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METS Center

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Nov 9
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome
  • 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


Nov 10
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch & Call for Help
  • Brad Feld speaks to attendees
  • 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


Nov 11
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Premier Sponsors

Brad Feld

Foundry Group, Co-Founder Techstars   |   LinkedIn

Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures, a company that helped launch and operate software companies. Brad is also a co-founder of TechStars.

Brad currently serves on the board of directors of BigDoor, Cheezburger, Fitbit, FullContact, Gnip, MakerBot, MobileDay, Modular Robotics, Oblong, Orbotix, SEOMoz, Standing Cloud, and Yesware for Foundry Group. Previously, Brad was an executive at AmeriData Technologies after it acquired Feld Technologies, a firm he founded in 1987 that specialized in custom software applications.

In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the board of Startup Weekend. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld Thoughts, Startup Revolution, and Ask the VC.

Notable companies that Brad has invested in and/or sat on the boards of include Abuzz (acq. NYT), (acq. PALM), Critical Path (CPTH), Cyanea (acq. IBM), Dante Group (acq. WEBM), DataPower (acq. IBM), FeedBurner (acq. by GOOG), Feld Group (acq. by EDS), Gist (acq. RIM), Harmonix (acq. VIA), NetGenesis (IPO), ServiceMagic (acq. IACI), ServiceMetrics (acq. EXDS), and Zynga (ZNGA).

Brad holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brad is also an avid art collector and long-distance runner. He has completed 23 marathons as part of his mission to finish a marathon in each of the 50 states.

Platinum Sponsors

Tarek Kamil

Executive Director @ InfoMotion Sports Technologies   |   LinkedIn

Tarek Kamil is the Executive Director of Online Strategy for startup InfoMotion Sports Technology (IST) and provides analytics consulting for professional and collegiate sports teams. IST uses embedded sensor technology to quantify sports skills and leverages that data as a cornerstone for online sports communities.

Prior to IST, he served as a VP of Interactive Games for Los Angeles-based FOX Sports. He oversaw all facets of the online gaming operations for the Interactive Unit, including based in Cincinnati. was founded by Tarek in February, 2000 and sold to FOX Interactive Media in September, 2005. Prior to leading the Interactive Games unit for FOX Sports, Tarek served as President/Founder of, the Internet’s leader in sports simulation technology, games and content. In just 5 short years, Tarek grew WhatIfSports from an idea to over 500,000 members and orchestrated partnerships with some of the largest names in sports, including ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB, NBA and the NHL. In February of 2005, WhatIfSports was named Sports Site of the Year by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, beating out both and Prior to launching, in 1997 Tarek founded, and served as President of, Incigna Technology Solutions — a provider of custom developed software and Internet solutions. Incigna worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies including General Electric, Anthem Insurance, Omnicare and Western Southern Financial.

Tony Alexander

Co-Founder @ SimpleRegistry

Tony is the co-founder of Traveler’s Joy and SimpleRegistry, two of the leading gift registry sites on the web. More recently, he helped start SmartyTags, a 2D barcode analytics platform. He likes to structure his businesses to allow him (and his partners) to work from anywhere. Though based in Cincinnati, during the past few years he has spent extended time working from New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Florence, London, Nairobi, and Tbilisi. Tony has a business degree from Miami University and spent 4 years at Accenture managing ERP implementations for multiple Fortune 500 companies.

Rahul Bawa

Director of Digital and Software @ CincyTech

Rahul Bawa is the Director of Digital and Software Investments at CincyTech. He evaluates investment opportunities, advises startup companies and helps them with their business and technology growth strategies.

Rahul joined CincyTech in June 2011 with over 24 years of Information Technology experience in a variety of leadership positions. Most recently he was Chief Information Officer for Axcess Financial Services from 2004-2011. In this role, Rahul’s team developed innovative technology solutions including a new Point-of-Sale system to support the aggressive growth of various business units in the US and UK providing short-term lending and check cashing solutions. Prior to joining Axcess Financial, Rahul was Vice President of eBusiness for Fifth Third Bank where he transformed Fifth Third’s eBusiness solutions including the implementation of a new consumer Internet Banking solution, a new B2B eBusiness portal, new retail branch and call center transaction systems and a new Intranet.

Rahul also spent 7 years at IBM working on the US air traffic control system, 4 years at United Airlines where he launched the original version of and 3 years at Xpedior, Inc (a Chicago-based eBusiness consulting organization) where he grew annual revenue from $4M to $70M.

A native of India, Rahul holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Information Systems from the University of Cincinnati.

Mike Bott

General Manager @ Brandery   |   LinkedIn

Mike Bott is the General Manager of The Brandery. In addition to running the day-to-day operations of the space and program, he looks forward to sharing his branding and product management experience with The Brandery companies. Prior to joining The Brandery, Mike worked in brand management at Procter & Gamble, architecting Olay North America’s digital strategy and ecosystem which was awarded P&G’s internal designation of “Best Digital” at the NA Brand Building Awards. Before P&G, he led product launches as a product manager at and AOL. He has a passion for building brands with high quality user experiences and creative monetization and acquisition strategies. He’s currently working with two startups – SonicNotify and Wearcast. Mike graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA and MBA and is active in the Irish Angels network.

Ann Lauer

Co-Founder @ The Garage Group

Ann’s 17 year career has consistently delivered strategic thinking, focus on people development and business results to multiple work groups and organizations ranging across Fortune 500 CPG, non-profits and marketing/research consulting. Ann’s expertise areas include: organizational strategy, leadership development, business development, engaging approaches to learning, helping others discover big ideas that might just change the world and coaching and mentoring high potential/high capacity leaders.

Gold Sponsors

Ry Walker

Co-Founder @ Spark59   |  

- Cincinnati entrepreneur and web developer.
- Creator of more than a dozen companies and products.
- Lives in Anderson Township, Ohio with his wife and three children.
- Coaches and plays basketball, plays tennis.
- Co-founder of Spark59, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs success through tools, content, and coaching.
- Current organizer of the Cincinnati Lean Startup Circle.
- Created Sharkbytes, Inc. in 1995, one of the first web development firms nationally. Grew the company to 35 employees, and sold it in 1999.
- Served as senior leadership roles for The Devine Group and RecruitMilitary, both Cincinnati-based, technology-centered small businesses.

Kieth Johnson

CEO @ Petbrosia

Keith Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Petbrosia, LLC, a startup company which blends a unique product, digital technology, and a compelling brand experience to revolutionize how
people care for their pets. He is also a founding partner in Vantus Global, LLC, which provides marketing and management consulting, with a focus on ecommerce. Through June 2012, Keith
was the Marketing and Business Team Leader for P&G’s NA Professional business unit, which shined as the fastest growing division of P&G during his tenure.

Keith graduated from Purdue University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Before coming to P&G, he worked in the chemical industry for DuPont. Keith joined the Procter & Gamble Company in 1994 and has worked on consumer brands, such as
Always®, Tampax®, Iams®, Tide®, and Bounty®. He has had various functional roles while with P&G, including engineering, program management, initiative success, and brand management.
He has had assignments around the world, including Italy and Japan. Most recently in 2011, he received an MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business with concentrations in Strategy, Entrepreneurship, International Business, and Finance.

James J. Cunningham

Executive Director @   |   LinkedIn

Since 2001 Jim Cunningham has been Executive Director of C-Cap,
Cincinnati’s angel capital hub, where he manages the operations of the
Queen City Angels group of early stage angel investors. Queen City
Angels is one of the top angel investor groups in the United States in
amounts invested. Jim also conducts mentoring and educational programs
for entrepreneurs, including the regionally-prominent Mentoring
Mornings and the Entrepreneur Boot Camp held each June, which has
trained over 500 entrepreneurs. He has reviewed several hundred
startup business plans for C-Cap. Jim is also President of The
Circuit, which is the information technology association of the
Cincinnati region.

Previously he was an officer of, an internet portal
start-up, general counsel of a venture capital-backed software
company, and a partner in a large Cincinnati law firm. Jim holds law
degrees from the University of Notre Dame and the University of
London, England.

Ron Rose

Serial Entrepreneur

Joshua Johnson

CEO @ Mindbox Studios   |   LinkedIn

Joshua is the CEO of Mindbox Studios, a digital agency focused on custom mobile and web software development for startups and enterprise businesses. His team of 25, with hubs in Oregon and Ohio, have worked with over 60 startups in three years from coast to coast. He is passionate about digital marketing, technology strategy, design, and user experience.

Joshua is also the founder of the Continuous Web tech and startup community. He is on the board of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association, a frequent mentor with Morning Mentoring and the Entrepreneur Bootcamp, and a speaker on various technology and marketing panels. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children.

Vance Van Drake

Avi Ram


Avi Ram was born and educated in Israel, with vast international experience gained in almost 15 years of working with entrepreneurs in South Africa, USA, UK, Europe and Switzerland. Avi acquired full company life-cycle experience, from setting-up and funding, through leading, investing and coaching, to selling and closing-down various startup ventures.

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