Startup Weekend at UBC

“Do you have an idea that could change Vancouver? Are you looking to spend time with other talented designers, developers and thinkers? (Have you) ever thought about entrepreneurship but never experienced it first hand? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, this is the event for you!”

Startup Weekend at UBC

“Don’t know what a Startup Weekend is? The process is fairly simple, individuals have the opportunity to pitch ideas to their peers. Based on the top ideas, teams are formed and they work together for the rest of the weekend. Everything from business model creation and market validation to coding and designing occurs for the next 54 hours. At the end of the weekend, the teams pitch to a panel of local entrepreneurial leaders.”

The entrepreneurial leaders consist of a few judges. There will also be several coaches available to guide the participants through the 54 hour event.

Keynote Speaker

Mark Williams – Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Elastic Path

Mark Williams co-founded Elastic Path alongside Harry Chemko in 2000. With over a decade of experience in consulting on enterprise-level ecommerce projects for major brands, Mark has become fluent in the world of ecommerce and enterprise software implementation.

Today he manages the global sales team and is responsible for driving Elastic Path’s sales and channel strategies. Mark’s passion and leadership has helped Elastic Path double revenue in the past three consecutive years and expanded the customer base worldwide. Mark is a fervent advocate for customers and works closely with their senior level executives to help develop their long term ecommerce strategy.

Around the office Mark empowers staff to challenge the status quo and push the envelope of ecommerce innovation. When Mark isn’t winning over global enterprise clients, he is watching football games and waving his foam finger for the Dallas Cowboys.


Michael Fergusson – Ayogo Games, Co-Founder

Michael Fergusson, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Ayogo, is dedicated to the idea that playing is one of the most productive things we can do.

He’s been an entrepreneur and innovator on the Web for over 15 years. Millions have played the games he has developed on computers and Smartphones all over the world. Michael has been invited to speak on game design at SXSW, Casual Connect in Seattle, Vancouver’s F5 Expo, Games and Health — Vid Week, Banff Television Festival and NextMedia in Toronto, and has been featured by Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CBC, and the Globe and Mail.

Kenshi Arasaki – A Thinking Ape, Co-Founder

Kenshi Arasaki was previously a software engineer at Amazon working on special initiatives before leaving the company to start A Thinking Ape in the Bay Area. Kenshi graduated from the University of Calgary in computer science.

Anuj Singhal – Program Director, [email protected]

Anuj leads the [email protected] initiative at the University of British Columbia out of a broader commitment to upgrade higher education institutions in providing value to entrepreneurs and maintaining relevance to society.

Prior to this he was a software entrepreneur in Vancouver, Silicon Valley, Toronto and London.

He holds a combined bachelors/masters degree in Engineering, Economics & Management from Oxford University.


Kemp Edmonds – HootSuite, Sales Engineer

A strategist and speaker with experience in sales, marketing, training, services, product development, business development, support and post-secondary education, Kemp is deeply invested in online communications with a dual focus on big data analysis and human behaviour.

He is currently a Sales Engineer at HootSuite but continues to run his own site,, where he provides online marketing strategy and planning.

Thealzel Lee – E-Fund, President & Director

Thealzel is an entrepreneur, angel investor and business strategy adviser to companies with a focus on strategy development and operational alignment.  Thealzel is a senior partner with management consulting firm Rocket Builders, co-manages the monthly Vancouver Angel Technology Network (VANTEC) and the Keiretsu Forum Northwest Region – Vancouver Chapter for her fellow angel investors, and is active in the New Ventures BC competition. She is co-founder of Nelsa Investment (VCC) Inc.

Vik Khanna – Senior Vice President & COO, Faronics Corporation

Luck is the offspring of preparation meeting opportunity is the motto that Vik lives by.

A recipient of the “40 under 40” award by Business in Vancouver, Vik is the co-founder and COO of Faronics Corporation, a multi-million dollar bootstrapped software company focusing on delivering absolute control of computing environments. His current role at Faronics is to help guide the company long-term sales and market strategy, and his open door attitude has kept him at the forefront of customer and business interaction. Vik is also the President-elect of TiE Vancouver.

Pankaj Agarwal – Founder & CEO, Optimus Information

Also a “40 under 40” award recipient, Pankaj is building a global company focused on “providing outsourced technology services to global corporations”.

Pankaj started his career with Wipro, one of the world’s leading IT Services companies. He co-founded Momentum Technologies in 2000. Momentum Technologies was one of the most successful outsourcing companies in Vancouver. In 2005, Momentum Technologies was acquired by Sopra Group, a Billion Euros French IT Consulting Firm. Pankaj worked for Sopra Group as a Member of Executive Board. He grew his team from 150 people to more than 500 people and made the business profitable with strong execution capabilities.

Robin McFee – Co-Founder, Clinicboo

Robin is a co-founder of Clinicbook – the online booking engine for healthcare providers.

Before starting Clinicbook, Robin studied electrical and computer engineering at UBC where he also played on the varsity men’s volleyball team.

Kinman Lam – Sales Engineering Manager, Rx Networks

My goal in life is to have my code running on as many mobile devices as possible.

Note: There will be more judges and coaches; stay tuned for more details.

The judges’ and coaches’ biographies were copied from

General Information

The Startup Weekend at UBC will take place on Friday March 22. Registration is now open, and the earlybird deadline is on March 13. Anyone is welcome to apply.

More information on the event can be found on the website. Stay tuned to the website for more details. If you have any questions, feel free to email the organizers at [email protected]
Feature Image: Startup Weekend at UBC