Startup Weekend Los Angeles 2019 @ LMU

    Friday, November 15 - 17, 2019

  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 2019 @ LMU

Friday, November 15 - 17, 2019

Friday, November 15 - 17, 2019
Event starts at 4:30 pm

Roski 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!

See what it's all about

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Friday November 15th

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
Attendees vote for the top pitches

7:35 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

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 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for 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 17th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Final opportunity to ask questions

10:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

12:00 pm

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


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.

Event Judges

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.

Mylen Yamamoto
Founder @ Cropsticks by Cropmade Inc and Clique-Now LLC

Mylen's is a teacher turned entrepreneur. Her latest venture is called Cropsticks by Cropmade (As Seen on Shark Tank) that creates sustainable products from bamboo. She is known for inventing the Cropstick, a chopstick with a built-in rest found in 200+ locations including: Roy's Restaurants, Disney Parks & Resorts, and Hawaiian Airlines. In August 2019, Cropmade launched the biodegradable bamboo straw. She also runs a talent management company ( that builds the careers of popular digital celebrities and previously served as a Clinical Professor/Associate Director of Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University and Cal State LA.

Coaches and Mentors

Ray Caldwell
Principal @ Caldwell Consulting

Ray strives to bring growth and value to all he does by being a creative catalyst! His company, Caldwell Consulting, is known for helping startup founders refine their elevator pitches, Improve their pitch decks, and clarify their customer focus! His unique background of having a systems engineering degree along with a passion for people powers his clear communication and engaging style of marketing.

Bryson Ishii
Principal @ Growth Factor Ventures

Bryson Ishii is a Principal at Growth Factor Ventures, a Los Angeles based investment firm specializing in healthcare and consumer products opportunities. Through his time with Growth Factor Ventures, Bryson has assisted companies through a variety of developmental phases, ranging from small start-up investments to larger “going-public” transactions.

Byron Galindo
Agency Owner @ State Farm

I am an LMU alumni of 2011 and an owner of a State Farm agency. State Farm is a fortune 50 company insuring more cars and homes than any other company.

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.

Shakib Zabihian
CEO @ Toot App, Inc.

Two times technical founder in FinTech and EdTech, full-stack developer, CTO, Forbes 30 Under 30, currently CEO @ Toot App, Inc.

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.

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.

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.

Claire Tsukuda
Product Manager @ BlackLine

Claire is a product manager in the B2B SaaS space. She is experienced in managing multiple teams to deliver enhancements that delight users. Claire is a 2016 LMU alumni with a degree in Accounting. She serves as the chapter advisor for LMU's professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and is a founding member of AllBright, a private club for professional women.

Greg Monterrosa
Founder @ Hub101

Supporting and advancing entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development. My passions lie in two distinct areas: tacos and startups. I am the Community Manager and one of the founders of Hub101, a startup center located in Westlake Village, California with a mission of encouraging businesses to “create, launch, grow.”

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Los Angeles 2019 @ LMU 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.


Organizing Team

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

  • Aaron
  • Matt
  • Coby
  • Darlene


Monica Kang
Founder & CEO, InnovatorsBox & Author of Rethink Creativity

Monica Kang is a social entrepreneur, creative educator, speaker and community builder.

As the Founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox, she empowers leaders and organizations with creative thinking and innovation for professionals through workshops, games, coaching and consulting. InnovatorsBox has received a number of national awards for being a bold innovative company that is changing the way how professionals learn to be innovative at work and at home. 

As a community builder, she is an active contributor to the DC startup community scene by being an Organizer and Facilitator at DC Startup Weekend, President of DMV Startup and Fellow at StartingBloc.

Prior to her entrepreneurship path, she was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert working in international affairs.

Event Staff

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.

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. 

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.

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