Startup Weekend Food #swfoodtech

    Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Food #swfoodtech

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Orange Coworking
2110 W Slaughter Ln #160
Austin, TX 78748

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54 Hours of Testing your Idea to Impact the Food System. Are you in?

Have you ever had an idea that would change the way we eat or produce food? Is your idea one that could impact our global food system? Here's your opportunity to transform your thoughts into action. Startup Weekend Food is a 54 hours hackathon to test your concept and create your own startup venture. Find folks with the right skills, passion and dedication to help make your startup idea a reality. During the weekend you will test your idea with real potential customers, receive coaching from experienced entrepreneurs and industry professionals, and win prizes that will help you take your venture to the next level!

We're looking for passionate foodies, students, entrepreneurs, developers, chefs and designers who want to innovate new systems and products related to food. Come learn the basics of founding and launching a successful startup while solving real problems we face in our food system.

We provide the space, food, beverages and connections to local resources to keep you going throughout the hackathon. Your task is work together to form teams and innovate new ideas. This is your testing ground to experiment and see results come to fruition.

Help Spread the Word about:
Startup Weekend Food 
Nov 13-15, 2015


First Ever Start up Weekend Food in Austin

For press inquiries, please email

Q. Do I have to be a technical person to participate?
A. It's a common misconception that to participate in a Startup Weekend, you need to be a developer or have a technical background. This is not true at all! Startup Weekend, first and foremost, is about learning what it takes to build a successful business. Sometimes a business will hinge on a particular technology, but as long as you're passionate about solving a problem or helping other people work on innovative solutions, this event is for you!

Q. Does my idea have to be based on some technology?
A. This event is not strictly tech-focused: if you have a compelling idea that involves actual product or space, feel free to work on that! Remember that you'll be judged on the same criteria as other teams in terms of business models and customer validation, though, so make sure your demo ends up being just as compelling!

Q. Does my idea have to involve the food industry?
A. This is a tricky question to answer. This Startup Weekend's focus is on solutions that involve the food and tech spaces, but sometimes, those solutions can cross into verticals like health and wellness. Off the top of our heads, we're going to say that anything that involves food or technology with a focus on impacting food production, processing, distribution, consumption and/or waste is definitely OK. 

Q. This all sounds great, but I really have no experience in being an entrepreneur or the startup space. Is this still right for me?
A. Participating in a Startup Weekend is one of the best ways to get your feet wet in the startup space. We'll give you the tools and provide you an excellent foundation for getting your idea off the ground and on the road to becoming a pitchable business, through a solid structure, great mentors, and industry-leading judges. You'll you also become part of network of professional in this area to get you started. 

More more Questions FAQ Here
Startup Weekend Food is part of Global Startup Battle
GSB is:
  • The biggest startup competition in the universe
  • More than 200 simultaneous events and programs over 10 days
  • Where we will have over 30,000 entrepreneurs in over 100 countries rally together in the name of innovation and community each year
About Global Startup Battle
An initiative created by Startup Weekend, Global Startup Battle aims to generate a stronger global community of entrepreneurs through the largest startup competition in the world. During the weekend prior to and following Global Entrepreneurship Week, hundreds of Startup Weekend and other Techstars Startup programs are hosted around the world and winning teams from each event move forward to compete with one another via a global video competition. Global Startup Battle enriches the global entrepreneurial community by creating a sense of inclusion between startup teams around the world.

About Startup Weekend:
Startup Weekend is a global organization that supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship through events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. Startup Weekend has built a network of more than 100,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer Organizers and more than 100 trained facilitators spanning more than 400 cities in more than 100 countries. Startup Weekend is one of Techstars Community Programs and is supported by Google for Entrepreneurs and other corporate partners. For more information visit

See what it's all about

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Friday November 13th

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

7:00 pm
Dinner & Keynote Speaker
Eat food, listen to keynote speaker, get to know fellow participants

7:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce coaches, and community leaders

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Voting & Form Teams
Attendees vote for the top pitches & Teams form

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 November 14th

9:00 am
Arrive, breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams start working

12:00 pm
Enjoy local Austin food favorites

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
Enjoy local Austin food favorites

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 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

12:00 pm
Enjoy local Austin food favorites

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS about your presentation

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

4:30 pm
Dinner sponsored by
Enjoy local Austin food favorites

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Statups give their presentations to audience and judges

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards

8:00 pm
Help clean up, exchange contact information, and head out


Manuel Rosso

Manuel Rosso is the Founder and CEO of Food on the Table (Acquired by Scripps Networks Interactive), the most comprehensive and highest-rated mobile meal planning platform.  Food on the Table is the brainchild of his year as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Austin Ventures.Prior to Food on the Table, Manuel spent the past 20 years in a variety of marketing, strategy and leadership roles that range from introducing Puerto Rican consumers to Tennessee Whisky to practicing Customer Development at IMVU.  After learning the world of package goods and beverage marketing early in his career, he pursued his passion for technology and transitioned to a seven-year stint in consumer product and marketing at Dell Inc.Following Dell, he joined Will Harvey and Eric Ries at IMVU, a Palo-Alto based social entertainment site, as VP of Marketing and Product.  While at IMVU, Manuel learned firsthand the day-to-day benefits and challenges of leading a Lean Startup and how to scale them in a fast-growing company.

Event Judges

Robyn Metcalfe
Director, The Food Lab at UT Austin

Dr. Robyn Metcalfe is a food historian, lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin, Research Fellow at the School of Architecture, and editor and publisher of Food+CityFood+City (FC) is a multi-media platform for bold exploration of the global food system, host of the annual Food Challenge Prize and other events. These projects explore how cities are fed and how entrepreneurs can improve our global food system.

In addition to creating a new food startup challenge competition while at The University of Texas at Austin, Robyn has judged some of the industry’s leading food innovation business competitions including the University of Southern California’s Student Innovator Showcase and Fast Pitch, Bon Appetech’s Startup Pitch competition, and 33entrepreneurs’ Worldwide Startups Competition.

Robyn received her BA in American Studies from The University of Michigan and a MA and PhD from Boston University in History.

Harsh Patel
Co-Founder and CEO at MakerSquare

As a former middle school teacher, EdTech entrepreneur, and avid member of Austin’s start-up scene, Harsh Patel is interested in what it takes to create healthy learning environments with meaningful curriculums. Today, he brings his teaching and development experience to MakerSquare, an immersive 3-month program that provides training in software engineering and web development through in person classes.

Patel graduated with an engineering degree from Saint Louis University, and received a teaching certificate from Dominican University Graduate School of Education.  He lives in Austin, TX with his wife Monika, and enjoys staying active in his community, spending time with his family, and discovering new venues for local Austin dining.

Jae Kim
Founder and Owner at Chi'Lantro BBQ

Jae Kim is the owner of Chi'lantro BBQ, which started in 2010 in Austin, TX. Chi'Lantro serves Korean BBQ inspired comfort food and is most widely known for The Original Kimchi Fries. Created accidentally on a slow night of service in downtown Austin, The Original Kimchi Fries are now served at every Austin event and festival throughout the year and have become the food synonymous with a good time.

Chi'Lantro BBQ has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine's Staff Favorite May 2012 issue, Food Network, Cooking Channel, and on the cover of Southwest Airlines' Spirit Magazine. Locally, Chi'Lantro was voted Best Street Food, honorable mention in Best Korean Food, and honorable mention in Best Other Asian Food in Austin Chronicle. Currently Chi’lantro operates two mobile food trucks and a trailer at The Picnic at Barton Springs. In January 2015, Chi’lantro opened it’s first brick-and-mortar location on South Lamar Blvd and opened their second permanent outpost shortly after on Burnet Rd in May 2015.

Joe Canterbury
President at Chaucer Global Consulting & Investing

Joe has vast global experience in leadership roles in retail, food service, consumer goods and mobile technology with some of the most respected brands in the world, including Starbucks and Mercedes-Benz. He has held senior executive roles in business development, corporate development, finance, operations and general management. 

After eleven years of expanding Starbucks around the world, Joe jumped into the entrepreneurial world of consumer and technology start-ups and has been helping companies grow nationally and internationally. As a senior executive and investor, he has been helping build and grow Appconomy, a China retail focused mobile commerce and marketing platform company. In 2014, Joe founded Chaucer Consulting and Investments to support the growth -- and often international expansion -- of Austin based companies, focused in retail, food service, consumer goods, and related enabling technology.

Hanna Jamal
Co-Founder and COO at Urban Co-Lab

Hanna Jamal is an entrepreneur and consultant with expertise in designing business models that drive social innovation. After six years implementing international development programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Hanna moved to Austin in 2013 to pursue her MBA.

Since then, she has worked with diverse organizations involved in social entrepreneurship and impact investing, including Acumen, UnLtdUSA, and Enable Impact. She holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

Coaches and Mentors

Heather Amalaha
Founder of Gourmet by Numbers

Heather is a passionate home cook and busy mom of two with a background in Nutrition and Food Studies, including a Bachelor of Science degree from NYU. She created Gourmet By Numbers based on her own adventures in balancing love, marriage and a baby carriage while simultaneously earning an MBA and pursuing a career in corporate America. She understands firsthand the obstacles that stand in the way of making fresh meals. “Cooking at home has amazing benefits. It’s good for your health and your relationships. Preparing and sharing meals together fosters deeper connection. I’m on a mission to keep Austin cooking and make it easy to be your own chef!”

Mason Arnold
Founder and CEO of Veggie Noodle Co.

Mason Arnold has been an Organics pioneer and serial entrepreneur since graduating from The University of Texas in 2001. Mason has founded several companies with Sustainability at the core. Successes include EarthAction Landscaping, environmentally-responsible land care, which grew for 2 years and sold;, the first and largest Local/Organic grocery delivery service in Texas serving all major metros; and Veggie Noodle Co, his first pure CPG company. A longtime Organic activist, Mason drafted legislation in 2007 that passed and created the Organic Advisory Board to the Texas Department of Agriculture.  In 2008 Mason formed the Organic Association of Texas, a legislative action and lobbying group for the Organic industry in Texas, and was crowned 'Eco Leader of the Year' by the Austin Business Journal in 2010. Mason also helped bring the Slow Money movement to Austin and formed Slow Money Austin, an organization trying to facilitate the flow of capital to local food systems.

Lynda Berrios
Owner/Principal at Little Spoon Consulting

Lynda Berrios is a Texas native and the owner/principal at Little Spoon Consulting. Lynda combines a background in cultural anthropology and marketing with over a decade of experience in the natural foods industry, most recently as a local brands buyer for the Southwest region of Whole Foods Market. Lynda is motivated by the passion and spirit she sees in small producers and artisans across Texas and currently serves as Executive Director of ATXmakers, an organization supporting the growth and development of small, food-focused CPG companies in Austin, TX.

Janet Chaykin
Owner of Chaykin Consulting LLC

Janet Chaykin is the owner of Chaykin Consulting LLC, a food consultingfirm. Janet created Chaykin Consulting LLC to share her passion for partnering with manufacturers and retailers to create and develop products and food experiences that bring satisfaction and a joy to the consumer.

Janet Chaykin spent 16 years with Whole Foods Market. In her 11 years as a Regional Bakery Coordinator she developed hundreds of products to help Whole Foods Market expand the offerings and programs included in the Bakery Department. Janet was responsible for creating and actualizing vision, future development, product development, operation execution, store design, Team Member training and development, purchasing, pricing and promotions, as well as P/L responsibility. Janet was also responsible for overseeing 4 Whole Foods Market full production Bakery Manufacturing Facilities. 

A classically trained Chef with over 30 years in the food industry Janet created over 1000 recipes while in her role on the Whole Foods Market Regional Prepared Foods Team. In both roles at Whole Foods Market Janet was involved in design and execution for 29 new store openings in 4 Regions, as well as design and execution of countless remodels.

Janet has an uncanny ability to identify through her palate all of the components of a product to exceed the consumers’ expectations. Janet is an expert in product development, an industry leader, innovator, and an invaluable resource for those in the Natural Food Industry.

Janet resides in Austin, Texas.

Dustin Fedako
CEO of Compost Pedallers

Dustin Fedako is a social entrepreneur and systems thinker with a passion for building innovative market-based solutions to address pressing issues related to waste recovery, food access and social justice. Currently the CEO of Compost Pedallers, he has had a hand in the founding of four social impact organizations including the Food is Free Project, and was recently appointed by Mayor Adler to the City of Austin Sustainable Food Policy Board. First and foremost he is an educator (his CEO job title stands for Compost Education Officer), and some of his recent national speaking engagements include SXSW Interactive, US Compost Council National Conference, and the keynote address at the Youth Zero Waste Convergence in San Francisco, CA. He is a firm believer that leadership is about service, not status. 

Lauren Foster
Founder and CEO of Stretch Recipes, Inc.

Lauren Foster is the Founder/CEO of Stretch Recipes, Inc, an award winning Food Marketing & Tech company on a mission to empower everyone to eat better and save more. She is also a Co-Founder in CatFoster Media LLC, a mobile gaming and consulting firm.  Lauren has over 10 years experience within Television, Sales, & Mobile.  Her hobbies include Top Golf, Dancing, Reading, and Travel.  She has been awarded the Community Investment Award by the State of Texas and is currently focused on launching her Alice in Winter Wonderland Experience event where they will launch Stretch, the app. 

Gavin Gillas
CEO of The Magazine Channel

Gavin is the CEO of The Magazine Channel, a digital aggregator launching Inkworthy in December 2015. He works in intellectual property and has experience working with retailers, international farm operations, bio and agtech startups, and university crop and food research. Gavin has volunteered with Startup Weekend for 4 years after winning Startup Weekend Portland with his brother. 

Myrna King
President at A Life Aligned

Myrna is a business and life coach as a part of her company A Life Aligned. Her style is action-oriented, and she supports her clients through results-based processes. She has over 25 years of management, sales consulting and entrepreneurial experience. 

Levi Lalla
Co-Founder of piq chocolates

Levi Lalla is a MIT trained hardware hacker and jack of all trades. He's passionate about the intersection of food and technology and is the founder of piq Chocolates which creates custom shaped chocolates by combining the highest quality chocolate with the latest technologically advanced production techniques. 

Don Osmond
Entertainment Advisor at OzComm

Don is an marketing professional with more than 10 years experience related to television, radio, and social media. Accomplished and results-driven advisor to start-up companies with proven abilities and experience in conceptualizing and executing business objectives. Strong communication skills honed from extensive public relations and marketing backgrounds. Strategic business acumen with team management experience to deliver projects on-time and within budget constraints. Don and his wife, Jessica, reside in Texas with their sons Truman and Leo. On a more personal level, Don is a professional bobsledder and trains with Team Holm Bobsled, a Utah-based professional bobsled team during the winter.

Amelia Raley and Valerie Ward
Founders of Sweet Ritual

Amelia and Valerie started Sweet Ritual in December 2011, combining the recipe Amelia created while working at Toy Joy and the managerial experience Valerie gained while working at Amy's. Starting with just two soft serve flavors, the business has since grown to showcase 16 flavors of hard pack ice cream daily as well as the classic vanilla soft serve, all vegan.  Sweet Ritual also sells pints and ice cream sandwiches to local grocers.  Valerie and Amelia are involved in every aspect of the business, from production to scoop shop to sales and accounting.

Adam Schwem
CTO of The Magazine Channel

Adam Schwem has been developing mobile software since the time phones were just for talking. Best known for creating the worlds first video streaming app store with nVidia and Verizon, he has developed a variety of engineering projects for clients such as AT&T, Sony, Shazam, and Fox. He has built physics engines for mobile games, verbally responsive digital assistants, and pranked Foursquare. He is the founder of Learnovate Labs, an educational technology startup focused on combining research in the learning sciences with mobile software.

Eric Weger
Freelance Marketing Consultant

Eric is a Startup Weekend winner and analytically focused marketer with diverse experience across multiple marketing disciplines, technical disciplines, sales, and business development. He is currently focused on helping local startup founders build their customer-base, products, and teams with an eye towards long-term viability and approaching problems from multiple disciplines at once.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Food #swfoodtech 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

Marketing & Volunteer Support

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Organizing Team

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

  • Sean
  • Danyelle
  • Nicholas
  • Frances
  • Dan
  • Travis
  • Lucinda


Marion Desmazières
International Expansion Lead, Amazon Alexa

Marion is a tech business developer based in Seattle, WA. She manages international expansion of developer programs for Alexa, the voice service powering Amazon's Echo devices. Before joining Amazon about four years ago, Marion coordinated the 2012 Global Startup Battle and managed partner relations for Startup Weekend in Seattle. She holds a Master's in Business Management from EDHEC Business School and an MBA in Technology Commercialization from the University of Alberta. A Startup Weekend veteran, Marion has facilitated 20+ events in France, Canada, the US, Algeria and Morocco.

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