top of page
54 logos.png

54 Startup Weekend

September 22-24 | In-Person

54 is a 3-day startup event where students from different backgrounds come together to form teams and launch a successful startup. Think hackathon, but more open-ended. No experience required. Just bring yourself, some friends, and good ideas. Food, swag, & workspace will be provided at the Siebel Center for Design.

54 hours. Go!

Keynote Speakers (2023)

Caitlyn Truong | Co-Founder & CEO @ Zengines 
Caitlyn is CEO and cofounder of Zengines, an AI startup converting data in an entirely new way.  Prior to launching Zengines, Caitlyn spent 20 years leading and advising global companies in financial services, telecommunications and energy, where converting, managing, and optimizing data is a top priority.  In the last several years, Caitlyn focused on strategizing about and deploying innovative technology solutions – like AI and automation – to help businesses grow and achieve strategic goals.  Caitlyn has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  The three things that bring Caitlyn the greatest joy are her son, running outdoors, and building her company.
Craig Vodnik| Founder of Cleverbridge
Craig Vodnik is founder of a global billing company, Cleverbridge, that simplified the software and digital product buying experience. Cleverbridge is a bootstrapped company from day one with a global team of founders in Chicago and Cologne, Germany that was sold to private equity in 2021. During Craig's seventeen years at cleverbridge, he did every job in the company from customer service rep to developer to CEO. He has been an active angel investor for more than ten years and recently joined the Illini Angels as a founding member. He's passionate about vinyl records, ham radios and the lightning network.

Judges, & Mentors (2023)

Vijay Krishnan | Mentor
Megana Adigal | Mentor
Davis Keene | Mentor
Aman Khinvasara | Mentor
David Cooke | Mentor
Kearsa Rawson | Mentor
Nikhil D'Souza | Mentor
Michael Sun | Mentor
Josh Jay James | Mentor
Eric Mills | Mentor
Sravya Patakota | Mentor
Cara Bogner | Mentor
Amaan Abbas | Mentor
Mayank Mehta | Mentor

Our Team

FoundersPS_Fall2023-10-4.jpg
FoundersPS_Fall2023-89-3.jpg
Govind Balakrishnan
Co-Director
Rishi Atreya
Co-Director
FoundersPS_Fall2023-252.jpg
Soham Nambi
Head of Events

Last year's impact:

impact by numbers-02.png
bottom of page