Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas Maker Edition

    Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas Maker Edition

Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018

Friday, November 30 - December 2, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

1705 S Walton Blvd
Bentonville, AR 72712

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Build your idea within 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?

Northwest Arkansas Startup Weekend: Maker Edition is the place for you to pitch ideas, recruit a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business model, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Since this event is focused specifically on developing physical products and solutions, you will have access to circuit boards, microcontrollers, prototyping materials, CNC machines, 3D printers, soldering kits, and other supplies to bring your ideas to life. 

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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See what it's all about

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Friday November 30th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:50 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders. Welcome speakers Sam Dean and Joel Gordon.

7:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 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 December 1st

7:30 am
Equipment Training
Makers train for safety and operating machinery

9:00 am
Second Equipment Training
Makers train for safety and operating machinery

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

10:30 am
The importance of customer discovery and the business model canvas

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

9:30 pm
Maker Space Closes
Machines are shut down

11:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday December 2nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Optional pitch prep workshop

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

4:45 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm
Judging & Awards

6:30 pm
Wrap-Up and CELEBRATE!
Winners are selected, prizes are distributed!


Sam Dean
Executive Director, Amazeum

Science enthusiast, novice tinkerer and museum rat. Sam Dean is a museum leader dedicated to supporting the STEAM and Maker movements in Northwest Arkansas.

Coaches and Mentors

Joel Gordon

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people, shout orders and divide the work. Instead, teach them to yearn for the immensity of the sea.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Steven Baker
Project Architect, HFA

Adventurer, Architect, and Amateur Maker. Steven is one of the dreamers behind the HFA Design Lab and can’t wait to help facilitate your wildest ideas becoming reality. 

Jason Huselton
Master Maker, Conductor

Huselton is a 1997 UCA graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in art with an emphasis in
sculpture and 3D design. He has spent the last 20 years working in the information
technology field for companies such as Acxiom and Tailsys.
While working in information technology, he continued to maintain his art skills through
sculpture, furniture making, prop making and portrait drawings.
He was published in the book, “The Best of America, Sculptor Artists and Artisans.”
Huselton has built a movie prop model for the Wand Company that has been reproduced
and sold worldwide. Huselton has also sold multiple sculptures to a Fortune 500 company.

Eric Jones
Founder/CEO LFLS Shoes

Eric Jones, also known as Doctor Dapper, has become known as one of the most influential millennials of his time. Through sharing his life story and entrepreneurial journey of establishing LFLS Shoes (Like Father Like Son Shoes), he has inspired and motivated thousands of people to take their leap of faith in life and live in their true purpose!

Along with entrepreneurship, Eric is well-versed in fashion & design, social media strategy work, personal branding, business development, mentorship, and public speaking. 

Tom Pedersen
Technology Director, Multi-Craft Contractors. CTO, RinseWell

Over 25 years of technology and business experience with a proven track record of turning ideas into solutions. Tom is a continual learner with knowledge and battle scars gained from working with larger companies such as AT&T, Koch Engineering and by being part of two start-up companies. As Technology Director for Multi-Craft Contractors he has worked for the last 16 years incorporating technology and lean principles into solutions for both MCC and its customers. In addition, as CTO for the startup RinseWell, he is responsible for the technology behind the award winning Smart Eco Rinse water saving device. Tom holds both a Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Arkansas and an MBA form Webster University.

Philipp Richter
Intern Architect at Harrison French & Associates

Make it, break it, fix it, burn it,
Trash it, change it, grind, design it,
Turn it, saw it, split it, plug it,
Mill it, work it, drill, deburr it,
Weld it, cut it, grind it, press it,
Sew it, stretch it, thread, restore it
File it, shave it, sand it, rip it,
Wrench it, bolt it, press, align it,
Print it, punch it, notch it, plane it,
Wrap it, spline it, carve, upgrade it …

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Northwest Arkansas Maker Edition 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 Northwest Arkansas is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Haley
  • Canon
  • Michael
  • Dennis
  • Joel
  • Jordan
  • Tyler


David Tominsky
Community Builder

David Tominsky is a 14-year veteran of the staffing industry and now Program Manager of the Iowa Startup Accelerator. After launching CoreTCS in 2010, he has immersed himself in the community where he focuses his energy on fostering creativity and entrepreneurship training in K-12 education, developing the local talent economy, and working tirelessly to make Iowa's Creative Corridor the most amazing place to start a company.

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