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Burton Morgan Lecture Hall, Denison University

100 W College St. Granville, OH 43023

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!



Feb 7
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • 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 as late as the venue will allow


Feb 8
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • 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 as late as the venue will allow


Feb 9
  • 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
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Tier 1 Sponsors

Thad Winston

Thad Winston is an Author, Speaker, Consultant and Strategic Marketing/Business Coach that has earned the reputation as "The True Marketing Genius". Thad is a serial entrepreneur that has over 20 years in the insurance industry and several years in the real estate investment world.

Thad graduated from Denison University with a degree in Economics and a Minor in Spanish. He was an All-American Football player and his senior year was voted the MVP (Most Valuable Player) on their 10-0 football team. Thad half-jokingly says that winning is his only option at whatever he pursues because WIN is in his name..WINston. This winning attitude and tradition is how Thad approaches everything he does.

Thad is a constant student attending several seminars per year as well as speaking at many seminars per year. Additionally, he is a voracious reader and during a typical year will read over 100 books because he believes Life's education is never over. Some of Thad's favorite books are: The Bible, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Cash-flow Quadrant, Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big, As A Man Thinketh, Failing Forward, Thick Face, Black Heart, Your Brain At Work, Spark, and Atlas Shrugged...and last but not least is the a bestselling book that Thad is a Co-Author in with Dan S. Kennedy which is entitled "No BS Wealth Attraction For Entrepreneurs..." Thad enjoys spending time with his family and going to his kid's activities. He is the proud father of Destiny Winston, Thaddeus Winston II, Ciahnna Winston and Ava Winston.


Inna Kinney

Founder and CEO

Inna Kinney is Founder and CEO of the Economic and Community Development Institute, a Central Ohio based community development non-profit, established in 2004 with offices in Columbus, Ohio. Ms. Kinney’s experience with fundraising and management provided the foundation for the development of the Institute as an organization that impacts the community.

The Economic and Community Development Institute's work in Ohio focuses on small business development, home ownership, post secondary education and access to capital for all. Through its micro-loan certification from the U.S. Small Business Administration and a status as a Community Development Financial Institution through the U.S. Department of Treasury the Institute is a leader in micro-lending with a portfolio of over $10 million. The Institute is funded by over 30 local, state and national governmental and private sources.

As CEO of the Economic and Community Development Institute, her responsibilities center around supporting the long-term sustainability of the organization. Specific responsibilities include: setting the vision and strategic direction, fundraising, fiscal oversight and education of policy makers.

In addition to her duties as CEO of the Institute, Ms. Kinney serves the community as part of many local and national boards. Her board experience has been with the following organizations

Steve Fireman

As an accomplished entrepreneur, Mr. Fireman has taken his experience and success as a business founder and owner to the non-profit world, where he currently serves as the President and General Counsel of the Economic and Community Development Institute. Additionally, Mr. Fireman focuses his practice on representing and counseling small business clients.

Mr. Fireman has used his success in risk management and strategic planning to form his own company, Supreme Title Agency. His expertise took the company from infancy to profitability in six months, increasing the bottom line by 40% in just three years. He was also able to build MidAmerican Finance & Home Equity from $600,000 in mortgages per month to $6 million monthly during his tenure as CEO. His management experience includes oversight of retail and wholesale operations, strategic planning, marketing, secondary marketing, sales, investor relations, vendor relationships, loan processing, underwriting, closing and funding. In addition, he managed six Division Managers.

Mr. Fireman served on the Institute's Board of Directors for the past five years as Board Chair, and most recently, as a Director. He has been able to apply his success in the business world to help the organization better serve current entrepreneurs through the Institute's lending department. Additionally, Mr. Fireman has helped to direct the Economic and Community Development Institute's vision, overseeing its development and ensuring that its programs continue to meet the needs of the community.

Mr. Fireman is a member of the Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations, American Corporate Counsel Association (ACCA), Mortgage Bankers Association and served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Directions for Youth.


Diane King


I am a Business Lecturer at the Ohio State University-Newark and Coordinator of the Regional Business Program. In addition to more than twenty years as a faculty member in Accounting and Personal Finance, I have approximately ten years of experience in business, including financial consulting, accounting tax and audit, and financial analysis in banking and insurance.

My degrees include a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from Ohio University and a Masters Degree in Business with a concentration in Finance from Ohio State University. I am a Certified Public Accountant, currently licensed in Ohio, and a Certified Valuations Analyst.

Kimberly Goudy

I am an Associate Professor for the department of Business Management Technologies of Central Ohio Technical College. I design and instruct online classes as well as instruct in the classroom setting courses in the area of business, management, marketing, advertising, entrepreneurship, and e-commerce.

I received my Bachelors degree from Franklin University, located in Columbus, Ohio. I earned my MBA from Ashland University, which is in Ashland, Ohio. I am a Ph.D. Candidate at Northcentral University. My dissertation topic is, “The necessity of trust and LMX in the virtual workplace.”

On a state level, I am faculty representative for the Ohio Faculty Senate of Community and Technical Colleges, and on a national level, I am a Master Reviewer for Quality Matters.

On a community level, I am involved with local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Business, advertising, and marketing students complete projects that include a business plan, advertising campaign, or social media marketing plan for a local entrepreneur, small business, or non-profit organization. Students create a presentation through social media tools, which is presented to local business and community leaders. This collaboration has created a winning strategy for both students and the community.

Patrick Ford

Wealth Management Advisor

Patrick Ford is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch in the Zanesville Ohio office. He is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner

Stephanie Hunt-Theopolis
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