Startup Weekend Albuquerque

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Albuquerque

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 5:30 pm

CNM STEMulus Center
20 1st Plaza Center NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

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Friday November 21st

5:30 pm
Doors Open
Doors Open

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:15 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches. Votes Counted. Speaker on NM/ABQ Entrepreneur Resources.

9:00 pm
Annouce Teams
Who go the most votes - Next Steps

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:15 pm
9:16PM Begin Working
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

11:55 pm
Doors Close
You don't have to stop working, you just can't work here.

Saturday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards

7:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Travis Kellerman

Travis builds and scales organizations in the New Economy.  He is an advisor to the fast-growing Descartes Labs and an assortment of early-stage startups. His writing and futurism calls on a decade of experience as a tech founder and executive to create adaptive philosophy and strategy.  Past and present industries include payments, geospatial and sensor data platforms, travel, and AI. Roles in operations, business development, and tech evangelism have involved him in new product and category launches, Fortune 100 partnership deals, and executing 4000% annual revenue growth. Before technology, he crafted inclusive policy as a political operative. His roles included campaign management at the local and state level, active representation of national candidates, and service as a liaison between the New Mexico House and Senate.

Amanda Solosky

After studying Architecture and Engineering, Amanda received her MBA in Marketing at the University of New Mexico in 2010. Immediately thereafter, she took her lifelong passion of video games and turned it into her career, co-founding Rival Theory. Along with her team, they have grown Rival Theory into #1 Artificial Intelligence platform for the Unity3D game engine. Currently, their AI technology is used by over 8,000 developers worldwide in games and media. 

Amanda oversees and manages Business Strategy and Development.

Event Judges

Bill Bice
Partner, Verge Fund

Bill is a serial Southwest entrepreneur and founding partner of Verge Fund. Bill started his entrepreneurial career while in college, founding ProLaw Software. ProLaw appeared on the Inc. 500 ranking of the fastest growing companies in the country three years in a row. Bill and his team sold ProLaw to the West division of Thomson Rueters, where Bill joined the management team and created the West km division.Joining the founding team at Verge was Bill’s route to return to startups. Verge is a highly motivated venture capital fund that invests in seed-stage, high-growth ventures in the Southwest. Bill focuses on helping founding teams build successful startups. Bill is actively involved in some of the hottest startups in New Mexico, including BoomTime, Exemplify, AttachedApps, Nuvita and SportXast.

John Chavez
President, New Mexico Angels

John J. Chavez, is the President of the New Mexico Angels. Since Mr. Chavez has become President, the New Mexico Angels have seen an increase of over 100% in investment in new companies. Additionally, the New Mexico Angels are leading investment deals instead of following the VC's into the deals. Mr. Chavez has created the New Mexico Angels technology showcase forums which allows the New Mexico Angels technology partners, LANL, Sandia and UNM, to showcase technology available for licensing to New Mexico Angel members and guests. Mr. Chavez has been an active angel investor since 2003, investing in thirteen start-up companies and as the sixth employee of two start-up companies that are both still active and growing.

Mr. Chavez is the also the President of Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, a nationwide business development consulting firm. . Prior to creating Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, Mr. Chavez was appointed by New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as the Cabinet Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department. Mr. Chavez served as Cabinet Secretary for six years and as the President of the Federation of Taxation Administrators for one year.

A native of New Mexico, Mr. Chavez is a graduate of New Mexico State University where he received a BBA in Finance, a BA in Economics and an MBA. Mr. Chavez serves on the Boards of The UNM Anderson School of Management Foundation and The All Faiths Receiving Home Foundation.

Kim Sanchez Rael
Start Up champion and Innovation Leader

Kim is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and community leader.    Kim has an extensive investing and operating background in startup and fortune 50 Companies. She has over 10 years experience as a venture capitalist investing in in early stage technology companies. Previously, she co-founded an advanced energy company and held numerous management positions at Intel, where she managed a $200 million capital budget and $1 Billion factory planning process.  Operationally, she has focused on the intersection of innovation, growth, finance, operations and strategy.  Her experience also includes a deep understanding of the public sector, including service as an aide in the US Senate covering foreign affairs and science and technology policy.    Kim has broad experience on both corporate and community boards.  Her corporate board experience spans multiple industries, including:  water technology, semiconductors, software-as-a-service, digital media and advanced materials companies. Kim’s community board service includes: New Mexico State Board of Finance; Presbyterian Hospital, the Albuquerque Public Schools Foundation and the Arts Alliance.    Kim was the Founding President for a Montessori Charter Elementary School.  She has been featured as New Mexico Business Weekly Power Broker and Top 10 Women of Influence.   Kim is a member of the prestigious international Society of Kauffman Fellows and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Forum-New Mexico.    She is a native of Raton, New Mexico.  She has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.  She lives in Los Ranchos, is married to Lawrence Rael, and is the mother of 3 children (Lawrence 19, Ana 15, and Benna 8.)

Roxanne Blair
Program Manager at Creative-Startups

Coaches and Mentors

Gary Oppedahl

Director, Economic Development Department, comes from the private sector where he has spent much of his career fostering tech start-ups including EMCORE and most recently TriLumina, both of which are built from research conducted at Sandia National Labs. Mr. Oppedahl has been involved with business start-up activity in Silicon Valley and is a former Intel employee whose duties included new site start-ups. Mayor Berry has directed Gary to work with existing tech-transfer leaders and innovators in Albuquerque and around the world with the goal of building a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Albuquerque and to identify opportunities for growth and job creation; more specifically – the commercialization of research from our National Labs and our Universities.

Steve Cook

Mr. Stephen Cook is a serial entrepreneur based in Albuquerque, NM. Mr. Cook earned his B.S. in Physics from New Mexico Tech, and his MBA from UNM. He has worked in everything from small start-ups and multinational corporations, and spends most of his time focusing on Internet-based applications and software technologies, including predictive analytics, sales and marketing, and technology development.  For the past few years, Mr. Cook has been focusing on helping others develop successful technology based companies through his work at Technology Ventures Corporation as well as private consulting. Mr. Cook’s technical specialties include rapid and agile development, proof-of-concept development, database and schema design, network architecture, front and back-end web development, LAMP stack, Amazon web services, search engines, SEO, “big data”, Hadoop, clustered computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and business intelligence.  His other skills include: marketing research (particularly in the software and web markets), social and Internet marketing, market analysis, value analysis, Internet strategy, start-up creation, e-commerce, and conversion optimization.

Erin Scott

Erin Scott is a startup enthusiast and native New Mexican.  She earned a B.S. in Corporate Communication and a B.A. in Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin and recently returned to Albuquerque after teaching English in Medellin, Colombia.  Erin currently works as a Marketing Assistant for Yelp ABQ and is an expert in social media strategy.  She is also learning web development, and works as a Web Support Specialist at MIS, Inc.  Her focus is HTML, CSS, and Ruby.  Erin is passionate about growing the entrepreneurial community in Albuquerque, fostering our local talent, and encouraging women to become involved with technology and startups.

Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson specializes in business and corporate financial planning and business valuation. His 40 year career includes experience in international consulting, mergers & acquisitions, finance, strategic planning. His industry experience covers a wide variety, including manufacturing, software and high-tech hardware. Tommy earned a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College of Clinton, New York and an MBA from Rutgers University. He is a licensed CPA in New Mexico, and is a member of several professional societies. Tommy has served as CFO and COO for two startups, one of which exited successfully via an IPO. The other was sold. As Director of Corporate Development for a manufacturing firm, he was responsible for seven acquisitions that doubled the size of the firm and tripled its shareholder value. As a business valuation consultant, he completed over 50 assignments in a wide range of industries.

Kristi Welton

Kristi Welton-Kidder is the head of Kidwell Consulting Group, LLC, a native New Mexican, and a lifelong learner.   She has spent more than 25 years in various technical and managerial roles, including technology startup and transfer, engineering management,  global lean six sigma program for IT deployment within Intel, and technical sales and marketing.  Previous employers include Intel, IBM, and UNM Hospital, and DEC.   Her passion is helping find and fix issues, especially juicy business and technical problems. Her company is currently focused on helping midsize companies and state agencies hit performance measures and improve efficiencies.  Her goal in participating in this startup weekend is to help foster and grow enough companies that her kids ( age 14 and 10) have the opportunity to stay in New Mexico in a technical capacity if that is what they desire after college. 

Ross Jimenez

Ross Jimenez believes all great technology starts with great people.  He has been hacking the web since high school and is a veteran IT leader with numerous positions at Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer and Sandia National Laboratories. He currently leads up the Engineering team at CenturyLink Innovation Labs.   Learn more about him on LinkedIn: and Twitter:

Matthew Ayoub

Matthew Ayoub is an entrepreneur, real estate investor and UI/UX designer. He is the founder of Media Trove LLC, a technology startup building, a new background music service for businesses. Media Trove is one of the first eleven companies to be accepted into the ABQid accelerator. When he is not at Media Trove, Matthew manages his real estate investment company, Alpha Arietis LLC, which provides office and retail space to local small businesses and startups. Matthew has participated Startup Weekend Santa Fe and Startup Weekend Albuquerque events, leading and participating on finalist teams. Matthew has also coached at Startup Weekend Albuquerque and Startup Teen events.

Morgan Nelson

 By night, Morgan is a co-founder and marketing manager working to build momentum at Pi-Fi, a startup in Albuquerque. By day, he works in state government in Santa Fe in many roles including strategy development, public relations, project management, and high-level operations. He loves people, aviation, technology, creative marketing, and craft beer and wine. He holds an MBA in Marketing and in Operations Management, and resides in Albuquerque.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Albuquerque team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.


Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Albuquerque is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Eric
  • R. Bruce
  • Eric
  • Joe
  • Susan
  • Brad
  • Nyika
  • Amanda


Alejandra Jimenez
Program Manager

Global Facilitator @startupweekend | Interpreter, translator and editor | Program Manager @StartupBoost NY | Latinx

Event Staff

Belinda Snyder

Belinda Snyder is currently retired, but keeps busy as Strategic Advisor to the New Mexico Technology Council; a board member of the University of New Mexico Anderson Alumni Council; and an aspiring writer, photographer and smile creator.   She ended her long and rewarding career as Program Manager of the Development Office within the Technology Transfer (TT) Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in 2014. Since starting there in 1993, she worked with a wide variety of LANL staff and programs to facilitate technology commercialization

Event Blog

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