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Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable.  On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.



Nov 16
  • Doors Open
  • Dinner
  • Welcome and Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Voting top pitches
  • Teams formed
  • Good night


Nov 17
  • Doors open, light breakfast
  • Morning Check-in
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Check-in/call for needs/skills. Introduce coaches.
  • Dinner
  • Evening Check -in
  • Good night


Nov 18
  • Doors open, light breakfast
  • Morning Check-in
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Check-in
  • Final Presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging and Awards
  • Good bye
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors

Justin Graves

CEO of Infegy

Justin Graves has a strong development background, having cut his teeth in the gaming industry. Early in his career, Justin founded a company that developed a 3D gaming platform. Soon after, he joined an advertising agency to aid in the development of a system that would monitor conversations about certain brands within a small group of websites. The highlight of this tool was an intelligent, 3D data analysis application, developed by Justin and his team.

While at the agency, Justin envisioned starting an analytics company that provided deep insight into the growing number of online conversations rising every day. He based his ideas on ongoing research and development activities that focused on collecting mass amounts of conversations from the Web and analyzing them on demand for insight, thereby giving voices to millions on one integrated platform. With the agency’s agreement to become his first customer -- Justin launched Infegy, recently named one of the "Comapnies to Watch" by world-renowned analyst firm IDC, where he continued to evolve his concepts into what has today become Social Radar™.

Justin is fast gaining recognition as an innovator and visionary entrepreneur. The Pipeline entrepreneurial fellowship program, a national and global leader in entrepreneurial development strategies, recently included Justin in its first Regional Class of Entrepreneurs, a panel of 12 noteworthy innovators who show high growth potential.

Davyeon Ross

Tech Entreprenuer

In Oct. 2011, Digital Sports Ventures, founded by Davyeon Ross, was acquired by Digital Broadcasting Group, a top 5 Video Ad Network headquartered in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and now Overland Park KS. As part of the acquisition, DBG named Ross, Executive Vice President, Publisher Solutions. Ross’ responsibilities including overseeing product development around the company’s Content Library Platform (CLiP), Content Acquisition and the syndication and distribution of DBG’s six content verticals within CLiP.

As CEO of Digital Sports Ventures, Davyeon Ross negotiated the rights to Division I college sports video across seven major conferences, and set the strategy for the company’s portfolio of content and interactive technologies. His vision of uniting college sports and digital media into affordable, turnkey solutions has opened new doors for publishers, advertisers and agencies seeking to engage sports fans in a targeted manner.

Prior to launching Digital Sports Ventures, Ross served as lead technical and management consultant for eVergance Partners, managing projects across the United States, Europe and Canada for clients including Research in Motion (BlackBerry), T-Online, Business Objects, Sasktel, Mattel, Siemens Medical Systems, Nortel Networks and others. Prior to eVergance, Ross began his technology career as a software engineer for Sprint, playing critical roles in the development of the company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Knowledge Management applications.

Kevin McGinnis

Vice President of Product Platforms for Sprint

Kevin McGinnis is vice president of Product Platforms within the Product and Technology Development organization at Sprint. He is responsible for developing platforms and product lines that support customer choice and service enablement. Sprint is recognized in the telecom industry for its leadership in supporting an open ecosystem, with products including Sprint ID, Google Voice and the Sprint Services Framework and the work of Kevin and his team is at the heart of Sprint’s open initiative. In addition to mobile commerce, personalization, mobile Internet and voice product management, Kevin is responsible for the Sprint Application Developer Program.

During more than 17 years at Sprint, Kevin has managed numerous emerging product lines in the wireless, long distance, Internet and broadband divisions. He has held a number of management positions in Database Management, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. Kevin holds a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Kansas.

Fred Coulson

Managing Partner of Five Elms Capital

Fred Coulson is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kansas City-based Five Elms Capital, a $42 million growth-oriented venture capital and private equity firm that invests in services and technology businesses. Prior to founding Five Elms, Fred was a senior investment professional with TH Lee Putnam Ventures, a $1.1 billion growth-oriented private equity firm. At TH Lee Putnam, he invested in and actively managed a variety of businesses within financial services and technology-enabled business services.

Prior to TH Lee Putnam, Fred was as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in its New York headquarters, where he helped media, internet, and cable companies access the public equity and high yield markets and later advised large corporates as a generalist in the firm’s mergers & acquisitions department. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, where he currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Business and the Finance Department.

Virginia Franzese


Virginia Franzese has been a part of Kansas City's business community for the past 10+ years, providing growth strategies, process planning, and infrastructure design to multiple segments. After beginning her career in Higher Education, Virginia moved to Aranya Technologies in 2007 to design and execute a growth strategy for the custom software development firm. achieving 700% revenue growth by working extensively with Kansas City's local technology entrepreneurs.

In 2011 and 2012, Virginia worked as a consultant in business infrastructure for a Missouri-based construction firm. She's excited to announce a return to technology in her new role as VP of Marketing and Business Development for TechOrchard starting in December.

Virginia serves as the President of KC Roundtable for the local entrepreneur community and is Co-Founder of The coderCAPITAL Project. She and her family live in Prairie Village and is proud to call Kansas City home!

Silver Sponsors

Michael Gelphman

Michael Gelphman is the founder of Kansas City IT Professionals (KCITP), a grassroots tech community which is approaching 10,000 members. He's also creator of events like Hack The Midwest and Compute Midwest.

Chris Brown

After working in the music business in Nashville and New York City, Chris decided to pursue a law degree to focus on intellectual property. He attended law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and graduated magna cum laude with an emphasis in Business and Entrepreneurial Law.
Today, Chris spends most of his time counseling business clients on matters such as business formation, intellectual property, real estate matters, contract rights and obligations, and equity financing. Chris also mentors entrepreneurs through the UMKC Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is actively involved with other entrepreneurial and artistic organizations in Kansas City. Outside of practicing law Chris is also heavily engaged in several startups. In 2010, Chris published a paper discussing the benefits and disadvantages of using “Copylefts” and recommended an amendment to the Copyright Act to allow right holders to voluntarily relinquish certain rights.
Learn more about Van Osdol & Magruder at and connect with Chris at and @CSBCounsel.

Taylor Cowan

Startup Evangelist at Microsoft

Tylor is the Microsoft's Liaison to startups in the central U.S. region. With a love for community engagement and software architecture, Tyler works with start-ups to make them successful by educating them on cloud computing, application marketplaces, and BizSpark. When he is not helping start-ups, you might see him speaking at international conferences like Øredev or Jazoon in Switzerland or US conferences like the Big Design Conference or SxSW in Texas.

Tom Boozer

Expertise: Business Management, Industrial Design, Human Factors Engineering, Venture Management & Venture Capital

Tom is an Associate Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Bloch School of the University of Missouri Kansas City. A Thunderbird MBA, he spent nearly a decade in Asia as VP of Innovation for Singapore Airlines, as Director Venture Projects for 101Capital, which raised $80 million raised for transport and technology businesses, and as VP Product Development and Chief Market Officer for an Asian aerospace venture to manufacture business jets. In his prior life in Seattle, he designed dozens of really cool aircraft and technology products for Fortune 100 firms and startup ventures. He currently has two of his own ventures, TankTop and BackYard Build in progress.

Nate Allen
Tina Peterson
Royce Haynes
Rigo [Rodrigo Neri]
Erin Likins

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