Past event…

Event Ended

Marquette University, Discovery Learning Complex (Engineering building)

1637 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53233

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Parking Information
There is a parking structure located at 749 N. 16th Street, Milwaukee, WI (map below). Tell the parking lot attendant you are with Startup Weekend Milwaukee and you will be allowed to park for free.

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After Party
The Startup Weekend Milwaukee after party will be held at the sōsh headquarters (324 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 200. Milwaukee, WI).

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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!

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Nov 9
  • Registration/Sign-In Begins
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome Participants
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • 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.


Nov 10
  • Doors open, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed. Set up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for skills & needs
  • SKYPE Speaker: Jason Fried, founder of 37Signals
  • Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Speaker: Andrew Hoeft, Founder/CEO of Pinpoint Software, Inc. and creator of Date Check Pro expiration date management software
  • Mid-weekend check-in, status reports, calls for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow.


Nov 11
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy!)
  • Lunch & Speaker (Matt Howard will be speaking 11:30-11:45)
  • Mentors arrive. (ASK QUESTIONS. They are here to help you!)
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Early dinner
  • Judges deliberation in 1st Floor Conference Room
  • Judging & Awards
  • Wrap-up and pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!
  • After Party

Jason Fried

Speaker   |  

Jason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals. Jason believes there’s real value and beauty in the basics. Jason co-wrote all of 37signals' books and is invited to speak around the world on entrepreneurship, design, management and software.

You can check out Jason's presentations, keynotes, recordings and interviews on 37signals Speaks.

Jason will be joining the Startup Weekend participants on Saturday, via Skype.

Andy Nunemaker

Speaker   |   LinkedIn

Andy Nunemaker addressed our participants on Saturday.

Dominic DiMarco

Speaker   |  

Dominic DiMarco is co-founder of (@MobileIgniter). He is a geriatric dog adopter, hiker, boarder and iPhone developer in Boulder, CO.

MobileIgniter is a mobile development company founded in the summer of 2011 by Timothy Nott and Dominic DiMarco. The primary product is a web-based, native mobile application development platform.

The platform has been described as “WordPress for mobile.” The system has the intuitive qualities and ease of use of the famous CMS, as well as the extensibility that has made WordPress a hit with developers. With MobileIgniter, a customer can create a native mobile application for iOS and Android using a drag and drop menu of customizable modules. A developer can use the API to push beyond provided modules. Both options take full advantage of native features of the mobile device, including the camera, GPS and accelerometer.

Dominic will be addressing participants Friday, the first night of the event.


McGee Young

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

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

Anne Grace Nimke


Anne has been a respected leader in the Recruiting / HR community helping both small business and Fortune 50 companies build strategic talent acquisition and management programs for almost 35 years. A creative and successful results oriented executive who lives her vision.
Learn more about Anne >>

Max Lynch

Mentor   |  

Max Lynch is a software developer and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Madison-based Codiqa, where he builds tools to help the world make great mobile websites. He is a recent UW-Madison Computer Science graduate.

Ben Sperry

Mentor   |  

Ben Sperry is a UI/UX designer and product builder. He co-founded Madison-based Codiqa with Max Lynch, where they work on making small dents in the universe.

Art Mellor

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Art Mellor is an MIT educated entrepreneur who has started four companies in the high-tech and nonprofit sectors, in addition to having worked at three other start-ups.

He's recently relocated to Milwaukee from Boston and is enjoying getting involved in the local start-up community as a mentor and adviser.

Art currently works with the Milwaukee Institute as Director of Business Development, helping spread the word about their nonprofit super-computer center for researchers and businesses.
Learn more about Art Mellor >>

Brian Wroblewski

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Brian Wroblewski currently serves as Founder and President of Golf Pipeline, a golf game management solution providing tools to book tee times, invite friends to play golf, track scores, establish a handicap index, build a golf profile and communicate with golf buddies based on their golf activity. He's spent his career building and managing networks of service providers in both the healthcare and now the golf more

Steve Elmore, D.B.A.

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Steve Elmore is Vice President of Social Business Strategy & Client Portfolio Director at 7Summits.

He is a leader in the development of Social Enterprise collaboration and information strategies and has worked with leading organizations worldwide, including Cisco and IDEO.
Learn more about Steve >>

Jon Hainstock

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Jon Hainstock is the co-founder of Tailwind Creative, a Milwaukee-based digital marketing agency that helps companies generate leads online. Jon previously worked as the director of marketing for 94labs (a technology incubator/accelerator) where he met his business partner, Ben, and discovered his latest entrepreneurial ambitions. Jon is a restless creative and is passionate about design, photography, videography and music. He attended Ball State University and currently lives in his hometown, Burlington, WI, with his wife, Grace, and daughter, June.

Susan K. Wehrley

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Susan has been a Strategic Growth Coach for 25 years, as President of Susan K. Wehrley & Associates, Inc. She's helped thousands of executives grow in companies like Harley-Davidson, Johnson Controls and GE, as well as those in small and medium sized companies.

Susan's most recent growth offering,, is an online community that that features strategic planning tools, resources, consultants and a community to help you grow.

You may have heard her on the radio on with her “Performance Solutions,” tuned into her radio show on WISN or seen her TV specials on Public Television. Or perhaps you've picked up one of her four Empowerment books.

Andrew Hoeft

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Andrew Hoeft is the Founder/CEO of Pinpoint Software, Inc. and creator of Date Check Pro expiration date management software. Andrew's company is a part of the Gener8tor Accelerator program and was formerly part of the 94Labs incubator program. His experiences have made him a great mentor in lean startup methodology and business model innovation.

Hoeft plays a dual-role as mentor and speaker, addressing participants Saturday night during dinner.

Dan Voell

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Dan Voell is President at GameFilm360, a fast, free and efficient way for coaches, college recruiters and athletes to view and analyze game films. GameFilm360 currently serves 2,000 teams, 4,000 coaches and 50,000 athletes across the globe.
Learn more about GameFilm360 >>

Cynthia Thomas

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Cynthia Thomas is Partner at Translator and Co-Founder of Shindig. She is also one of the founding members of Startup Wisconsin.

Mark Fairbanks

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Mark Fairbanks is Partner and Chief Aesthetic Officer at Translator.

Joe Kirgues

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Joe Kirgues currently serves as a co-founder of gener8tor. Joe helps identify the first-stage startups with a need for the program and helps create an environment for entrepreneurs to collaborate and establishes access to later-stage more

Romke de Haan

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Romke de Haan is President and CEO of Spreenkler Creative, where he leads teams of passionate designers and developers. Romke and his team are dedicated to delivering innovative products to their clients and partners.

Romke has over 14 years of experience working as a creative technologist for startup companies and advertising agencies. He's lead and developed platforms and digital experiences for some of the world's largest brands. He's also an active member in the Milwaukee community, helping the city focus on future initiatives around talent development and commerce.

Bill Bensman

Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Bill Bensman is head of Strategic Planning at Spreenkler, a Milwaukee-based agency specializing in early-stage startup development, enterprise innovation and technology strategy + execution. He's responsible for business operations and day-to-day account management. His background and experiences include social media + inbound marketing, agile project management and lean start-up methodology.

Mentors from the SWMKE Team!

Joel Abraham, Alicia Boknevitz & Matt Cordio

In addition to co-organizing Startup Weekend Milwaukee, Joel Abraham, Alicia Boknevitz & Matt Cordio will be on hand to help participants throughout the weekend.

Abraham and Cordio are ready and willing to bring their real-world entrepreneurial experiences to the table. Boknevitz will lend her UX chops in software, web and mobile/app design to Startup Weekend Milwaukee participants.

Read their bios below!


Gregg Tushaus

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Gregg Tushaus is CIO of Dedicated Computing, the founder, CTO, and former CEO of Tushaus Computer Services, and the former CEO of Advance Cabling Solutions. He founded Tushaus Computer Services in 1993, and co-founded Advance in 1995. Both companies have seen exceptional growth under his leadership. Gregg maintains a blog at

Tim Keane

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Tim Keane is Director of Golden Angels Investors, LLC and Managing Director at Keane D'Souza Venture Capital.

Justin Beck

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Before becoming CEO of PerBlue, Justin worked as a software engineer at Google and a program manager at Microsoft. He graduated with a double major in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Mark Witt

Judge   |   LinkedIn

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

Jon Eckhardt, Ph.D.

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Jon got his first taste of entrepreneurship as an undergraduate student at Penn State, and has been involved in entrepreneurship one way or another since. He has been advising startups for over 10 years, serves on boards and is an active angel more

Matt Howard

Judge   |   LinkedIn

Matt Howard is CEO and Co-Founder at U Connect, Inc. He graduated with a double major in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin. He has over eight years of extensive sales experience, which he has used to grow U Connect’s network to over 400 restaurants.

Howard plays a dual-role as judge and speaker, addressing participants Sunday during lunch.

Clint Laskowski
Alicia Boknevitz
Joel Abraham
Matt Cordio
Tina Quealy
John McDonald
Joe Poeschl
Eric Paulsen
Greg Meier
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