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Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, 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!



Nov 22
  • Registration / Dinner
  • Welcome
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work throughout the night.
  • Friday night mixer, hosted by Newmind Group


Nov 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work throughout the night


Nov 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Hors d'oeuvres, welcome guests
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

Ryan Jankovic


Ryan Jankovic has experience in sales, marketing, product development, launch, commercialization and leadership within medical device. Currently he runs a consulting business – ESC (Enterprise Sales Consulting, LLC).

Previously, Ryan was the Vice President of Strategic Development for a Kalamazoo-based medical device product design and development company, Tekna. Here he led the growth, strategy and business development initiatives.

In addition, he served as Sr Group Manager of Marketing at Stryker where he oversaw new product innovation and ideation. In 9 years with the organization, Ryan held various sales, marketing, business development and management roles. He played a role in launching 10 significant products to market during his tenure.

Ryan has a BBA from Western Michigan University. He also has his MBA from Michigan State University and completed a specialized leadership course at Harvard Business School in 2011.

John Mueller

John Mueller is an assistant professor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where he teaches entrepreneurship. Prior to working on his PhD in Entrepreneurship at the University of Louisville, he started and ran several businesses in the software industry, including His work experiences have allowed him to live and work in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He enjoys being involved with exciting business in the startup community

John Schmitt

John Schmitt has been a consultant with the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, housed at Western Michigan University, since 2007. Prior to his role with the MI-SBTDC, Schmitt was a serial entrepreneur opening a number of small businesses throughout Michigan over the past 30 years. These businesses have ranged from starting a restaurant, Food Dance Cafe, to a self storage facility, the StorRoom in Canton Michigan. John was awarded the MI-SBTDC Statewide Leadership Award for Business Consultants in 2009. Schmitt has served over 500 distinct clients during his tenure as a business consultant.

Meghan Klaric

Intellectual Property Attorney

Meghan Klaric is an Intellectual Property attorney at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. Her practice focuses mainly on life sciences patent prosecution. Prior to working at Honigman, Meghan worked in business sales at Apple. Since moving to Kalamazoo three years ago, she has been involved in the startup community, including judging a past Startup Weekend. Meghan received her law degree from Villanova University School of Law, her master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Southern California, and her bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.

Media Sponsors
Carl Brown
Rich Swenor
Joe Armstrong
J.J. Meddaugh
Gary Stock
Ryan Goins
Moh'd K. Albattikhi
Katy LaFleur


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