Announcing Mentors to Your First Startup Weekend Oakville

Are you always wondering how to start your own business? You can start with just a few hours a week — even if you have a job. And best of all, you get to pick projects you find exciting and meet interesting people. Getting started isn’t hard. You don’t need an LLC, a fancy storefront, or employees. You just need the right system to bring you into the world of entrepreneurship. Startup Weekend Oakville is here to help you!

A mentor’s support and motivation can be invaluable. Starting a business idea and running a business will never play out exactly as you planned. When you hit a roadblock, you don’t have to be alone. Mentors with business experience tend to have come across something similar before and know strategies to move forward. Mentors offer you the opportunity to draw on this experience right away. StartupWeekend Oakville is a social network platform that allows entrepreneurs and volunteer business mentors to connect.

All of these professionals are dedicating their time at the startup with a goal: to share their knowledge and help you build that business! Come and take advantage of these great resources!

Meet your Mentors!

Frank Goehner

Frank is an experienced Supervisor with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. Skilled in ArcGIS, Analytical Skills, Databases, ArcObjects, and Geography. Strong professional with a GIS Speciality Program focused on GIS from McMaster University.

Stephanie Mazhari 

Stephanie Mazhari is the Manager of Entrepreneurship Services at the Region of Halton. Stephanie oversees the Region’s Small Business Enterprise Centre which supports Halton entrepreneurs to start-up, manage and grow their businesses. Stephanie also manages Halton’s new Global Business Centre which provides export support services and programming for Halton businesses who want to scale-up and go global.

Yang Yu

Yang has been creating products since he was 15 years old with a passion for problems that affect the quality of life for everyday people.  He is the founder and CEO of KitchenMate, building a Smart Cooking solution to make great food easy and accessible.  Before founding KitchenMate, he was the CPO at Opencare, where he designed products to connect patients with the best healthcare professionals.  He is a University of Toronto alum where he studied computer science.

Ajay Malhotra 

Ajay is the chief technology officer at a quant fund. He’s an active mentor/advisor to startups at the Toronto Business Development Center. He is also an involved STEM parent helping kids develop skills in IoT, robotics, math, and programming. He’s been a co-founder/angel investor / mentor-advisor in tech companies like Plum, Fruit Street, Better Half, Maaxframe, Real Work Canada and others. He also grew and sold a technology consulting practice with over 200 engineers. read more

Devin Ramphal 

Devin is an intrapreneur by day as the Innovation and Technology Sector Manager at the City of Brampton and an entrepreneur by night as the co-founder of CleanAir.AI. He is dedicated to balancing prosperity while building a cleaner, healthier planet. Devin is an MBA and P.Eng with strong work ethic, leadership skills, a creative mind, and a freethinker. read more

Having this exciting list of coaches guiding you at Startup Weekend is an opportunity not to be missed! Come and join the growing community and get work with experienced entrepreneurs and industry professionals and get advice specific to your business. Startup Weekend is a great way to network and build meaningful relationships with people who may help you in the long run.

FAQ #SWOakville

Q: What should I do to prepare?

A: Figure out what problem could be solved relating to the smart city that you can pitch, practice your pitch (60 seconds: no slides, no props), do a bit of research on your idea (are others already doing it? how big is the market?).

Q: Can I pitch my existing business?

A: No. Startup Weekend is a platform for growing new businesses from a seed over the course of a weekend. A key feature of the weekend is the nature of all-embracing teamwork. We’ve found that having existing businesses in the mix weakens this spirit and relationship, in addition to forming an imbalance between those ideas that are truly ground-level

Q: Can I participate in Startup Weekend even if I don’t have an idea to pitch on Friday?

A: You are ABSOLUTELY Welcome!

As long as you are a person who is interested in entrepreneurship the answer is most likely yes. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or new to the startup scene, if you motivated to build a product or startup and open to new ideas you’ll fit right in.

Q: How do you start a tech startup as a non-technical person?

A: Any time a tech startup is mentioned, the intuitive guess is that the founders of these businesses are tech experts and indeed hold a degree in Computer Science. If you think you are not a tech person and you shouldn’t be attending this startup event, then you are WRONG! Your lack of technical expertise should not be an excuse for not working on your startup idea. The strength of an entrepreneur is reflected in the strength of his/her network. A successful entrepreneur has a strong vision with creativity and passion and has great business networking skill. We not only want to help people who are passionate about building products that can better improve the communities but also find people who are potentially a strong leader with excellent communication skills to grow an audience. In fact, a well-rounded team of different skill sets is what will help make this event successful. Including, graphic designers, programmers, marketers, business developers and anyone looking to learn to help you find the most collaborative way to launch your fantastic idea.

Q: What if I sign-up alone or don’t have a group? 

A: On Friday night, anyone can pitch an idea to the crowd (not everyone has to pitch). We will begin to vote after the pitches are over. You are not alone as long as you keep yourself motivated, walk around and speak to your fellow participants and then join a team where you can be excited by the idea being worked on and you know your skills can help the team be successful. Trust yourself, and don’t be hesitated to ask for help, you will always find a great fit where you can contribute your knowledge and help the team to go strong! Don’t forget we are here to help!

Q: What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

A: The purpose of the Friday night pitch isn’t to eliminate certain ideas, but simply to underline the most popular/high-potential ideas and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds/skills. If your idea isn’t selected but you have formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend. If you decide to do so, however, please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.

Q: What should I bring?

A: Your laptop (optional but recommended), power cords, connectors to the overhead projector, lots of enthusiasm.

Q: Will the food be provided?

A: Yes, we got you covered for the full weekend!

Q: Do we have to sleep over?

A: Hacking is until 11 pm. There are Hotels 5 mins away!

Q: What about the prices?

A: The ticket info is available here. Please note that our Early Bird sales end on May 31.

Q: Will we get support after the event with our startup?

A: Yes, Innovation Factory, Haltech, Sheridan EDGE will be helping you build your idea into a life-changing startup!

Q: How do I get more information about the Weekend?

A: Follow us on twitter (@SWOakville), like us on Facebook (Oakville Startup Weekend) and watch the blog for updates over the next few days for announcements.  You can also start practicing your tweeting for the event using hashtag #SWOakville.

Q: I have more questions.  How can I get them answered?

A; More Attendee FAQ is available here or posts them on our Facebook page or tweet at us or email

Gearing Up for the 1st Oakville Startup Weekend #SWOakville: Fostering Innovation in Halton

We couldn’t wait to share the good news: Startup Weekend is happening in Oakville!

We’re happy to announce that we are planning our 1st Startup Weekend event here in Oakville. The organizing team is working hard together to make your weekend the best. Our event will take place on June 14-16, 2019 in our newly opened Halton Regional Police Service Headquarters.


Halton Regional Police is hosting the FIRST Halton & Oakville Startup Weekend.  Commanded by Chief Stephen J. Tanner, Halton Regional Police always believed in building trusted relationships between police and the communities. They see a huge potential of police services integrating into a network of regional agencies, division, and connected services, devices, and the data stream that help deliver a better quality of life to residents.

Do you have an idea you’d like to pursue or a problem you’d like to solve but don’t know where to start or whom to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Our goal is to create an environment to educate people towards smart cities and urban planning technologies where passionate people can come together to drive better lifestyle and create new businesses.

The smart city industry is demanding and developing. The world is driving forward to recognize how smartphones interact with the technologies of IoT, Communication, and IT to transform a city into digitized place. You, as an idea producer, have huge prospects for the invention to encourage urbanization by addressing various critical concerns of cities such as public safety, public engagement, educational challenge. Here, we have created a great platform for you to come out and express your own idea and develop customized solutions.

Follow us on twitter (@SWOakville), like us on Facebook (Oakville Startup Weekend) and watch the blog for updates. You can also start practicing your tweeting for the event using hashtag #SWOakville

More news to come, so stay tuned and SAVE THE DATE!