Startup Weekend Fairbanks

    Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Fairbanks

Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018

Friday, September 28 - 30, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Engineering Facility
Design Theater, Room 401
Fairbanks, AK 99775

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Launch a business in 54 hours

Got a great business idea? Surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs to test and refine it with the full support of mentors and entrepreneurs to guide you along the way. 

Startup Weekend is an event for developers, designers, marketers, product managers, students, and anyone who is a startup enthusiast. 
Tickets include meals (and lots of coffee!) for the entire weekend while you're working with your team. A team of talented mentors provide personal coaching while you develop and test your ideas—a prime environment to get your idea off the ground!

Here’s some of the things you get from attending
+ Delicious & healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole weekend
+ Awesome coaching by startup industry leaders 
+ A network of new developer, designer & entrepreneur friends that are also excited about improving education

Those who don't have ideas and but are willing to join a team formed on Friday night are also welcome! 

The winning team is guaranteed a spot in the UAF Arctic Innovation Competition finals and gets a chance to win $10,000! 

Alaskans are known for their diverse backgrounds and experiences--come inspire and be inspired!

Student & Military discounts are available. Limited scholarships are available upon request.

Organized by Alaska Center ICE


Friday September 28th

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 September 29th

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 September 30th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Pitch Practice
Rehearse your 5min pitch with our coaches. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

3:00 pm
Final Pitch Practice
Final round of pitch practice. Get feedback on your 5-min presentation.

3:00 pm
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

Kelly Ward

Kelly Ward, 
CPA, CGMA, MBA, EA, is a principal for the CPA firm Robinson & Associates, where she has 
worked for nearly ten years. She has been an adjunct accounting instructor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College for six years. She received her Masters of Business Administration at UAF and attended several leadership academies.

Mark Herrmann
Dean, UAF School of Management

Mark earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in agricultural economics from the University of California Davis in 1982 and 1985, respectively, and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Washington State University in 1990.

Mark is a fisheries economist and has performed extensive research on Alaska's salmon, halibut, crab, and Pollock fisheries. Mark has completed more than 30 externally funded projects for federal and state agencies including the National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NOAA, and Alaska Sea Grant. He also served on the scientific and statistical committee and the crab plan team of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Prior to becoming Dean, Dr. Herrmann was the SOM Interim and Associate Dean. He has been with the School of Management for over 20 years.

Coaches and Mentors

Thibaut Labarre
Software Development Manager, Angel Investor

Engineering Manager with a Darwinian approach to innovation and long time Startup Weekend participant and organizer. Over the past 4 and a half years at Amazon, Thibaut built Heartbeat, a tool that leverages Natural Language Processing to combine millions of data points from disparate sources like product reviews, customer contacts, and social media to provide this information to worldwide product teams. 7k users access the tool every month to meet operational cost reduction goals and drive product improvements. Heartbeat started as his internship project and is now developed by a team of 18 engineers.

Nigel Sharp
Global Entrepreneur in Residence, University of Alaska

Nigel is the current Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) at the University of Alaska. A lifelong entrepreneur, Nigel engages as a mentor, adviser, guest lecturer, and panelist. Prior to this role, he served as the University of Colorado Boulder GEIR, where he co-founded a University spin-out company which raised venture funding and was accepted into the Techstars business accelerator in 2017. Nigel co-founded software companies working on technologies ranging from voice recognition, gesture control to IT Network security. He's spoken at TEDx, judged, mentored or organized 18 Hackathons/StartupWeekends, started businesses in six countries, and participated in four business acceleration programs.

Rachel Kvapil
Owner of Pagesculptor Studios

Rachael Kvapil is the owner of Pagesculptor Studios, a media agency that focuses on campaign ideation, content creation, and implementation for both traditional and digital platforms. She brings 20+ years of design, internet, and communications experience to Startup Weekend Fairbanks as an event organizer and coach. In her free time she trains for triathlons and endurance fat bike races, completing Ironman CDA in 2016, the White Mountains 100 is 2017 & 2018, and the Susitna 100 in 2018.

Kevin Croy
Partner at 9MileLabs

Kevin is a co-founder and partner at 9Mile Labs, Seattle's B2B-focused tech startup accelerator. As of August 1st, 9Mile will have invested in 28 startups since it’s inception a few short years ago. Prior to starting 9Mile Labs and focusing on helping other entrepreneurs, Kevin co-founded five startups himself and successfully exited twice. He began his career as a technologist, but found his true passion is the business side of startups. He earned an MBA from the University of Washington and enjoys helping entrepreneurs innovate their products and business models, prepare funding strategies, and operate their businesses.

Juliet Shepherd
Tech Led Project Manager

Juliet Shepherd is pollinator, a communications and resource consultant, and seasoned industrial supply chain professional. Juliet has a passion for propagating win/win outcomes, home-grown tech, and fostering economic diversity. She is a founding member of R.E.M. Unconventional Vision, an entrepreneur think tank promoting socially responsible business development in Alaska, which launched FairBikes bike share - winners of the first Startup Weekend Fairbanks in 2013. Currently the Tech Led Development Project Manager at FEDC,

Alexis Fanelli
Business Advisor, SBDC

Alexis has been an entrepreneur since she was a young girl, and has continued to nurture that entrepreneurial spirit and diversify her industry experiences ever since. She has worked in airport retail management, fashion, biotech, winery marketing and higher education from coast to coast and even abroad. She then created a pie business after returning from Germany. After starting a family of her own, she began teaching small business and business plan writing courses for UAS.

Ky Holland
Technology Commercialization Officer @ University of Alaska Fairbanks

Alaska startup community activist, educator, B2B industrial business ops manager and founder, angel investor and seed fund manager. Ky is a community organizer that has been working in Anchorage to develop the startup ecosystem as an educator, investor and startup entrepreneur.  Contact Ky for more information about the Innovation to Launch model that bridges the world of Lean and traditional business startup plans and financing.

Eric Swanson
Board Member at Acacia Communications

Eric Swanson serves in a variety technical and managerial roles in academic, entrepreneurial, industrial, and nonprofit organizations. He is a director of Acacia Communications, NinePoint Medical, Curata Inc., and Spectrawave Inc. and research affiliate at MIT.  Mr. Swanson has co-authored 79 journal articles, 183 conference presentations, invited talks, and lectures, 36 issued US patents, and 8 book chapters.  In 2002 he was elected a Fellow of the OSA for “Pioneering contributions to the fields of intersatellite laser communication systems, fiber optic communication networks, and biomedical optical imaging.”  In 2017 he was elected Fellow of IEEE for “Contributions to optical coherence tomography and leadership in optical networking.”  He was a co-recipient of the 2002 Rank Prize, the 2012 Champlimaud Vision Award, the 2017 Russ Prize, and the 2017 European Inventor Award.  Mr. Swanson is a co-founder or founding board member of five start-up companies: Advanced Ophthalmic Devices (acquired by Zeiss Meditec), Lightlab Imaging (acquired by Abbot), Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq IPO 1999 at a value of $18B), Acacia Communication (Nasdaq IPO 2016 at a value of $1.1B), and Curata Incorporated (private).

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Fairbanks 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.


In-Kind Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Mark
  • Nickole
  • Laura
  • Rachel
  • Alexis
  • Tania
  • Russ


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 Blog

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