Think BIG! Startup Weekend Boulder

    Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Think BIG! Startup Weekend Boulder

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

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

Idea Forge (CU Boulder)
2445 Kittredge Loop Dr.
Fleming Building
Boulder, Colorado 80305

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Bring your big ideas to Think BIG! Startup Weekend Boulder.

If you have an idea that you think is impossible, bring it!
If you have an idea that has been keeping you up at night, bring it!
If there's an idea that you never started working on because you don't have the expertise or resources, bring it!
Bring it to Think BIG! Startup Weekend Boulder. This is your opportunity to make that concept a reality.

You bring the idea, and we provide the food, resources and support.  Together with a team of fellow innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs, you will transform that simple idea into a viable business plan. The greatest entrepreneurs are the dreamers, the ones that aren't afraid to think BIG! Coming up with a grand idea is only the first step. The real work is in the development of every intricacy, every aspect of not only the idea, but the business model, the prototype, and the customer validation.  All in one weekend. Sounds awesome right?

Think BIG! Startup Weekend Boulder is a 54 hour event, where participants work to develop an idea into a viable business. It begins with initial pitches, where anyone that has an idea can say what it is, why it matters, and what they need to make it a reality. People then break into teams around the various ideas, and the race begins. Over the next two days they work to transform that initial idea into a viable business plan, which they then pitch to a panel of judges on Sunday night. The teams have access to numerous resources, including several 3-D printers provided by the Idea Forge, along with high speed internet access. They will also have the help of experienced entrepreneurs who can provide valuable feedback. The top three teams will each get unique prizes that will help them continue to develop the company moving forward. 

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


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

7:20 pm
Thomas Frey - Unleashing the Future
Our Speaker, Thomas Frey, will talk briefly about the upcoming wave of technology, and how today's entrepreneurs will shape tomorrow's future.

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!


Thomas Frey
Futurist and Executive Director of the Da Vinci Institute

Over the past decade, Thomas Frey has built an enormous following based on his ability to develop accurate visions of the future and describe the opportunities ahead. Having started seventeen businesses himself and assisting on the development of hundreds more, the understanding he brings to his audiences is a rare blend of reality-based thinking coupled with a clear-headed visualization of the world ahead. Predicting the future has little value without understanding the driving forces behind the trends, subtle nuances that can be leveraged, and implications for both the people directly affected in the industry as well as others farther down the technological food chain.
As part of the celebrity speaking circuit, Tom continually pushes the envelope of understanding, creating fascinating images of the world to come. His keynote talks on futurist topics have captivated people ranging from high level government officials to executives in Fortune 500 companies including NASA, IBM, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies, First Data, Boeing, Capital One, Bell Canada, Visa, Ford Motor Company, Qwest, Allied Signal, Hunter Douglas, Direct TV, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Times of India, and many more.

Event Judges

Amy Cosper
Former VP, Editor-in-Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine

Amy Cosper is the CEO of Radical Upstarts, former Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur magazine and has been reporting and commenting on the world of entrepreneurship for 12 years. Cosper is an evangelist for innovation and disruption around the globe. She is keenly aware of the power of entrepreneurship on a cultural and economic level.
Her mission is to spread the word and promise of these philosophies on a global scale and to make an impact by teaching these ideas. 
She is the Producer of the Creative Business Cup—Adventure Zone featuring a business pitch challenge focused on human performance entrepreneurs.

Cosper recently completed a book and a documentary that explore the deep economic and cultural impact heralded by the global entrepreneurship movement. She is an award-winning editor and writer and strongly adheres to the idea that “on the other side of your fear, is your success.”  And she would know, since she rides a Ducati and only does sports that require a helmet.

Peter Adams
Executive Director at Rockies Venture Club

Peter Adams is co-author of Venture Capital for Dummies (John Wiley & sons, 2013) and serves as the Executive Director of the Rockies Venture Club, the longest running angel investing group in the U.S.  He runs the Rockies Venture Fund, an early stage venture capital fund and he is and is an Adjunct Professor at Colorado State University, where he teaches the Capstone strategy course for the Executive MBA program in Denver.  Peter has over thirty years of business experience in corporate leadership roles as CIO and economics director and as a CEO/serial entrepreneur. Peter is also the founder of The Rockies Venture Institute and, a non-profit CEO Development Program for young women.  Peter holds a BA Degree from Colorado College and an MBA from Regis University.

Promise Phelon
CEO at TapInfluence, Forbes Contributor

Promise Phelon is the CEO of TapInfluence, a high-growth technology company that specializes in influencer marketing. The company is defining the category as it goes through a dramatic shift from manual to technology-enabled. Prior to TapInfluence, Promise was Chief Revenue Officer of the Resumator, CEO of The Phelon Group, and served as CEO of UpMo, an enterprise talent management SaaS system.

David Cohen
Co-Founder, Co-CEO of Techstars

Previously, David was a founder of several software and web technology companies. He was the founder and CTO of Pinpoint Technologies which was acquired by ZOLL Medical Corporation (NASDAQ: ZOLL) in 1999. You can read about it in No Vision, All Drive [Amazon]. David was also the founder and CEO of, a music service which was sold to in 2006. He also had what he likes to think of as a “graceful failure” in between.

David is a active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at He is also very active at the University of Colorado, serving as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Computer Science Department, the Entrepreneurial Advisory Board at Silicon Flatirons. David also runs the Colorado chapter of the Open Angel Forum. David’s hobbies are technology, software/web startups, business history, and tennis. He is married to the coolest girl he’s ever met and has three amazing kids who always seem to be teaching him something new.

Coaches and Mentors

Pam Nurrie

I'm an Impact Entrepreneur and recently attended 10.10.10 as a Prospective CEO. I'm currently working on my next startup in the healthcare industry with a focus on creating social impact. I love openly sharing my 20+ years experience as CEO/Founder of a privately held engineering company with the hope I can help start-ups anticipate problems before they become problems, prepare for rapid growth as well blaze new trails and redefine the true meaning of success. 

Paul Wagner

Paul Wagner is the CEO/CTO of CreativeLab.TV, a web and mobile tech-entertainment company based in Boulder CO.  Paul is a 5-Time EMMY® Award Winner and has been a creative executive in tech-entertainment for 28 years. He has written, produced, taught and performed for millions of people on TV, and for over 500 corporate clients in 10 countries. Clients include start-ups all the way up to Fortune 500 companies, including Aetna Insurance, Reebok, IBM and AT&T.

Jesse Lawrence
CEO of Boulder BITS LLC

Jesse founded Boulder BITS, a startup studio, to build three to four tech startups each year.  At Boulder BITS, Jesse validates internally generated solutions to real human needs.  He builds teams to support startups.  Before moving to Boulder, Jesse was a professor at Stanford in geophysics with a focus on cyberinfrastructure.  His passion is working with entrepreneurs to build out viable companies.

Brian Long
Owner of First Mover Advantage LLC

Brian Long is the Founder and President of First Movers Advantage, LLC (2003). Brian has a deep understanding of the real estate industry, database design, and data management which he used to create a niche business tailored to serve professionals in the moving, storage, mortgage, and real estate information industries.

Scott Vitale
Founder at Spigot Labs

As the founder at Spigot Labs, Scott has taken a decade of software development experience and built a hardware/software platform for transferring attendee data at trade shows, job fairs, and beer festivals.  He's a full stack developer at heart with a special place in his heart for Python and EmberJS development.

Matt Holmes

Looking to mentor in the marketing space with early stage founders.

Matt "Handshakin" Holmes is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and world record holder.  He is Founder of the Handshakin Video Series: featuring top entrepreneurs on networking and personal branding strategies.  

Jessica Rawley
COO, Solaris Energy

Jessica Rawley started her career working for several small non-profits and business start-ups to establish operating systems, business development strategies, and marketing plans. After doing Fund Development and Public Relations for Habitat for Humanity, Jessica joined the Peace Corps and served as a Small Enterprise Development Advisor in Kenya. Placed with a national conservation organization, she worked closely with community groups to improve and market conservation-based enterprises, namely eco-tourism ventures.

This experience prompted her to pursue her MBA in Social Enterprise and understand how entrepreneurship can be used as a tool for sustainable community development. During her MBA, Jessica co-founded Taka Energy, which develops community-scale waste-to-energy facilities that generate renewable energy assets from otherwise useless waste streams. After graduation, she served as a Program Manager for the Global, Social, Sustainable Enterprise MBA program working with students to develop business ventures that addressed the world’s most pressing problems. Jessica formerly served as the Assistant Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship developing and implementing programs and events that educate students in innovation and entrepreneurship while also engaging community members to support students in their journey.

Nick Parsons
Node.js developer at

Nick Parsons is Senior Technical Leader with hands-on development management and application development skills. 

Nick has significant startup experience with a proven track record of building and inspiring strong technical teams to execute company goals.

Nick has been with Tableau Software since April of this year.  This is his first involvement with the Kirkland Startup Weekend Smart City in Kirkland.

Steve Jovanelly
CTO at Cue

(Jovi) is the CTO of CUE. CUE is an early stage startup that is helping small businesses find, compare, purchase, and manage the best software and services specific to their business needs. Jovi has over twenty years of experience in product engineering with a focus in startup and small organizations. He has technical experience in a variety of open source languages and platforms and almost ten years of experience implementing and coaching Agile development methodologies.

Christian Braun
CEO at hobbyDB

I have a diverse background having run a radio station, an investment banking boutique, Europe's largest eBay store and a Private Equity team and having worked in 10 countries.

Todd VanderStelt
CSO at Amplio Digital and Mentor at Silicon Flatirons Center

Todd's an Intrapreneur turned Entrepreneur, who recently made the move to the area to join the start-up world.  Todd spent the last six years with Amazon, where he built Amazon's headphones business, was COO of the Textbooks business, served as an Amazon Bar-Raiser, and most recently led a multi-year program to automate Amazon's end-to-end operations and resulting organizational redesign.  Prior to Amazon, Todd worked for Whirlpool Corporation across a variety of roles including product development, sales, operations, and category management, and was also a charter member in the launch of the Gladiator GarageWorks business (  He's a Michigan transplant, and holds a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University, and a MBA in Finance from Purdue University.  Since moving to the area, Todd has been active in the business mentoring community, and serves on the Board for Bear Systems and as Chief Strategy Officer for Amplio Digital, both Boulder based start-ups.

Ashely McCelland
Senior Project Manager at CA Technologies

Product person and multi-hat wearer with a range of specialization in the SaaS and enterprise software world, including two recent enterprise lean startup ventures. The bulk of my experience is in early stage product management and marketing, with emphasis on customer discovery, customer validation, product strategy, and growth.

David Schacter

Attorney with Silicon Valley background and 30+ years experience advising Startups, individuals and major companies on legal issues involving Intellectual Property, technology transfers, e-commerce, entity formation and general business matters. 

Ryan Howell
Founder and Attorney at Rubicon Law

As the founder of Rubicon Law, Ryan assists businesses grow from idea to exit. 

Prior to Rubicon, Ryan worked on the founding teams and as advisor to several venture backed startups. He also worked as in-house counsel at a venture firm. As a result, Ryan understands the perspectives of both founders and investors.

Tony Blank
Senior Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

Tony's work experience reflects his passion for music and technology. His first career was as an audio engineer in Atlanta. More recently, he built a data center in South Carolina for Google, built products at a number of start-ups, and led the developer relations program at Context.IO. Currently, he enjoys talking to companies and accelerators about SendGrid as Team Lead on the Community Development team. In the gaps between gigs, he enjoys playing live music in bars and beeeeer.

Alex Rich
Strategy & Operations Senior Consultant at Deloitte

Strategy Consultant with skills in Marketing, Finance, and Growth.  Applying lessons learned in Fortune 500 organizations to early stage startups

Tim O'Shea
Program Director, University of Colorado Boulder

Exploring the importance of networks for over twenty years, Tim O’Shea combines his professional technical acumen with a social savvy in service to connecting communities.  His experience delivering apt technical solutions and forward looking guidance for a variety of established brands, businesses, startups and non-profit organizations took root at the dawn of the dot-com era. Working in the national sphere of public broadcasting enhanced his strengths as an advocate, communicator, and educator. Cultivating relationships throughout his network, Tim dedicates his professional and personal resources to developing successful individuals and organizations through connections and knowledge transfer.  Founding Engage Colorado after a successful partnership running Boulder Startup Week 2013, Tim continues to recognize his goal of bringing communities together to unite around and share ideas across geographic and industry boundaries. He produces the NewCo Boulder festival and serves on the Boulder Chamber’s Community Affairs Committee, the Boulder Tomorrow Board, the Boulder Library Commission, and the City of Boulder Broadband Advisory Group.

Stephan Reckie
Executive Director @ GEN Space

Stephan is Executive Director of Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Space, a global ecosystem for Astropreneurs, and serves on the Executive Committee of European Business Angels (EBAN) Space. Stephan is a Co-Founder and CEO of Edge of Space, a company enabling STEM access to space for students globally. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Angelus Funding, a trust-based global angel network investing in innovative and meaningful opportunities. Stephan serves on the board of directors of numerous companies and has personally made 39 investments since 2012. He is also an adjunct professor at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, teaching entrepreneurial presentation and sales methods.
Prior to Angelus Funding, Stephan served in several international executive roles including: COO of DigiLink Software, a China-based embedded video solutions developer, and the Director of North American Sales at India-based Ittiam Systems. While as the Founding Director of EMEA Operations for Telogy Networks, his company was acquired by Texas Instruments.
Stephan holds Bachelor’s and Masters of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a second generation Russian and a true native New Yorker and is fluent in 5 languages. He enjoys travelling the world and has flown over 7.5 million miles, the equivalent of 15 moon missions. Stephan is a “professional" volunteer for numerous impactful organizations and an active community leader. He resides in Golden, Colorado with his family.

Zach Randall
Founder & CEO at DripJoy

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Think BIG! Startup Weekend Boulder 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.



Startup Sponsorship


Organizing Team

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

  • Andrea
  • Rich
  • Aidan
  • Ben
  • Matthew
  • Nigel
  • Julien
  • Ryder
  • Bruno


Jordan Rothenberg
Regional Manager

Jordan is a Regional Manager at Techstars, overseeing and supporting community leaders as they bring Startup Weekend, Week, and Digest to cities across the Western U.S. and Canada.

In a past life, Jordan was the cofounder of a natural food startup that simplified the smoothie making process, worked in advertising, healthcare IT, among a few other odd jobs. Jordan is from Milwaukee, WI, attended his first Startup Weekend in Madison, WI and is now based in Boulder, CO. He has an appetite for outdoor adventures, cars, and travel!

Bruno Peroni
Partner at Semente Negócios

Bruno Peroni é especialista em educação empreendedora e na criação de novos produtos e serviços. É co-fundador da Semente Negócios, que desenvolve e executa programas inovadores de educação e experiência empreendedora para empresas e governos, e da WOW Aceleradora, selecionada pelo Startup Brasil. É membro da comunidade Global Shapers do Fórum Econômico Mundial e facilitador do Startup Weekend.

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