Startup Weekend Berkeley

    Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Berkeley

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The House
2560 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

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Food, ideas, network, building... Entrepreneruship!

Are you a designer, business person or a technical person? Becoming an entrepreneur requires risk. Quitting school or emptying your 401k to start a business is scary (and inadvisable) for most. But you, friend, have an incredible opportunity to test drive entrepreneurship risk-free over a weekend of building, networking and 7 meals.

Top Three Prizes: 
1st Place: The Batchery
  • Opportunity to work with The Batchery incubator 
  • 10 hours 1:1 executive coaching/consulting
  • Exposure and access to the Batchery network of up to 50 investors
2nd Place: Awaiting confirmation

3rd Place: Awaiting confirmation 

Do you have an idea you’d like to build out? Do you want to meet motivated, talented hustlers like yourself? Startup Weekend is the perfect circumstance to build a company—or at least as much as you can build in 54 hours!

Here are a few things you can ‘test drive’ during Startup Weekend:
    1. The desire to become an entrepreneur—is it more than just a dream?
    2. The idea—can you build it into a viable business?
    3. The startup lifestyle—can you handle a high growth, low structured environment?

Nobody leaves a Startup Weekend empty handed, even if you don’t win. You’ll come away with new skills, new connections to motivated people like yourself, and perhaps, a startup business! 

Ready? Here are the details.

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of ambitious entrepreneurial minds of various skill sets who are looking to practice and learn the basics of founding and launching a startup venture successfully. It is a unique opportunity to get your startup off the ground, risk free.

How does it work?

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: 
  • Pitch your startup idea and receive feedback from your peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote).
  • Then, it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.
  • The last part of the weekend is the most intense—teams present their ideas to a panel of judges and after a palm sweating Q & A, the judges pick the top 3 startups (did we mention, the winners get prizes to help launch their startup?).

Who should participate?

We welcome anyone and everyone who has a passion for.. well.. anything! This event is open to anyone who wants to hone their skills in business planning, developing, marketing and design.

Your Ticket gets You:

  • Access to the event
  • Plenty of food fuel to keep you energized for 54 intense hours
  • Mentorship from amazing entrepreneurs and business professionals in the Sacramento region
  • Amazing high-profile speakers and judges
  • Networking with awesome Sacramento entrepreneurs
  • Work with awesome professionals
  • Free .co website domain
  • Membership @ Startup Weekend Community (200K alumni) #SWSac
  • 100 new awesome Facebook friends and thousands of tweets

Do I need to come with an idea?

If you have an idea for a startup, then great! We hope you pitch for the weekend. We do ask, however, that you don’t have a fully-formed business already, e.g. a complete business plan, a website, etc. If you don't have an idea, that's quite alright! Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something strikes your interest—you will be surprised how much value you can add to the idea and team. The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and learning from each other.

Get your ticket for Startup Weekend Berkeley! 

Still aren’t sure if Startup Weekend is for you? Ask us anything at

This Event is brought to you by Venture Strategy Solutions, a student-run consulting group at UC Berkeley for high-growth startups. For more information please visit:

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 11th

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 November 12th

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 November 13th

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

Ed Dua

Cliff Tong

Emna Ghariani

I know the ins and outs of the start up business on first name basis and I believe that unicorns are my calling in life. Closely working with startups in the Silicon Valley and globally helping them through all the steps of establishing a business. As a director at the Founder Institute,I get startups to start from almost nothing to graduate with a validated market, a great pitch and a plan to further scale their companies, accelerating their growth. Startup Consultant and Advisor with a deep knowledge and expertise in lean management, pitch and go to market strategies. Founder and CEO of Poindevster, We build mobile products for non tech founders and walk them through the whole process while providing them complimentary support on pitch and go to market. Mentor at the alchemist, WeWork labs, Runway Incubator and Startup Chile. 

Cameron Baradar

Coaches and Mentors

Amir Bonakdar

Amir is currently Digital Transformation Partner at SAP. 
He obtained his MBA from University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany and PhD in Business Model Innovation from University of St.Gallen in Switzerland. Then he did his post-doctoral research at Stanford and became a Head of Business Design Research where he began coaching executives from Fortune 500. 
Amir has hands-on experience in startups with Stanford Garage. 
His specialty: Business Development, Market Research, Strategy and Growth, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Vadim Slavin

Vadim is an accomplished software engineer (12+ years), a solutions architect, experiential learner, tireless hustler, accomplished research scientist, and an entrepreneur with experience in advanced research in information science and human-systems interactions. Currently, Vadim is the Chief Operations Officer and the Co-Founder of StartupMonthly and a partner at Monthly Ventures. 

With his prior background in scientific research and innovation in the field of human-systems interactions for a large corporation, Vadim was able to connect the dots between various aspects of entrEpreneurship and intrApreneurship in order to come up with key parts of the StartupMonthly methodology. Vadim brought his passion and professionalism to lead operations of a young organization (StartupMonthly) and help young entrepreneurs do the same. Vadim has been consulting startups since 1999.
With academic background in Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science, Vadim is an entrepreneur with experience leading research programs for the US government. Vadim also has experience in incubating ideas, pursuing funding, and leading innovation teams.  

Specialties: Software Engineering (since '99) : Java, C, C++, C#, Promela, VB, SQL, Visual Studio.NET, XML, XSLT, Modeling/UML, Database Systems, Spring Framework, Eclipse RCP, GWT, Flex, Web Services, Knowledge Base Architecture, GUI Design & Implementation, OpenGL, Matlab, Virtual Reality systems, Scientific Visualization, Modeling and Simulation, Semantic Technologies, Probabilistic Reasoning, Wireless Networking, Formal Analysis, Business development & Capture Management.

Bob Upham
Senior Director, Digital Products at Visa

Experienced Internet Business Development professional. Extremely well versed in strategic partnerships and alliances, content acquisition, API licensing, platform technology, developer ecosystem. Domain expertise around search, location, local, events, mobile, distribution, social, geo and maps. Excellent negotiator, deep knowledge of contract law, finance, tax and privacy policies, international law and tax issues.

Red Smith
Executive Business Consulting

Experienced President and CEO with deep appreciation for successfully managing finance, sales, marketing, strategy, and information technology planning and deployment. 

Deep understanding of supply chains; specifically container shipping. Have a long positive relationship interacting with major technology/software and hardware providers such as Cisco Systems, HP, and Salesforce. Well versed in telecommunications including wireless and fiber optics.

Ed Fernandez
Early Stage & Startup VC

Early stage VC. Technology StartUp investor. Advisor. Analyst & Entrepreneur. Based in Palo Alto.

Mobile industry veteran, two decades of experience combined. Co-founded, a venture capital boutique in Palo Alto, focusing on technology start ups and early stage companies, preparing them for IPO in alternate markets, devoting majority of my time to it. I'm also a mentor at Singularity University. 

Nadia Yakoobsway
Partner at SW Law Group, P.C.

Jameson Buffmire
Business Analyst, Orange

Growth Stage startup advocate focused on applications and hardware in the Internet of Things (IoT). Exposure to >1000 startups through current and previous endeavors. Interested in dynamic entrepreneurs with the passion, focus, and energy necessary to overcome odds and build BIG businesses. 

Jim Dukhovny

- Architect for Microsoft Windows 10 schema - Cortana schema
- Founder and CEO of Prezera™ - leader in live online presentations and webinars
- Founder and CEO of Armada Aero™ - next generation drone system
- President of Science Fiction Society of Silicon Valley - science and tech talks at Stanford
- Technical Lead for pricing system and item photo system
- Technical Lead for Yahoo data center management system
- Masters degree in Computer Science. UC Berkeley (with honors). Santa Clara University. 

Languages: Java, C#, JavaScript, CSS, SQL, html, xml
Source Control: svn, cvs, source depot
Operating Systems: Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac 
IDE: IntelliJ, Visual Studio 
Defect Control System: TFS, Remedy, Bugzilla, Siebel. 
Skills: Project lead. Product lead. Architecture. Design. Development. Crossteam. Agile. Waterfall.

Peter Hudson
CEO at


Jennifer Cogley
Innovation Coordinator at City of Berkeley

As Innovation and Sustainable Business Coordinator for the City of Berkeley, Jennifer Cogley helps set the direction for local business organizations, with a focus on growing the high tech industry and promoting sustainability for all sorts of businesses. Jennifer led the effort to build the Berkeley Startup Cluster from an idea into a community of over 300 startups, 6,000 subscribers, and multiple events per week. In 2015 she launched initiatives to connect community college students with high tech startup internships, and co-founded an initiative accelerate the growth of Berkeley-based, women-led companies. 

Hriday Kemburu

Liana Burtsava

Liana Burtsava is an INSEAD-trained strategist, entrepreneur, speaker, and connector. With over 15 years of real-world experience as an executive and award-winning entrepreneur, Liana understands the complexities of mindfully crafting success in today’s fast-changing environment. She has enjoyed a career on 3 continents and VP and Director level positions at Philips, RWE, McKinsey & Co, and Inditex among others. Over the last 7 years, as Founder & CEO of Trendy Lime (, she has become known for creating spectacular events and memorable experiences across the globe, as well as supporting non-profit organizations.

Born in Ukraine, Liana grew up in Belarus and as a Soros scholar went on to receive an undergraduate degree in Bulgaria. She had a successful career in marketing in Austria and continued her education at INSEAD in France and Singapore. After moving around the globe for various job assignments, Liana fell in love with San Francisco and opened a marketing and event planning agency, Trendy Lime. Liana speaks six languages and creatively integrates her understanding of cultural sensitivities with her passion for marketing strategy and brand development on global businesses.

In 2016, Liana was recognized as the “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” by the prestigious Stevie Awards in the category “Business Services”.

Liana’s areas of expertise include brand development, strategic partnerships, event planning, global operations, and leadership. Liana is passionate about connecting people, exploring the world, mindfulness, and supporting other women in business.

Geoff Habicht

Geoff Habicht is serial entrepreneur, investor, speaker, writer and mentor. He has written for numerous national publications and is a frequent keynote speaker at industry events covering a range of topics from Chinese manufacturing to selling within the shifting retail landscape.

He is currently the President & COO of SV3, a consumer products company based in Phoenix, Arizona. SV3 designs, manufactures and distributes premium vaporizer products around the globe as well as owning multiple retail stores & e-commerce sites. Under his leadership, the company has grown 445% to be ranked 901 on the INC5000.

Prior to joining SV, Geoff was the Founder & CEO of ForzaStone®, an innovative building materials company that developed and patented high-tech processes to fuse technology with natural stone. ForzaStone® became known for its high profile commercial & residential projects around the globe. He sold the company in 2013.

In 2008, he founded 360s, a consulting company that mentored, advised and partnered with inventors to develop marketing & sales strategies to get their consumer products to market and then sold to major retails such as Walmart, Home Depot, QVC, Lowe’s and Target.

Geoff previously spent 14 years in escalating leadership roles with multinational corporations where he led divisions of up to several hundred employees. Most
recently he held the role of GM of a division of TTI where he led marketing, engineering and manufacturing across North America and Asia. He also held
senior leadership positions with TTI (Hoover, Dirt Devil, Milwaukee Tool) and Newell Rubbermaid (Rubbermaid, Graco, Sharpie).

Geoff has mentored 100s of people in the areas of sales, team development, global expansion, and managing outsourced manufacturing in Asia. Geoff earned a B.S.E from Duke University in Civil Engineering. He is passionate about developing new business ideas and traveling around the world to get the inspiration.

Josh Stroud

I'm a hardware startup entrepreneur and recent Berkeley alum. I raised $200k for my last startup and went through Because I've worked at four startups and founded one of my own, I've been through the early-stage startup trenches.

Lance Eliot

Lance B. Eliot, MBA, PhD, is a seasoned entrepreneur, having launched, run, and sold three high-tech businesses. He serves as a mentor for several incubators in Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley, he is an angel investor in high-tech startups, and he used to host the popular Technotrends radio show. Author or co-author of six books and over 200 articles, he has made appearances on CNN, and has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences. He has also served as a corporate officer and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for major companies, and a technology Partner in the nation's largest executive services firm. 

Ravi Vadrevu

Ravi has 7 years of experience in Design, Engineering & Business Development. He holds MS in CS & Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California and has lived and worked in the U.S. and India. Ravi is currently working on AI first, on-demand workforce to get work done for faster, cheaper and better. It's currently in the stealth mode and will be announced soon. Ravi founded a professional networking startup, Meed in 2014 and raised a seed funding of 625K in 2015. Meed went on to become a community of 90K users and 1000 influencers. Ravi joined BranchOut team as product engineer and joined their growth team. He was instrumental in BranchOut's stupendous growth from 2MM to 30MM users under 6 months. Ravi worked at social networking giant Myspace during his time at USC in LA.

Ashley Curren

Ashley is a growth marketer, with an entrepreneurial spirit. She started my first company when she was 19- a music magazine in her hometown of New Orleans. In 2009, She moved to Beijing to work on her second venture- opening two bars with a friend, and acting as Managing Partner for both. She's currently working on an education start-up. Her goal is to make attending and paying for college accessible to everyone. 

After moving to San Francisco in 2012, she started working in Growth Marketing. She currently lead SEO and Content Marketing for both CoverHound and CyberPolicy. She is also an Evangelist for Women Who Code, where she assists with recruiting and fundraising. She is a champion for women in the industry, and is always available to help anyone get started in their career in tech. 

In her spare time, she works with early stage companies, helping them prepare for their Y Combinator interviews.
Her focus areas are: product market fit, growth and scaling, pitching and presentation practice. 

Bo Larsson

A high-integrity energetic leader with proven success in large, global, multinational, world leading corporations and start-ups. Extensive experience in wireless networking, telecommunications, storage peripherals, computers and multimedia markets. Well versed at creating a cohesive work environment. Excels in strategic planning, executing short and long term business plans and close customer interactions ensuring successful revenue growth.

Organizing Team

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

  • Cheryl
  • Luke
  • Shelby
  • Nikita
  • Shreya
  • Sasha
  • Aditya
  • Chris


Derek Koch
CEO and Founder, Independent Software

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