March 31 - April 2, 2017

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Have you ever wanted to be a part of the solution for issues in your community? Have you ever had an idea to solve those issues? GiveBackHack is your next step. Attend to partner up with the community and find the resources to make ideas into a reality.

The event kicks off Friday night, where community members of all backgrounds who are eager to make an impact on the city around them meet and exchange ideas. The crowd favorite ideas are identified and teams are then formed around them. Participants then spend the weekend mentored by top social entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, venture capitalists and prominent business men/women as they vet their ideas and build them into real products – physical products, smartphone applications, websites and a variety of solutions for the issues we face in Columbus.


Friday - March 31

Doors Open
Dinner & networking
Welcome & speakers
Idea pitches start
Attendees vote on top ideas
Start forming teams
Formalize teams
Wrap up!
Facilities close

Saturday - April 1

Doors open & breakfast to start the day!
Morning business/mentors arrive
Community updates - circle up and discuss progress
Afternoon Mentors arrive
Dinner sponsored by Rev1
Wrap up!
Facilities close

Sunday - April 2

Doors open + breakfast to start the day
Business/mentors arrive + community updates
Pitch practice
Presentation tech check
Community arrives + final presentations
Judging and awards
Wrap up and celebrate

Judges & Mentors


Jen Bowden

Director of Community Investment, IGS

Jen Bowden is the Director of Community Investment for IGS Companies, where she has the awesome privilege to carry forward the company’s vision of changing the world by changing the way we think about and consume energy. In this role, she’s responsible for investments into the communities where IGS does business including philanthropic investments, employee community engagement, and volunteerism. Before joining IGS, she was the vice president of community relations for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus’ professional hockey team. Jen has also held roles as the director of corporate and government relations and capital campaign manager for Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Before joining the Foodbank, she spent several years in charitable fundraising in Washington, D.C. She graduated in 2004 from The Ohio State University with a degree in International Studies. Jen actively serves the community through volunteerism and civic participation. Currently, she serves as a board member of Deep Griha USA, the McConnell Arts Center, is a committee chair for the HRC Columbus Gala, and annually serves as a roster judge on Election Day for the Franklin County Board of Elections. She, her daughter Parker, and their small but loud dog Frankie live in Northwest Columbus.

Tony Wells

The Tony R. Wells Foundation

Check back soon for more about Tony.  

Jerry Dannemiller

VP, Strategic Communications and Marketing, United Way of Central Ohio

Jerry Dannemiller is United Way of Central Ohio’s Vice President of Strategic Communications and Marketing. In his role, Jerry leads a team committed to raising awareness and engagement year-round through campaigns and events focused on United Way’s work of improving lives, strengthening our community, and helping people build pathways out of poverty.

Prior to his joining United Way of Central Ohio in October 2014, he was Director of Marketing and Communications at the Wexner Center for the Arts ( where he oversaw all tactical and strategic planning for the center’s outreach, publications, media relations, advertising, CRM and data analysis, digital and social media efforts. He guided the center’s brand and reputation, partnering with internal university groups, external vendors and community partners to develop programming, messaging and key annual campaigns. Prior to the Wexner Center, he was with University Communications at Ohio State where he served in several roles including writer, editor, producer, and Assistant Director within the university’s Publications and New Media Unit.

Jerry also has written for several publications and online outlets including The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Monthly, National Public Radio, and the Ohio State University Alumni Magazine. He’s active in both the arts and community organizations in Columbus, volunteering with Greater Columbus Sister Cities (Africa Selection Committee), the Columbus College of Art and Design, the Columbus Music Co-op, and has helped organize art events and festivals big and small throughout Columbus. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Wesleyan University.


Doug Ulman

President / CEO at Pelotonia

In his role as president and chief executive officer, Doug Ulman oversees the strategic vision and direction of Pelotonia and also serves as an advisor to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Doug is a three-time cancer survivor and globally recognized cancer advocate. After overcoming chondrosarcoma during his sophomore year of college and malignant melanoma twice since, Doug and his family founded the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting, educating and connecting young adults, their families and friends, who are affected by cancer. He served as executive director of the organization for four years before joining the LIVESTRONG Foundation in 2001 as director of survivorship. He went on to lead LIVESTRONG as president and chief executive officer for seven years before joining Pelotonia in 2014.

During his time at the LIVESTRONG Foundation, Doug helped transform the nonprofit into an internationally-known brand and leader in the global movement for people affected by cancer. Doug has earned a reputation as the “Most Savvy Health Care Leader in Social Media” for his innovative use of social media to spread awareness and knowledge around the world’s leading cause of death. His online community includes a Twitter following of more than one million.

Doug currently holds numerous civic and charitable board positions for organizations such as the Union for International Cancer Control, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and C-Change. He also sits on the advisory board for Provectus Pharmaceuticals and is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Doug served for four years as the Chairman of the National Cancer Institute Director’s Consumer Liaison Group.

In his spare time, Doug enjoys traveling, reading, playing golf and running. He has participated in 14 marathons, including a 100-mile ultramarathon in the Himalayan Mountains, and recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Most importantly, Doug enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

Ida Abdalkhani

Founder, Ability to Engage

Ida is the Founder & Chief Catalyzer of Ability to Engage, Inc. Ability to Engage helps brands develop marketing communications, product ideas, brand strategies (brand personality, equity, and architecture), and consumer segmentations. The A2E team also develops and facilitates innovation sessions, strategic meetings, and team effectiveness workshops. Clients include start-up companies, international government groups, and some of the world’s largest and most respected companies in brand and marketing such as Clorox, ConAgra Foods, McGraw Hill, Ogilvy, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Red Bull.

In addition to running a boutique consultancy, Ida is a professor at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, where she teaches a graduate course, Creativity & Design Thinking- Strategies for Innovation. She also serves as a Board Member and Trustee for Ohio Business Week, an entrepreneurial summer camp for high school students and is a member of Forbes Agency Council, an invitation only organization for senior-level executives in successful PR, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Ida holds six patents with the USPTO and has been published in Prentice Hall, YOUNG MONEY® magazine, and several blogs. As a certified Laughter Yoga instructor, she also enjoys getting people find their “inner child” through laughter.

Casey Borders

Java Instructor, TechElevator

Casey is currently a Java instructor at TechElevator in Columbus. He has been a professional developer for over 10 years but his love of technology goes all the way back to his father teaching him QBasic at 9 years old. Throughout his career he's had the opportunity to work in a wide variety of environments from a 10 person start-up to a Fortune 25 company and everything in between. Most recently he has been focused on mobile development, leading teams targeting both Android and iOS, as well as working with and mentoring junior developers.

Casey is also a co-organizer of the Google Developer Group in Columbus where he puts on monthly meetings to help inform people of the latest technology news. For the last two years GDG Columbus has partnered with Google and Udacity to present an introduction to Android development courses.

Ryan Frederick

Principal, AWH & Director, Startup Grind Columbus & Director, i.c.Stars

Ryan has had the privilege of being part of several startups and growth companies. He has helped companies grow from inception, to viability, through to sustainability. During the evolution of these companies, Ryan as served on company boards and been instrumental in capitalization activities. He has also helped companies to expand to international markets. Ryan brings a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge to help companies and clients to achieve their objectives. He enjoys the process and challenge of starting and growing a company. In addition to leading the Columbus chapter of Startup Grind, Ryan (@ryanfrederick) is a Principal at AWH: Builders of software applications and careers (@AWHNET).  

Jay Clouse

Product Head, CrossChx

Jay Clouse is an entrepreneur and community evangelist who mixes business development and product as a Product Head at CrossChx. As former COO of a technology startup (Tixers), a Create Columbus Commissioner, and an Organizer/Facilitator of Startup Weekend, his mission is to help and empower the Columbus young professional community and grow the technology startup ecosystem. He has a passion for the arts and local music scene as well, and explores the intersection between entrepreneurship and art. Jay once bought Dave McClure a beer and he told said that Jay's pitch "didn't completely suck."

Alex Purtell

Accelerator Director, Lumos

Alex is a 4-time startup founder and Accelerator Director at the Lumos Accelerator, a Columbus based startup accelerator, where he is in charge of finding, funding and creating a support network for early-stage founders. He has worked as the resident growth hacker and consultant for over 80 startups and is also the head of growth and marketing at - a SAAS for physical therapists that decreases patient's time to recovery. Alex has a passion for helping earl-stage entrepreneurs who want to take their ideas to the next level.

Calvin Cooper

Associate, NCT Ventures

Calvin is an associate on the NCT Ventures investment team and focuses on identifying and evaluating new investment opportunities. He specializes in raising capital, market research and intelligence, due diligence, and portfolio management. Prior to joining the NCT family, Calvin served in an executive role at OMSDC where he conducted the merger due diligence and integration of two regional organizations. He has experience in supplier diversity and business development, connecting diverse owned companies to Fortune 500 corporations. He also founded and launched the MBE Academy in partnership with the City of Columbus. Additionally, he has public relations and marketing experience that includes creating and publishing the Connections Magazine, government affairs, strategic marketing, and branding initiatives. Calvin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University in Financial Economics and has presented economic research at national conferences.

Mackenzie King

Director of Design Research and Insight Translation, Lextant

Mackenzie believes in customer led innovation and has worked with clients across industries to help them integrate their customers' voices in their innovation process from the fuzzy front end of a business challenge to co-creating a design strategy or business model, to iteration and implementation. She has engaged physicians to design smart devices that integrate into complex hospital informatics systems; NYC students to create a hip hop-themed college prep high school, Millennials to design the car of the future and community leaders to envision an innovative live-work development. With over 10 years experience, she now serves as Director of Design Research and Insight Translation at Lextant. Her clients have included Best Buy, Nissan, P&G, Pepsico. Mackenzie holds a design degree from Pratt Institute and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

Kevin Mack

UI Designer/Developer, User Experience at Cardinal Solutions, Co-Organizer & Co-Founder of Columbus Web Group

Kevin Mack is a developer, designer, and consultant that is focused on creating user interfaces and user experiences for large-scaling websites. Kevin is also a co-founder and co-organizer of The Columbus Web Group where he actively participates in growing and educating the community around design, development, best practices and standards for the web. You can find him on Twitter (@nicetransition), YouTubeCodePen, or GitHub.

Sean Doran

User Experience Designer

Sean's a hybrid UX designer and front-end developer using psychology to solve enterprise problems with delightfully cohesive product experiences. He also just started SPJPGRD, a consulting company bringing you the smart integration of content strategy, marketing, and design systems for simple evergreen profitability. When he's not working on the web, he's connecting the community through Columbus Web Group, the largest most active local meetup.

Emily Savors

Director of Grants Management, The Columbus Foundation

Since 1991, Emily has assisted the Foundation in carrying out its services to donors and supporting organizations, nonpro t organizations, and the community at-large. She has served as a catalyst in addressing community needs by researching, reviewing, and spearheading projects for funding consideration, and developing funding partnerships for special initiatives. Prior to joining the Foundation, Emily was director of housing and community services for South Middlesex Opportunity Council. Emily has a bachelor of arts in Economics from Kenyon College and masters’ degrees in public policy and theological studies from Harvard University.

Dan Rockwell

Big Kitty Labs

Dan comes from a heavy background of DIY self taught talents including video production and animation, design, and marketing. His mainline activities take him into the world of design research at Lextant where for 11+ years he’s been Lextant’s Tool Czar and key Futurist. In 2008 he stumbled upon Startup Weekend Columbus, and won the TechGenesis 50k grant fund for the creation of JoeMetric, a mobile survey startup he led and started with 7 others. With a compulsive vision and insane work ethic he created BKL in 2009 to explore the horizon of “what if and why not” with fellow JoeMetric co-founder and friend Tushar Kulkarni. Dan’s role in BKL is vision, concepts, brand, user experience, research and tactical yummyness.  

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