Past event…

Event Ended

UW-Milwaukee | Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health building

View Larger Map


Final Night Presentations will be held at the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery. (901 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233)

View Larger Map

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!

Premier Sponsors
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors


Nov 1
  • Check-in / Registration
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome
  • Speaker: Bobby Kraft
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming & 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 as late as the venue will allow.
  • Rest up, the weekend has only just begun! :)


Nov 2
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for skills, needs & help
  • Mentors/Coaches help teams one-on-one
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for needs & help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow.


Nov 3
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Sunday morning call for needs & help. (This is self motivated so don't be shy.)
  • Mentors/Coaches begin arriving for the day (ASK QUESTIONS)
  • Pitch Workshops (*Tentative. Workshop time is subject to change.)
  • Early Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations.
  • Doors open for final presentations at the Best Place Milwaukee
  • Final Presentations::
    Obit Street
    Leadership Labs
    Meter Lab
    Major Web
    Bad Deals

  • Judging & Awards
  • Wrap up
  • Go home!

Bobby Kraft


Mr. Kraft will address Startup Weekend Milwaukee participants on Friday evening.

Robert (Bobby) M. Kraft is Founder, President & CEO of First Edge Solutions, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 2003, Mr. Kraft started First Edge Solutions based upon the gap in the market-place to respond to the need for faster, more customized communications using a combination of Technology and Digital Manufacturing Solutions. The company has grown rapidly including during the current economic recession. For 2011 and 2012, First Edge Solutions was an Inc. 5000 award recipient, named as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States...[read more]


Timothy Kohler


Timothy Kohler is currently a shareholder and CFO of PKWARE, Inc. and a member of the Golden Angel Network, a local angel investment group. PKWARE, the inventor of the .ZIP file format, is a Milwaukee based enterprise software company...[read more]

Joe Kirgues


Joe Kirgues co-founded the gener8tor accelerator after working as a lawyer for Quarles and Brady in Milwaukee. Through his work at gener8tor, he helps create an environment for entrepreneurs to collaborate...[read more]

Manoli Kulutbanis

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Manoli Kulutbanis is Founding Partner of UpScalability LLC, an advisory and technology firm that helps seed-stage startups and investors reduce failure risk by assessing and improving scalability potential and funding readiness.

He graduated as a Mechanical and Industrial Engineer and has served senior roles in Unilever and SABMiller. As an entrepreneur, he also founded and successfully exited a startup company specializing in customized skills development materials and software.

Andrew Hoeft

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Andrew Hoeft is CEO & Founder of Pinpoint Software, Inc. Pinpoint's product, Date Check Pro, is the first software as a service expiration date management software for grocery stores. It increases efficiency, accuracy, margin and customer satisfaction when dealing with code dates.

Hoeft is also a member of StartupWI, a regional initiative to increase the breadth and depth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem across our great state.

Mark Witt

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Mark Witt is Co-Chairman of Corporate Practice Group and Member of Management Committee at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.


Dr. McGee Young, Ph.D.

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Dr. McGee Young, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Entrepreneur Faculty Fellow at Marquette University. He is also Founder of H2O Score and Co-Founder of VeloCause.

Tom Giles

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Tom Giles is the Founder & CEO of StageBloc, as well as Co-Founder & Advisory Board Member at Startup Milwaukee. Through StageBloc, he has worked with a variety of brands, including Red Bull and Justin Timberlake.

Additionally, Giles is an experienced leader in web/mobile creative, product development and business. He's a native of Waukesha, WI.

Jon Hainstock

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Jon Hainstock is co-founder of Milwaukee startups ZoomShift and Tailwind Creative.

ZoomShift helps supervisors create, manage and share work schedules easily online. Tailwind Creative is a Milwaukee SEO and web design company that helps brands increase leads online.

Art Mellor

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Art Mellor is CEO of Zero Locus, Inc.

Mellor has started five companies in the high-tech and nonprofit sectors. He has also worked at three others for a total of over a quarter-century founding, running and working in start-ups. He has run boot-strapped, venture backed and donor-supported companies.

Mellor holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.

More details are at his LinkedIn page:

Susan K. Wehrley

Mentor   |  

Susan K. Wehrley brings over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience to Startup Weekend Milwaukee. After 24 years as a Business Consultant with her company, Susan K. Wehrley & Associates, Inc., she developed an online Strategic Resource Center called BIZremedies...[read more]

Derrick L. Johnson

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Last year, Derrick L. Johnson and his teammates won first place at the Milwaukee's inaugural Startup Weekend. Johnson continues fostering entrepreneurial talent as Founder & Director of Dream MKE, an initiative dedicated to developing a culture of innovation in underserved communities in Milwaukee...[read more]

Heather Johnston

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Heather Johnston is a mechanical engineer turned entrepreneur. She's the Founder & CEO of Find My Spot, a startup that uses technology to simplify relocation for renters. It’s an innovative online relocation service, matching renters with a perfect place to call home.

Scott Rouse

Mentor   |  

Scott Rouse is a Madison Designer/Developer who has worked for startups such as Shoutlet, StudyBlue, and Asthmapolis. He was on the winning team in the last Madison Startup Weekend and went on to found a company with a team member he met that weekend. That company,, just graduated from the gener8tor Milwaukee summer class. Rouset specializes in usability, rapid prototyping and UI with an emphasis on technical feasibility.

Tracy Apps

Design Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Tracy Apps is a creator, entrepreneur and a continual student of the world around her. She has been creating for the web since 1996 and since then has helped over a dozen startups and small companies get off the ground. Apps is passionate about finding creative ways to utilize the tools of our rapidly changing world for positive change, while still holding true to beautiful design.

Apps currently works full time running her business, tracy apps design. In her spare time you'll find her lifting heavy things in a CrossFit class. Learn more about Apps at

Kate Pociask

Design Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Kate Pociask is an experience-minded art director and designer specializing in web and mobile applications. She worked for 4 years at a creative agency designing for tech startups. In 2013, she became an independent to pursue projects that foster social good. She believes that great experiences can reawaken childlike enthusiasm and that awe is a powerful agent for transporting and uniting people.

Pociask serves on the Creative Arts Council and Milwaukee Art Museum's MAM After Dark Advisory Board, two groups that foster art engagement. She also teaches design in underserved communities. Given her way, Pociask would spend all of her spare time in the water, swimming and dreaming of la Côte d'Azur.

Svetlana Stoycheva

Design Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Svetlana Stoycheva heads up creative at Okanjo, a Milwaukee e-commerce startup. She’s responsible for creative strategy and branding, user experience and visual design for Okanjo’s products.

Previously, she’s worked with a variety of smart agencies in Milwaukee and Chicago. Highlights include design work for Kohl’s, The Iron Horse Hotel and Avia Hotels.

In her personal time, Stoycheva is currently occupied with ‘studying’ film, the art of the sale, and refining her risotto al pomodoro recipe.

Alicia Boknevitz
Michael Hostad
Joe Poeschl
Tim Grove
Matt Cordio
John McDonald
Clint Laskowski
Michael Anderson
Kelsey Knorr
Kyle Forsberg
Karen Oliva
Jasmine Valentine
Upcoming Events

© Copyright 2018, Startup Weekend. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy