Startup Weekend Las Vegas, NV

    Friday, April 10 - 12, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Las Vegas, NV

Friday, April 10 - 12, 2015

Friday, April 10 - 12, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

UNLV Beam Hall
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89154

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Global Startup Weekend returns to Las Vegas, NV

The Latest Edition of #SWLV Is Here!

You’ve been to Startup Weekend before, now grab your friends and join us again!!

Come start a company, learn something new, test your developer skills, maybe meet your future co-founder – either way you’ll have the most fun you’ve ever had! Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where developers, designers and business folks come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend.  It is a great opportunity to test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Las Vegas and launch your next startup!

Las Vegas Startup Weekend (SWLV) follows a basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch a startup idea and receive feedback from peers. Teams organically form around top ideas, as determined by popular vote. Each team has 54 hours to create a business model, code, design, and determine market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations of top ideas to entrepreneurial leaders and venture capitalists.

April 10th, 11th, and 12nd, 2015
University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Friday April 10th

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 April 11th

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 April 12th

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!


Heather Wilde
CTO, ROCeteer

Heather Wilde was the eighth employee of Evernote, where she oversaw the company’s growth from thousands to 100 million customers. She's published popular games, trained Fortune 500 brands, advised hundreds of startups, and managed some major nonprofit programs. Now, as a fractional CTO through her own company ROCeteer, her award-winning work keeps the "Unicorn Whisperer" constantly traveling across the globe to find the next unicorn.

Event Judges

Sara Hill

Sara Hill is Cofounder & CEO of The Mill, an idea and startup accelerator in downtown Las Vegas. The Mill is an accelerator designed to help entrepreneurs evolve. We have two programs--one for people to test ideas and one for seed stage startups. Sara finds purpose in helping support and grow startup ecosystems and has been active in tech communities in the Bay Area, LA and Las Vegas. Before coming to Vegas, she spent 4 years managing and opening coworking spaces with NextSpace Coworking.

Ruth Hedges

Ruth E. Hedges is the creator and key architect of She has been responsible for pioneering a new and innovative virtual system for business planning, crowdfund preparation and compliance, and due diligence reporting on the cloud. Ms Hedges also taught the first course on equity based crowdfunding at UNLV, the first university in the United States to teach this very important information.   The JOBS act was signed into law on 5 April 2012 and supported by overwhelming bipartisan support. Ms. Hedges has been active in pioneering this new industry and from the beginning of 2010 helping the Startup Exemption team to move the bills passage through Congress. She has since been building awareness through her global event in Las Vegas,, and development of best practices, compliant technology and educational material. As a leader and industry expert Ms hedges has been interviewed or quoted in over 40 major publications.   Ms Hedges was also a Founding Board member of the CrowdFund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA) In 2012 Ms Hedges also launched Http:// to help spread the word across the globe. Previously, Ms. Hedges was featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as well as the New York Times, the LA times and People magazine for her work with Oxfam America and the Hollywood Hunger Banquets.She was featured on ABC's Home Show, and the Financial News Network produced a two-part series on Ms. Hedges for their show” American Entrepreneur”.  She was invited to fill a cabinet seat on the Second Century Campaign board which raised over 16 million dollars to build the new Union Rescue Mission. She is the recipient of the Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles for that work.  

Coaches and Mentors

Crystal Ann Mitchell

Crystal Ann Mitchell is a creative visual/graphic design executive with 15+ years of solid experience in areas of development and management of design across multiple mediums and platforms. A thorough understanding of branding and marketing with a high-degree of knowledge on how to reach, engage and target consumers through the use of strategic design for print, web, mobile and interactive media technologies. Strong team leadership, collaboration and vision for driving innovative product development. Proven ability to develop strategic plans, programs and curriculum integrating artistic quality in support of business goals, mission and objectives.

Janet Runge
Enrichment Coordinator for Entrepreneurial Programs, UNLV

Dr. Janet Runge focuses on entrepreneurship at UNLV. She works with start-ups, small businesses, family firms, and not for profits. Janet has put entrepreneurship on the map at UNLV, including designing and directing the signature UNLV Lee Business School scholarship program, the Global Entrepreneurship Experience, founding the UNLV Center for Entrepreneurship, and mentoring current and former students throughout the start and growth of their businesses and careers. 

Terence Carroll
Software Engineer, Fortis Digital

Terence Carroll is a Software Engineer that strives to build beautiful things but limited by his “programmer art”. He is fascinated watching designers making pretty things. Past work includes tiny startups and giant enterprises, and he built technology acquired by Expedia. Smart enough to realize teamwork is the foundation of success. Lucky enough to work with talented friends. Loves Angular, C#, iOS, and Android. Misses C/C++.

Mary Bacon

Mary is an attorney at Fennemore Craig Jones Vargas. She focuses her practice in the areas of Emerging Business and Technologies, and Government Affairs. Mary has experience in a range of business services for both new ventures and existing businesses, including the following: 
  • Counseling on the selection of an appropriate business structure;
  • Forming corporations (which includes drafting articles of incorporation and bylaws (for both profit and non-profit organizations));
  • Drafting shareholder agreements;
  • Forming limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships and joint ventures (including drafting the accompanying Operating, Partnership or Joint Venture Agreements);
  • Reviewing and updating corporate governance materials (such as annual shareholders and board of directors minutes) for existing businesses;
  • Reviewing contracts and leases;
  • Reviewing of legal documents currently in use by the client;
  • Conducting legal research on specific business problems or issues;
  • Reviewing the need for various business licenses and permits and counseling on compliance with specific local, State and Federal regulatory requirements; and
  • Contract drafting. 

Gina Bongiovi

Gina is a CEO of Bongiovi Law Firm. She graduated from the UNLV Honors College with a B.S.B.A. in marketing and minor in business law in 2001. She is a member of the State Bar of Nevada, and the American Bar Association including the Young Lawyers Section, Solo and Small Firm Division, and Business Law Division. She dedicates her practice to serving small businesses. She also provides the clients with business-minded legal advice that addresses all facets of business ownership.

Huston Pullen

Huston serves as the economic development specialist for the Nevada Small Business Development Center. In his current role, he is responsible for training and advising entrepreneurs and small business owners on a variety of business related topics, including starting a business, licensing, and access to capital. Pullen is responsible for managing bank relationships and working with small businesses to align with banks that fit their needs. Pullen previously served as the procurement outreach specialist for the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Procurement Technical Assistance Center. There, he was responsible for providing technical assistance to small business owners in government contracting including federal, state, and local government entities.

Organizing Team

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

  • Janet
  • Gael
  • Hans
  • Jaemin
  • Madeline
  • Maranda
  • Jazmin
  • Alex


Shavonnah Tièra Collins
Managing Director, RedFlint

Shavonnah has a diverse background including being part of the initial organizing team of Startup Weekend Las Vegas and teaching Starting Entrepreneurial Ventures at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Lee Business school. She has a background in startup ventures and is heavily involved in the entrepreneur community. As a second-generation Las Vegan, Shavonnah is committed to helping companies start and grow in her hometown.

Event Blog

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