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Jake Jabs College of Business, Montana State University

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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.

In a first for the events in Montana, Startup Weekend Bozeman 2015 will include access to Arduino's and Raspberry Pi's for all attendees. These devices can be used to build physical electronic products quickly and cheaply. There will be a multitude of sensors available and experts on hand to help teams that use them. Any team that uses Arduino's and Raspberry Pi's and continues after the weekend is over will get to keep the units at no charge. We will also have access to 3D Printing!

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!

Meet your facilitator

BuzzBuzz Bruggeman

Cofounder of ActiveWords  |    LinkedIn

Buzz Bruggeman is one of the co-founders of ActiveWords. He graduated with honors from Coe College and from Duke University Law School. Prior to ActiveWords he spent 30 years as real estate lawyer/litigator. He runs all of the outward facing aspects of ActiveWords, including marketing and partnering, and as such is responsible for evangelizing ActiveWords to everyone he meets. Buzz has spoken at many tech industry events, has been on the advisory board of the Demo Conference, won a Demo god award, and has been featured in books by Dan Gillmor and Robert Scoble. Buzz has been a long time participant in the startup and blogging community, and routinely speaks and consults on using new media tools to market and evangelize software.



Apr 17
  • Registration Starts
  • Networking
  • Welcome, Speakers, & Dinner
  • 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


Apr 18
  • 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


Apr 19
  • 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!
Premiere Sponsor

Doug Warner

CEO of DropTrip   |   LinkedIn

Doug Warner is a cloud technology veteran with an extensive background in computer science and psychology. He started as one of the original employees at RightNow Technologies and throughout his 13 year tenure was the driving force behind the RightNow Knowledge Foundation, RightNow's industry leading core technology. Doug left RightNow shortly after Oracle's $1.5b acquisition and has subsequently built multiple businesses including DropTrip, a startup in the crowdsourced shipping industry. In his limited free time, Doug is also an accomplished expedition caver.

Platinum Sponsors

Susan Carstensen

Investor and Former CFO of RightNow Technologies   |   LinkedIn

Susan Carstensen is an experienced businesswoman who served as COO, CFO and SVP at RightNow Technologies from 1999 to 2012, contributing to its growth in a hands on, leadership capacity from $2M to $200M in revenue, taking it public in 2004 and ultimately being acquired by Oracle for more than $1.5B in late 2011. Susan is an experienced board director and advisor, having served on the BOD of LiveOffice from 2008 to 2012, at which time the company was acquired by Symantec. She currently serves on the board at AtTask, Bridger Ski Foundation and MSU Alumni Foundation. She has also been engaged in advisory services for Blackbaud (BLKB) and several startups.

Richard Harjes

Entrepreneur & Venture Investor   |  

Richard is Venture Partner at Next Frontier Capital, a Bozeman-based venture capital fund. With his wife Katy, he co-founded and runs Willow Spring Ranch Montana, sustainably raising organic lamb for the local and national gourmet market. Richard serves on the board of directors of the Children’s Museum of Bozeman, and is the founder and one of the creative drivers behind the Museum’s STEAMlab – an experiential, tech-based learning center for kids focused on circuits, 3D printing and coding. Prior to his Bozeman activities, Richard was Managing Director of the Statistical Arbitrage business at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago, founding the group responsible for the quantitative trading of equities at the firm. Prior to this, he was Director of Research at Numeric Investors, a quantitative equity fund in Boston, and one of the founding members of the Alpha Strategies Group at Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco. Richard has served on the faculties of Duke University and the University of Arizona and published in major academic journals.

Mark Jacobs

CEO of MeBox Media and Business Turn-Around Guru   |   LinkedInGoogle+

30 years in executive leadership and consulting to manufacturing, distribution and logistics companies. Guided major growth initiatives, turnaround efforts, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma initiatives, Sales & Operations Planning, re-capitlization and a wide variety of other business initiatives, including my favorite Start-ups and re-starts!. Co-founded MeBox Media, coordinated initial and early stage capital raise, sold initial accounts, actively oversee daily operations and sales.

Liz Marchi

Fund Coordinator at Frontier Angel Fund   |   LinkedIn

Liz Marchi is currently the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund, LLC, Montana’s first angel fund ( In addition, she is working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to build the Montana Angel Network and Innovate Montana. Finally, Liz is a co-founder of Northfork Strategies (

Will Price

Venture Capitalist and Entreprenuer   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Will is the Managing Partner of Next Frontier Capital, a Bozeman-based venture capital fund. Prior to Next Frontier, Will served as CEO of Flite, Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and as Senior Vice President with Pequot Capital Management. Will serves on the Board of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Flite, Takari, and is an active advisor and investor in a number of start-ups.

Gold Sponsors

John Allwine

STEAMlab Coordinator   |   LinkedIn

Since childhood, John's been creating visual, interactive programs that simulate reality. He's always been interested in applying math and physics to his programs and focused on learning about graphics programming in college. After college, John became an effects artist at DreamWorks Animation where he learned all about visual effects in animated feature films. He worked on How To Train Your Dragon,
Megamind and Madagascar 3 before leaving DreamWorks to pursue ideas of his own. He started his own company, Freakin' Sweet Apps, whose latest project creates 3D models of knots that can be 3D printed as desk art, jewelry, gear shifts and more. He also teaches Computer Graphics at
MSU and oversees the STEAMlab at the Children's Museum of Bozeman.

Gary Bishop

Director of Student Research Services, JJCBE Center for Entrepreneurship Adjunct Instructor of Management, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship   |   LinkedIn

Bishop serves as the Director of Student Research Services for the Center. He is also an associate teaching professor in the College, teaching management and entrepreneurship courses. He is a seasoned senior-level training professional and brings more than 30 years successful experience in training, management, and executive leadership in both public and private sectors to the classroom and the boardroom. Bishop has extensive hands-on experience as a senior manager and executive in training and operations

Jake Cook

Founder at TadPull   |   LinkedIn

Forever curious entrepreneur with a background in digital marketing. Experience in applying web technology and analytics to solve branding challenges for clients across life sciences, luxury, enterprise, consumer web, and the outdoor industry.

Guest writer for Behance's 99u and Smashing Magazine. Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Danny Choriki

VP Product and Support, ADTECH US   |   LinkedIn

Born in Bozeman and raised around the agriculture industry of Montana, Danny Choriki decided in his 20's to see if there was life without dirt under his finger nails. With a degree in the social sciences, Danny went to New York City to study environmental psychology with an eye towards understanding how people cope with and adapt to rapid social and technical change. Along the way, he became an "accidental techie" as his day job during graduate school was assisting the director of The City University of New York Graduate School's computer center to move from card punch machines, Wilbur and VAX terminals (9600 baud - woo hoo!) to pc's on a lan, structured databases, and eventually the internet. His first full time job in NYC was at a policy research center looking at the impact of information technology on the New York City Public Schools. That was followed by a series of consulting and strategic planning positions Fortune 50 corporations in legal, finance and telecommunications.

Les Craig

Director of the Blackstone Launchpad at MSU   |   LinkedIn

Les Craig has spent the past 13 years as an entrepreneur and innovator. Most recently, Les co-founded The Twenty, a company offering data science as a service to solve the data problems of small and medium sized businesses. Prior to The Twenty, Les co-founded RedOwl Analytics, a software product company which built a platform for identifying trends and anomalies in the digital trail of corporations in order to combat insider threat and mitigate risk. Previously, Les served as a Technical Operations Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. Prior to his time at the CIA, Les was a member of the professional staff of the National Security Technology Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. He began solving problems of national significance in 2002, when he interned at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, working on a special project with the Counter-proliferation, Analysis, and Planning System. Later that year, he contributed to a study with the Army Research Labs where he developed a unique methods to analyze the performance of a diagnostic device used to detect Malaria.

Paul Gladen

Director of the UM Blackstone Launchpad

Paul Gladen is the Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana, a program that helps students, alumni, faculty and staff start their own business. He is co-founder of Muzeview, a research business based in Missoula and also co-founder of the Hellgate Venture Network, a networking group for Montana entrepreneurs.

Paul has an MA in Mathematics from Oxford University and an MBA from Manchester Business School. He spent the first 14 years of his career working for Arthur Andersen. He has lived and worked in London, New York, Rome, Dublin & Chicago, moving to Missoula in 2008.

Dan Simser

Co-Founder of the Bozeman Makerspace, Software developer & Entrepreneur

Daniel Simser is the president/co-founder of the Bozeman Makerspace, a community workshop where people converge to create, learn and build. He is also a co-founder of, a scheduling and dispatching solution + TechMeridian Inc, a software development company located in Manhattan, MT.

Ryan Stout

Developer,   |  

Ryan has been building technology products since he was in high school. Ryan primarily focuses on web applications and mobile apps. This includes,, and Agile Games - a social gaming company that passed 10 million users between a series of social games built on the Facebook platform. Ryan was also lead developer on, a Facebook tab content manager that sold to VistaPrint in 2011 as part of the 117 million dollar acquisition. Currently Ryan is working on, an online dating site that mines social information to determine a persons interests and personality, then uses that data to match people.

Silver Sponsors
Ken Fichtler
Cody Sauer
Rick Fink
Kris Bart
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