Techstars Startup Weekend, presented by Grow With Google @ Aera Energy

    Friday, March 16 - 18, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend, presented by Grow With Google @ Aera Energy

Friday, March 16 - 18, 2018

Friday, March 16 - 18, 2018
Event starts at 4:30 pm

Bakersfield, CA

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Your idea in 54 hours

Techstars Startup Weekend and Grow with Google have joined forces to offer this special event FREE of charge to the first 120 people who register.
Hurry to secure your spot; this event will sell out quickly!

Techstars Startup Weekend is the best place to learn how to build a startup in a weekend and connect with your community; a melting pot of the area’s most creative thinkers, builders and implementers.  It’s a 3-day long sprint to launch new products and services that solve real-world problems.

Grow with Google is an initiative that draws on Google’s 20-year history of building products, platforms, and services that help people and businesses grow. Through Grow with Google, Google aims to help everyone across America – those who make up the workforce of today and the students who will drive the workforce of tomorrow – access the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers, and businesses.

Techstars Startup Weekend Bakersfield and Google have joined forces to bring this special event to life.

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

See what it's all about

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Friday March 16th

4:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:00 pm
Food & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

5:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

7:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:30 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

9:00 pm

Saturday March 17th

8:00 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

1:30 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

9:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday March 18th

8:00 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!


Dr. Sean Wise

Dr. Sean Wise, BA LLB MBA PhD  is an expert on startups & venture capital. He uses this expertise in his various roles as: university professor, bestselling author, international business speaker, and partner at Ryerson Futures, a seed stage venture capital fund and technology accelerator. Dr. Wise is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.

For the past 19 years, Wise has been active in the seed venture capital industry. He has lectured on the topics of Venture Capital,  Entrepreneurship & Innovation and keynoted over 250 bootcamps, financing forums and industry conferences. Professor Wise has trained more than 10,000 entrepreneurs who have collectively raised  more than $2.1 billion from different investment sources. He has published five books and more than two dozen peer-reviewed research papers and case studies of high-growth startups. His latest bestseller, Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit your Day Job hit #1 in five categories on  

Dr. Wise spent five seasons as a consultant for CBC on the mega hit venture reality show Dragons Den before moving in front of the camera as the host of the Naked Entrepreneur, which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Dr. Wise has been called the Dr. Phil of Entrepreneurship and in 2014, he was named Entrepreneurial Mentor of the Year by Startup Canada. In 2016 Dr. Wise was named: Canadian Ambassador to Startup Communities by Startup Canada and in 2017 he was appointed the Coller Visiting Scholar for Venture by Tel Aviv University.

Event Judges

Patrick Renner
Co-founder and COO of MindMate

Patrick is the co-founder and COO of MindMate (Techstars ’16), which is an internationally top-rated app, geared towards individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of cognitive decline. He leads business and product strategy and oversees the platform's data collection and monetization capabilities. Also, Patrick was recently named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and is honored as the University of Glasgow's Alumnus of the Year.

Once a competitive soccer player who trained 4-5 days a week, he now can be found playing pick up soccer games in Santa Monica or maxing out his MoviePass account on the weekends.

Patrick holds an MSc in Finance from The University of Glasgow and a BSc in Economics and Business from Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Minty Dillon

Minty Dillon is the CEO of Sequoia Integrated Health & Sequoia Health Plan. She has over 20 years of health care experience in managed care finance, contracting, and operations experience including leading and serving various statewide hospital and contracting committees and boards.  For each organizational role held, she has demonstrated proficiency in mediating and negotiating various contract types, developing staff, and directing corrective actions to ensure compliance, efficient operations, and effective outcomes supporting member satisfaction, improvement in patient care, and financial viability. Minty serves on the board of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sequoias. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Indian Women’s Association of South Central California, supporting various charitable causes and organizations throughout the central valley. Minty has her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of California, Riverside and Masters of Science in Administration, Health Care Management from California State University, Bakersfield. 

Jesse Holman

Jesse has been an entrepreneur and CEO for the past 12 years. He is involved in multiple businesses within the oil and gas industry in Bakersfield.  He left the corporate world for small business where within 18 months increased sales resulting in millions of dollars in revenue. He has developed new commercial products and services leading to customer value and high return on investment. As CEO he has been identifying, implementing and producing returns from new technologies. Jesse has been investing in different markets within the oil and gas domain and excited about new technology changing old habits within the industry.

Coaches and Mentors

Rebecca Morfin-Manibo

Rebeca is the founder and CEO of Empower With Code, Inc. Her vision is for EWC to help bridge the gap of gender inequality in the software technology industry launching the movement in Bakersfield. Working closely with industry professionals and CSUB faculty, she aims to inspire the next generation of software professionals starting at home with her own daughters. "With the onset of the fourth industrial revolution, which I like to call the code revolution, I want parents everywhere to give their daughters the pride and the opportunity to check the box for Computer Science when they apply for college," she says. "It's not simply about women's empowerment; it's about giving girls an equal foothold in the technology space. We're stepping up and stepping forward with algorithms and high heels"

Mike Russo

Michael Russo has co-owned Russo's Books in Bakersfield since 1989. A two-time graduate of CSUB's School of Business, he has taught business for Bakersfield College, Bakersfield Adult School, and, in addition to his bookstore duties, currently teaches Small Business Entrepreneurship for Kern High School District's ROC.

Dave Lofy

David is the CEO and co-founder of TeQube. He has over 25 years of business experience as an entrepreneur, Inventor, developer. He has founded and managed over 15 businesses in his career in a variety of technological fields. He is an experienced entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in the software industry.

Jay Manibo

Jay has worked in the software industry for almost twenty years in various industries predominantly in the California Judicial system, Oil & Gas, Labor Unions and more recently in Health Care. In addition to writing software, he enjoys the business aspect of software dealing with its design, marketing and distribution, as well as its societal impacts. As a Computer Science lecturer at CSUB, he is actively trying to inspire his students to help fuel the proliferation of a tech hub in the Kern County area where he has lived for almost 3 decades. "Software can be built everywhere and anywhere. It can be written by anyone, anywhere in the world, and instantly shared with the rest of the world. Why not start here, why not Bakersfield?"

Noah Mapstead

Noah Mapstead, co-founder and CTO of Peacekeeper Enterprises, a software development house in Bakersfield, has over 25 years experience in the technology field.  By partnering with Flowfinity Wireless, Embarcadero Technologies and Microsoft, his company is able to rapidly produce customized business process management solutions for local oil & gas, agriculture and construction businesses.  Noah is an Eagle Scout, currently serving as the Troop 47 Committee Chairperson and has twelve years experience with the National Office of Boy Scouts of America where he continues to serve on the National Meeting Management team as a Show Director. Through this experience, Noah has had the opportunity to work with CEO's of Multi-National Corporations, Celebrities, Athletes, Comedians and Corporate Entertainers.  Noah believes strongly that it is important to mentor today's youth to become tomorrow's servant leaders.

Scott Burton

Scott has been working with Ruby and Ruby on Rails since 2006. He has worked with some great companies and on some great projects managing cloud services to ecommerce sites. He is currently co-founder of Mesh Cowork. 

Dylan Johnson

Dylan has more than 12 years in manufacturing and small business development experience.  He has had the opportunity to leverage his unique skill set and perspective to grow and develop manufacturing and production operations in the maritime industry as well as in creative content development for marketing and promotional strategies for several small businesses 

Raj Patel

Raj Patel is an Information analyst at Aera Energy LLC. He received a masters degree in computer science from Pune University and has over 20 years of experience in Information Technology ranging from COBOL to Cloud. He has spent his career building applications, operational and data warehouse databases, and business intelligence systems. In his spare time, he loves being outdoors and doing everything from hiking in Yosemite to swimming in his pool. He is passionate about volunteering in educational organizations and regularly donates his time and knowledge to programs including Science Fair, Mathcounts, and South high school MS3. He wants to help entrepreneurs and startup founders leverage technology to build innovative products.

Eddie Rangel

Professor in the Computer Science Department at Bakersfield College. He is a veteran who served in the United States Navy and a first generation college graduate. He is an experienced technology leader and has led teams in both the public and private sectors. Eddie is passionate about leveraging technology and building solutions that help to bring health and social changes to our local community. Eddie received his Masters of Science in Software Engineering from Cal State University, Fullerton. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Cal State University, Bakersfield and his Associates of Science in Computer Information Systems from Bakersfield College.

Arturo Avila

Arturo Avila is currently leading and developing a newly formed team of Business Intelligence Analysts. He has over 20 twenty years of healthcare experience. Arturo has worked for public and private Hospitals, Health Plans, and Managed Care. Over his career he has served as Director of Decision Support, Director of Finance and Director of Information Services. Arturo works closely with his son’s boy scout troop where he helps to inspire the new generation of young adults.

Angel Cottrell

Ms. Angel Cottrell is an energetic professional with more than 20 years’ experience in successful program development and execution of complex multifaceted strategic plans for a variety of education, non-profit, and economic development entities. Angel designs, manages, and leads goal-driven projects which deliver significant outcomes. Angel is a leader who cultivates relationships with others that garner respect and a collective commitment to the successful achievement of goals. She has administered and managed multiple federal and state grants with varying regulatory requirements across various education, non-profit, and economic development entities. She is an experienced professional in community economic development, job creation, business and relationship building activities utilizing lean customer development, and thoughtful communication of ROI to interested stakeholders. Cottrell’s former positions include SBDC Director, Women’s Business Center Director, Small Business Loan Fund Director, Director of Operations, and served as the first Outreach and Public Affairs Coordinator at CSU Bakersfield’s School of Business and Public Administration (CSUB BPA). Angel owns and operates her private Consulting and Coaching business. She works with business owners and organizations who desire to build, grow and lead their businesses successfully: Advance Your Business-Advance Your Life. In addition she serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at CSUB BPA and is a Consultant with Mission Community Services, a local Women’s Business Center. Angel holds a Bachelor Degree of Arts in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Antioch University.  

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend, presented by Grow With Google @ Aera Energy 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

Grow with Google offers free training and tools to help you grow your skills, career, or business.

Visit Website

Organizing Team

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

  • Kevin
  • Sreenath
  • Dinah
  • Ivan


Will Martin
Founder, LiveDuel

Will loves all things startups. He founded LiveDuel after graduating from a masters in Global Entrepreneurship and Management, where he studied in three continents. LiveDuel is a fan activation platform for sports. LiveDuel work with fantasy sports companies, sports teams and leagues as well as sports media companies to engage with their users and help them understand their fans.

With an undergraduate degree in Economics and Computer Science he loves to solve problems on the business side as well as the technology side. 

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