Startup Weekend | CSU Bakersfield

    Friday, November 9 - 11, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend | CSU Bakersfield

Friday, November 9 - 11, 2018

Friday, November 9 - 11, 2018
Event starts at 4:30 pm

California State University, Bakersfield
Stockdale Hwy
Bakersfield, CA 93311

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Your idea in 54 hours

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!

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Friday November 9th

4:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in (Recreation Center)

5:30 pm
Dinner & Networking & Speakers
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:00 pm
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 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 November 10th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 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

1:00 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 11th

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!

Event Judges

Jim Damian
Technology Entrepreneur

Jim is a first-generation college graduate from Tehachapi, California and holds an undergraduate degree from San Diego State University and a master’s degree from The University of California, Berkeley. In 2005, after a short career in social welfare technology, Jim returned to the central valley and founded Stria. Stria, a three-time INC 5000 honoree, is a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that uses technology and continuous improvement to reduce the burdens associated with a variety of business processes. Stria’s areas of expertise include document management, cloud computing, process improvement, workflow automation and artificial intelligence. Stria employs hundreds of Bakersfield residents and provides a wide variety of outsourcing and automation services to some of the region’s most notable enterprises. Jim is a member of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield where he chairs the international grants committee, serves on the Waterman Foundation Board and is a Paul Harris Fellow. Jim is an active board member for Stewards, Inc. and is engaged with the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. Jim serves on two Executive Advisory Councils at Cal State Bakersfield (School of Business and Public Administration and School of Arts and Humanities). He is a past board member for the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare Alumni Association and the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield. Jim is a previous member of the San Juaquin Valley Chapter of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). Jim resides in Bakersfield with his wife Kelly Damian, an educator at Stockdale High School. Together, they have two daughters, Ruby Jane and Clara Marin. 

Fred Prince

President, Omega Insurance Services, Inc. Adjunct Faculty School of Business, 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

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.

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.

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.

Walter Suazo

Walter Suazo is the founder of The W Creative, a design company that specializes in branding and creative consulting with major clients like Dignity Health Memorial & Mercy Hospitals and Bakersfield College. He has over 10 years of design and business experience, is a recipient of an Emmy award for his graphic design contribution, and is also the creative director of The U.S. Army All-Star Bowl. In addition to running his company, he currently teaches Mobile App Development at the Regional Occupational Center for the Kern High School District where the focus in the classroom is developing and coding for the iOS platform using Xcode & Swift, along with fundamental UI/UX design process and social media management.

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.

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?"

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"

Jack Hudspeth

Jack Hudspeth is a 60 year resident of Kern County. He is an entrepreneur and a visionary. Jack looks at things differently from most people, seeing opportunity around every corner and potential in everyone he meets. Jack loves a challenge and gets excited about a project when people say, “it can’t be done!” Jack’s successes are many, land developer, oilman, and healthcare, to name a few. Jack’s greatest joy is when he helps someone reach his or her goal in life.

Jay Thompson

Jay Thompson is the lead business consultant at the CSU Bakersfield Small Business Development Center. Over the past 6 years, Thompson’s SBDC clients have created over 400 jobs and reported over $35 million in capital infusion. Thompson has over 30 years of experience in business management and specializes in business creation, partnership building, product management, legal structure and maximizing profitability.

Kelly Bearden

Kelly Bearden is the Director of the CSU Bakersfield Small Business Development Center (SBDC) The SBDC is part of a network of centers providing practical one on one business consulting and training to small business owners or prospective ones. Prior he was self-employed in an economic development consulting firm that offers solutions to small businesses and the communities they represent.  In his spare time, he farms wine grapes in the Sierra Nevada foothills. He is a graduate of California State University Chico.

Al Afrouzian

AL and LAURA AFROUZIAN own AL’s Services-Bookkeeping & Tax for over 30 years.
BA in accounting – University of Tehran - IRAN
MA in economics – University of Heidelberg – GERMANY

Joined SCORE to provide and share my knowledge / experience to our KERN COUNTY business communities and at the same time trying to give back to this beautiful community.

AL’s Services-Bookkeeping & Tax providing Consulting, Training, Bookkeeping, Income Tax, Payroll & Sales Tax.

Worked & Consulted: Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Universal Studios, IRS, AES Global Energy, various FIVE STAR Hotels, Hospitals and Farming Companies.

Jeremy Woods
Faculty Advisor, CSUB Entrepreneurship Club

Dr. Woods is an international business development scholar, educator, and consultant with over 20 years of experience. He is an author and coach in the areas of small business executive decision-making, entrepreneurial project implementation, lead generation, and sales management. Since joining CSUB in 2014, Dr. Woods has managed over 200 student small business and startup projects and helped to build a 300+ student entrepreneurship club. The CSUB Entrepreneurship Club has been responsible for enabling over $200,000 in student earnings and venture seed funding over the past year and generating a pipeline of over $2 million in student earnings and beta customer revenues for 2020.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Kevin
  • Sreenath
  • Dinah
  • Ivan


Navjot Brar
Product Manager | Startup Community Leader | Innovation Catalyst

Navjot is a technical product manager who leads all international product work at Carpe Data related to bringing our products to the international market. This includes localization management, translation management, product management, data analysis, R&D, sales support, and project management.

He has previously worked in insurance services, AI-powered marketing SAAS, speakers, and MEMS industries fulfilling a wide variety of roles such as product, sales, hardware quality, and software engineering. He graduated from UCSB with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

He supports the local startup community of Santa Barbara by organizing the Lean Startup Circle Meetup and the global startup community through organizing/facilitating Startup Weekends.

Globally he works with organizations like Techstars, Lean Startup Co, TechCrunch, SXSW, and more.

Event Staff

Jelena Radibratovic


Dania Martinez

Associate Consultant with BlueTech Valley Innovation and Technology, interning with CSUB SBDC 

Event Blog

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