Startup Weekend Women Denver

    Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Women Denver

Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018

Friday, February 9 - 11, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Commons on Champa
1245 Champa Street
Denver, CO 80204

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Your idea in 54 hours

In 2017 only 17% of startups had female founders and only 5% of the U.S.’s biggest companies (by revenue) were run by women. We aim to change these statistics and we plan to start here in Denver! We're calling all women that have a business idea, need help creating a startup, or those that want to help, support and empower women in this endeavor by working with them for three days in a collaborative team environment.  

Startup Weekend Women Denver is here to encourage and inspire more female leaders in the startup world and to connect more women to the amazing amount of resources and mentors available in our startup community. The hardest part of starting up is starting out! Startup Weekend targets exactly this by immersing participants in the ideal environment for startup magic to happen. We know the power of women-led businesses and the talent women in leadership and tech bring to the entire team. That's why we want you to be a part of this weekend and join some of the most talented and entrepreneurial-minded women across our community.

What makes this event unique compared to other Startup Weekend events? Tech industry events tend to draw more male participants...though that is starting to change. We want to push that change into hyperdrive so we've designed an inclusive and welcoming weekend just for women in tech, interested in tech, entrepreneurship and business. A majority of the tickets are held for women, but we encourage men to come collaborate, support and inspire with us (though we ask for your help in bringing a female participant with you when you join us). The mentors and judges are a mix of men and women, and the Friday night pitches are reserved for women to showcase their startup ideas.

Join us to show the world what’s possible, and to help launch that idea you’ve been thinking about alongside other entrepreneurs and community members. Make friends. Grow your network. Have some fun. And maybe even start a company.

We will offer FREE on-site child care all weekend, breakfast-lunch-dinner and a few surprises we'll share with you on Friday!
Have more questions? Check out the Startup Weekend FAQ:

If you have further questions, want to help out, or just say hello, you can reach the team at:

What is Startup Weekend?
Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.
Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. Teams will hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local mentors and entrepreneurs. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

Starting a company can be chaotic and fun. Join Startup Weekend Women to surround yourself with an inclusive, supportive, and knowledgeable network to help launch your idea.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday February 9th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:45 pm
Dinner & Networking
Fuel up, share ideas, get to know fellow participants!

7:15 pm
Set the stage, review agenda for the weekend, and recognize sponsors and community leaders

7:30 pm
Keynote Speaker
Amy Baglan, founder and CEO of MeetMindful, will share an inspiring keynote to kick off Startup Weekend Women!

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Time for you to pitch your idea! You'll have 60 seconds and a microphone. Pitching encouraged, but not required.

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 February 10th

8:00 am
Jenna Bee of All Terrain Yoga will be guiding us through a practice to start the day. All levels welcome. Please bring a mat if you have one.

9:00 am
Fuel up for the day with delicious breakfast & coffee!

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

12:00 pm
Lunch & Check In
Lunch and check-in, status updates, call for help

2:00 pm
Coaches Arrive!
Coaches work with teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
Pitch Workshop
Brief workshop on what makes a good pitch!

10:00 pm
What a day! Nice work. Now time to go home and recharge for a busy Sunday!

Sunday February 11th

8:00 am
Breathe and move your way into Sunday with Jenna Bee from All Terrain Yoga. All levels welcome. Bring a mat if you have one.

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:30 am
Coaches Arrive
Final opportunity to ask the hard questions!

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Pitch Practice
Pitch practice with coaches. Regardless of where you are in the process, this is mandatory!

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
Final Presentations
It's finally here! 5 minute presentations to a panel of judges.

6:00 pm
The last supper. You earned it.

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Top teams will win awesome prizes to help keep the momentum beyond Startup Weekend!

7:00 pm

7:30 pm
Clean Up and Go Home!
What. A. Weekend. So proud of everyone. Clean up and get some rest.


Amy Baglan

Amy Baglan is the Founder and CEO of MeetMindful, where she’s on a mission to evolve the online dating world. MeetMindful is one of the fastest growing dating and networking platforms in the world, and is connecting the 36 million singles interested in mindful living, meditation, health and wellness, sustainability, spirituality, and personal growth.
Amy started her own journey of mindful living after years of growing early-stage startups in New York. She wanted to put that same ambition and drive inward towards herself so she quit her job, sold all her possessions, and bought a one-way ticket to travel through India, Thailand, Bali, and Cambodia for an entire year. She discovered the love of learning and finding new ways to expand her mind, body and spirit.
MeetMindful is the dating app for mindful and meaningful connections. Based in Denver, MeetMindful is a Techstars Boulder alumni, has grown to 16 employees, and has raised $3.8 million in capital from top investors, and world- renowned mindfulness teacher, Tara Brach.
Amy will share an inspiring story of personal and professional growth while navigating the challenges of the startup world as a female founder. 

Event Judges

Jenna Walker
Managing Director, Techstars Sustainability

Operating from a belief that the best ideas aren’t born behind desks, Jenna has a love for building lives and businesses grounded always in authenticity. Getting their start from a basement in 2012, Jenna served as Co-Founder and CEO of Artifact Uprising through June of 2016. Artifact Uprising is an ecommerce branding force that sells custom photo books and goods and has been featured on the Today Show, New York Times, InStyle Magazine, Forbes, Oprah’s Favorite Things, among others. At the end of 2014, the company was acquired by Bay Area technology company VSCO, where Jenna also served as an executive to support VSCO’s community of more than 30 million active users. Jenna is an advocate, mentor and speaker within the Colorado startup ecosystem - where she gives her time to support entrepreneurs through organizations including TechStars, Galvanize, 101010 and Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. She has also served as an Entrepreneur in Residence for Listen, a Chicago based venture capital fund investing in early stage startups.

Nancy Beaton
Executive Vice President, Marketing at Amplifire

Nancy is an executive who excels in business growth. She has a strong track record of building, growing, and developing businesses for both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. As the Co-founder and Executive Vice President of a media technology start-up, she ran the overall P&L, marketing, operations, and growth strategy. Nancy also held executive roles at Sprint Corporation, including national and product marketing, where she launched new offers to market through the company’s $1B spend in media, and grew Sprint’s wireless entertainment data P&L to $200M. She is a proven active leader who can personally and collaboratively drive marketing innovation that leads to revenue and financial growth.

Kathy Keating
Co-founder, Apostrophe Health

Kathy Keating is co-founder and CTO of Apostrophe. She has dedicated her career to using technology to solve some of the most complex business and social challenges facing us.
With more than 20 years of experience, her work in artificial intelligence, big data and payments systems has lead several engineering teams successfully from startup conception through rapid growth. Apostrophe (Techstars Boulder 2017 company) is her second founder role.
Kathy is active in the local Colorado startup community and mentors several women
entrepreneurs and technologists. Together we can achieve so much more.

David Brown
Co-CEO of Techstars

David Brown is a founder and co-CEO of Techstars.

David is a serial entrepreneur who has founded three startups and been involved with two others. He is one of the original founders of Pinpoint Technologies, Inc. which is now part of ZOLL Medical Corporation and provides solutions to the emergency medical services market. He was President of the company from founding through over $50M per year in revenue and over 250 people.

David later co-founded Techstars along with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and Jared Polis. He has been an investor and advisor to Techstars since inception. In 2013, he joined Techstars in a more active role, overseeing global operations.

David has a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. As a ski instructor in the past, David still enjoys hitting the slopes on a good powder day.

Follow @dbrown

Matt Stueve
Co-Founder & CTO, Sitter

Matt Stueve is co-founder and CTO of Sitter, a new parenting app to dramatically simplify how moms and dads find, book, and pay babysitters they trust. Previously Vice President of Software Development at Inspirato and Director of Interactive Technology at RTP, Matt brings nearly 20 years of experience in web application development and IT management to Sitter. He’s passionate about building technology to solve problems and simplify our lives. Matt holds a BBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Iowa.

Coaches and Mentors

Desi McAdam
CTO and Co-Founder

Desi is the CTO and Co-founder of Nanno, an on demand childcare app. She has 17 years experience doing all things software including development, product definition, product management, building, deploying and scaling. She has spent most of her career in consulting companies, helping small and large clients alike build products. She loves helping people turn their ideas into reality. Desi is also the founder of DevChix, which is a global network or women software developers. She frequently mentors under-represented individuals in tech and young girls in STEM. Desi has a BS in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Jaclyn Fu
Founder & CEO

Jaclyn is the Co-founder and CEO of Pepper, a body positive e-commerce company that makes better fitting bras for small-chested women. Pepper ( was launched as a Kickstarter in April 2017 and had 950 backers at the end of a 13 day campaign. Previously, Jaclyn's experience was in product marketing and has led go to market strategy at companies like Mozilla, Etsy and Conversocial. She lives in Denver and is also a registered yoga instructor.

Heather MacKenzie
Speaker, Connector + Consultant

Heather is a consultant, connector and community builder with 25 years of experience as a former healthcare executive who helps impact-driven organizations, start-ups and entrepreneurs find their true purpose, diversify their teams, develop growth strategies, increase market presence and build key partnerships. She is currently engaged with SheEO, 10.10.10, Wisdom Tribe, CHANT and select tech and healthcare clients who are working to build more diverse and inclusive organizations, while fueling growth. She co-founded a fund for female entrepreneurs in 2016, raising more money in Colorado than the LA and SF markets combined, and that fund is about to enter its second round of funding female-led ventures. She has also been responsible for the recruiting of Prospective CEOs with 10.10.10 and has achieved gender parity in every cohort she's recruited, along with representation of people of color, LGBTQ, millennials, baby boomers, veterans and others. With leadership experience in strategy, sales, relationship development, fundraising, recruiting, management and marketing at companies ranging from pre-revenue startups to industry giants such as General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Heather brings fresh perspectives to her client’s biggest challenges.

David Kirkos
Software Engineer

David is currently a Software Engineer at Techstars. He has seen hundreds of pitches and worked directly with dozens of startups in various roles through Techstars, Kokopelli Ventures, and Detroit Venture Partners.

Rosanna Garcia
CEO & Co-founder of Vijilent

Dr. Rosanna Garcia is CEO and co-founder of Vijilent, a company that uses machine learning and natural language processing to provide social media analytics to the legal voir dire process (kind of like they do in the TV show Bull).  Driven by an unfortunate case of vandalism by an Airbnb guest and fueled by her work in predictive analytics, Rosanna launched Vijilent.  She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, a MBA from the University of Rochester and a PhD in Marketing Science from Michigan State University. In order to focus on her company, Dr. Garcia is on leave of absence from her position as Associate Professor of Marketing at North Carolina where she is a Chancellor's Faculty of Excellence in Innovation+ Design.  Her role within the Innovation+Design Cluster is to develop curriculum and student-focused programs that help develop and launch technologies germinating from student ideas and faculty research, especially those around environmental sustainability.  Her recent research and teaching centers on sustainable innovations and the role of trust (or lack of!) in collaborative consumption communities.  Dr. Garcia’s teaching focuses on entrepreneurial marketing and new product launch.  Rosanna also is the Faculty Director of the NC State Business Sustainability Collaborative where she works with B Corps and researches how they benefit from focusing on the triple-bottom line of people, planet & profit. She is author of the textbook, Creating and Marketing New Products & Services. She frequently speaks on what it is like to be a woman-minority in a high tech world.

Katherine Lohr-Valdez

Katherine is a CPA with both public and private accounting experience. She has extensive experience with cash flow forecasting and revenue models.

Jacqueline Dayton
Director of Product Marketing

With over 10 years of product management and marketing experience, Jackie has found her passion in developing successful marketing strategies, connecting the customer with products and services, working with multiple departments to improve products and taking innovation to the next level. Her talent is helping start-ups with tight marketing budgets develop strategies for success.

Matthew Erley
VP, Growth/Marketing

Matthew is VP of Growth/Marketing at Havenly. He was formerly responsible for growth of North American markets for the alcohol-tech company, Drizly. Matthew has a passion for early stage businesses, marketing/growth, building great teams, and bringing products/services to market (specifically with marketplace and assisted ecommerce businesses). Specialties: growth (referral, viral loops, product growth), customer acquisition, start-up scaling/strategy, and SEO. Matthew has an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Nicole Baumgart

Nicole Baumgart spend 10 years in the IT industry before stepping into entrepreneurship. From Apple to Twitter, she worked with thousands of clients and vendors to provide companies with IT infrastructure and systems that were innovative, efficient, and easily adoptable. 2 years ago Nicole started Orange Drive IT, a people first tech company that now services clients across Denver and Boulder - supporting over a thousand users. Nicole's passions include creating people first business models that leave both employees and clients happy and fulfilled.

Niki Koubourlis

An accomplished executive, thought leader and strategist. Led business growth through opportunity identification, acquisitions, asset management, and private equity and development leadership. Equally capable in planning strategic direction and executing critical operational and financial initiatives. Supported international RE business development with companies operating in South America and the Middle East.

Chris Meyer
Head of Developer Experience, Misty Robotics

Focusing on giving developers awesome tools to create the future of robotics. 

Cara Evans
Private Partners Opportunity Fund

Cara remotely manages deal flow for Private Partners Opportunity Fund which has participated in deals with SeedStep Angels, Cowboy Technology Angels and has invested in companies in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. She spent the summer of 2017 in Colorado working with several tech startups and finding herself. She is now back in Oklahoma to pursue local interests and hosts the podcast, That's Colorful. Previously, Cara was the self employment coordinator in a CareerTech business incubator located at Autry Technology Center in Enid, OK. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and past president of the Oklahoma Business Incubator Association. Cara is a business coach and graphic facilitator in addition to having started and operated several ventures of her own. Her areas of expertise include marketing, strategic planning and the business model canvas. Prior to working with entrepreneurs, Cara worked in construction management and sustainability.

Sarah Phillips
COO/co-founder of Boulder Bits

Sarah is an operational leader who has grown and built high-performing businesses from the ground up. Passionate about building systems and processes to optimize business requirements, enhancing competitiveness, increase revenue, and improve products. Results oriented and numbers driven, it's important to maintain a balanced approach to the big picture strategy and planning with a detailed understanding of finance, ops, and HR.

Michele Ostrander

Michele is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for local food, organic farming, and breakthrough technologies that help people and the environment. Her first business after graduating from CU Boulder was an organic farm and landscaping company in Southwest Colorado. Michele's current venture is an online farmers market called RevoGrow, one of three aspects of she and her co-founder's work in the local food, logistics, and blockchain sectors. Michele believes in constantly learning and that there are no barriers too big to overcome.

Kerry Gilmartin
Creator, Entrepreneur, Marketer

Gilmartin is a serial entrepreneur with a few start-ups under her belt, and a woman with an appetite for creativity and problem solving. 

Gilmartin has a B.S. from Georgetown University and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and three children (6, 8 and 10 years old) and when not at the office, she can be found hiking, skiing, at her children’s sporting events and with dirty hands in her garden.

Wendy Lu McGill
Founder/CEO @ Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch

Wendy Lu McGill has a background in sociological research in international development and intercultural communication, bringing a global perspective and deep understanding of the why and how of farming insects for food. Working for nearly a dozen years with UN agencies helping them communicate to internal and external stakeholders about complex topics such as human trafficking, water and sanitation and rural infrastructure development, she has transitioned to create a holistic approach to business development and sales, fostering partnerships and deep relationships.

Mindy Nies

Currently the Principal of Nies Design, a Colorado-based product strategy/UX/UI consultancy, Mindy Nies’ vast experience leading rockstar design and product teams has been widely recognized. She has held Director and C-level roles within the Colorado startup community and she most notebly lead mobile and digital product design for Experian’s direct-to-consumer products. Her unwavering drive for excellence has secured her 12 patents for her work in the financial and telecom industries. She held the prestigious role of President of AIGA Colorado from 2007-2009. She is currently a mentor for Techstars Boulder, Techstars Sustainability and Canopy Boulder.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Women Denver 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.





Community Support

Movement Provided By

Snacks Provided By

Childcare Provided By

Organizing Team

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

  • Andrea
  • Tara
  • Jordan
  • Kacey


Lindsey Danforth

Lindsey Danforth works in the field of Geospatial Information Systems (think of Google maps on steroids) and is also the co-founder of Girl Develop It Toledo. When not slaving away at the computer she enjoys high-adrenaline sports like ski racing and rock climbing. 

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