April 21-23, 2017


Events / Cleveland 2017



Friday - April 21

Doors Open
Dinner & networking (don't miss this!)
Friday night begins! We'll cover everything
Wrap up!
Facilities close

Saturday - April 22

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

Sunday - April 23

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


Mel McGee

Founder, CEO - We Can Code IT

Founder and CEO of We Can Code IT, Crain's Cleveland 2014 Woman of Note, and software engineer & architect with 20 years of professional experience, I am humbled to have the opportunity to give back to the community and shepherd new, diverse, programmers into tech careers. My interest in bringing coding to everyone began nearly as soon as I started my role as a software engineer. I've worked in ... Read More »

Charles Stack

Co-Founder, CEO - FlashStarts, Founder - StartMart

Charles Stack is a successful serial entrepreneur, angel investor, startup advisor, and the co-founder of the startup accelerator Flashstarts and StartMart Cleveland. Flashstarts launches 12+ new startups every year, providing a complete suite of services from formation, funding, and fund raising. Through their venture fund their startups can receive follow-on funding and they offer angels a carefully ... Read More »

Joel Byler

Software Developer, CoverMyMeds

Joel is one of many amazing software engineers at CoverMyMeds. He has experience working with startups as well as large corporations in a vast array of programming languages.  He is also the organizer for the Cleveland Ruby Brigade and enjoys participating in community events such as Cleveland GiveCamp, Startup Weekend, and Global Day of Code Retreat.  Joel is passionate about helping students of ... Read More »


Adam Dunn

Co-Founder of Cleveland Co-Labs

Adam is an educator. Having spent the past 9 years creating community in public schools as a teacher, mentor and team leader he knows the troubles facing communities. After teaching across the country and returning to academics through the University of Pennsylvania for a Masters in Education Policy, he returned to Cleveland his hometown, to add value to the current renaissance underway. He is a past ... Read More »

Evelyn Burnett

Co-Founder & Partner at ThirdSpace Action Lab

Evelyn Burnett is a co-founder and partner of the ThirdSpace Action Lab and Third Space Café. Prior to this exciting venture, Evelyn served as Vice President, Economic Opportunity at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress an intermediary whose mission is to foster communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland. Prior to joining CNP, Evelyn served as Associate Director for Program Strategies with ... Read More »

David Wintrich

Chief Academic Officer, TechElevator

David Wintrich is Chief Academic Officer and co-founder of Tech Elevator, a 14-week coding bootcamp where students learn full-stack software development on either the Java or .NET platform and receive career-coaching and job placement assistance to begin careers in technology. He is responsible for Tech Elevator's academic quality and integrity and has been the lead Java instructor at Tech Elevator's ... Read More »

Jordan Johnson

Associate Instructor, We Can Code IT

Jordan Johnson was born in Cleveland and grew up in Shaker Heights. After high school he attended Shawnee State University and received a degree in Digital Simulation and Gaming Engineering Technology. He has a been involved with computers since a young age and loves to learn and keep up on new and emerging technology. Outside of coding Jordan can read, write and speak in Japanese he also has a strong ... Read More »

Victoria Avi

Program Manager, CWRU LaunchNET, Case Western Reserve University

Victoria Avi is a transplant from Azerbaijan. Her family moved to the US in ‘97. Cleveland is her new and forever home. She’s had the honor and the pleasure to work with and to learn from some of the best sustainability pros in Cleveland and the nation. Currently, Victoria is managing Case Western Reserve's LaunchNET. She previously managed the Sustainable Business Center at CSU and teaching MBAs ... Read More »

Lorraine Schuchart

Founder, CEO Prosper for Purpose

After years of leading relationship management efforts for other organizations, Lorraine Schuchart had a vision for a company that could do well by doing good. She created Prosper for Purpose at her kitchen table in late 2012 and began working with clients a month later. In January 2016, Lorraine earned the company the prestigious B Corp Certification. B Corps meet the highest standards of verified ... Read More »

Don Firca

Patent Attorney, Cooper Legal Group

Don Firca is a seasoned patent attorney with significant experience handling patent preparation and prosecution in the electrical, computer, chemical, and software related arts. Don also has experience with licensing, strategic IP counseling, IP related contract matters, and opinion work. Don received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006 and his Bachelor of Science degree ... Read More »

Ed Buchholz

Founder and CEO, ExpenseBot

Ed is founder of three venture-backed software companies and has more than nineteen years startup experience with several exits. He is deeply passionate about enabling class mobility through entrepreneurship and believes in empowering through equity, inclusion, & transparency. Ed founded and leads StartInCLE, an award-winning community organization and economic development initiative. StartInCLE ... Read More »

Josh Tucholski

Lead .NET Instructor, Tech Elevator

Josh Tucholski is the Lead .NET Instructor at Tech Elevator with over 12 years of experience creating .NET solutions ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Tech Elevator, Josh worked at Key Bank where he was a Solution Architect for their Community Bank team. He spent time working for a marketing agency and has provided technical expertise to a number of different industries ... Read More »

Joshua Kruszynski

Product Designer, Complion

Joshua Kruszynski does product work for Complion. He is a board member for Rust Belt Riders and an organizer for Design Breakfast.

Paolo Appley

Product Designer, LeanDog

Paolo Appley is a Product Designer at LeanDog in Cleveland, where he helps clients build successful custom software products, and become better product managers in the process. Paolo brings a person-centered approach that starts with an exploration of a customer’s values and goals; works through a team-driven understanding of the product’s business model, technical challenges and possibilities; ... Read More »

Lev Gonick

CEO, DigitalC

Lev Gonick is DigitalC’s CEO and visionary, charting the course to civic tech collaboration through technology leadership, data-driven solutions, and place-based activation. Lev was a co-founder (in 2003) and CEO (2013-present) of OneCommunity, the award-winning organization enabling innovation, collaboration and productivity through next generation broadband networks. From 2001 to 2013, Lev was ... Read More »

Mike Masisak

Solution Architect, Progressive Insurance

Michael Masisak is a Solution Architect for Progressive Insurance.  He began his career as a software developer at Progressive more than 20 years ago.  He is currently leading enterprise solution deliverables to enhance the customer communications for claims handlers.  The most recent deliverable was a Photo Estimate Mobile application feature integrated with AWS and Progressive .Net platform applications.

Mike Tracz

Director of Design, Balance Inc

Mike Tracz is a problem-solver at heart and believes that great design is achieved through honest collaboration and genuine curiosity.  As Director of Design at Balance, he leads a team working on breakthrough products and experiences for top regional, national and global brands

Pete Martin

Founder and CEO, Votem

Pete Martin is a serial entrepreneur with 5 start-ups including several successful exits generating an average return to investors of 11 times invested capital. His current venture is as founder and CEO of Votem Corp, a revolutionary mobile voting platform designed to securely cast votes in elections across the globe using Blockchain technology. Pete has 25 years of enterprise technology & software ... Read More »

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 ... Read More »

Event Sponsors


Louisa Lee is a Venture for America fellow and a recovering Art History major from Williams College. She has a background in startups and the non-profit space, which naturally evolved into a passion for social enterprise. She jumped onto the GiveBackHack organizing team in early 2015 and is excited to help it expand its impact across the country. She currently works on the New Products team at CoverMyMeds, ... Read More »

Feras Deiratany is an Application Programmer at Progressive Insurance in Cleveland, with a Computer Science and Engineering degree from The Ohio State University. He is a member of the Cleveland Hub of the Global Shapers community, an international initiative of the World Economic Forum. His first participation in GiveBackHack sparked his interest in the event when he saw the impact it created within ... Read More »

Katie moved to Cleveland in 2016 as a Venture for America Fellow, and spends her workdays designing and testing software for interpretation of genetic data in cancer patients. Outside of work, she enjoys swimming in lakes and pools, reading sci-fi from the Cleveland Public Library, exploring the brewery scene, and visiting local ice cream establishments. Organizing GBH Cleveland 2017 was her first dive ... Read More »

Lindsey McEntee is fueled by a passion for social justice and love of words. After graduating from Ohio State University with degrees in marketing and English, she has been committed to applying commercial strategies to propel progressive social change. Lindsey is excited by GiveBackHack as it brings together worlds that otherwise may never interact. She has seen first hand the impact that GBH has had ... Read More »

Matt is 2016 Venture For America Fellow and graduate of The Ohio State University. His areas of expertise include marketing, brand management, operations, and entrepreneurship. Matt is an avid reader and enjoys staying up to date with the food/beverage and tech industries. When offered the chance to expand GiveBackHack from Columbus to Cleveland, he was excited to become part of the inaugural team. ... Read More »