Startup Weekend Education Austin

    Friday, August 14 - 16, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Education Austin

Friday, August 14 - 16, 2015

Friday, August 14 - 16, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Iron Yard Austin
3601 S. Congress
Suite C304
Austin, TX 78704

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54 hours to change education. Are you in?

Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here's your opportunity to  transform your ideas into action in 54 hours. Find folks with the right skills, passion and dedication to help make your startup a reality. Test your idea with real potential customers, receive coaching from experienced entrepreneurs and education professionals, and win prizes that will help you take your startup idea to the next level!

We're looking for passionate educators, students, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers who want to innovate education now. Come learn the basics of founding and launching a successful education startup while solving real problems in education.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday August 14th

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 August 15th

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 August 16th

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

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Matthew Pollard
Consultant, trainer, speaker and Managing Director at MFBT Pty Ltd

Matthew Pollard is the Rapid Growth Guy!
With five multi-million-dollar business success stories to his name, and a prestigious Young Achiever Award, Matthew has been characterized as a true differentiation, niche marketing, and sales systemization powerhouse.
His rapid growth ideology has led to rapid market penetration in industries as vastly different as telecommunications, construction, and nationally accredited education. It has also been successful in acquiring high profile customers, such as multinational award-winning franchises, luxury automotive brands, leading medical institutions, law associations, and National Premiership Football teams.
Matthew is a regular guest on Fox7’s Good Day Austin, as well as a featured contributor toCEO, Entrepreneur, and Top Sales World Magazine. Matthew now brings about rapid growth and business transformation all over the world, through his many speaking and coaching activities as well as his top-rated iTunes podcast Better Business Coach.

Brooks Morgan
Founder and Chief College Coach at GetAccepted

Brooks founded GetAccepted to make college admissions guidance accessible to all students. The company connects families with former admissions officers for virtual admissions consulting. Prior to GetAccepted, Brooks was the COO of Uversity, a university enrollment management company. Uversity partnered with over 150 universities, served four million students, and raised ten million in funding from the Founders Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Brooks also held a similar role at Infegy (Social Radar) and worked as a consultant at the Provco Group.

Holly Gibson
Web Developer and Operations Lead at Learning List

Holly is the Lead Developer at Learning List, an education startup providing independent professional reviews of K-12 instructional materials. Her tech career has been varied and sandwiches many other roles. 

Starting as the web master at her university and the only tech support for the university’s international online education program, Holly transitioned to program management as an advocate for disability rights. She helped direct summer camps and grant programs for people affected by disability at a global non-profit in Los Angeles, CA. 

Upon moving to Austin, Holly welcomed the opportunity to expand on her marketing and program management skills with software development when she enrolled in the first cohort at MakerSquare, an immersive software development bootcamp, in Summer 2013.

Holly loves the Austin tech community and serves it as the Director of the Women Who Code Austin, a network of 1000+ women in tech. WWCode provides an avenue for women to pursue a career in technology, help them gain new skills and hone existing skills for professional advancement, and foster environments where networking and mentorship are valued. 

Gaby DeLeon
Program Coordinator

Gaby DeLeon is the SXSWedu Program Coordinator at SXSW. She directs the process for recruiting thought-leading speakers for the event and manages the crowdsourced conference program from the evaluation stage to showtime production. Gaby has been a part of SXSWedu for four out of its five years and has helped grow the event by more than 300% through community engagement. The SXSWedu conference and festival attracts a variety of passionate educators, administrators, policy leaders, entrepreneurs and industry professionals from all walks of life to discuss and collaborate on the future of education. 
Prior to working at SXSW, Gaby interned at a local Austin startup and earned a BBA degree in Marketing at UT Austin.

Chara Harris
Math Specialist at Austin Independent School District

Chara graduated from UT Austin in 2001 with BA in mathematics and began her teaching career that fall. In 2006, she completed an MA in mathematics education. Chara taught 7th and 8th grade math for 8 years, and then moved on to campus instructional coach for 4 years. She is currently the curriculum technology specialist for mathematics at AISD and a principal intern at Lamar Middle School.

David Kil
Chief Data Scientist at Civitas Learning

Dave is the Chief Data Scientist at Civitas Learning overseeing the development of insight and action analytics, leveraging salient concepts from multiple disciplines. Prior to joining Civitas, Dave was the Chief Scientist at Humana, building predictive models and outcomes analytics algorithms that fed into the corporate insight engine. He also helped build various informatics applications and platforms, dealing with sensor networks including smartphones, social networks, CEP-based user engagement, adaptive messaging, and real-time outcomes analytics in Silicon Valley. He holds 12 US and international patents, is the author of a book on pattern recognition and prediction by Springer-Verlag, and has published a number of articles in journals and conferences. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Highest Honor, BSEE and Chemistry), Polytechnic Univ. of New York (MSEE), and Arizona State University (MBA).

Coaches and Mentors

Ryan Joy
Startup Evangelist @ Microsoft

Ryan Joy has been developing for web and desktop user experiences using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript frontend technologies for more than 14 years. These days he’s a Startup Evangelist @ Microsoft promoting those same technologies to other developers and startups. Ryan has worked with more than a few backend technologies and frameworks. In addition he is active in the local Austin web tech communities both as organizer (Refresh Austin and the Austin Web Design Meetup) and as frequent attendee. He's an avid photographer and a decent cook. You can usually find him in Austin, TX. You can always find him online at

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.

Kaitlyn Stover
Research to Practice Project Manager at Pearson

At 4’11", Katy Stover operates with the premise that she is small, but mighty! Katy Stover currently works in the Research & Innovation Network within Pearson education. Prior to coming to Pearson, Katy was a 10th grade geometry teacher in a low-income school in Washington D.C. Katy graduated sigma cum laude from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in psychology and communications. While at UCSB, Katy also founded a chapter of a non-profit called FeelGood, whose aim is to “end world hunger, one grilled cheese at a time.” Katy is an extremely passionate and driven young person who believes that through collaboration, communication, and commitment we can make this world a better place.  

Scott Lipton
Senior Director at Globaloria

Scott Lipton is the Director for Globaloria, a web-based, K-12 learning platform where students learn coding and STEM skills through video-game design. Scott developed his passion for education over two decades in a variety of roles across the education spectrum. He began his career in the classroom, teaching high school English and social studies. Early in his teaching career, Scott joined with a founding team of teachers at the The Griffin School, a small high school in Austin focused on academics, creativity, and community. He went on to serve as an assistant principal and academic director at Crockett High School, Director for the Academy of Global Enterprise and IT at Johnston High School, the supervisor of high school curriculum programs for the Austin Independent School District, and principal of LASA High School and Del Valle High School.

Scott has long been an innovator on the forefront of technology integration in education, and he is also the co-founder and CEO of EdTech Action, an education technology incubator at Capital Factory in Austin. As an edtech ambassador, Scott utilizes his unique blend of expertise and awareness of technology and education to work with educators, entrepreneurs, educational institutions and edtech companies, bringing the community together to improve education for students at all levels.

Miguel Vazquez
Chief Technology Office at PenPal Schools

Co-Founder and CTO at PenPal Schools, Miguel is a software engineer focused on early-stage startups and scalable architecture for MVPs. With a background in both Electrical and Software Engineering, Miguel's skill set ranges from power system design and testing, embedded-system programming for video streaming, to mobile and web application development and design. 

Miguel is a startup enthusiast and evangelist who loves to help people bring ideas to life that change the world.

Sam Kapila
Web Design Instructor, The Iron Yard

Sam is a designer, educator, and person based in Austin, TX with two cats and a lot of coffee.

Sam is a Web Design Instructor at The Iron Yard. She spends a lot of time playing with responsive web design, web typography, podcasting, and speaking.

Joan Hughes
Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at UT Austin

Joan E. Hughes, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research and teaching examines technology integration in teacher education programs and K-12 schools. She studies how teachers and K-12 students use technologies in-and-outside the classroom for subject area learning and how school leaders support classroom technology integration. She has published 38 journal articles and book chapters and presented more than 100 papers at research and practitioner conferences worldwide. Her twenty-two years working in the educational technology field began as an elementary and middle school computer teacher in Silicon Valley in the early 1990s.

Jeff Neria
Product Manager/UX Designer at Famigo, Inc.

The common thread among all of my work from chemistry research, visual design to UX design has been a penchant creative problem solving and a desire to understand the human condition. I love learning and interacting with people and want to create-develop-enhance experiences that make our lives more fulfilling.

Ed Valdez
Chief Strategy Officer at Ecotech Ventures

Ed Valdez has 20+ years of high-tech executive experience in marketing, sales, and operations from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

He served as VP of Solutions Marketing at SUN (now Oracle) as well as President of Parrot, an international drone and smartphone accessories innovator. Ed also worked as the Global Marketing Director at Motorola for the first generation RAZR platform and was a Product Manager at IBM.

Ed is active throughout the Austin tech community as a mentor for the International Accelerator and Capital Factory’s EdTech Action incubator. Ed serves on the Board of Advisors for SXSWedu and several Edtech/Mobiletech startups, in addition to being a member of the Central Texas Angel Network.

Josh Rubin
Director of CF Studios

Josh Rubin is an award winning producer, editor, and broadcast journalist. The decade he spent with CNN earned him multiple Peabody awards, National Headliners, and Emmy nominations. 

Last year his passion for new media and new challenges led him to join The Daily Dot as Executive Producer and Managing Director of Video. Recently, his love of Austin's startup culture brought him to Capital Factory as Director of CF Studios. 

Heather Salaz
Beginning Teacher Mentor at Austin ISD

Heather Salaz is an educator in Austin, TX. In the last 13 years, she has taught, mentored, and provided professional development for teachers in two urban Austin districts. In her experience, she has seen the power of technology transform a classroom and truly engage children. She is committed to building teachers into powerful leaders that transform the lives of all children.  For the last 4 years, Heather has been serving as a new teacher mentor and is committed to the idea that ALL children deserve a great teacher! 

Jim Comer
Speech Coach, Author, and Keynote Speaker

Jim Comer is a multi-faceted communications consultant with more than 25 years experience as a speech coach, speaker and writer. He’s written speeches and coached CEOs of six Fortune 500 companies, professional associations and government agencies. He helps people hone their message, use their individuality and connect with audiences immediately. Jim has written two nationally published books and spoken on communication skills to audiences from Cancun to Canada.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Sean
  • Nicholas
  • Sabina
  • Sarah
  • Frances
  • Dan
  • Ashley
    Margerison Brooks
  • Daniel


Kyle Taylor
Senior Drupal Developer

Senior Drupal Developer at LevelTen Interactive, Global Startup Weekend facilitator, and President of TechMill Denton.

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