Past event…

Event Ended

Rockhurst University Helzberg School of Management

For more info on upcoming
events & programs
visit your community's
new home on



Apr 12
  • Doors Open
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome
  • Speaker: Harry Campbell
  • Pitch process intro
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Announce voting winners
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Move teams into Conway Hall
  • Go Home!


Apr 13
  • Doors Open (Conway Hall)
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • Check-in - Call for needs & skills
  • Lunch
  • Introduce Mentors
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Good night! Go Home!


Apr 14
  • Doors Open
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • Morning Check-in
  • Lunch
  • Mentors arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Everyone move to Science Center/Hall - Room 115)
  • Speaker: Sam Meers
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Harry Campbell

Harry S. Campbell is a senior executive with a strong track record of success over 26+ yrs. Campbell has been a President for two Fortune 500 companies, co-owner of an award-winning small business, CEO/Board member of an Internet start-up and founding member of the industry-changing Wal-Mart/P&G Customer Team in NW Arkansas. He has driven exceptional people and business results in organizations of 5 to 3,500 employees in a broad range of industries from consumer packaged goods to telecom to sports marketing to digital media. He is known as an identifier, developer and motivator of exceptional talent at all levels of the organization.

Sam Meers

President/CEO Meers Advertising

Sam is a dreamer. To him, there are no small ideas. He believes advertising professionals have a responsibility to bring clients the best ideas possible. Strategies they have never considered. To challenge the status quo. Sam and the team at Meers are reshaping the agency model. They believe this business is a craft with a gentle mix of science. He helps bring people together to create great work for clients. To Sam, it’s the best job in the world. Sam serves as VP Finance of The American advertising Federation, the Board of Governors of the Kansas City AAAAs, and is a member of the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program.


Wallace Meyer

Director of Entrepreneurship Programs KU

Corporate experience in senior marketing positions at Gillette, Nabisco and Sprint followed by entrepreneurial undertakings and successful exits as CEO in four smaller organizations in start-up, turnaround and two high growth venture environments, one of which he managed to a successful IPO on the NYSE. He initiated a second career as faculty member at KU School of Business creating and teaching the entrepreneurship curricula for both business and non-business students. Founder of the KU Center for Entrepreneurship which provides numerous experiential learning and outreach programs including the RedTire initiative and Jayhawk Consulting. Wally has a BA from Franklin & Marshall College and an MBA from Baker University. He serves on multiple advisory boards and is a past Treasurer of KCPT and Board Member of the Kansas City Lyric Opera and the Boy Scouts of America.

Naithan Jones

CEO of AgLocal

Naithan "Nait" Jones created the AgLocal in late 2011. His dream: to match independent and family meat farms to the wholesale and retail buyers who want to buy their meat directly. Because he is from a family of chefs and farmers, he understands the trials of raising and cooking delicious food. Nait's professional career is in enterprise technology and technology start-ups including successful stints at Sprint Corporate, Gartner Research and the well- regarded Kauffman Foundation.

Diana Kander

Diana Kander advises the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. In this capacity, she uses her experience as a founder, investor, and academic to foster the growth of entrepreneurship through educational and applied programs.
A successful entrepreneur with experience in the legal, technology, and service sectors, Kander has founded and sold multiple enterprises. She currently serves in a leadership capacity in two companies that she founded: KR Legal Management and National Lawyer Review.
At the age of eight, Kander came to the United States with her parents as a refugee from the Soviet Union. She obtained her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and later taught in the same department as an adjunct professor. A graduate of Georgetown Law, Kander's legal career included work in the corporate transactions division of a large national law firm and as General Counsel of a real estate development company.
Kander serves on the Goodwill Board of Directors for both the St. Louis and Kansas City regions. She serves as a general board member for the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee in Kansas City. She also mentors startups through the Bloch School's Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Adam Crane

President and CEO of the Raiser Group

Adam has spent the better part of the past twenty years involved in all aspects of business both from the legal perspective along with business development issues. As an attorney he has handled many complicated business transactions including business development, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, contract negotiations and all related commercial issues. On the business side, he has a vast amount of experience in representing individuals and businesses in a wide variety of transaction matters. Prior to his experience as an attorney, he worked as a sports agent and had an opportunity to work up close with many athletes and celebrities. This has fueled his passion to help those who want financial independence off the field. His desire is not only to help protect and preserve their assets but to grow them in building wealth.

Rob Bensman

Vice President, Strategic Alliances, Hallmark Cards

Rob Bensman, vice president, Strategic Alliances leads the group responsible for extending Hallmark's portfolio of brands into new areas by surfacing, evaluating, negotiating, and bringing to market new business opportunities with companies that possess complimentary assets or capabilities. Through these efforts, the group seeks to create marketplace impact and deliver superior financial results for Hallmark and alliance partners. Bensman joined Hallmark in 2008 as a product manager, eventually moving to Hallmark's licensing organization where he led the team responsible for managing the company's music and cause-based relationships. Prior to Hallmark, Bensman was a brand manager at Procter & Gamble and a consultant for McKinsey & Company and Accenture. Bensman earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Kansas State University. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

Silver Sponsors

Samuel Mullen

Independent Software Developer, Mullen, LLC.   |  

Samuel Mullen is a independent programmer with many years of experience developing for the backend, web, and mobile environments. He has worked with several local and remote startups, and has also partnered with larger companies such as Sprint, Andrew McMeel Universal, and Google. He currently specializes in Ruby on Rails and iOS development, and will soon begin teaching his own series of Ruby on Rails courses.

Kristen Kenney

Kristin Kenney is a technology lawyer and provides legal counsel on startup formation, venture financing, copyright and trademark protection, and software development and licensing. Kristin's background in business, technology, and entrepreneurship enables her to understand the needs and goals of her clients. Prior to practice, Kristin acquired ten years experience in business, marketing, and entrepreneurship with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 corporations. She is an active member of the Midwest startup community and was the 2012 recipient of the University of Missouri-System's Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Tim Banks

Tim Banks is an experienced web developer who is proficient in front-end, back-end, and mobile development. He has placed in the top 3 at the last 2 Startup Weekend events here in Kansas City (Gruple and Shop Startup). He also participated on the Text with Friends team that went on to take top prize at the KCITP Hackathon in 2012. His work history includes multiple startup companies and currently works with the Red Nova Labs crew here in Kansas City.

Ryan O'Connell

Ryan O'Connell is the Vice President of Digital Talent Agents, a company that helps experts build their businesses through thought leadership and content marketing by producing high-quality content for reputable publications. He has experience helping business ranging from startups to fortune 500 companies grow their brands and online visibility.

Jonny Kot

Jon is an enthusiastic deep thinker and business strategist that can combine cross functional integration with advanced technologies to build a best-in-class solution for his clients. After years of being a leader and member of a few high-performing, rapidly growing teams, Jon took a break and started Tech Pointer. Tech Pointer focuses of helping companies develop their strategies by sharing best practices to ensure Sales and Operations goals are met and exceeded. Jon is able to guide them safely through the mind-fields and pitfalls of their discussion making process and implementation. Passionate about Technology, Entrepreneurs, and Strategic BIG picture thinking, Some have described him as, "Having an infectious personality and is in perpetual motion merging complex details to present practical yet innovative solutions."

Tyler Hilker

Senior User Experience Architect at VML

Tyler is a Senior User Experience Architect at VML, helping set and execute design strategies for client including American Century Investments, Kashi, Bear Naked, and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He started at VML in 2007 as a Digital Insights Planner, setting the social outreach strategy for adidas' best media-free footwear launch to-date, and supporting DIRECTV's innovative digital care program. His creation of a Social Media Experience Audit led to his UX transition in 2009.

Previously, Tyler was in Eugene, Oregon at TrafficLeader as a Search Marketing Specialist, managing a million-dollar portfolio that included and Best Buy.

Tyler is also founder and co-leader of IxDA KC and has an awesome family.

Carrie Royce


Carrie Royce has spent her nearly 20-year career in business development and marketing, mainly focused on business-to-business technology hardware and software. Her list of go-to-market successes on shoestring budgets has fueled her reputation as a guerrilla entrepreneur. she has been instrumental in the growth of both startups and international enterprises. For the past several years she has been very active in the Kansas City metro startup community, notably creating the community support group Venture Fridays at Red Nova Labs, a startup she cofounded. She has mentored businesses, volunteered at events, and spoken at organizations including Blue Valley CAPS, Sprint, ECJC, Evis Thrive, and Startup Weekend, where she has both judged and won past competitions.

Josh Coleman


Over the past 2 years, Josh has worked with two of the most recognizable new startups in the tech world, Zaarly and AgLocal. He has participated in both startups from the their early formats and worked to build their presence, both online and in their targeted geographic locations. He has contributed to the development of social media strategy for both companies. He specializes in Social Media Management, Community Management, Business Development, including Sales and Marketing. He is passionate about community, art, startups and technology. He likes to be in on the key components of what drives cities and communities to come together in these frameworks.

Erica Birkman

Erica Birkman is a creative app developer at RareWire. She is part of a team that has designed and implemented more than 70 clients' mobile initiatives on iOS and Android. She is responsible for the entire design lifecycle from paper napkin mock-ups to pixel-perfect designs and on into development. She has designed and developed apps for Boulevard Brewing Co., The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, The Kauffman Foundation and more.

Having graduated with a degree in Visual Communications from the University of Kansas, she has a strong knowledge of design thinking, design theory, branding and typography. She is an active member of the startup community in Kansas City.

Chris Brown

Chris counsels businesses and startups on matters including business formation, intellectual property, real estate matters, contract rights and obligations, and equity financing. He mentors entrepreneurs through various organizations in Kansas City including Startup Weekend, the UMKC Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Innovative Professionals for Entrepreneurs. Chris attended law school in his hometown at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and graduated magna cum laude with an emphasis in Business and Entrepreneurial Law. Prior to beginning law school, Chris worked in the music business in Nashville and New York City. Learn more about Van Osdol & Magruder at and connect with Chris on Twitter @CSBCounsel.

Contributing Sponsors
Rigo (Rodrigo Neri)
Tina Peterson
Erin Likins
Nate Allen
Cory MacVie
Caleb Christianson
Joshua Eithun

Night 1 of Fall 2014 KCSW

by swkc

Tonight we had a great opening by our Facilitator Wendy Overton, she got the crowd going by playing rock, paper, […]

KCSW #9 Wrap-Up

by swkc

After hours of work including long nights, the teams were ready to present. With just 3 teams, presentations may not […]

KCSW #8 Wrap Up

by swkc

Last weekend’s KC event brought many ideas to life. From wearable technology to a startup sales force, the businesses generated […]

KCSW #8 Teams

by swkc

The 13 teams of KCSW #8 have been working day and night to bring these ideas to fruition. Below is […]

Prizes KCSW #8

by swkc

KCSW #8 Prizes! 1st place: 6 months of Xero platform access (cloud-based accounting software) from The Emerging Business CFO 3 […]

KCSW #7 Wrap-Up

by erinlikins

Participants who made it to last night’s judging all walked away with new connections and an impressive amount of work […]

Presentation Order

by erinlikins

Here’s the order of presentations tonight (randomly chosen): 1- Gitalytics 2- AntlerAtlas 3- Shopily 4- Mingle 5- AllDogs 6- Vidspective […]

Upcoming Events

© Copyright 2017, Startup Weekend. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy