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CPMI Event Center

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.

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!

Platinum Sponsors


Apr 12
  • Check-In Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • 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 13
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Coaches Arrive
  • 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 14
  • Doors open
  • 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
  • Workstation cleanup - Try to get rid of garbage, put things in order, etc.
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!

Matthew Goodman

Owner of Smiles & Gyros, Fighting Burrito, Dog Stand, Lorry’s

Matthew Goodman is an Entrepreneur from Ames, IA. Matthew is an Iowa native and grew up in Ottumwa. He moved to Ames in 1991 to pursue a B.S. in Chemistry. Within months, he was employed as a late-night street vendor. At the beginning of his third year at Iowa State University, he purchased that vending business. Throughout his time at the “Gyrostand” he created a strong relationship with the ISU student community. In the year 2000, after continuing to grow his small business and nearly a decade of grass roots relationship building on the streets Welch Avenue, Matthew obtained an M.S. in Biochemistry.

Looking for a new challenge, and a way to pay back the ISU student community for their years of support, Matthew sought and won the At-Large Ames City Council Seat as a candidate who understood the student perspective while living the life of a permanent resident. Since his election to the Ames City Council, he has expanded his community involvement by serving on the Octagon Center for the Arts Membership Committee, Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ames Transit Board and Ames Economic Development Commission. He was re-elected to the Ames city council in 2007 and 2011.

His entrepreneurial ventures have grown as well. In 2004, he partnered in the creation of an original restaurant concept, The Flying Burrito, with a former employee of the Gyrostand. Matthew is currently the sole owner of what is now know as The Fighting Burrito, and still owns SuperDog and the Smiles & Gyros. He opened Lorry’s Coffee, with his partner Lorry Ver Steeg, in October of 2010.

In October of 2012 Matthew opened the 2nd Fighting Burrito in Des Moines, IA on 13th and Locust, near the sculpture garden on the ground floor of The Nationwide Building.

Matthew continues to explore new ways to grow his businesses and to make an impact on his community in Ames with his wife, Neysa, and three daughters, Harmony, Greta and Ailie.

Gold Sponsors
Cardinal Sponsors

Dan Shipton

CEO of Change   |   LinkedIn

Dan Shipton is the CEO of Change, a cash register app for the iPad built by BitMethod in Des Moines, Iowa. BitMethod is made up of mobile craftsmen who swoon over well-made apps and love finding ways of making complex things simple. Before taking on Change, BitMethod built apps for companies such as SmartyPig, Kum & Go, and the 80/35 Music Festival.

Allen Bierbaum

VP - Technology   |   LinkedIn

Dr. Bierbaum has 21 years of experience in software engineering, research, and entrepreneurship. He is current VP of Technology for Priority 5 where he leads the development of their software solutions. He integrates years of experience in virtual reality and advanced graphics software development and engineering to his current field in actionable situation awareness technology with geospatial operational platforms.
Dr. Bierbaum has been involved in the software field since the early 90s, working in notable, innovative high-performance computing companies such as Silicon Graphics, Iowa State University’s Virtual Reality Applications Center, and Infiscape, an Iowa State University connected industry leader in architecting real world virtual reality applications and visualization solutions. He has diverse experience in positions ranging from Graphics Software Engineer, Research Assistant, Virtual Reality Consultant, and Software Engineer, as well as both Project Leader and Lead Developer.
A recognized subject matter expert, Dr. Bierbaum has published an extensive amount of technical literature for his work on the applications and development of virtual reality applications and graphics.

Cliff Smith

CEO, GlobalVetLINK   |   LinkedIn

Mr. Smith began serving as an advisor to GlobalVetLINK in 2009 and was appointed CEO in January 2011. He is the Founder and Principal of Arvo Partners, a strategic and financial consulting firm that assists private investors with identifying, recommending, implementing and managing strategic objectives that enhance value within the private companies they own.
As President and CEO of Bench Dog, Mr. Smith successfully led this specialty tool company out of financial insolvency. He has over 10 years of venture capital experience working with and raising equity capital for start-up and early-stage companies. Mr. Smith previously served as President for RAIN Source Capital where he was responsible for developing, marketing, and managing a series of investment funds that provide seed and growth capital for emerging companies. Mr. Smith also worked as a consultant assisting in a management turnaround of a publically traded specialty software company in the geosciences market.
Mr. Smith holds a BA in management from Hamline University and an MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

Jordan Lampe

Director of Communications, Dwolla   |   LinkedIn

As Dwolla's editor in chief, Jordan works with the team to curate, narrate, and share the payment network's ongoing story. His efforts can be found in national publications, like Fast Company, Inc., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and American Banker. A strong advocate for education reform and Internet freedom, Jordan recently joined the Governor's office informal advisory panel on STEM education and teamed up with Reddit to found The Internet Uncaucus, a bipartisan effort aimed at creating a unified platform for political discourse. He graduated with honors from Iowa State University and holds degrees in international communications and journalism. Jordan is also a two-time Intramural Badmitten Champion at Johnston High School (’03-’04).


Ben Meader

Co-Founder and President of Ingamix, LLC   |   LinkedIn

Ben is one step ahead of the contestants at Startup Weekend having helped take and form Ingamix, LLC from concept to company at Startup Weekend Des Moines last November. Ingamix is the second venture he has undertaken. Ben holds an MBA with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from DePaul University and an MIS degree from Iowa State University. Ben is also a veteran of business plan and concept contests having won 2 of the 3 he has been a part of. When Ben isn't working and proving that businesses can be built during the moonlight hours you can find him with his family.

Jake Kerber

CEO, Locusic   |   LinkedIn

Jake Kerber is an expert at designing and building user-friendly applications that solve complex problems.
In 1998 he earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Iowa State University. Since then Jake designed and developed custom software solutions in a range of industries for clients such as NASA, Best Buy, and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Jake runs a custom software development company, KerberTech, that he founded in 2004.
He is also the founder and CEO of Locusic, a local music streaming service started at a Startup Weekend Des Moines event. You open the app, pick a genre, and music plays from the local scene.

Amanda Morrow

Interactive Designer   |  

Amanda Morrow is the Interactive Designer for Change, a cash register app for the iPad built by BitMethod. Her expertise lies in the UX and UI arena. Along with her comrades at BitMethod, she has designed mobile app experiences not only for Change, but for SmartyPig, Kum & Go, and the 80/35 Music Festival. She organizes Design+Tech, a monthly design meet-up for those wanting to learn more about the web. She also teaches Mobile Application Design and Development at Drake University.

Jason Stone

Shareholder at Davis Brown   |   LinkedIn

Jason Stone is a shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm in the Business Law Division. His practice concentrates on the formation, acquisition, disposition, operation, and liquidation of business entities of all types and sizes and he has served clients in the fields of real estate, advanced technologies, health care, agriculture, manufacturing and finance.

Jason is also the program coordinator for Start-Up Launchpad, a premium full-service program of the Davis Brown Law Firm that includes flat-fee strategic advice and legal services for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. The program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with solid legal, financial and strategic advice, so they are able to focus on business matters.

Emily Harris

Intellectual Property Attorney at the Davis Brown Law Firm   |   LinkedIn

Emily is a shareholder attorney at the Davis Brown Law Firm. As a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Department, her practice focuses on obtaining patent, trademark, and copyright protection for firm clients and providing litigation support to the intellectual property litigators.

Emily is a registered patent attorney, able to practice in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She has a very diverse practice within the firm's intellectual property area.

Emily has a passion for technology and advocates for startup businesses, especially in relation to intellectual property and cyberlaw matters. She is the co-founder of Davis Brown's own startup business, The Start-Up Launchpad (

This unique website is designed to provide startup businesses and entrepreneurs with an affordable online legal solution for everything from business formation to protection of intellectual property. Using the site, clients can quickly and easily gain access to more than 30 legal documents, educational checklists and articles that were developed by Emily and other Davis Brown attorneys.

Mike Upah

Director of Business Development, Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University   |   LinkedIn

Consultant for technology based business development.

Adam Reineke
Mike Naughton
Rebecca VanDeCasteele
Andrew Kirpalani

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We’ve managed to find some excellent judges for the inaugural Startup Weekend Ames event. Each of these judges has plenty of experience in […]

Announcing Our Speaker

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We’re proud to announce our speaker for the inaugural Startup Weekend Ames event! Matthew Goodman, owner of Fighting Burrito, Smiles […]


Student Discounts!

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Startup Weekend Ames is offering $20 off for all students. Simply enter the code ames_students while you are purchasing your ticket. This discount […]

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