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Hal Gottfried - Level Up Labs. Lenexa, KS, US

Hal Gottfried

Founder | Level Up Labs


Strategic Coach, Mentor, Open Source Hardware Advocate, Educator and IT Ninja





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KCOHG 2015 inSain Robotics Challnege KC Open Hardware Group talk at City Camp KC 2014 KCOHG




Hal can best be described as Open Source Advocate, Entrepreneur, Author, Perpetual Student, Tinkerer and a Shameless Self-Promoter with a thirst for exploration.

It is this powerful desire to explore new ideas that drives his approach in almost everything I do. In 2012, I cofounded the Kansas City Open Hardware Society (KCOHG) which has held to successful conferences, along with several educational outreach programs. Through both national and regional resources we work endeavor to continue this forward movement. KCOHG has grown to establish itself as the inaugural branch of the national Open Source Hardware Association.

Outside of KCOHG Hal, founded Level Up Labs, a company that has become recognized for expertise in process improvement and strategic coaching designed for startups as well as established organizations. Level Up Labs is set apart from its competitors by it's employment of data analysis and key metrics when working with your business.

His clients benefit from his over fifteen years of experience within corporate, academic and government institutions where he was instrumental in providing the design, implementation and development of enterprise level communication solutions, in addition to hands on training and development courses covering a vast array of topics during his tenure as a corporate trainer and college level educator.

Hal extends his business and leadership acuity to the community by mentoring and volunteering in the local entrepreneurial community, coaching or speaking at events such as Start Up Weekend, Global Entrepreneurship Week and City Camp.

Currently living in the Kansas City area with his very patient wife Heather, Hal enjoys 3D printing, robotics and tinkering in his time off.

Industry Expertise (10)


Information Technology and Services



Professional Training and Coaching

IT Services/Consulting

Management Consulting

Computer/Network Security

Corporate Training

Computer Networking

Areas of Expertise (24)

Coaching & Leadership

Mentoring & Coaching

Data Analysis & Mapping


Strategic & Business Planning


Strategic Planning for Business Growth


Process Documentation & Improvement


Leadership Entreprenership Startups

Non Profit

Technology Mentor

Leadership Engagement Team Alignment Identity Effectiveness


Life Coaching


Business & Leadership


Malware Analysis


3d Printing

Hardware Development

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Education (3)

International Coach Academy : ICS - (PCC) - Professional Certified Coach, ICF - ACTP Accreditation Program

Peirce College: Associates of Arts in Science, Business Management 1993

Rutgers University: Bachelors of Science, Business and Computer Science

Affiliations (7)

  • International Association of Information Technology Trainers
  • Kansas City Open Hardware Group
  • Open Source Hardware Association
  • American MENSA
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Kansas City Startup Weekend

Languages (1)

  • English

Testimonials (7)

Nitin Jain, Founder | Sprout Up

At SproutUp, we’ve been very impressed by Hal’s ability to literally read our minds and help us refine our business strategy that perfectly symbolizes our vision and mission. He truly is a thought leader with attention to detail, and very understanding of emerging product market. Hal helped us develop influencer acquisition strategy during our early stage of Beta launch. He has been outstanding to work with all the way from the sketch idea to a more refined business plan. He is been opening doors for us that is of great value to us.

Blake Hodgson, Hello Hive | Founder

Hal has always been there to help, encourage and coach me in my endeavors in starting a company or just making something. Hal has introduced me to a lot of people who can help me and given me opportunities to talk about the things I have made and to help validate my direction. When I get stuck or need coding help, Hal is always there to help me for a beer or less. Hal takes genuine interest in what do, how my company is progressing and is always there to help and give me advice.

Melissa Roberts, Office Manager | Enterprise Center of Johnson County

Hal's professionalism and good humor has always impressed me. In addition, he's always willing to spend his time volunteering to share his considerable expertise with others.

Vincent Abella, Sr. IVR Consultant | Voxai Solutions Inc

Hal is an expert communicator. As a valuable expert on our team, he sees it as an important responsibility to communicate his knowledge, experrience and solutions and adapt his style to a specific audience. Hal excels in communcating and sharing his expertise to the technical team, executive management team or, to the lay user. He brings with him an array of methods, tools and techniques to help our team work "smarter". His wealth of experience from different roles and disipline in our technology adds to his value, as far as I am concerned. If you want a quick impact to your bottomline, hire Hal.

Jeff Samay, Director of Sales/Business Development | Trivera Technologies

Any time I had the opportunity to work with Hal, I knew the course he was teaching would be a great success. He approaches each engagement with an upbeat, enthusiastic energy. Whether the course needed additional development or customization, Hal would ensure the client was getting exactly what they requested. His evaluations were always excellent.

Joy Beer, Senior Programmer/Analyst | Alliance Data

Hal provided Advanced JavaScript instruction to our development team some years ago, and it has proven most valuable. His teaching methods were sound and interesting. And we enjoyed him a great deal as a person. Even if Hal's moved on from instructing, I recommend him for his strong abilities as a communicator.

Michele Amendola, Director, Medicare Retention at WellPoint, Inc./Anthem BCBS | Wellpoint

My teammates and I had the pleasure of working with Hal as we implemented a B2B connection that, as business partners, we could describe in only very general terms. After working with several project managers and technical experts who were unsuccessful in moving our initiative forward, we were thankful to find Hal, who not only understood what we wanted, but also what we needed, to reach an optimal solution. Needless to say, we did not lose his number, and called on him relentlessly for guidance related both to that initiative and others that (to us, at least) seemed related. Hal is always quick to respond, pleasant to deal with, ready with the right direction, and makes sure that his partners' issues are resolved. I cannot recommend Hal highly enough, and look forward to his next assignment with WellPoint.

Media Appearances (3)

For the Love of Robots

Kansas City Star  online


The Kansas City Open Hardware Group’s first robotics challenge started the morning of July 18 and challenged local competitors — five four-person teams made up of competitors from all age and experience levels — to build an independently controlled machine in fewer than 36 hours, nearly all of which were used.

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Kansas City Maker Faire, Makes it's Mark

Kansas City Star  online


The Kansas City Maker Faire — a collection of inventors, innovations and ideas — returns for the fifth year this weekend to Union Station. It’s the Midwest STEM-centric Coachella, a sort of science fair on steroids with exhibits featuring sophisticated robots and 3-D printers, all locally made by tinkerers driven more often by a sense of “what if” and a little “why not.”

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That buzz in the air? Drones of Christmas, coming to skies near you

Kansas City Star  online


Expect lots of people to be joining Gottfried in sending aircraft into our increasingly crowded skies. Some 400,000 recreational drones, generally priced between $50 and $1,600, are expected to fly off retailers’ shelves this holiday season. For the year, the Consumer Technology Association estimates that about 700,000 will be sold, up 30 percent from last year.

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Event Appearances (11)

Communicating Through Design: Design. Inspiration. Motivation.

Business Toolkit Workshop Series: The Art of Great Communication  Olathe Community Center (1205 E. Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS)


Open Source Hardware in Education

KC EDU Monthly Meetup  Kauffman Labs


Startup Mentoring and Coaching

KCSW Startup Weekend Edu  Crossroads Academy, Kansas City


Startup Mentoring and Coaching

KC Startup Weekend  Sprint Accelerator, Kansas City


Keynote Speaker

Kansas Linux Fest  Lawrence KS Public Library


Organizer and Presentor

KC Open Hardware Group - 2014 Summit   Kauffman Foundation


Organizer and Keynote Presenter

KCOHG 2013 Sumitt  Kauffman Foundation


Open Source Hardware in the Community

City Camp   Kauffman Foundation


Startup Mentoring and Coaching

KC Startup Weekend  Think Big Coworking, Kansas City


Tool Tech

Make48  Union Station

Organizer, Mentor, Coach and Resource

KC Startup Weekend - Fall  Sprint Accelerator, Kansas City MO


Sample Talks (1)

Open Source in Education

Open Source as part of the global open content movement, provides for shared teaching, learning, and research resources. It allows under legally recognized open licenses for people to reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. Open Source can save teachers significant time and effort on resource development and advance student learning inside and outside the classroom. Further, open sharing of resources has the potential to fuel collaboration, encourage the improvement of available materials, and aid in the dissemination of best practices.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Corporate Training


500 to 2000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee

Patents (1)

Gottfried Early Warning Detection System



Early warning detection of emergency vehicles for passenger cars.

Partnerships (3)

KC Open Hardware Group 2013 Sumitt

Kauffman Foundation KC Open Hardware Group


Kauffman foundation was an key sponsor of our event, providing location and support for our members. We could not have had a successful event without their support.

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KC Open Hardware Group 2014 Sumitt

Kauffman Foundation  KC Open Hardware Group


Key Sponsor

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Community Training and Educational Partnership

Enterprise Center of Johnson County Level Up Labs


Provided several classes in various programming languages for the community.

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Courses (2)

Advanced Thinking in Python

Hal Gottfried, founder of Level Up Labs will be teaching "Advanced Thinking in Python" beginning on Weds the 29th as part of his "Programmatic Thinking" series. The first portion of which recently concluded at Kauffman Labs. Students are expected to have mastered the basics of the Python language either via Hal's introductory course or through their own work, and should feel comfortable moving on to applying Python to more complex programming needs. This course picks up where where the first left off, covering some topics in more detail, as well as adding new ones. A laptop running a recent version of Windows, Mac or Linux is required with either an administrator account or permissions to install software and modify OS settings (such as system variables).

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Introduction to Python

This course is the first of a two-course sequence: Introduction to Programming Using Python, and the second is Introduction to Thinking & Computationally. They are designed to help people with little or no prior exposure to computer science and programming & to think programmatically while designing programs to tackle useful problems.

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Articles (3)

Open Hardware License Models


Open-Source relies on a complex concept of content licensing. This article is a high level discussion about the various types of licenses and where they apply.

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Why use open hardware in the classroom? (Red Hat)


Over the past few years we’ve seen an explosion of “open” models, which emerged as a result of several different factors. The general motivation behind this movement includes the ability for the free sharing of resources and tools in an effort to promote economic efficiency by improving access to a much wider group of stakeholders.

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The Next Big Thing, Will Customers Notice You?



ISBN 10: 0692586938 To be competitive, companies may find themselves in a Houdini-like twist. How can they respond quickly and nimbly to the changing environment without getting caught in knots? In today’s knowledge age, the ability to transform information into insight in response to market movements is core to sustainability.