Startup Weekend EDU Oakland

    Friday, February 21, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Judges
  3. Coaches and Mentors
  4. Sponsors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend EDU Oakland

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Oakland, CA

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Event Judges

Hae-Sin Kim Thomas
CEO of Education for Change Public Schools

Thomas is the CEO of growing Oakland-based charter management organization that specializes in converting existing district public schools to charter schools.

John Krull
Information Technology Officer at Oakland Unified School District

John is currently the Information Technology Officer at Oakland Unified School District. As a cabinet member, he works closely with the Superintendent along with deputy and associate superintendents to set and implement strategies to make all Oakland students college, career, and community ready.

John was previously the Chief Technology Officer at Fremont Unified School District (FUSD), a K-12 public school district with 4500 employees and 33,000 students. Before FUSD, John was the Vice President for Technology at Envision Education, a Bay Area charter management organization and consultancy. 

Previous to his career in education technology management, John worked for almost 10 years in technology management at Microsoft, Virage, and Autonomy. John began his career as an educator holding various teaching and technology leadership positions. 

Jumoke Hodge Hilton
OUSD Board member

Jumoke Hinton Hodge is a community and youth development consultant who has worked in the BayArea for the last two decades. For the past seven years she has devoted her efforts to strengtheningher West Oakland neighborhood.

Michael Staton
Partner @ Learn Capital

Michael Staton is a Partner at Learn Capital, where he has helped lead investments into Coursera, Minerva, BrightBytes, AltSchool and Brilliant. He is the founder and former CEO of Uversity, the pioneer of Social Enrollment Management technology in Higher Education. For Uversity, Michael secured the first venture investment from the Gates Foundation’s US Programs into a private company. Because of his years as a public school teacher and his intuitive understanding of K12 education, Michael served as a Venture Partner and Community Advisor to NewSchools Venture Fund’s Seed Fund, now Reach Capital. Outside of investing, he has had early roles, befriended and advised many EdTech companies, including Dev Bootcamp and Goalbook. Michael was declared a top one hundred innovator by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and he is on the advisory board of SxSWEDU and the Higher Education Working Group of the American Enterprise Institute.

Mitch Kapor
Partner at Kapor Capital, Co-Chair at Kapor Center for Social Impact

Mitch Kapor is Partner at the Kapor Center and works with startups using information technology platforms to drive disruptive innovation. He is a seed stage investor in Uber, Twilio, Inkling and University Now. His focus is increasingly on driving positive social impact, especially in leveraging IT to close gaps of opportunity and access in education, healthcare and other areas. Mitch founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed Lotus 1-2-3, the “killer application” which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980s. He is the co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects freedom and privacy on the Internet and the founding chair of the Mozilla Foundation, creator of the open source web browser Firefox. He is also a founding investor in Linden Lab, maker of the first successful virtual world, Second Life.Currently he serves on the board of Level Playing Field Institute, whose mission is to enhance equal opportunity in education and the workplace. Mitch is also on the Advisory Board of Generation Investment Management, a firm whose vision is to embed sustainability into the mainstream capital markets.

Coaches and Mentors

Gregg Alpert
Southern Africa Edupreneurs Program Manager

Gregg is a program manager within the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund running the Edupreneurs incubator in Southern Africa. The program works with education entrepreneurs serving low-income students. More info here:

Greg Bybee
Director of Product @ NovoEd

Greg Bybee is an avid education technologist and current Director of Product at NovoEd, where he helps the team design, build, and market effective and engaging products for students and partners. He currently advises a number of edtech startups, and well as software vendors and investors looking to enter the education space. Before NovoEd, Greg was a Fellow with NewSchools Venture Fund and launched product management at Coursera.

Gee Kin Chou
Co-Founder of The Boombox Collaboratory & Former CTO @ Oakland Unified School District

Gee Kin Chou is the co-founder of The Boombox Collaboratory, a non-profit that enables Americans to use their personal contacts to help high school students broaden their career horizons. He is also an educational technology consultant who helps both technology companies design and market products and services for education, and school systems to exploit technology to improve student achievement and increase operational efficiency.

He serves on the Advisory Board of several edtech startups, and is a contributing writer for He was formerly the CTO of Oakland Unified School District and has also served as the interim CTO of Pasadena Unified School District. 
Gee Kin has worked in education since 2003 when he co-founded ViKiwi, a consulting firm that applied business best practices to reform education, and has helped more than a dozen large, urban school districts across the US evaluate, purchase and implement technology to improve student achievement and increase organizational efficiency. 

Rich Crandall
Associate Partner at New Schools Venture Fund

Rich is the former K-12 Lab Director at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka the

Brian Greenberg
CEO, Silicon Schools Fund

Brian is the CEO of the Silicon Schools Fund, a not-for-profit investment fund seeking to accelerate the next generation of blended learning schools in the Bay Area of California. He was formerly the Chief Academic Officer of Envision Schools, a Bay Area charter management organization, and the Principal and Founder of Leadership Public Schools Hayward, one of the top charter schools in the state of California. Brian has worked as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, in politics on statewide and national campaigns, in higher education at Carnegie Mellon University, and in the non-profit sector as the Vice President of Development for Isles, Inc. He has served as a mentor principal for New Leaders for New Schools and is a Stanford University Principal Fellow. Brian is the creator of, a site devoted to experimentation and technology in education. He graduated from Dartmouth College and competed his Masters in Education at Harvard University.

Suzy Monroe
Founder, TinkerEd

Suzy is a teacher from Ireland currently living in San Francisco. She founded a company called TinkerEd which connects EdTech founders with educators willing to give feedback at various stages of product development. She will share some learnings she's gathered from facilitating these connections over the last year.

Jason Ng
Data Visualization at Bloomboard

Jason leads data visualization at Bloomboard.

Josh Salcman
Director, Product Strategy, K-12 Literacy & Math at Pearson; Co-Founder of Pearson Education

Director of Product Strategy for K-12 Literacy & Math at Pearson Education. Previously, President and co-founder of Math-help website Virtual Nerd, acquired by Pearson in 2013. 

Before getting into EdTech, spent three years focused on physical product design and design strategy for clients like Medtronic, Gatorade, Dial, McDonald's, and Johnson & Johnson.

Mayra Vegra
Designer at Schoolzilla

Mayra leads user research, UX flows, UI, graphic design and light front-end development for Schoolzilla's web application

Randy Weiner
InnerTube Games

Randy has worked in start-ups, education, and education technology for the last 20 years. Expert in agile development, Randy is also a co-founder and the Chairman of the Board at Urban Montessori Charter School in Oakland, CA, the nation’s first public Montessori, Arts Integration and Design Thinking school. A Teach For America alum, he taught for five years in Oakland and Madagascar and holds B.A.s from Middlebury College and an MA in Education from Stanford University.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend EDU Oakland 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 Oakland is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Anne
  • Shauntel
  • John
  • Jessica
  • Vicky


Jessica Falkenthal
Education Community & Growth Marketing Strategist

Jessica Falkenthal leads growth marketing, community building and experience design for education startups, schools and nonprofits. She serves on the SXSW EDU Launch Advisory Board and CUE SF Board.
Jessica loves creating engaging education experiences and  previously managed a dozen online learning communities, coached early-stage education entrepreneurs, grew the Startup Weekend Education program worldwide, founded her own education startup, led professional development workshops for hundreds of educators, and designed and taught technology classes for the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H Youth Development programs. She is also a community organizer for the SF Edtech Happy Hour, 4-H, Startup Weekend Education, and Education Startup Digest.

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