Startup Weekend Eugene Food

    Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Eugene Food

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Barrow (Hummingbird Wholesale Mahonia Building)
120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd
Eugene, Oregon 97401

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Your FOOD business idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea for a food business or a problem you'd like to solve in our food systems, but don't know where to start? 
Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend. More about what happens at Startup Weekend.

What is Startup Weekend?
A 2.5 -day accelerator-meets-hackathon where participants pitch and validate new ideas, then put together some form of validation/MVP (minimum viable product) over the course of a single weekend. The theme of this Startup Weekend is Food: innovative solutions that solve issues in our food system. 

Why the FOOD theme and what does it mean?
The food ecosystem in Lane County is rich in history and economic impact. As of 2018, we are home to 172 food and beverage manufacturing companies, which employ over 4,000 people, bringing over $185 million dollars in wages to the region. We also support the production of over 250 commodity crops here in the Willamette Valley, giving manufacturers direct access to many of the ingredients they use in their products.

Startups are an important part of a thriving food ecosystem, and this event is a great way to bring together resources and spur innovation... plus, it's fun.

Still wondering what kinds of food business ideas qualify? Solutions can cover the entire value chain, from the farm to the fork. This includes (but is not necessarily limited to) the following areas in need of innovation:

  • Agriculture / Aquaculture - raising crops, livestock, and seafood.
  • Food Access / Consumption - solutions that tackle systemic hunger and help guarantee access to food.
  • Food Production / Urban Farming - the preparation of fresh products, manufacture of prepared food products and ingredients.
  • Food Waste / Renewal / Sustainability - solutions that reduce waste, preserve or renew resources, and create a more sustainable food sources.
  • Monitoring / Hardware / Big Data - optimization using sensors, hardware, or data intelligence for agriculture or other use cases.
  • Non-food Processing - extraction of bioenergy and biomaterials from agricultural crops and products.
  • Nutrition / Sports / Animal / Supplements - solutions that tackle better nutrition and health.
  • Regulation / Certification - food quality, food security, and food safety
  • Retail / Food Service - innovative solutions meet grocery, farmers’ markets, restaurants, food trucks, delivery, and other transactions.
  • Supply Chain / Distribution - marketing, wholesale and distribution, logistics, transportation, and warehousing
  • Other - consumer cooking and food discovery, education, event services, financial services, social, etc.
Our food system is big, complex, and ripe for innovation (pun intended). It doesn't matter where you come from. If you have something to contribute, come out and help us change food systems for the better!

Weekend Overview:

Attendees arrive in the evening on Friday and pitch their early stage ideas to the room. After pitches, groups are formed around the most well-received ideas. Groups reconvene Saturday morning and begin building their ideas with the help of industry experts serving as mentors. Planning goes through Saturday into Sunday afternoon, when the groups get ready to pitch their final plans to a panel of industry judges for the grand prize.

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 Tickets” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and get in on the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday November 8th

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 9th

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 10th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Team check-ins. Ask questions about presentation requirements.

12:30 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

Ashely Espinoza
Sector Strategy Director at Lane Workforce Partnership

Ashley enjoys working at the intersection of business and civic issues. In addition to her work in local economic development, she is the co-founder of Latino Professionals Connect.

Coaches and Mentors

Slavka Eberthart-Garah

Brand Manager at Drawn Agency

Shannon Hiller-Webb

CEO at Prosparus, LLC

Devin McKinney

Founder of Travel Beyond the Obvious

Joe Maruschak

Managing Director of Coast to Crest Fund

Erin Gilfillan

Owner of Friendly Street Market & Main Street Market

Erik Parrish

Fractional CFO Services Practice Leader

Hannah Kullberg
Co-organizer & Mentor

Business advisor and brand amplifier in the Portland area

Marty Parisien

Co-founder of Kestral Growth Brands (Singing Dog Vanilla, Red Ape Cinnamon, and others)

Peggy Alter

Owner of Chocolate Craft Kits

Emma Sharer

Redd Campus Manager at Ecotrust

Chris Hazen

Business Advisor & Sustainability Consultant

Cheryl Collins

Former CEO at Ninkasi Brewing

David Brabender
Subject Matter Expert Coach

Founder of legal firm that supports entrepreneurs

Maia Hardy
Subject Matter Expert Coach

Agriculture of the Middle Program Manager at Ecotrust

Brad Attig
Pitch Coach

Changemaker at Foundry Collective

Todd Edman
Pitch Coach

Co-Founder at

Shane Johnson
Pitch Coach

Mentor-In-Residence, RAIN Eugene; Managing Director of the Coast to Crest Fund

Yves Gurcan
Tech Coach

Software Engineer at CBT Nuggets

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Eugene Food 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 Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Micah
  • Vanessa
  • Beth
  • Rebecca
  • Petra
  • Megan
  • Ross
  • Hannah
  • Nam
  • Melissa
  • Jeremy
  • Lauren
  • Connor
  • Sarah


Sibi Murugesan
Program Director @ gener8tor

Sibi has been building companies and supporting entrepreneurs for years. After helping lead Co-lab, a nationally-recognized startup incubator for students, Sibi became a 
Startup Mentor for Junior Achievement, a global entrepreneurship program for students K - 12.  

In a corporate setting, he served as the youngest Senior Strategy Development Analyst within Best Buy's Strategic Growth Office, where he identified, built and launched $1B growth strategies for the Fortune 100 technology retailer. 

At his day job, he is currently the Program Director for gener8tor, a nationally-ranked startup accelerator, where his portfolio companies achieve ~9 months of growth in just 12 weeks. And on the weekends? He's a Program Facilitator for Startup Weekend, traveling the country helping talented entrepreneurs build businesses in just 54 hours!

Event Staff

Mariah Hardy
Event Volunteer

Salesforce Administrator at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery

Vanessa Watkins

Vanessa is a UX researcher and product development specialist with experience in B2B and B2C products.  She enjoys the idea of disrupting our current education, health care, entertainment, and financial practices with innovative ideas.

Event Blog

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