Techstars Startup Weekend Los Angeles: AI For Sustainability

    Friday, April 19 - 21, 2019

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

Friday, April 19 - 21, 2019

Friday, April 19 - 21, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Soylent Innovation Lab
555 Mateo Street
Suite 227
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Your idea in 54 hours to help save our planet!

The AI LA Community is proud to present Techstars Startup Weekend Los Angeles: AI For Sustainability. 

We are living in a serious environmental crisis and we need your help! We are inviting cross-disciplinary teams to solve challenges in sustainability and climate change.

Keynote by: Christine Harada, President of i(x) investments. Ms. Harada has over 20 years of success in leading government and management consulting organizations. She previously served as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer for the United States during the Obama administration. In this role, she provided oversight for all sustainability-related initiatives across the federal government in energy, fleet, and acquisitions-game-changing improvements that added to our nation’s clean energy future.

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!

See what it's all about

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Friday April 19th

6:00 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

7:30 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

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 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 20th

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 21st

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!


Christine Harada

President of i(x) investments. Ms. Harada has over 20 years of success in leading government and management consulting organizations. She previously served as the Federal Chief Sustainability Officer for the United States during the Obama administration. In this role, she provided oversight for all sustainability-related initiatives across the federal government in energy, fleet, and acquisitions-game-changing improvements that added to our nation’s clean energy future.

Event Judges

Anna Barber
Managing Director, Techstars LA

Anna Barber is the Managing Director of the Techstars LA Accelerator. Prior to Techstars, roles included: advisor and coach to startup founders; founder and CEO of Scribble Press; VP Product at; corporate lawyer; McKinsey consultant; and co-founder of the US Air Guitar Championships. She grew up in New York City and is raising two boys in Los Angeles. Follow her @annawbarber

Travlin McCormack
AWS - Startup BD

Accomplished senior executive with a unique combination of leadership, business and technical strengths. Proven leader of numerous technology departments that delivered major contributions to business operations, revenue and profitability. Fifteen years experience leading diverse domestic and foreign teams in areas of development and operations across the industry sectors of software as a service, finance, insurance, mortgage, social networking, government, and global shipping.
Recognized for the ability to simultaneously manage multiple efforts, build strong teams, identify/retain talent, and streamline business processes. Expert at creating, assembling and managing foreign based teams, and successfully integrating them into domestic organizations and workflows.

Jim Cooper
CTO - Braid Theory

Jim Cooper, CTO, at Braid Theory, specializes in helping early stage startups, in emerging technologies fields of clean tech, transportation, biotech and life sciences, agriculture and food tech, and automation. Jim has over 20 years of experience and has assisted over 300 companies achieve success by guiding them from proof of concept through pre-revenue to commercialization. His expertise includes market intelligence, market sizing, market validation research, economic development, small business issues, competitive analysis and strategy, supply chain optimization, market entry, IP and standards compliance audit, production analysis and strategy, business planning, and SBIR grant assistance. Prior to co-founding Braid Theory, Jim led market research firm, Conscientia Research. As a coach and mentor for the entrepreneurs and new technology innovators, he was engaged in various technology demonstration projects, including emerging technologies applicable to port operations and goods movement industry, including for the NSF i-corps Program   

Coaches and Mentors

Bastiaan den Braber
Managing Director / COO

Bastiaan leads the Los Angeles office of Lumo Labs, a 2-year venture building program for emerging tech start-ups. He is also the co-founder, President / COO of SAMO, a start-up that drives revenue in virtual and augmented reality by helping music industry companies define, finance, and deliver their emerging tech strategy. In addition, he is an advisor to other start-ups, frequent speaker, panel member and moderator at industry events, and judges events like hackathons.

Raphael Danilo
Founder & CEO

Originally from France, Raphael is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor based in Los Angeles, CA. He is the CEO of Yobs Technologies, a venture-backed startup transforming the modern recruitment market with the first data-driven assessment of soft skills and culture-fit based on video interviews. He is an investor and advisor in various early-stage AI startups and primarily invests in immigrant and minority-founded startups.

Lucas Pols
Founder & CEO

Lucas is Managing Partner of Amplite Capital, Founder & CEO of Spark xyz, and a member of Tech Coast Angels. In his previous career at ADP he successfully helped roll out two technology driven national pilots, while additionally winning District Manager of the Year and Sales Executive of the year. More recently he helped launch the Quake Capital Accelerator here in Los Angeles successfully building out their program and advising the startups on business development, leadership, and fundraising. He received his Master’s in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. While at USC, Lucas was the case protagonist of professor Noam Wasserman’s case study, which focused on his venture, Spark xyz, and hybrid entrepreneurship. Lucas also currently writes for Forbes and does speaking engagements around Los Angeles

Jim Berger

Jim Berger has diverse co-founder and executive experience in several startups leading product development, business intelligence and operations, as well as entrepreneur-in-residence for incubators and management consulting or active advisory roles in technology innovation, R&D think tanks, logistics, IoT, energy efficiency and other industries. He was a co-founder of TrueCar (as 'Zag'), initially in Program and Product Development and later as Vice President of Business Intelligence and Operations. Jim was also a consultant at Applied Minds, where he managed Fortune 100 client project portfolios and relationships for co-chair Danny Hillis, led incubation of an incubated startup, and drove collaborative assessments of applied technologies innovation opportunities in cleantech. Jim has co-founded, launched or advised several other startups, including Build-to-Order, Treker, BuildingWorx, Vidme, ListSpinner, and others. Jim completed his MBA at Portland State University, a BA in Literature and History at Claremont McKenna College.

Justin Jia
CEO, Blur Technologies, Inc.

Serial Entrepreneur, served as CTO & Tech advisor for multiple startups in LA & Beijing. Built the first mobile rent payment system in the U.S. that has processed $150M so far.

Hamza Tahir
Community Manager

Tech Entrepreneur | Founder @Visum | React Native & ML Developer |
Community Lead @facebookfordevelopers, @techstars, @startupweekend, @gbglahore, @sgislamabad |
Community Manager @ejadlabs

Hamza Tahir is a mobile app developer with lots of experience of building applications for Android/IOS/Desktop/Web platforms. Having a strong knowledge of Reactnative, AI & ML and Facebook Technologies, he can build literally anything in these platforms. He's one of the most active community builders in Pakistan. Leading communities like Facebook Developer Circles, Slack Platform Community, Techstars, Startup Grind Islamabad & Google Business Group Lahore in Pakistan.
He's the Lead organizer of Facebook DevC Pakistan Conference Lahore 2019, the first ever developers conference by Facebook outside Silicon Valley. He the Lead organizer of Startup Weekend Islamabad by Techstars & Co-Organizer of BizFest Lahore supported by Google Business Group. While belonging to the startup community, he's the Founder/CEO of "VISUM - The Virtual Eye" where their sole focus is on building smart glasses for visually impaired people. He's the youngest person in Pakistan to win 18 Hackathons.

"On a journey to empower the local tech ecosystem by building collaborative developer communities across the country!"

Aditya Dipen
Founder, Laari

Aditya is a Entrepreneur, Maker, Innovator who believes in taking technical innovations to the emerging landscapes through entrepreneurship. His startup Laari thriving to achieve the same with a great user base currently. He currently works closely with the Startup Ecosystem of the City as Community Leader and Global Facilitator,Techstars Startup Weekend. He is also founder of FermeTester, a social enterprise working with a goal of "for good,for profit".

Faustina Lee
IP Attorney

Faustina works closely with innovators and entrepreneurs to strategically secure and protect intellectual property rights. She has worked with clients in the electronics, telecommunications, medical device, academic research, media and entertainment, apparel, and jewelry industries. Her versatility as an intellectual property attorney allows her to bring a holistic approach to developing a customized intellectual property strategy for each client.

Cho-nan Tsai
CTO, Camino Financial

Cho-Nan Tsai, CTO of Camino Financial

Cho-Nan Tsai is a seasoned technology entrepreneur within the Fintech, Social Media, Mobile Advertising and Digital Entertainment industries. Currently at Camino Financial, a small business lender, he is the Chief Technology Officer where he is responsible for product, technology infrastructure and information security at the company.

Cho-Nan has built out agile software teams at startups and managed multi-million dollar systems at Fortune 500 companies. He has successfully raised millions of dollars in startup funding for venture-backed companies in US and China. He graduated from Columbia University and UCLA.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Los Angeles: AI For Sustainability 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



Organizing Team

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

  • Todd
  • Arturo
  • Ash
  • Darlene


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.

Event Staff

Laura Chavez
Startup Weekend Volunteer

An aspiring graduate student in public affairs, Laura is keen to explore the intersection of community empowerment and sustainability by redesigning financial, political and social innovations to serve a regenerative and distributive impact. Upon completing a fellowship with the United Nations Development Programme and learning the ropes of international development work she ventured to support the Mexican immigrant community in New York through her day job while building up a tech development start-up with her roommates. Armed with a background in international affairs and business development, Laura has a flair for managing events, policy research, and developing responsible business strategies.

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