Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas Maker Edition

    Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Bentonville, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas Maker Edition

Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018

Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

1705 S Walton Blvd
Bentonville, AR 72712

Buy Tickets

Build your idea within 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?

Northwest Arkansas Startup Weekend: Maker Edition is the place for you to pitch ideas, recruit a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business model, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Since this event is focused specifically on developing physical products and solutions, you will have access to circuit boards, microcontrollers, prototyping materials, CNC machines, 3D printers, soldering kits, and other supplies to bring your ideas to life. 

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

Learn More


Friday November 30th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:50 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders. Welcome speakers Sam Dean and Joel Gordon.

7:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 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 December 1st

7:30 am
Equipment Training
Makers train for safety and operating machinery

9:00 am
Second Equipment Training
Makers train for safety and operating machinery

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:30 am
The importance of customer discovery and the business model canvas

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

9:30 pm
Maker Space Closes
Machines are shut down

11:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday December 2nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Optional pitch prep workshop

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

4:45 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm
Judging & Awards

6:30 pm
Wrap-Up and CELEBRATE!
Winners are selected, prizes are distributed!


Sam Dean
Executive Director, Amazeum

Science enthusiast, novice tinkerer and museum rat. Sam Dean is a museum leader dedicated to supporting the STEAM and Maker movements in Northwest Arkansas.

Event Judges

Peyton Smith
Founder, MORE Technologies

A previous Startup Weekend winner, Peyton is now a founder of MORE Technologies.

Kelsey Jackson
Board Member, AIGA

Delta born graphic design nerd, illustrator & web developer. Lover of Doctor Who, sneakers & the LA Lakers –– Design + Technology

Kanat Bekt
Software Infrastructure, SupplyPike

Kanat has worn every hat possible in his career in tech, and enjoys shipping software. He does anything and everything technology-related at SupplyPike, a rapidly growing software company in Fayetteville. 

Coaches and Mentors

Joel Gordon

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people, shout orders and divide the work. Instead, teach them to yearn for the immensity of the sea.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Eric Schneider
Founder + CEO

Eric Schneider, is an award-winning Creative Technologist based in Austin, Texas. Eric’s background is in interactive art and design research. He has been credited with numerous innovations & patents including the world’s first wheelchair fitness tracker, atemporary tattoo circuit board, a blood glucose monitoring smartphone case, and the world’s first smart pants.
 His innovations focus on pushing the envelope, building commentary around a theme, and creating virality through strategic marketing. His projects have been featured in over 800 publications worldwide and in videos amassing over 15 million views. Eric’s current
 company,, makes software for makers, doers, and innovators that helps make printed circuit board design the easy part of your project.

Steven Baker
Project Architect, HFA

Adventurer, Architect, and Amateur Maker. Steven is one of the dreamers behind the HFA Design Lab and can’t wait to help facilitate your wildest ideas becoming reality. 

Meredith Lowry

Meredith is a patent attorney for Wright Lindsey Jennings and assists a variety of individual entrepreneurs and companies in their efforts to obtain patent, trademark, and copyright protection. Her practice is focused on the variety of consumer goods and fashion items developed and commercialized here regionally and internationally.   Meredith is an active volunteer in Northwest Arkansas, lending her time to the Bentonville Chamber’s Women in Tech event as chair and to the steering committee for the NWA Technology Summit.

Eric Jones
Founder/CEO LFLS Shoes

Eric Jones, also known as Doctor Dapper, has become known as one of the most influential millennials of his time. Through sharing his life story and entrepreneurial journey of establishing LFLS Shoes (Like Father Like Son Shoes), he has inspired and motivated thousands of people to take their leap of faith in life and live in their true purpose!

Along with entrepreneurship, Eric is well-versed in fashion & design, social media strategy work, personal branding, business development, mentorship, and public speaking. 

Philipp Richter
Intern Architect at Harrison French & Associates

Make it, break it, fix it, burn it,
Trash it, change it, grind, design it,
Turn it, saw it, split it, plug it,
Mill it, work it, drill, deburr it,
Weld it, cut it, grind it, press it,
Sew it, stretch it, thread, restore it
File it, shave it, sand it, rip it,
Wrench it, bolt it, press, align it,
Print it, punch it, notch it, plane it,
Wrap it, spline it, carve, upgrade it …

Trigg La Tour
Design Engineer, RCAL

La Tour began as a design engineer at RCAL Products in 2017 after graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor of science in Computer Engineering. He specializes in both firmware and hardware embedded system design and is passionate about creating devices and flying airplanes.

Matt Francis
Founder, President at Ozark IC

Entrepreneur, passionate about technology, education and everything in between. Manager of large. multi-site, multi-institution technical teams and day to day management of a rapidly growing startup. 

Stephanie Funk
Vice President of Strategy & Engagement at Metova, Inc.

Stephanie Funk is a successful entrepreneur and startup founder. A unique combination of skills including experience in advertising, public relations, large-scale HR, blogging and e-commerce has given her an eclectic scope of knowledge. Her first startup, Acorn: the Influence Company, generated multi-million dollar revenues in just under two years. Stephanie has been recognized nationally by PR News as a “SocialMedia Icon” among other awards, and locally in Arkansas as one of the “Forty Under 40” for both the region and the state. For the past year Stephanie has been building an off-site CMO service called Funk & Co, which has just been acquired by tech dev firm Metova.

Kent Watson
Vice President of Technology at Metova, Inc.

Extensive experience in software development and architecture, IT leadership, strategy, and building development and infrastructure teams. Over a decade of experience architecting web and mobile API software and infrastructure (cloud and hybrid) for companies ranging from mid-size to Fortune 100 with a focus on improving the end user experience and streamlining workflows. 

Aditi Chalisgaonkar
UX/UI Designer at Walmart

Aditi is a UX Designer working on digital products at Walmart. She combines her knowledge of innovation with a background in engineering to come up with ideas for products and services that fulfill customer needs and provide business value. Her experience in innovation comes from a rigorous Masters degree in Integrated Innovation from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as her work as an Innovation Consultant. Aditi has worked on innovation projects ranging from providing sleep to PTSD survivors, to building kitchen products for millennials. She has also worked closely with start-ups such as Spark Career Mentors (an Indian career mentorship company for school and college students) where she played a key role in the product development of a successful service/module (Spark Admit) and successfully mentored two students applying to design programs. She has developed diverse skill sets, ranging across the fields of UI/UX design, user research, business model development, applying DFM/A principles, electrical and electronics engineering, and painting, and enjoys listening, learning, and experimenting. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas Maker 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.




Organizing Team

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

  • Haley
  • Canon
  • Michael
  • Dennis
  • Joel
  • Jordan
  • Tyler


David Tominsky
Community Builder

David Tominsky is a 14-year veteran of the staffing industry and now Program Manager of the Iowa Startup Accelerator. After launching CoreTCS in 2010, he has immersed himself in the community where he focuses his energy on fostering creativity and entrepreneurship training in K-12 education, developing the local talent economy, and working tirelessly to make Iowa's Creative Corridor the most amazing place to start a company.

Event Staff

Sarah Cullers
Programs Manager


Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!