Idea to Startup

Innovate, Create, Celebrate

June 1 – 3, 2018

Get ready for Ramp Up Weekend 11! Ramp Up Weekends pull together developers, designers, makers, and entrepreneurs to build a minimum viable product (MVP) in 55 hours.

The event isn’t just about how many startups succeed or launch, it’s about building deep relationships among the attendees, learning, and taking the first steps toward entrepreneurship – in Manitoba!

Supporting sponsors are given the opportunity to get right into the trenches with teams as they build the next big thing! This transforms your brand in the eyes of some of our province’s best and brightest talent in technology and innovation.


“What a challenging and inspirational weekend! I met some new friends and saw the amazing talents of all participants come together to create some great pitches for new ideas.”

-North Forge member Ted Sims

Ramp Up Weekend Competitor Package


Location: 321 McDermot Ave (5th Floor)


5:30-6:00 pm – Registration (Check-In)

6:00-6:30 pm- Refreshments, Snacks, Icebreaker

6:30-7:10 – Introductions

7:10-8:30 – 60-second pitches/Team Formation & Registration

Post 8:30 – Hustle!



8:00 am – Breakfast served

10:00am – Team Huddle/Mentor Sign out

10:30am – Mentors Arrive & Start rounds

12:00 pm – Lunch

1:00pm – WTC Researchers Available

6:00 pm – Dinner

Post 6:00pm – Hustle!



8:00 am – Breakfast served

10:30-12:00 pm – Pitch Scrubbing

12:00 pm – Lunch

1:00-4:00pm – Hustle!

4:00pm – Slide decks MUST be submitted

5:00pm – Walk/Drive to the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, 281 Donald Street.

6:30pm – Opening Remarks

7:00 pm – Pitches Begin



Day 1 • Friday, June 1

Attendees will have 60 seconds to pitch each idea. After all ideas pitched, everyone votes their three favourites. With the most interesting ideas gaining traction, teams begin to form into cross-functional groups including design, development, business, and more. The remainder of Friday evening is spent brainstorming and planning for building a Minimum Viable Product Saturday and Sunday.

Day 2 • Saturday, June 2

Logos and websites are created, product mocked up and built, customer validation – it’s a day of building. Mentors move from team to team, asking tough questions and helping teams survive the ‘pivots’ ahead.

Day 3 • Sunday, June 3

Continued building and another round of mentorship.  Pitch Prep sessions will be available for teams looking to scrub their pitches. After dinner, it’s time to pitch to the judges.  Teams will have 3 minutes to pitch, and 3 minutes of Q & A. After the awards are handed out and the teams catch their breath, we hope to see these startups move on and launch right here in Winnipeg!



Compete for cash prizes and the chance to develop your product at Red River College’s ACE Project Space – including office space, access to student developers and support from an amazing team of experienced project managers.

Student Registration…$25
Regular Registration…$100



The Ramp Up Weekend pitch finale will be hosted at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre on Sunday June 3, 2018. Be there to feel the passion and intensity of competing teams as they pitch their best ideas to a panel of judges.

Doors open at 5:30 pm for networking.
Pitches start at 6:30 pm.
Food & drinks are available for purchase.




Forough Khadem

Dr. Forough Khadem works as a business development specialist at Mitacs and WCIO. In this role, she engages with Manitoba’s vibrant innovative research, technology and start-up community to promote collaborative research between academia and industries.

Dr. Khadem holds a PhD in immunology from the University of Manitoba. Her Ph.D. research contributed to new scientific knowledge on understanding the host-pathogen interactions in leishmaniasis, a deadly neglected tropical parasitic disease from which she identified a novel vaccine/drug candidate against leishmaniasis. As a result, she has received many awards including: Research Manitoba Studentship Award, the prestigious Apotex Fermentation Inc. Major Award for Molecular Biology Research from Collage Committee for Graduate Studies, 10 poster and 11 travel awards. Dr. Khadem has been nominated as the CBC’s 40 under 40 youth leaders, and for Canada’s 150th Birthday, she was recognized as a successful Manitoba newcomer, leader, innovator, and trailblazer by CBC’s #iamMB.

Joelle Foster

Joelle is best known as a spirited activist for entrepreneurship in Canada. Three months ago she left Winnipeg to lead the new University of Calgary Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking as the inaugural Executive Director. Prior to this, Joelle was a Director for Futurpreneur, for 7.5 years overseeing the Prairies and the North. She has affectionately earned the title of “Start-Up Mom”.

Supporting a wide range of entrepreneurial initiatives, she currently sits on the Board for North Forge Technology Exchange. She was a board member for the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and co-chaired the Small Business Council. She was on the Board of Governors for the Balmoral Hall School for Girls and is still a mentor in the Asper MBA Executive Program. In recognition of her work, Joelle was the 2017 recipient of Volunteer of the Year Award from the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and she received the Board of Directors Excellence Award from the Manitoba Filipino Business Council in 2016.

Michael Legary

Michael Legary is the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Winnipeg and the director of Innovation Alley, an entrepreneur-led non-profit organization focused on developing shared entrepreneurial, startup, innovation and venture capital resources in Manitoba. As an entrepreneur Michael has focused much of his career on information assurance, founding, leading and exiting several IT, security and defence research companies over the past twenty years.

As a civil servant, Michael is focused on creating an innovation culture to enable municipal growth for the next 100 years. He is the past Chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on public and private sector boards from an innovation, risk management and entrepreneurial perspective. He is the recipient of numerous business awards, including the CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 award, and a E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his entrepreneurial endeavors, including Seccuris, a leading Canadian information security firm Michael founded which was acquired by Hitachi Systems in 2015.


Allister Penner, CPA, Partner, MNP Assurances Services Group
Michael Glazier, CPA, Glazier CPA

Suzanne Braun, Managing Director, Relish New Brand Experience
Adam Dooley, Dooley Communications

Matt Olson, Entrepreneur in Residence, North Forge
Kathy Fedirchuck, Validation Engineer, Product Quality Expert

Robert Keizer, CEO, Pegboard Hosting
Daniel Blair, CEO, BitSpace Development

Business Development
Elaine Paulson, Senior Technology Advisor, BDC
Liz Pelton, Regional Director, Futurpreneur Canada
Dustin Refvik, Master of Code

Ali Hyde, Corporate/Commercial Associate, TDS Law

World Trade Centre, Winnipeg

Jordan Dutchak, Executive Director, Co-Labs

Leonardo Miranda Nunes, Senior Cloud DevOps Engineer at SkipTheDishes


1st Place: $1,000
Fan Favourite: $500
2nd Place: $500
Weekend Prizes: 10 x $100


ACE Project Space: Top two qualifying ideas will be offered an office space for four months at the ACE Project Space. As an Entrepreneurs-in-Residence you will have the chance to work with interested RRC ACE students to develop a prototype of your project and receive access to all the services offered by the ACE Project Space. The four-month period could be extended based on students’ interests.


Fabrication Lab Membership: WIN a six-month Corporate Membership at the North Forge Fabrication Lab. Receive 24-hour access to the lab’s 3D printing, CNC milling, metal fabrication equipment and more, while also working with fellow members who offer experience and advice to help you bring your idea to life.


North Forge Startup Program: Win a six-month term in the North Forge Startup Program. Includes Tier 1 mentorship from a group that has founded, funded, scaled, and exited companies. You’ll be introduced to investors, fellow founders, and provided with the resources you can use to grow your company.


Office Space: WIN North Forge Startup Space at 125 Adelaide in the heart of Innovation Alley close to the Fabrication Lab and ACE Project Space. You’ll have an Exchange District address, Tier 1 fibre internet, phone system and the opportunity to work alongside other founders.


Legal Services: WIN $600 in credits for incorporation services. Top 3 qualifying ideas also win 30 minutes consultation courtesy of TDS Law.


Accounting Services: WIN over $1,500 in startup services including Quickbooks license and quick set up, three hours bookkeeping training, two hours with a business expert and one hour SRED service courtesy of MNP.


Agency Services: Top three qualifying ideas WIN $600 toward branding, marketing or web services with Relish New Brand Experience Inc. and one hour consultation.


UX Services: WIN $600 toward user experience strategy, consulting or usability testing services with Caribou.


Hosting Services: Top three qualifying ideas will receive free website hosting for one year from Pegboard Hosting.


Associate your brand with accelerating technology startups in Manitoba – all while increasing your company’s visibility and expanding your business network. Contact Marney Stapley, 204-799-2033.


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