Startup Weekend Goleta

    Friday, January 18 - 20, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Goleta

Friday, January 18 - 20, 2019

Friday, January 18 - 20, 2019
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Embarcadero Hall
935 Embarcadero del Norte
Isla Vista, CA 93117

Buy Tickets

Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

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.

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 Ticket” button now!

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

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday January 18th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:30 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

9:30 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 January 19th

9:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm
Customer Validation
Get out of the building! Head to downtown SB for a day of fun, and check in with mentors at Workzones-- a local co-working space.

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!

5:30 pm
Head back to UCSB SRB room
It's time to head back home to UCSB where we'll have dinner and continue to work on developing your business ideas

6:00 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You're getting closer!

Sunday January 20th

9:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Practice Presentations
Coaches arrive…They'll give you feedback on your practice presentations.

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


Chris Herbert
CEO and Co-founder Trakr

Chris Herbert runs product strategy and marketing at TrackR.  Under Mr. Herbert’s leadership, TrackR has grow from 0 to a rapidly expanding business that has sold over 400,000 TrackR devices all over the world and is credited as one of the leaders of the Internet of Things revolution.  Mr. Herbert’s recent accomplishments include managing engineering, manufacturing, and product design teams to complete the design of TrackR bravo, a device that defies physics using it’s anodized aluminum casing design. Mr. Herbert has successfully raised over a million dollars in capital from leading investors such as IncWell capital, Wasabi Ventures, and Tech Coast Angels.  Prior to raising capital, Mr. Herbert led the TrackR team through a bootstrapped period and successfully managed limited resources to enable the company to effectively scale and become a market leader.  Mr. Herbert led TrackR in their well known crowd funding campaigns and is has been featured in many business blogs and Indiegogo’s blog, one of the largest Crowdfunding platforms in the world, as one of the leaders in the Crowdfunding space.

Prior to cofounding TrackR in 2009, Mr. Herbert studied Electrical Engineering at UCSB and Tohoku University and worked at ViaSat and Danaher motion as an engineer. In his spare time, he can be found at Rincon getting “tubed”.

Elijah Spinah
CEO / Science Director at Delta Leaf Labs

"Elijah was the kid who sold candy between classes in middle school. Being born and raised in New York, some sort of innate drive to hustle has always fueled his ambitions. So instead of applying for academic research jobs toward the end of his PhD he decided to launch a fully plug-and-play biotechnology service in less than 4 months. A self-taught artist and entrepreneur, Elijah has become proficient in a wide range of skills from digital marketing and graphic design to woodworking and electrical engineering. Elijah is a life-long learner and spent over 10 years in higher education under the tutelage of several key advisors. During grad school he taught himself multiple programming languages and advanced statistics, which he then used that to perform a complex genetic-interaction network analysis subsequently published in a top-tier peer-reviewed journal. He now applies his various skills to growing sales and developing new technologies for the startup he co-founded, Delta Leaf Labs.

Jim Semick
Founder, ProductPlan

Jim Semick is co-founder of ProductPlan, a fast-growing SaaS company building product roadmap software for companies around the world. Jim has helped launch new products now generating hundreds of millions in revenue. 

Jim was part of the founding team at AppFolio, helping the company validate and launch its first products. Prior to AppFolio, he validated and created product requirements for GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Jim is a frequent speaker on product management and the process of discovering successful business models. He contributes at Follow Jim at @jimsemick

Event Judges

Mike Panesis
Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship, California Lutheran University

Executive Director of the Cal Lutheran Center for Entrepreneurship. He comes to Cal Lutheran from Technology Management Program (TMP) in UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering, where he ran UC Santa Barbara’s highly successful New Venture Competition (NVC) and played a key role in creating the new start-up incubator for the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet.

Mike is Chairman of the Board of Governors of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest accredited angel investor group in the country. He heads TCA’s Central Coast Investor Network.

Mike’s career spans a diverse range of industries and roles, including executive management, tech start-ups, information technology management and management consulting for companies like Semtech, Whitestone Research, DealerTrack, Church & Dwight, Deloitte & Touche and AT&T.

Mike has an MBA Marketing from Rutgers University and a BS in Computer Science for Business from the DeVry Institute of Technology. He lives in Camarillo with his wife and two children. He is on the Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum Central Coast Chapter and Steering Committee of the Ventura County Greek Festival.

Katie Rapp
Senior Product Marketing Manager at Procore

Katie is the Senior Product Marketing Manager of Invoicing and Payments at Procore, overseeing all go-to market strategies, market research, product positioning, and packaging for Procore's financial products. She works closely with Procore’s R&D and sales teams to bring industry-leading construction solutions to the market. Katie earned a bachelor's degree in communications at UC Santa Barbara, and has over seven years of marketing experience. During her time at Procore she has partnered with dozens of product managers to bring new value to customers, successfully launching 5 products that have collectively generated over $75 million in total revenue. She also co-founded Procore's Women in Construction initiative which seeks to grow and sustain the presence of women in the industry. Through engagement, education, and empowerment, this initiative seeks to help individuals and companies create inclusive environments that foster the success, and growth of women’s contribution to construction. Katie is passionate about partnering with people to build world-class products, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

Coaches and Mentors

John Greathouse
Partner, Rincon Venture Partners

John Greathouse has held a number of senior executive positions with successful startups over a period of more than fifteen years. He has repeatedly been one of the very first businesspeople hired, helping build large businesses from the ground up, with an emphasis on market engagement and scalable customer acquisition.At Computer Motion, John served as CFO and VP of Business Development. Computer Motion was a pioneer in the surgical robotics industry, went public in 1997 and was subsequently acquired by Intuitive Surgical for $148 million. At Expertcity, John served as CFO and SVP of Strategic Development, with responsibility for marketing, sales, business development, finance and administration, and services. Expertcity was acquired by Citrix for $236 million to become Citrix Online, which currently generates approximately $400 million in annual recurring revenue.At CallWave, John served as the SVP of Sales & Business Development and assisted in the company’s 2004 IPO.John was an active Angel Investor, Advisor and Board Member at: Central Desktop, RightScale, Eucalyptus, Frontier Technology, RedMojo (sold to Novell), RightCart (sold to, Vcel (sold to Fotochatter) and AppFolio.John Greathouse is a partner at Rincon Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage web-based businesses. John has held a number of senior executive positions with successful startups during the past fifteen years, spearheading transactions, which generated more than $350 million of shareholder value, including an IPO and a multi-hundred-million-dollar acquisition. He is also a Co-Founder of RevUpNet, a performance-based online marketing agency.John is a CPA and holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School. He is a member of the University of California at Santa Barbara's Faculty where he teaches several entrepreneurial courses.

Marcel Badart
Director of Corporate Relations and Philanthropy

Mr. Badart is a seasoned leader experienced in building relationships and initiatives that advance success. He has more than fifteen years of business development and strategic alliance experience in both large and early-stage technology companies and now is the director of corporate relations and philanthropy at UCSB.

Jose Huitron
Idea Champion. Startup Community Builder. Design Thinker. Educator.

Jose is the founder of Santa Maria Valley Tech (, a community platform highlighting all things tech and entrepreneurship in northern Santa Barbara County. A passionate and visionary leader with immersive experience bringing ideas to life. He is the founder of Hub 81, an award-winning digital marketing agency. Jose also co-founded Crowdismo, a pioneering crowdfunding platform fueling innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship within the Latino community earning recognition as a Top 10 Finalist - PUSHTech2020 Summit Pitch Competition (2015) and featured in leading online media such as Mashable, Forbes Online, Hispanicize, and New Latina.

Jose has been active as an advisor and teacher in the entrepreneurial community, mentoring at a variety of leading launchpad events focused on new venture formation, prototyping and accelerating new business. A champion of innovation and entrepreneurship helping clients drive ideas toward real impact. Jose previously served as the President of the Latino Startup Alliance, a Silicon Valley based organization helping to accelerate Latino led tech ventures. 

For all things startups and entrepreneurship locally, please subscribe to Santa Maria's Startup Digest newsletter:

For my latest musings, please join me on Medium.

For coffee, consulting, speaking and advising opportunities please message me. 
Twitter @josehuitron

Steve Sereboff
Partner, SoCal IP Law Group LLP

Steve Sereboff is recognized as a premiere intellectual property strategist. Clients rely on Steve not only for great patents, they also depend on his economic and business acumen to guide their decisions on what to patent and where. Steve’s clients rely on him for pragmatic advice on managing corporate risks arising from IP. He regularly advises clients on how to leverage their IP rights, and how to avoid claims of infringing others’ IP rights.

Steve Sereboff has specialized in intellectual property law since 1991. His practice includes licensing and contracts, patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. He holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and had seven years of experience in the computer software business before earning his law degree from Boston University. While at Boston University, Mr. Sereboff founded Boston University’s Technology, Science and Law Association, and was employed by MIT to negotiate and manage software licenses. His technical expertise includes many aspects of computers (both software and hardware) and myriad electronic and electrical devices, their operation and manufacture.

David Telleen-Lawton
Career Development Manager TMP

David Telleen-Lawton (DTL)DTL's career has primarily been with early-stage startup companies with roles ranging from consultant to CEO.  His primary responsibility almost always has been for generating revenue for a new-to-the-world product or a new-to-the-company markets where the business and sales model is still being discovered.  Of his 7 early-stage companies as an employee in nearly as many industries, one went public, four were sold, one is brain dead, and one is going strong (Lastline).
Along with his colleague, Frank Robinson, DTL helped create the Market Validation methodology in the late 1980's which has been adopted by local companies such as Appfolio.  In fact, DTL has the distinction of being the one who validated the market for market validation process as a consulting product back in 1989.  His latest startup is the Master of Technology Management program at UC Santa Barbara where he led the validation effort for the curriculum and established the Career Development function that boasts a student job offer rate matching Stanford and Harvard Business Schools.

Doug Parker

Eric Zackrison
President and CEO of IDI.US Inc.

Eric is the President and CEO of IDI.US Inc. which controls the rights to the Interpersonal Dynamics Inventory, a powerful multi-rater personality/behavioral styles measurement tool. After 25 years as a manager and entrepreneur and completing his MA, MBA, and PhD, Eric has taken up the mantle of his father both in furthering the awareness and use of IDI through training and licensing others, as well as adopting the name of his father’s consulting firm, Effectiveness Consultants. He focuses heavily on relationships as key to success and integrates this into his consulting and into his role in the community. Eric received his PhD from the Department of Communication at UCSB and works as an adjunct professor in the MTM program at UCSB, and for SBCC in both their professional development and communication programs. 

Erick Went
CTO at Matter Labs

Erick Went is the CTO and Director of Matter Labs, a California based think tank, startup studio, and consulting firm specializing in emerging technologies, making a difference in the world through innovation. Prior, he was a board member of Green Nova-- coalition of business, government, and organization leaders dedicated to making a global impact on the environment, and the VP of Marketing at GlobalGreen Energy. He was also the director of IntelTech and WebEvents Global.  He is a UCSB alumni and graduated with a degree in Physics. 

Organizing Team

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

  • Alejandro
  • Isabelle
  • Zain
  • Dennis
  • Dalia
    van Zyll


Navjot Brar
Product Manager | Startup Community Leader | Innovation Catalyst

Navjot is a technical product manager who leads all international product work at Carpe Data related to bringing our products to the international market. This includes localization management, translation management, product management, data analysis, R&D, sales support, and project management.

He has previously worked in insurance services, AI-powered marketing SAAS, speakers, and MEMS industries fulfilling a wide variety of roles such as product, sales, hardware quality, and software engineering. He graduated from UCSB with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

He supports the local startup community of Santa Barbara by organizing the Lean Startup Circle Meetup and the global startup community through organizing/facilitating Startup Weekends.

Globally he works with organizations like Techstars, Lean Startup Co, TechCrunch, SXSW, and more.

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