Dallas Startup Weekend: Women's Edition

    Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Dallas Startup Weekend: Women's Edition

Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015

Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Dallas Entrepreneur Center
311 North Market Street, Suite 200
Dallas, TX 75202

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Dallas Startup Weekend: Women's Edition May 29th-31st — Inspiring More Women Leaders in Founding Startup Teams

We are thrilled to be hosting Dallas' first Startup Weekend Women's Edition, as part of the Up Global Editions Month presented by Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

Our goal is to encourage and inspire more female leaders in startup teams and to connect more women to the vast number of resources and mentors available in our startup community. That's why we want you to be of this weekend and join some of the most talented and entrepreneurial-minded women across the North Texas region.  

Are men allowed to attend? YES, MEN ARE INVITED! However, there are a limited number of tickets available to men and we do encourage men to find another female participant to bring along.

What is Startup Weekend? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies. 

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!


Friday May 29th

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

8:00 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 May 30th

8:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Yoga/Stretch Session
Join us for a light yoga/stretch session with Dallas Grit Fitness before the workday begins. Bring your mat!

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 May 31st

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!


Shauna Causey
Tech Startup Advisor / Mentor / Investor

Shauna has managed innovation, communications, research, community relations and social/digital media strategies for companies, non-profits and elected officials. She has 15 years of experience, starting her career with the Seattle Mariners Baseball Team when she was in high school. She's had leadership roles at Fox Sports Net, Warner Brothers, Comcast, Nordstrom, Google (via PwC) and Decide.com. After working on the sale of Decide.com to eBay in late 2013, Shauna joined UP Global (Startup Weekend, Startup America), a company she’d been volunteering with for four years, as VP of Marketing. Shauna has appeared on ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Bloomberg West and Marie Claire Magazine as an ecommerce and startup analyst. Shauna serves on several nonprofit boards: Seattle’s NPR (KUOW), Leadership Tomorrow, and Social Media Club Seattle. She’s a competitive cyclist and beach volleyball player.

Elizabeth Dougherty
Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition at the United States Patent and Trademark Office

 Elizabeth Dougherty is the Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition in the Office of Innovation Development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity, she develops, implements, and supervises programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities. She also coordinates the agency’s ombudsman program for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as mandated by the America Invents Act of 2011. Elizabeth has spearheaded a number of special projects with federal, state and local governments, and private organizations to promote and support invention and innovation in the United States. She oversees a portfolio of ongoing and future initiatives designed to assist independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and underserved communities.

Event Judges

Molly Cain
Executive Director at Tech Wildcatters

Molly is the Executive Director of Tech Wildcatters, the world's top B2B early stage startup accelerator and #5 overall in the U.S, according to INC Magazine in 2015. She is a contributor on Forbes, where her leadership column has regularly received up to 500k views a month since 2011. Her background is in strategy, communications and content management for Fortune 500 organizations, and she specializes in the disruption of the "that's how we've always done it" process. Prior to joining TW, Molly co-founded ViewMarket, a video-based startup which today distributes and syndicates video content. She also founded GlassHeel.com, a career, lifestyle and networking site for professional women offering career advice and lifestyle blogs from over 70 contributors. 

Michelle Lemmons

Michelle Lemmons-Poscente is the Chairman of ISB Global, LLC, a diversified leadership and educational services firm. She is also founder and CEO of its flagship company, International Speakers Bureau, a full-service speaker’s agency specializing in business, contemporary thought leadership, and entertainment headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Michelle majored in Communications at Southern Methodist University before relocating to Hollywood to work in the film and television industry on programs such as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Star Search and Supermodels of the World. Michelle has been dubbed as one of the “Top Female-Owned Businesses” in the U.S. by Bank One and recognized as one of the top-managed companies in the United States, winning the Sprint #1 Small Business Award. 

Arisha Smith
COO / Marketing at NewME Accelerator

Arisha provides strategic marketing and digital operations counsel to Silicon Valley based tech accelerator, NewME. For startups that successfully complete the accelerator, Arisha provides marketing strategy and counsel until completion of their fundraising process. As founder of Idyllic Interactive, Arisha leads the agency’s collaboration with lean startups as well as large brands. With a background in online advertising and digital marketing, her experience spans a diverse pool of industries: management consulting, entertainment, mobile, automotive and interactive media with companies such as Microsoft Advertising, Accenture, IAC and several multicultural advertising agencies. 

Kelly Cullum
Director of Integrated Sales at PayHub

Kelly Cullum has a passion for sales and business development for early stage tech companies. This discovery happened at age 18 after accepting a position at MINDBODY, a business management solution for health and wellness based companies. As employee number twelve she was giving the rare opportunity to build a division within the company which later became the MINDBODY’s largest revenue source. Later she co-founded Moolah to help technology companies like Wix.com build revenue streams into their solution. After relocating to Dallas she settled in with PayHub to complete her vision of a payments platform that B2B technology solutions can use to monetize payments.

Coaches and Mentors

Lindsey Kilbride
Vice President of Sales at Trunk Club

Lindsay is an experienced sales Director that loves working with passionate, ambitious people. After completing her studies in Industrial Engineering & Math at Michigan (Go Blue!), Lindsay then joined the consulting staff at Bain & Company. From Bain, she moved on to the executive team at Mary Kay Cosmetics, making a positive impact in both the lives of clients and also her sales team. She is currently helping men look their best while removing the hassle of shopping from their lives with Trunk Club. Lindsay got her start in Chicago as one of Trunk Club's first 10 employees, and then moved to Dallas in the fall of 2013 to run Trunk Club's first expansion office. Among her long list of specialties: she's a fast talker. 

Megan Hodges
Co-Founder & Vice President of Membership at Rise: Travel Better

Megan’s accomplished sales and business development background and her passion for growing successful companies through careful attention to customer needs perfectly qualifies her to lead the Rise Member Relations team. Before joining Rise, Megan was head of sales and business development for Los Angeles-based start-up Lumi, where she took an e-commerce only business into a multi-channel international business, more than doubling company revenues the first year, and established new business channels with companies like Amazon, HSN, Urban Outfitters, Michaels Arts & Crafts and others. Prior to that Megan worked as Vice President of Sales, Retail channel, at Provo Craft the world leader in manufacturing personal electronic cutting machines, managing $35MM in sales annually through developed relationships with customers.

Aassia Haq
Founder and CEO at Guidrr

During her career, Aassia has enjoyed working with smart leaders, helping to build great companies and market-changing plans. She has worked for world-class organizations (PepsiCo, Quaker Oats), built it from the ground up (ALUMRISE, Inc., as founder and CEO), and helped other leaders reach new heights of value and success (MBO Partners, as CMO). These days, she working on a new startup to serve the growing global community of travel micropreneurs called Guidrr. As a world traveler herself, Aassia records insights and observations about the future. She is interested in the intersect between the Future of Work, the Sharing Economy and the Global City / Urbanization trends and consults with leaders to help understand how these trends will impact their business growth and marketing plans. 

Craig Lewis
Chief Entrepreneur Officer at Visage Payroll

Craig is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for payroll and modern technology. Craig has started and been a part of multiple successful startups. He is currently the Chief Entrepreneur Officer for Visagepayroll.com, and previously was the CSO at Kairos.com delivering facial recognition API's across the globe. Craig has made the impossible possible by becoming the world leader in facial recognition tech in less than 3 years. He has also had his fair share of failures (aka learning opportunities). With an ambition to master the art of entrepreneurship and not only set an example but create a standard for up and coming entrepreneurs, Craig lives by the motto: “Think Bigger. Fail Faster. Get Better.”

Fiona Schlachter
Co-organizer Dallas Startup Week

Fiona likes to build technical stuff. Not as a coder, but as a facilitator. She enjoys working with smart people to build products, services, programs ... pretty much anything that will help to meet a business objective. Her experience includes a variety of management roles in the pharmaceuticals, high tech, and healthcare industries. She also ran her own startup for 2+ years. While the business failed, she would not exchange the experience for anything. Her current focus is in healthcare IT and she is never seen without an Apple product within arm's reach. Fiona also facilitates House of Genius Dallas and just recently finished up the first Dallas Startup Week in March 2015. 

Lydia Varela
Founder at LatinaXchange

Lydia Varela founded LatinaXchange as a means to equip Latinas to be successful in their personal lives, their communities and their careers. Combining her extensive marketing experience, strong community relationships, and her passions for connecting people, she is creating a community of vibrant and innovative women championing being a confident Latina today. As a marketing professional with extensive experience in consumer goods and marketing communications, Lydia has developed targeted marketing plans that achieve and exceed sales goals. She is a recognized thought leader and creative thinker with the ability to build relationships and work with cross-functional teams.

Tricia Hosek
President & CEO at VectorPoint, Inc.

Tricia is an entrepreneurial senior executive with leadership achievements in both early stage and large multi-national high-technology companies. Her track record of excellence includes driving profitable turnarounds, capitalizing on market opportunity with sustained growth and profitability, and leading best in class business operations. Her achievements include numerous successful merger integration projects, the dramatic growth and successful initial public offering of a startup, the achievement of #1 global market share position in multiple product categories, and the globalization of major design and sales operations.

Mishty Deb
Partner at LaSusa & Deb, PLLC

Mishty is a talented Dallas attorney who has worked extensively in the governmental, non-profit, and private sectors. After graduating with dual degrees in economics & environmental science at SMU, Mishty pursued her law degree from the University of Texas. Upon graduation Mishty began working for the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) as in-house counsel specializing in small business loans and complex real estate title issues. Mishty has since worked for small & large businesses as well as non-profits, entrepreneurs, and most recently launched a series of workshops for female entrepreneurs, Sharks in Heels. 

Jeremy Johnson
Director of User Experience at projekt202

Jeremy Johnson has been working in the User Experience field for years at a variety of companies and industries, including: travel, gaming, B2B, e-comm, startups - you name it! He's passionate about Design, mobile, travel, gaming, photography and how our future will be shaped by technology. He’s spoken at multiple conferences, where his style has been described as “a firehose of information”. He enjoys solving complex problems, and simplifying experiences. 

Michelle Lamont
President at Lamont PR & Creative Group

Michelle is the President of Lamont Media Consulting Group. She is an effective public relations professional who continually aligns media placement for her clients. She is dedicated to helping her community personally and professionally, and when she launched her company, she made a commitment to provide pro bono account services to non-profit organizations. On a personal level, she served on the Taste of the NFL host committee, which was responsible for the 2012 Dallas Cowboys Ultimate Tailgate Party benefiting the North Texas Food Bank. 

Urvi Bhandari
Brand & Innovation Strategist at UrviB Enterprises

Urvi is a brand marketer who has worked for McCann Erickson, IBM, Jones Apparel Group, The Coca-Cola Company and lastly, AT&T as a Global Innovation Director. She traveled the world for a year, meeting thought leaders and continuing to build the community around floating cities. Currently she is focusing on marketing to Gen-X and creating useable content around innovation. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Dallas Startup Weekend: Women's 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.



Contributing Sponsor

Media Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Clarisa
  • Jennifer
  • Lauren
  • Susanna
  • Trey


Marion Desmazières
International Expansion Lead, Amazon Alexa

Marion is a tech business developer based in Seattle, WA. She manages international expansion of developer programs for Alexa, the voice service powering Amazon's Echo devices. Before joining Amazon about four years ago, Marion coordinated the 2012 Global Startup Battle and managed partner relations for Startup Weekend in Seattle. She holds a Master's in Business Management from EDHEC Business School and an MBA in Technology Commercialization from the University of Alberta. A Startup Weekend veteran, Marion has facilitated 20+ events in France, Canada, the US, Algeria and Morocco.

Event Staff

Danielle Cocanougher
Marketing Manager at Allcal

Lisa Kester
Software Consultant at Slalom Consulting

Erin Natalie
Brand Media at The Richards Group

Mary Brodie

Zhaodi(jodi) Liu

Chiao Chang
Student at The University of Texas at Dallas - School of Management

Earlina Green

Event Blog

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