Startup Weekend Albuquerque - Women's Edition

    Friday, April 29 - May 1, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Albuquerque - Women's Edition

Friday, April 29 - May 1, 2016

Friday, April 29 - May 1, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

FatPipe ABQ
200 Broadway NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111

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Startup Weekend Albuquerque - Women's Edition

Startup Weekends offer three-day boot camps for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch ideas about new products or services to other innovators and enthusiasts. Participants then form teams during the weekend to build strategies for new companies around the best ideas, with mentoring and assistance from veteran entrepreneurs, investors and business professionals. This weekend will focus on women-led ideas and teams, though men are welcome to participate as team members. Sign up now and encourage all of your entrepreneurial girlfriends to join us! Let's show NM what women entrepreneurs are all about!

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Friday April 29th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

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

10:00 pm
Begin Work
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

Saturday April 30th

8:30 am
Start your morning off fresh with a private yoga session at FatPipe ABQ. Bring your yoga mat!

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend. Can attend business model canvas workshop - or go straight to work with your team!

10:00 am
Business Model Canvas Workshop
Learn how to validate your service or product idea and determine if you have a minimal viable product with the business model canvas. Albuquerque's local guru, Pat McNamara will be here to teach you how to use this tool.

11:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They will be here from 11-5 and will rotate thru the teams. They are here to help!

12:00 pm

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

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Speaker - Trish Lopez with Teeniors
Hear from Trish Lopez, last year's Startup Weekend Women's Edition winner!

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

5:00 pm
Dinner & Final Presentations

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards

8:00 pm
Wrap-Up & Go Home!


Trish Lopez
Founder / CEO

Lopez is a veteran film industry professional whose background includes working with executives in Hollywood, managing production teams on the ground and serving elected leaders. As of 2015, she is also the founder and CEO of Teeniors℠, a brand new startup that connects tech-savvy teens with seniors through one-on-one, personal coaching. In less than a year since it's inception, Teeniors has completed the ABQid business accelerator, worked with hundreds of seniors and millennials across Albuquerque, and received multiple new business awards while earning exceptional media coverage. A native New Mexican, global traveler and graduate of UNM, Lopez is deeply involved in social profit causes, having led and served on the board of numerous national and local organizations. Her primary interest is bringing people together of different worlds to inspire change in our communities.

Pat McNamara

Pat has know-how in marketing hi-tech, business and Pharma. He has launched over 100 products on behalf of 30 companies. His experience includes being a startup co-founder, lean-startup accelerator facilitator and executive speaker coach. He’s expert in all phases of strategic marketing planning and product/program tactics. He has coached thousands of business people, physicians and scientists to results-based presentation skills. Pat has the unique ability to make very complex information easy to understand. His greatest skill: helping you Find Your Voice.

Event Judges

Lori Upham
Executive Director

Dynamic biotechnology & pharma professional with over two decades of research and product management experience within  numerous life science companies. Board member & executive director of ABQid, Inc. 

Amanda Giannini
CFO for the Verge Fund

Ms. Giannini has been involved with the Verge Fund since 2007.  Giannini, a New Mexico native, has worked within the technology startup community for the last decade in a number of finance roles.  She has worked as Director of Finance, and now Chief Financial Officer, for Verge Fund for 9 years managing the accounting, finance and investor relations functions for the company.  Giannini has been involved with the formation and management of five venture capital funds, and has served as interim Controller for two of the Verge portfolio companies, assisting in taking one through acquisition. Her extensive Fund management experience is a unique skill here in New Mexico. Until February 2016 she served as CFO of ABQid, Inc..  Giannini’s many years of finance and accounting experience allows her to operate at a Director/CFO level while also maintaining and managing day-to-day finances for both private equity firms as well as startup companies. She has been deeply involved with the New Mexico Tech Council, an organization which encourages technological innovation, entrepreneurship and community within New Mexico.   She was chosen as one of New Mexico Business First’s 40 under Forty upcoming business leaders in 2009.  She completed the Leadership New Mexico’s Connect New Mexico program in 2010. She has been an invited guest lecturer on venture capital and private equity for Entrepreneurial Studies classes at both Webster University and the University of New Mexico.  Giannini is passionate about the startup community in New Mexico and is excited to be a part of moving the innovation forward as momentum within the community continues grow.

Katie Rice
Venture Capital, BabyPage

Katie Szczepaniak Rice is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, strategist, and community leader based in Albuquerque, NM. She is the head of the New Mexico office for Epic Ventures, a national venture capital fund, and she is the co-founder and CEO of BabyPage, an online and mobile platform that allows parents to easily track their children's milestones and build a book along the way. Katie is the founder of the ABQid Ski Lift Pitch, an annual event at Taos Ski Valley that brings investors from all over the country to New Mexico and gives startups a unique opportunity to connect with investors in a meaningful way.   Katie supports the entrepreneurial ecosystem in several ways, including as board member of ABQid, Hautepreneurs, and the Coronado Ventures Forum, and she has taught a class in technology entrepreneurship at UNM’s Anderson School of Management. Katie received the New Mexico “40 Under Forty” award in 2013 and the NM Tech Council’s “Women in Technology” award in 2015. She is incredibly proud of the momentum within the tech startup community of her adopted hometown of Albuquerque.   Previously, Katie has held positions in strategy, management consulting, and engineering, and she has a bachelor of science degree in engineering from MIT and an MBA from the University of Chicago. 

John Mierzwa
Director, STEMulus Initiatives at the Central New Mexico Community College STEMulus Center

John Mierzwa is the Director, STEMulus Initiatives at the Central New Mexico Community College STEMulus Center in Downtown Albuquerque. He was previously CEO & Founder of Deep Dive Coders, a web development and programming bootcamp in Albuquerque. Deep Dive Coders was acquired by Central New Mexico Community College in 2014 and now operates as Deep Dive Coding Bootcamp at the STEMulus Center.
Previously John has been VP, Sales & Operations for a $218M revenue company in Las Vegas, NV, as well as founder of a language services company and school in Las Vegas, and founder of Startup New Mexico. He has recently started up Ingenuity Software Labs at the STEMulus Center, which gives recent graduates a chance to work as apprentices on real software contracts, working alongside experienced developers.

Lisa Kuuttila
CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer

Lisa Kuuttila joined STC.UNM (STC), the University of New Mexico’s technology-transfer program, as President & CEO in 2003. She is currently CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer of the organization. She works with the STC.UNM Board of Directors in developing strategies for implementing STC's vision to play a vital role in New Mexico's economic development and to be a leader in technology commercialization. Under her leadership, STC.UNM is substantially growing its program using the Rainforest model to develop an innovation ecosystem in New Mexico. In 2013, STC.UNM was tasked by the University with implementing its economic development initiatives under Lisa’s leadership.  
Ms. Kuuttila has more than 30 years of prior leadership experience in technology commercialization and licensing. This includes positions as Assistant Vice President for Technology Commercialization at Purdue Research Foundation; Director, Technology Commercialization, University of Georgia; and Director, Office of Technology Commercialization, Center for Advanced Technology Development, Iowa State University. Her prior experience also includes a consulting practice that provided strategic marketing and technology-transfer consulting services for a wide variety of well-known technology corporations, universities and foundations, including Stanford University. She began her career in industry in several engineering and technology-marketing positions.  Lisa received a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Public Administration from Iowa State University.  She is also a graduate of the Venture Capital Institute.

Coaches and Mentors

Nicole Taylor
CEO and head Professional Organizer

Nicole Taylor, Founder of House Nanny LLC, a business she developed in 2012 performs home organization and housesitting services. She gained much of her experience through trial and error and led her to jump through many hurdles to become established. She has been involved in a local business consulting start-up along with a few non-profits. Through these experiences, she has gained a reputation for her ability to see clarity in the mist of challenges that small businesses encounter. Her main focus of expertise is business strategizing and goal setting. 

Peter Rinn
Senior Strategist

Peter is a co-founder and senior strategist at the Fusion Capital Group, Ltd., supporting and growing businesses & nonprofits through consulting and capital infusion. Peter has over 40 years’ experience in successfully starting-up, rejuvenating and leading programs and organizations in the business, nonprofit and public sectors and is well acquainted with the challenges facing today’s startup businesses and nonprofits.

Deborah Burns

Deborah Burns is the CEO of investUS llc. An Albuquerque startup, investUS brings private investment funding for NM job creation and investUS is a New Mexico EB-5 regional center.  Prior to investUS, Deborah was an institutional investor in NYC, financial officer of a start-up company that became the largest publicly-traded company in NM, and Chief Lending Officer for a community bank.

Leslie Hoffman
Community Development Professional

Leslie is a fourth generation New Mexican and principal at LEH Consulting Group. She began her career as a journalist, covering a wide range of topics as a newspaper and Associated Press reporter. A tour in the Peace Corps in El Salvador started her on a second career in community development, and Leslie went on to work as a practitioner in the U.S. microfinance sector where she served in various leadership roles leading business lending, portfolio quality and asset recovery, client service, communications, and strategic partnership development. Leslie launched LEH to focus on capacity building and management consulting for institutions that lift up underserved communities. She serves community development financial institutions, community colleges, nonprofits, community-based networks, government agencies, and small businesses in the United States as well as international aid organizations in Latin America and Africa. Leslie is also a professional faculty member at the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management where she has taught entrepreneurship at the undergraduate level and currently teaches nonprofit management at the graduate level.

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

Adam Ciepiela
Financial Planning, Exit Planning

Adam directs the Signature Financial Services program, working with clients to help them answer the question "What keeps you up at 2 am?" He also helps business owners understand and leverage their succession, exit and transition planning options

Kristelle Siarza
Social Media and Marketer

Kristelle Siarza is an online communications and marketing strategist and social media speaker. She founded Siarza Social Digital in 2014 after working in various marketing and communications departments and agencies for nine years.

Shannon Jacques
New Mexico Women's Chamber of Commerce

Shannon Jacques is a 20 year local business women from New Mexico. She has worked in Event Management and Non-Profits since 1998, where she first started her non-profit and sponsorship work with the New Mexico State Fair. She has been a Certified Personal Property Appraiser and has sat on many events committee boards. She is currently the Events Booking Manager at the EXPO New Mexico / and the New Mexico State Fair. She has worked on the creative development of special projects with many organizations and was one of the brain powers behind the first ever New Mexico State Fair Beer project. She currently sitting as the Co-Director of the New Mexico Women’s Chamber of Commerce and is working on launching the New Mexico Kids Chamber next.

Yasine Armstrong
Co-founder and COO at BabyPage, LLC

A consummate entrepreneur, Yasine's latest company, BabyPage, is an online platform that helps busy parents track their kids milestones and create modern baby books. Yasine has headed the entrepreneurial program for the CNM STEMulus Center including the IGNITE Community Accelerator, the FUSE Makerspace and the FastTrack Business degree program. Yasine also ran The Velocity Project (TVP), an 8-week entrepreneurial accelerator that provides start-up companies with a dynamic and focused environment in which to develop new resources to build and implement growth strategies.

Nick Williams
Startup Experience, Catalyst Week, Programming

Nick Williams is the lead developer for local startup, SunPort, and the Executive Director of Catalyst Week.  He draws on his background in managerial psychology from Sloan MIT and 7 years managing large-scale software projects in the verdant cubicle farms of the east coast. He has won startup weekend and similar events around the country by relying on clear business modeling, adaptive strategy, and decisive execution.

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.

Greg Miliatis

Greg Miliatis has a background in psychology, behavior design, database programming, direct-response marketing, and lean startup. He designs & implements systems for business growth, focused on data-driven, outcome-based strategies, often co-opting concepts & practices across industries. Greg has worked with 300+ law firms, primary on workflow automation, but has more recently shifted to working in niches such as diverse as franchisers and surgery centers.

Lawrence Chavez

Lawrence is an entrepreneur, investor and big fan of startups, entrepreneurs and the people that support them. Lawrence has a bunch of years of experience and is the father of Taylor, chauffeur and gofer for the Teen Startup Weekends and Bootcamps. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Albuquerque - Women's Edition 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.

Signature Sponsors




Organizing Team

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

  • Lisa
  • R. Bruce
  • Julianna
  • Annemarie
  • Amanda
  • Nyika


Courtney Fey
Operations Manager

Cultivating relationships to deliver exceptional results is what I do best. Whether it be in a small business environment or as a contributor to a larger organization I constantly exceed expectations and provide a unique customer experience through my ability to be attentive, energetic, and professional. 

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