging projects, Fractal builds self-esteem, teamwork, and confidence in participants for their future educational experiences. Fractal sessions are currently housed out of Sector67, a local non-profit community workspace, and runs summer programming through The Goodman Community Center and Camp Badger. Fractal has also worked with Madison Schools & Community Recreation Summer Programming, the Madison Children’s Museum, and has been part of numerous community Science Outreach Events.

Heather also organizes Madison SOUP, an event for local citizens to share a meal, and at the same time pool our resources toward an effort that will create a positive impact on the Madison community. Madison SOUP is a bi-monthly event which has raised over $1,200 through community support and has directly put it back into community groups and projects during it’s first year of events. She also teaches for Madison Metropolitan School District. She is currently a member of Capital Entrepreneurs and is the Secretary & Treasurer of Sector67.

Heather graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a BA in Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence Education. While she never thought she would become an entrepreneur, Heather has found joy and satisfaction through her endeavors and enjoys working will all members of the Madison community.

Dan Reed

Director of Business Development for American Family Insurance

Dan Reed manages direct investments in early stage companies for American Family Insurance. Dan has worked as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and in the strategy department at AmFam. He has experience as a principal in two start-up companies and has served as the board president for a state-wide organization providing support for abused children. Additionally, his work history includes hospital administration at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and a career as a professional baseball player with the Baltimore Orioles.

Dan holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Strategic Management from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University.

Jackie Mortell

President of Smart Solutions, Inc.

Jackie Mortell is the President of Smart Solutions, Inc. Smart Solutions is a Wisconsin-based computer consulting firm, providing Information Technology (IT) Consultants, Training and Direct Hire staffing services to clients throughout Madison, WI and the Dane County area since 1996 .Prior to founding Smart Solutions, Jackie worked as a developer and consultant internationally. She loves the consulting industry for its variety and challenge. Currently she is enjoying the challenge of sales, recruiting and management as Smart Solutions enters its second decade. Her goal for the company is to be remembered as the best job her employees ever had. Jackie enjoys travel, reading and relaxing on (and in) the water.

Mark Mcguire

Co-founder of Jellyfish.com, Alice.com, and Nexxt

Mark McGuire, is the President and co-founder of Nextt. Over the past 14 years, Mark has co-founded and helped lead three successful high-tech start-ups, two of which have already had successful exits that have generated over $75 million of shareholder value. Most recently, Mark co-founded Alice.com (2008), an online marketplace and platform for Consumer Packaged Goods. Under Mark’s leadership, Alice.com has become an innovative leader in the online CPG market, with hundreds of thousands of customers, relationships with over 300 CPG manufacturers, and operations in both the U.S. and Europe. Prior to Alice.com, Mark co-founded Jellyfish.com (2006). As President, Mark helped lead the company from conception to a private acquisition by Microsoft Corporation in less than two years. Mark’s first start-up, NameProtect.com (1997), was acquired 2007 by Corporation Services Company after carving out a successful and profitable position in the online brand protection and monitoring market. Mark holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin (BA with honors) and the University of Minnesota Law School (JD magna cum laude) and is a member of the Wisconsin Bar.

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. He consults with startups in the Madison area and is involved in promoting makership to kids as early as middle school. An avid gamer since he was young, he relaxes by writing code, loading the latest MMORPG or playing live tournament poker.

Organizers
Forrest Woolworth
Lorin Toepper
Chris Meyer
Amy Gannon
Allen Dines
Schedule

Friday

Apr 5
  • 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.

Saturday

Apr 6
  • 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

Sunday

Apr 7
  • Breakfast & coffee
  • Morning work time
  • Lunch
  • Start prepping and practicing for presentations
  • Dinner
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Mentors

Scott Resnick

COO of Hardin Design & Development

Scott Resnick is the COO of Hardin Design and Development. The company specializes in mobile and web applications for Fortune 500 companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Coleman Camper and FedEx. He primarily oversees over new business development, account management, and portfolio investments. Scott is also a member of the Madison City Council.

Timothy Nott

Co-founder of MobileIgniter

I am co-founder of MobileIgniter, a veteran web developer, 2x graduate from business accelerator programs (Gener8tor and Techstars), and founder of the winning team from Madison Startup Weekend 2012.

Craig Billings Miller

Attorney at Neider & Boucher, S.C.

Craig Miller is an attorney at Neider & Boucher, S.C. in Madison, Wisconsin. Attorney Miller works with early stage companies and other business matters. In addition to his JD, Attorney Miller also holds an MBA. He is a lecturer on legal issues for the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center's fundamentals program, as well as other early-stage programs.

Brad Orego

Principal of FlowUX Design & Development

Brad Orego is a UX Designer, Web Developer, Entrepreneur, and Dancer originally from Buffalo, NY. Brad wears many hats, spending his days as a freelancer, his nights working on his social app startup Trinker (a SW:Madison 2012 alum), writes for UXBooth.com, participates in entrepreneurial events and hackathons, dances with Madison Contemporary Vision Dance, plays Ultimate, bikes, and even plays old video games from time to time. Brad graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.S in Computer Science, a B.A. in Psychology, and minors in Spanish and Dance.

Matt Lea

Startup Architect at Schematical.com

Matt is a serial entrepreneur, and plays the roll of head Startup Architect at Schematical.com. Previously he has worked with great startups such as SnowShoeStamp.com and was grand prize winner at the Tech Crunch Disrupt Hackathon last year.

He has also launched Facebook apps for many high profile brands such as Vanity Fair, Milwaukee Bucks, Kalahari, and Subway Foods many of which were hosted on the Schematical platform.

He is currently in the process of relaunching Schematical.com with a focus on early stage startups. There he helps entrepreneurs take their business idea from cocktail napkin, to launch, to scaling as quickly and painlessly as possible using code generation as a service and other various developer tools.

Dale Emmons

Cofounder/CEO of Vidmaker

Dale Emmons is founder and CEO of Vidmaker, a Madison-based tech startup that provides a cloud-based video creation platform. Over the past year, Dale has lead his company through the prestigious TechStars program and a $550,000 funding round, and looks forward to launching the company's product this summer.

Lisa Johnson

VP, Entrepreneurship & Innovation of WEDC

Have been involved in two biosciences startup businesses. Was a founding member of Novagen that had a successful exit being sold to Merck KGaA. General Management experience of a $82m global company. Extensive experience managing product commercialization, business development and global sales. Through Semba Biosciences gained experience in raising equity. With WEDC manage a team overseeing investor tax credits (QNBV) and technology development loans.

Jeremy Shafton

Partner at Shwing Partners

Jeremy started an E-Commerce business while getting a Marketing degree from UW-Madison. He went on to run Door 6, a mobile game development firm in Madison, and is Technical Sales Manager at SupraNet Communications.

Dominic DiMarco

Co-Founder & CEO and MobileIgniter

Dominic DiMarco is Co-Founder & CEO of MobileIgniter. He has a rich and varied technical background with significant experience in web and mobile technologies.

Dominic worked for an agency producing mobile applications where he observed that much of mobile development was commodity work done at premium prices. MobileIgniter came from experience around the diffi¬culty and expense of mobile development.

Dominic is an alumnus of both Techstars (Boulder) & Gener8tor. He is actively involved in the technology & startup community.

Michael Fenchel

CEO of hoos.in

I've co-founded several startups, ranging from a traveling creative non-profit to a TCP optimization solution. I'm currently focused on using technology to foster real community. I have experience with team building, software development, event coordination, networking and branding.

Kent L. Schlienger

Associate Attorney at Neider & Boucher, S.C.

Attorney for 28 years, focused on general business practice for 24 years and working with start-ups during that entire period. Sub-practice areas include business entity organizations and start-up fundraising and private placements. Co-author of "Organizing a Wisconsin Business Corporation" published by the the Wisconsin State Bar Association.

Kyle Nakatsuji

Business Development Associate at American Family Insurance

As a Business Development Associate at American Family Insurance, Kyle is focused on the strategic assessment of new business opportunities, including sourcing, evaluating and structuring venture capital investments in emerging companies. Prior to American Family, Kyle was an attorney at AlphaTech Counsel, S.C., where he was focused on emerging company business matters, including business formation and financing transactions. Kyle also spent time working in strategy, finance, and legal roles with a number of startups while completing his JD/MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Joel Hestness

Operations Coordinator at 3 Day Startup

Joel Hestness is a Computer Science PhD student at the University of Wisconsin. He researches the design of next-generation processors. Currently, Joel holds a 3-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. As an original co-founder of 3 Day Startup, he has worked with dozens of startup companies during their early stages, helping them get to viable products and funding. As Operations Coordinator of the 3 Day Startup nonprofit, Joel captures institutional and tactical knowledge to guide operations and decision-making.

Duncan Peters

Founder of MyEntrepreneurNet

Leaving his degree early from the University Bath, Duncan Peters went straight to London where he was mentored by one of London's finest B2B sales trainers and business consultants, Marcus Cauchi. He spent the year selling to, training, and coaching Owners and CEO's in B2B sales. At 21 he caught the entrepreneurial bug and, working alone in London, he started his first e-commerce site which is still profitable today. He then spent the next 6 months trying his hand at a number of different ventures in the online marketing world, some successful, some not. In 2012 he reached out to Dustin Maher, an expert marketer in Madison, to help him take his knowledge to the next level. Duncan's passion lies in developing support for entrepreneurship. Since being here he has started a weekly coffee club for high level entrepreneurs in Madison, and is creating MyEntrepreneurNet, a network that aims to profile and connect every entrepreneur in Madison based on their compatibility. A keen sportsman he plays semi-professional rugby when home in London and recently competed his first boxing match.

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