Startup Weekend Los Angeles

    Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018

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

Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018

Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018
Event starts at 4:30 pm

Roski's Dining Hall
1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045

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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!

No talk, all action!

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Friday November 16th

4:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

5:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

7:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

7:35 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 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 17th

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 18th

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!


Dayle Smith
Dean of LMU College of Business

Dayle M. Smith, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Business Administration at LMU. Smith joined LMU on June 1, 2018, from Clarkson University, where she served as dean of the School of Business. In her last years at Clarkson, Smith was instrumental in growing a diverse faculty; developing new programs and merging two business schools. She was recently accepted into the Globally Responsible Leadership Institute (GRLI) to engage in dialogue and joint initiatives. Last May, Smith was elected chair of the Women Administrators in Management Education (WAME) Affinity Group. Prior to joining Clarkson in 2013, Smith was on the faculty at USC, Georgetown University, and spent 20 years at the University of San Francisco as professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior. While at USF, she served in many roles, including associate dean, department chair, and director of the Business Honors Program. As a Fulbright Scholar, Smith joined an interdisciplinary team of scholars on a multi-year initiative with seven Hong Kong public universities. Smith earned her Ph.D. and her M.A. in organizational communication at USC and her B.A. in communication studies at the University of Texas, Arlington.

Event Judges

Gazelle Rastegar

Gazelle is currently a mentor with Cedars-Sinai Healthcare accelerator powered by Techstars, where she advises startups on strategic partnerships and sales expansion and financing.  With a passion for entrepreneurship and the experience of large corporation, she brings a unique skill set to nurture opportunities for innovation and drive the vision to reality. 

Gazelle has 20 years of management experience in healthcare industry, both in corporate setting at Johnson & Johnson, as well as successful start-ups.  Most recently, she served as a VP of Business Development in a healthcare technology start-up on implementation of IoT platform and wearables.  In this role, she implemented business strategies as well as, UX design, launch of numerous pilots and roll out of IT platforms, and completion of a large distribution partnership.  Her experience spans out to asset management, sales and marketing, investment banking, and R&D in a start-up biotech. 

Aside from entrepreneurship, Gazelle is an avid skier and traveler, and participates in triathlons and marathons.

Frank Nuovo
CEO @ DSN & President and Chairman @ Growerstock

Frank Nuovo Sc.D., is currently Co-Founder, Investor, President and Chairman of Growerstock. Mr. Nuovo is also the Founder and Creative Director of Design Studio Nuovo, which has served a critical role in the creation and development of numerous technology oriented startups in the areas of consumer audio, augmented reality, micro location, smartwatches, autonomous vehicles and other devices and digital services. Mr. Nuovo initiated and led the creation of Nokia's Vertu where he also served as Chief Designer. Mr. Nuovo's work with Nokia started in 1989, soon serving as global VP and founding Chief of Design, He built and maintained Nokia's first design team and its global industry leading position from 1995 until 2006. He began his career as Design Director for BMW/Designworks/USA. Mr. Nuovo has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of product, UI/UX and brand design with clients including BMW, Siemens, HP, Samsung, Nokia, Vertu, DoorDash, Atheer, and many others.

Franky Bernstein
Founder & CEO of Markett

Franky Bernstein is Founder & CEO at Markett. Previously worked at Uber, Lyft. He has also founded InterWallet (which he sold), and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Coaches and Mentors

Andrew Fielding
Founder of Orana and Shrewd

Andrew is a Los Angeles based startup founder, advisor, and investor focusing primarily on healthcare and the B2B space. He most recently founded Orana, a medical data collection and prediction software company and previously started Shrewd Travel and SMSages, an early company in the push notifications space. In addition to his role as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at LMU he serves as a mentor at both Bunker Labs and Quake Capital. Andrew is a proud graduate of Loyola Marymount University’s Entrepreneurship program and a founding board member of the University’s SEEDS Business Accelerator.

Ron Rishagen
Entrepreneur in Residence

Ronald Rishagen, earned an athletic scholarship for hockey to Colorado College. After graduating with a degree in economics he continued a professional ice-hockey officiating career for seven years. After retiring from sports, he discovered a travel niche not being fulfilled resulting in his first entrepreneurial pursuit. Economic market changes five years later caused Ronald to sell the company. He then started his second venture in the travel industry. After 13 years an offer to sell was too good to refuse, so he began his second retirement. Ron desired to enter the world of education and he has been teaching economics and business courses at St. Bernard High School for 12 years. In his last year of teaching, he implemented an entrepreneurship class. To provide additional expertise and resources, a partnership with LMU Entrepreneurship Program was established whereby six senior LMU entrepreneurship students guided the SBHS entrepreneurship class. Ron now lives in Playa Del Rey volunteering as a Docent on the USS Battleship Iowa berthed in San Pedro, Advising the Entrepreneurship Society at LMU and Instructing Financial Literacy at Homeboy Industries.

Michael Wojciechowki
Chairman at Affordable Housing Advisors and Professor

Mike is a businessman with over 35 years of diversified experience in fields such as real estate development, food and beverage industry, consumer goods, entertainment industry and technology. He has started of 40 companies with some hits, some strike-outs and many lessons learned.Mr. Wojciechowski was a 10 year member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) where he served on the Executive Committee in various capacities including a year as the Santa Monica Bay Chapter Chair. He is currently a member of the World President’s Organization (the successor organization to YPO) and also served as the Chapter Chair. Mike has a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. He also has a Masters in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance, from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama and a Bachelor of Science, with a concentration in Marketing, also from the University of South Alabama.

Tony Karrer
Founder & CEO of TechEmpower, Founder & CTO of Aggregage

Dr. Tony Karrer is Founder and CTO of Aggregage – a fast growing B2B media company that partners with associations and conferences to create vertical sites that provide significant value to advertisers trying to reach these valuable professional audiences. Tony is also the Founder/CEO of TechEmpower, a 30-person software development services company. In the early 90s, Tony founded 2 other companies both of which had successful exits. This led Tony into working as a part-time/consulting CTO to over 50 different companies including as the original, part-time CTO at eHarmony helping them to get to a $110M financing in their 4th year. In addition to working with startups, Tony has worked with many larger companies including Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Canada, Citibank, Lexus, Microsoft, Nissan, IBM and HP. Dr. Karrer was valedictorian at Loyola Marymount University, attended the University of Southern California as a Tau Beta Pi fellow, one of the top 30 engineers in the nation, and received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science. He is a cofounder and lead organizer of the largest CTO professional organizations in the world and a frequent speaker at industry and academic events.

Ryan Nurnberger
Serial Entrepreneur

Ryan currently serves as president and founder of a diversified investment firm. Ryan has acquired or invested in distribution, healthcare, packaging, real estate, software and manufacturing companies. Ryan is also the CEO of a specialty food distribution company where he is responsible for overall strategic direction of the company, business development and operations. Previously Ryan was at Momentum Venture Management (MVM), an early stage venture capital firm, where he was involved in the execution and management of MVM portfolio companies as well as the evaluation of early-stage investment opportunities. Prior to joining Momentum, Ryan was in the media and entertainment Investment Banking group at Montgomery & Co. He has a B.S. in entrepreneurship from LMU.

Samantha Russo
Strategic Operations Project Manager @ Techstars

Sam Russo is the Strategic Operation Project Manager, where she is focused on building out operational infrastructures for Techstars, focused on the Innovation side. Previously, the Program Manager of Techstars Music, Sam has been working with founders and engaging in helping them navigate their entrepreneur’s journey. As part of helping entrepreneurs, Sam has been a global facilitator and organizer of Startup Weekend. Her experience involves leading operations, understanding customers and building scalable processes. She comes from a multicultural background and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, English and French.

Stefanie Fujinami
Co-Founder of VS Fitness Academy

Stefanie Fujinami graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, emphasizing in Marketing. She also graduated from Pepperdine University with a Master's Degree in Business Administration, concentrating in Entrepreneurship. Stefanie has a passion for getting people active and healthy. She has two businesses in the fitness industry - VS Fitness Academy, which focuses on throwing fitness parties, and Elfiefit - which combines fitness and education and won a Best of Beverly Hills Golden Palm Award for Innovation. She is also a member of the Westchester Rotary Club and a Beverly Hills Chamber member.

Devin Fernandez
UX/UI Designer @ ScaleLA

Devin is a recent graduate of Loyola Marymount University and is now working as an executive assistant at ScaleLA: a co-working and incubator space focused on early stage health-tech startups. He is also a UX / UI consultant for startup in Santa Monica, focused on digitizing and scaling gut-related health treatments. Devin has been continuing to support startups within various industries such as Digital Health, Art Tech, Drones, and real estate, in the greater LA and San Diego regions with UX and UI design processes.

Mylen Yamamoto
Founder at Cropsticks

Mylen Yamamoto's latest venture is called Cropsticks, an innovative chopstick with a built-in rest made from sustainable bamboo. Cropsticks was most recently featured on Season 8 of Shark Tank. It is the first product from Cropmade, a line of sustainable goods for Asian cuisine. Cropmade's mission is to "Leave behind a greener environment for future generations". Being only on the market since March 2017, Cropsticks clients include: Roy's Restaurants, Hakkasan Group, Disney, Walgreens and many more.

In addition, she runs a talent management company called CliqueNow based in Los Angeles that helps to build the careers of popular YouTube celebrities. She was responsible for managing partnerships with Amazon, Airbnb, Disney's Maker Studios, WME, The Grammys and more for her clients. 

She previously served as a Clinical Professor/Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University and Cal State University, Los Angeles. A teacher at heart, Mylen enjoys mentoring entrepreneurs and has led workshops on brand development for YouTube, McDonald's, Hawaii International Film Festival, and Startup Weekend by Google.

Alexander Glosenberg
International Entrepreneurship Professor at LMU

Alex is an assistant professor in the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship. Alex is passionate about how entrepreneurs and organizations change communities and societies for the better in a changing world of work. Through research, Alex seeks to understand entrepreneurship and workforce development in lower-income settings and among marginalized populations. He has published numerous publications on issues relating to work psychology, entrepreneurship, technology, and global development. Alex also seeks to apply research to directly benefit marginalized populations. Alex is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of the Foster Workforce Development (FWD) Institute ( which combines psychological insights into work with information technology to empower marginalized populations. He has consulted with a range of prominent global stakeholders including the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China, Greenpeace International, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Jason D'Mello
Entrepreneurship Professor at LMU

Jason D’Mello is currently an Entrepreneurship professor at LMU. He has been involved in ventures in the internet and mobile space, launching applications on the iPhone platform. He is the co-founder of Idea Mornings breakfast talks, has managed a Kauffman Foundation project called "The Founders Distillery”, launched RISE - Refugees and Immigrants Succeeding in Entrepreneurship, and is a co-founder of AMPED - Academy of Music Production Education and Development.

Lew Jaffe
CEO/President/Board Member

All businesses are the same; they exist for the sole purpose of “gaining and retailing customers, profitably in order to create real value.” In the course of his 30+ year career, Lewis Jaffe following that simple mantra, has led the growth, successful turnarounds of more than 20 underperforming companies, public and private as their chief executive or outside advisor in a variety of industries, creating over $500MM in shareholder value. Lew’s greatest strengths include leadership, vision and building plan that teams can execute with great success. He is a customer-focused leader who understands complex market dynamics, the intricacies of distribution channels and maximizing corporate assets including human capital and leveraging a balance sheet. Lew’s focus is on business to business companies but also has experience with business to consumer. Much of his concentration has been in telecommunications, manufacturing, media/content delivery, and distribution of B2B and B2C products, disposables through capital goods. He also has significant experience with M&A activity and post transaction integration.

Christopher Stern
Tech Executive and Entrepreneur

Chris is a recognized engineering and technology industry entrepreneur and business leader.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from LMU (’93) and his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA (’97) and has since gone on to lead a diverse (and what his LMU Professors would call…”a somewhat non-traditional”) career, ranging from startup founder and CEO to board member, investor and advisor for some of the most innovative companies in the fields of engineering and technology.   By his early-30’s, Chris had founded, built and sold two separate technology startups to large NASDAQ and NYSE listed public companies.                 Chris currently leads strategy and corporate development for emerging business at Trimble, Inc. (NASD:TRMB), a $2.4 billion GPS  industry pioneer and worldwide leader in delivering advanced technology solutions that transform the way customers work across a variety of industries – ranging from engineering and construction to transportation, agriculture, water and energy utilities.   In this role, Chris is focused on helping the company build out its global water, smart cities and Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution business through new product development, partnerships and acquisitions.   Since 2000, along with internal innovation, Trimble has completed over 100 acquisitions and joint ventures, including notable deals with Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Google SketchUp, Tekla and the recent acquisition of Telog, North America's leading smart water IoT provider.   Prior to joining Trimble through the sale of his startup, Chris was the founder, chairman and CEO of a successful utility industry software company and served as the water research and technology officer for the largest municipally owned utility in the United States.     Chris is a licensed civil engineer, a frequent startup and tech industry speaker, serves on the industry advisory boards at UCLA and LMU, and is a long-time LMU supporter; having served on the Dean’s Council, ABET Accreditation Alumni Panel, and donated equipment and financial support for College of Science and Engineering and Engineers-Without-Borders.    Chris and his wife Theresa and two children, Christopher and Anthony, reside in Newport Beach, California.

Greg Monterrosa
Founder-Community Manager at Hub101

My passions lie in two distinct areas: tacos and startups. 

I am the Community Manager and one of the founders of Hub101, a startup incubator and coworking space located in Westlake Village, California with a mission of encouraging businesses to “create, launch, grow.” 

As a Startup Weekend global mentor and organizer, I was able to interact with and learn from the innovative minds behind startups worldwide. 

In 2011, the Pacific Coast Business Times selected me as one of the top 40 up-and-coming business leaders in the tri-county area.

In 2015, I mentored over 100 different startups in France and London. 

In 2016, I received a 40 Under 40 award from the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as Congressional recognition of my efforts in supporting our local startup community. 

In 2017, I joined the City of Thousand Oaks Business Roundtable. I am also a speaker and Cofounder of one of the nation's leading business formations company,

Chris Becker
Lead Curriculum Architect (ux/ui)/Sr. UX Designer/Educator @ Chris R. Becker Design

A Lead Curriculum Architect (ux/ui) working at the cross section of education and UX design for 2U inc where my 24 week Bootcamp is being taught at UCB, UCLA, UCI, UTAustin, George Washington, Georgia Tech, and DU. A creative thinker with the ability to design across media platforms from Web to iOS and Android as well as SaaS and service design. A versatile designer and systems thinker with problem solving skills for User Experience Design, Human Centered Design, Design Thinking, Interaction Design, Branding Strategy, Web Design, Advertising, Systems Design, Process Mapping, Social Media, Content strategy, Product Design and Print Design.

Lisa Farris
Entrepreneur in Residence

Lisa is a market development executive, advisor and entrepreneur with experience ranging from music and entertainment to real estate and digital media. Her focus is on strategic marketing and leveraging technology in order to transform the way consumers and brands engage. Prior to becoming a serial entrepreneur, Lisa was SVP Strategic Marketing at Universal Music Group, CMO for Move Inc./, and founder of Get This, a technology that shop-enabled entertainment via audio recognition. Lisa currently serves as Chief Digital Officer for the Recording Academy | GRAMMY’s. Lisa is among Billboard’s Digital Power Players for 2019.  She also volunteered for the LMU Save It Forward Financial Literacy Program. Lisa majored in marketing & economics at Rutgers University.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Los Angeles 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.

Signature Sponsors

WeWork is a global network of workspaces where companies and people grow together in a coworking space.

Visit Website



Organizing Team

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

  • Darlene
  • Tiffany
  • NaKesha
  • Sandra
  • Alexander
  • Jason


Dee Hamill
TOW DATTs (The One Who Does ALLL The Things)

Dee is a momma bear to the tech/startup community in Charleston, SC. She runs a co-working space, handles operations/logistics for an accelerator in CHS, and organizes Startup Weekends, Startup Grind, 1 Million Cups, and Startup Digest for Charleston.

Jesus. Startups. Wine. Community. Inclusiveness. Techstars. Huge advocate of chasing those incredibly big dreams. Adrenaline Chaser. Lover of Life.


Event Staff

Maddy Isbell
Graphic Designer @ The Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship

Maddy is a sophomore 
Graphic Design student at
LMU with a minor in business administration. She works as a graphic designer at LMU's Center for Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about art and design and would one
day like to start a business of her own. 

Bri Berkhout
Student Coordinator @ The Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship

Bri Berkhout is in her senior year at Loyola Marymount University and will be graduating in May with a BBA in Marketing and a Minor in Theater Arts. Bri was raised in a military family and had the chance to travel the world at a young age. She has experience in the fashion and entertainment industries and would like to pursue a career in marketing after graduation. Bri is passionate about entrepreneurship, event planning, and design.

Matt Tejada
Student Assistant to Associate Director @ The Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship

Matthew is a Entrepreneurship major with a desire to solve problems and scale businesses.
Starting his first venture at sixteen has formed a serious passion for entrepreneurship at a young age. Matthew is consistently working on multiple projects where he specializes in building teams, forming partnerships, and business development. 

Teddy Karrer
Student Operations Manager @ The Fred Kiesner Center For Entrepreneurship

Teddy is a Senior Entrepreneurship major in the college of business at LMU. Over his years in college, he has worked to host events both for the school, as well as for creative ones such as events and shows for music.

Hope Sadahiro
Startup Weekend Team

From the multiple programs I have been in, I have learned the importance of collaboration. This lesson has also shown me that when working in a team there are many types of people you will meet. Learning how to achieve a goal together is significant to the success of the project. Teamwork is a skill I have, although I also know that my personal contributions will have to be up to par. I will work hard to participate and learn from each experience.

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