Startup Weekend Madison 2019 is here!

See below for details about the speakers, judges, schedule, code of conduct and more.

Registration / check-in begins at 5:30pm on Friday at Madworks Coworking.

505 S. Rosa Road
Suite 225

second floor on the west side of the MG&E Building at University Research Park


Accessibility and Parking

University Research Park is a wheelchair accessible building; there's ample free parking.


We'll have plenty of food over the weekend, including options for all major dietary restrictions (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.)

Any questions or concerns? Just shoot us an email and we'll make sure you're taken care of!

Quiet room

If there's ever a moment during the weekend when you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, or maybe need to nurse or pump, or perhaps are just seeking a private space you can just relax for a minute, we've got you covered. Two small offices inside Madworks will be available throughout the weekend for folks who need a little privacy or to take a minute for themselves. Just ask an organizer if you need directions!


We'll be designating the bathrooms closest to Madworks as gender neutral bathrooms during Startup Weekend.


Friday, April 26th

5:30 pm Registration
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:30 pm Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm Voting
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 pm Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:45 pm Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

10 pm Rest up!
At 10 pm on Friday and Saturday, we kick everyone out for the night. Self-care (and a good night's sleep!) are invaluable.

Saturday, April 27th

9:00 am Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10 am to 12pm First Round of Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They're here to help!

12:00 pm Lunch

12:30 pm Check-In
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2pm to 4pm Second Round of Coach Meetings
A new set of coaches will be on-hand for one-on-one guidance.

6:30 pm Dinner

7:30 pm Check-In
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm Wrap-Up
Finished for the day. Go home and get some sleep!

Sunday, April 28th

9:00 am Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am Check-In
Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm Lunch

1:00 pm Pitch Practice
Organizers and coaches will be available for pitch practice. Use this time to find any last-minute holes or weak spots!

3:00 pm Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation; tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm Dinner

6:00 pm Final Presentations

7:30 pm Judging & Awards

8:30 pm Wrap-Up

9:00 pm Go Home!
Congratulations! You surived Startup Weekend Madison :) Go home and get some rest - you've earned it! Optional: Join us for a post-Startup Weekend celebratory drink at Vintage Brewing Company on Whitney Way.

Speakers & Judges

Friday night speakers

Mary Burke
CEO & Founder, Building Brave

Mary Burke grew up striving to be a business person, just like her father. In 2004, after 20 years in business, she left the corporate world to use her talents and energy to try to make the world a little better place. She focused on improving educational opportunities for students at-risk by co-founding the AVID/TOPS partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County.

Along the way, she was unexpectedly drawn into the politics, serving as Secretary of Commerce for the state of Wisconsin and in 2014 running for governor of Wisconsin. She lost that race, but the experience changed her life and inspired her to start Building Brave, an innovative mobile app to connect women with the inspiration, advice and resources to overcome whatever challenge they face.

Alisa Toninato
Owner & Designer, American Skillet Company

Metal casting artist Alisa Toninato of FeLion Studios is a 2012 Martha Stewart American Made honoree and founder of the American Skillet Company. Alisa graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and is most noted for her state-shaped cast-iron skillet map of the contiguous USA.

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Skillet Co., was born in 2012 as a means to facilitate the overwhelming national interest for FeLion Studios’ artisan-made state-shaped cast-iron skillets. The need to create a more cost-effective means of delivering the state skillet design to the greater public inspired Alisa to grow the original state skillet idea into an industrial production.

Sarah Van Dyke
Owner, Revel

Sarah Van Dyke is a long-time Madisonian and UW alum who loves messy DIY projects, social gatherings, and dessert. After spending 11 formative years working in healthcare IT she did a career 180 and now enjoys helping others be inspired, create, and celebrate in Revel's unique downtown space. Revel is Sarah's second entrepreneurial adventure: her first business, Antics Flipbooks, was started in 2011 and sold in 2015. In her spare time Sarah sits on the board of the Black Earth Children's Museum and enjoys travel, baking, and spending time with her husband and 6-year old daughter.

Sunday night judges

Chandra Miller Fienen
Executive Director & Founding Member, StartingBlock Madison, Inc.

As a former attorney-turned entrepreneur, I have a wide set of varying leadership skills including legal; public policy development and implementation; pre-ideation and emerging company business development strategy; community building; charitable organization inception and management; and fundraising. At StartingBlock Madison, I get to engage in my passion to help cultivate entrepreneurs, accelerate startup growth and drive innovation.

Matt Younkle
Co-Founder & CEO, Cardigan LLC

Nationally regarded innovator and leader with wide-ranging experience in product development, product management, business development, team-building, financial modeling, and fund raising.

Maurice "Mo" Cheeks
VP of Business Development, MIOsoft

Mo Cheeks is a technology industry executive, a civic leader, and a dad. He moved to Madison in 2007 to take a job working for Apple, working with schools across Wisconsin – and quickly fell in love with his new chosen home.

His career includes more than ten years of increasing responsibility while successfully establishing culture in changing organizations, achieving sales growth and building teams that get results.

Richelle Martin
Winnow Fund, Managing Director

Richelle Martin is the Managing Director of the Winnow Fund, and responsible for seeking new investment opportunities. Prior to joining the Winnow Fund, she was a leader at UW-Madison’s Office of Industrial Partnerships. The University has an open portfolio of over $4 billion in research grants and contracts with industrial sponsors, with annual awards exceeding $1 billion. Richelle’s position provided a window to the areas on campus that interest private sector industry.

Richelle obtained a B.S. in Art History, Political Science, and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She went on to receive a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has assisted entrepreneurs, including individuals associated with UW-Madison, in forming companies, including preparation and filing of incorporation documents, and navigating intellectual property matters.

Code of Conduct

Note: All attendees must agree to adhere to this code of conduct if they wish to participate in Startup Weekend Madison.

Startup Weekend Madison (SW Madison) is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This code of conduct applies to all SW Madison spaces, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the SW Madison organizers.

Harassment includes:
  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour.
  • Physical contact without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
SW Madison prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort.

SW Madison organizers reserve the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as "leave me alone," "go away," or "I’m not discussing this with you."
  • Communicating in a "tone" you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

If you are being harassed by someone attending or involved with SW Madison, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the SW Madison organizers at, or find someone in-person to speak with. If the person who is harassing you is on the team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of SW Madison members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, SW Madison organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all SW Madison spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other SW Madison members or the general public.