Cover Image for Startup Weekend: In Person & Online

Startup Weekend: In Person & Online

Hosted by 150 Startups
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About Event

Looking to Start a Successful Business?

Then join us for an immersive learning weekend held in-person at Bow Valley College, and online via Zoom, where participants are put on teams led by some of Alberta's most promising first-time entrepreneurs, learn how to validate promising business ideas, and compete in a Crowd Favourite Pitch Competition.

NOTE: Sessions with a Z** next to them will be also available online/virtually via Zoom for those who are unable to attend in person.

Come for some of it or stay for all.

In-person participants take home:

All participants receive:

Student participants receive:

  • A free copy of Founded by Mike Raab and Melissa Kaufman

Participants will learn how to:

  • Avoid the ten mistakes many entrepreneurs make

  • Identify the best customers and when to reach them

  • Overcome the 'Innovators Bias' that kills many businesses

  • Create almost instant interest in a new product or service

  • Identify what investors are looking for and what it takes to get a new business idea funded.


All funds generated from ticket sales are awarded to the winners of the Crowd Favourite Pitch Competition held on Sunday morning.

Tickets are $30, and the following codes can be used to get a discount - PLEASE BE HONEST and only use a discount code if it actually applies to you.

  • PSS - Post-Secondary School Students or Recent Alumni: $10 off

  • SFS - School Faculty or Staff: $10 off

  • HS-STUDENT - High School Students: $20 off

Members of equity-seeking groups can call or text Craig Elias (+1.403.874.2998) to receive a discount code to participate fully at no charge.


The in-person sessions listed below all happen on the second floor of the south campus of Bow Valley College, and you enter via the main doors on the C-Train tracks.

Once inside, head up the main stairs to the second floor, and we'll be in the room behind the two sets of double doors immediately on your left when you come up the stairs.

All those attending online should receive an email 60 minutes and 5 minutes prior to our start time with a personalized link to join a Zoom session.


Friday Night

  • 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Meet & greet, team building, Top 10 Mistakes presentation Z**

  • 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM - Teamwork


  • 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM - 60-Second Leaner Canvas Pitches Z**

  • 9:00 AM to 12:30 AM - Three workshop sessions Z**

  • 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM - Teamwork | Q & A

  • 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM - Check-in & mentor feedback

  • 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM - Teamwork

Sunday Morning

  • 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM - Crowd Favourite Pitch Competition Z** and mentor feedback Z**

  • 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM - Getting Funded presentation Z**



The Top 10 Mistakes First-Time Entrepreneurs Make Z**
As the founder of China’s massive Alibaba (Jack Ma) says, “You learn nothing by learning what successful entrepreneurs did well. You learn more by learning and avoiding the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make.” This session will share the Top 10 mistakes entrepreneurs make.

Saturday Morning

Nailing the Problem Z**
Having a promising idea for a product or service is not a guarantee of success. 42% of startups and early-stage businesses fail because not enough people want what is being sold. This session will help you avoid being part of that statistic by helping participants identify a problem people will gladly pay to have solved.   

Identifying Your Ideal Client Z**
Now you know a problem you can solve, you need to determine who is the user is and who the ideal client – they are not the same thing - and reach ideal clients when they are most likely to become your customer.

Creating a Compelling Value Proposition Z**
Now that you have identified the problem you are solving and a client who will pay, you need to create a compelling value proposition that creates instant interest in what you do. Something that gets people to ask, “How do you do that?”   


10 Steps to Getting Funded Z**
This session will share what funders are looking for in entrepreneurs and their businesses, how to deliver a high-impact pitch and avoid the eight red flags that kill funding opportunities.


The winner of a Global Billion Dollar Idea Competition, who was also the CEO of a company twice chosen by Dow Jones as one of the 50 most promising startups in North America. 

A co-founder and advisor to multiple Canadian StartUps that have grown to tens of millions of dollars in revenue - one of them currently has revenue of over $100 Million and is still growing! 

One of Alberta's most knowledgeable Lean Canvas facilitators who created a student accelerator based on Ash Maurya's Lean Canvas model.

A visual thinker who helps entrepreneurs tap into their creativity so they and their customers ‘see’ the full potential of their idea.


This is the kick-off weekend for the summer skills development program, part of a province-wide entrepreneurship initiative called 150 Startups.  

During the summer skills development program, some of Alberta's most promising first-time entrepreneurs are provided cash to improve their business ideas while preparing for an Alberta-wide pitch competition, held during the Innovation Rodeo, that gives away $25,000 in cash and awards three $12,000 US scholarships to a five-week entrepreneurship boot camp held in Silicon Valley.

 The kick-off weekend and 150 Startups are made possible by the generous support of RBC and the Hunter Family Foundation.