Startup Weekend OKC

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

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

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Paramount
7 N Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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Take your idea to the Next Level

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur? The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend competitions follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

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Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday November 14th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:45 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food (Joey's Pizza), share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:10 pm
Welcome & Speaker
Review agenda for the weekend, introduce coaches, and Piyush Patel, Founder & CEO of Digital-Tutors, will speak.

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
60 seconds to pitch the best idea you have. Sell it!

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches. If you pitched an idea... sell it!

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 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 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm
Salad and potato bar

12:30 pm
Educational Talk
Shane Kempton - CTO, Phase 2 Interactive

12:45 pm
Educational Talk
Carrie Palmer - Attorney, Resolution Legal Group

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
Chicken and waffles, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, salad, rolls.

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 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Presentation Prep
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation.

3:00 pm
Tech Check
Each team will need to hook up the computer they will be presenting from to make sure everything's working properly

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards

6:30 pm
Dinner & Drinks at the venue
Ted's Cafe Escondido

9:00 pm
Go Home and Sleep!!!!


Piyush Patel
Founder & CEO


Piyush Patel is the founder of Digital-Tutors, a company that teaches the people who make movies, games and projects by creating the world’s largest CG, VFX, CAD and digital art training library.   Founded in 2000, Digital-Tutors was started with $54.00 and grew to become a market leader without taking on debt or raising funding. In February 2014, Digital-Tutors was acquired by Pluralsight for $45M.  Pluralsight is the leader in online training for technology and creative professionals.  Patel has continued to stay with the new company in the role of chief innovation officer.  As chief innovation officer, Piyush champions the Pluralsight brand and serves as a company culture advocate and thought leader. Over the past decade, Patel has had the opportunity to teach artists and designers worldwide and has created a global footprint in the CG industry.  Patel has had the pleasure of working with top universities, schools, studios and software developers such as Autodesk, Pixar, Next Limit, Pixologic, and Adobe.

Carrie Palmer
Attorney, Resolution Legal Group


Ms. Palmer’s areas of practice include Litigation and Consulting in the areas of General and Strategic Planning for Business; General Business Litigation; Transportation; Personal Injury; Insurance; Warranty; Product Liability; managing the early evaluation of catastrophic events; and serving as electronic process and procedures counsel, advising and consulting with clients, insurers and attorneys regarding electronic litigation readiness and all manner of data protection and related policy/procedure. Ms. Palmer is a frequent speaker on issues concerning the intersection of Law and Business, Mobile Data Policy and Procedure, Legal Issues regarding Social Networking, and Ethics in the Digital Age. Ms. Palmer received her J.D. from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law and court admissions include the U.S. Court of Appeal, 10th Circuit; and all U.S. District Courts for Oklahoma. She is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association; Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel (Board Member, 2010-2013); Trial Attorneys of America, (Board Member, 2009-2013); American Bar Association (ABA, TIPS committee Vice Chair 2012, 2013) and the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA) (Program Committee, 2010).

Shane Kempton
CTO, Phase 2 Interactive

Since graduating college with a degree in philosophy & religion Shane has spent the last 16 years designing, developing and implementing software products. He began his career during the internet boom, and has focused on web based technology from the start. From large scale enterprise management software, to multi-million dollar online banking platforms, to simple web tools, Shane has a wealth of experience using technology to improve how people work and play. In his current role as Phase 2 Interactive’s Chief Technology Officer, he employs this experience by bringing together people, processes, and technology to create beautiful software.

Event Judges

Justin Briggs
Director, Accele BioPharma and Accele Venture Partners

Justin Briggs is an Oklahoma native and technology executive with experience developing and commercializing biotech, nanotechnology, and software products. Mr. Briggs is Director at Accele BioPharma and Accele Venture Partners, a biotechnology accelerator in Oklahoma City. Accele identifies, funds, and manages a portfolio of biotech companies developing therapeutics and diagnostics for diseases ranging from diabetes, hearing loss, infectious disease and cancer. Previously, Justin lead development and operations for Altheus Therapeutics, a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company. Justin is also the founder Chorus Labs, a software development company that builds workplace productivity applications, and SnapLab Technologies, which develops high-throughput analytical equipment for the oil & gas industry. Justin has a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Oklahoma and an M.B.A. in Finance with High Honors from Oklahoma City University.

Sandip Patel
Cofounder & CEO, BitConfused

Cofounder and CEO of BitConfused (a tiny product design studio) and Cage (a better way for creative teams to manage people, projects, and collaboration).

Keith Jacobs

Keith Jacobs graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and spent the first 5 years of his career working at consulting firms Ernst & Young and Sapient. After the .com bust and a month before 9/11, Keith founded a user-experience design firm called Bright Corner that he grew, merged with Geniant, and eventually sold to EMC in 2007. Although he didn’t have a non-compete or earn-out, Keith worked at EMC for two years before getting the entrepreneurial itch once again. Keith then co-founded another user-experience design firm called projekt202, which was ranked #13 in the 2012 Dallas 100 and #161 in the 2013 Inc. 500. After growing the firm to over 100 employees and three offices, Keith handed over the CEO reins to a fellow investor and has stepped back from day-to-day company operations. Today, Keith is growing a new business dedicated to helping Americans save on the rising cost of health care. He is also an investor in Sifter, an online bug and issue tracker used by hundreds of businesses around the world, and is a guest lecturer at the SMU Cox School of Business and at Rice University’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. Joanne, Keith’s wife of 14 years, is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and they have two adorable daughters named Emma and Lily, ages 8 and 5.

Kraettli Lawrence Epperson

Entrepreneur and advisor focused on launching and growing great tech companies. Participated in launching 15 tech companies, including as co-founder and CTO of the world's largest academic digital library, acquired by Gale Publishing; founder and CEO of the first public Lotus Notes network in Europe; Technology patent holder and co-founder of leading voice and digital crisis communications company serving 5 of the top 20 transit agencies in the US; founder and CEO of software company managing all land and right-of-way data for a $1Bn regional rail expansion; Creator and teacher for 4 years of the first undergraduate course in entrepreneurial leadership at Rice University; and co-founder and Managing Director of a venture accelerator that in 24 months launched 5 companies with multi-million dollar valuations. As an entrepreneur and hands-on investor, has experience in company formation, board and executive service, fund-raising, and profitable exit; Specializing in technology vision, capital structuring, strategic planning, financial oversight, sales and marketing management, and executive recruiting.

Kenneth Knoll
Director of Advisory Services, i2E

As Director of Advisory Services for i2E, Kenneth provides business development consulting for dozens of Oklahoma startups and has helped technology companies structure and raise investment rounds as small as $50k to greater than $3.5M.  With corporate and early venture experience, Kenneth combines start-up perspective with a systematic development approach.  As an advisor, Kenneth assists companies with customer development, business model strategy, product development, financial modeling and analysis, company valuation and capital planning, investor pitch and due diligence preparation, and investor reporting.  Kenneth is a top twenty University of Tulsa business school graduate with degrees in finance and international business and is certified in Product Innovation and Development and has received venture training at the UC Berkeley Executive Education center.  As an entrepreneur he founded a Tulsa-based small business and operated it for more than a decade before selling it, cofounded an oilfield mobile technology startup and is managing partner in a Tulsa property management company.

Coaches and Mentors

Phil Jackson
Founder, ServiceVines

Phil Jackson is the Founder of ServiceVines, a startup focused on helping people get bids on their landscape and yard. He’s a graduate of the Founder institute where he spend 4 months commuting to Houston, TX to take part and was selected for two pitch days in Silicon Valley. More than two decades ago he convinced an obviously naive young lady to make a poor choice to marry him where they live far outside civilization with their two daughters. Loves Economics, hamburgers and Startups, despises LOLCATS and real cats.

Jeff French
Principal Consultant, Moonswitch

Jeff French is an experienced developer with a passion for automation, software craftsmanship and good craft beer. A mild mannered developer by day and a hopeless technology junky by night. He has extensive experience in web and mobile application development, deployment automation, and continuous delivery. He constantly strives to learn how new technologies can help solve real world problems. Jeff is an international speaker at technology conferences giving talks on DevOps, Continuous Delivery, Mobile and Web Development, Javascript frameworks and whatever else strikes his interest.

Shane Kempton
CTO, Phase 2 Interactive

Since graduating college with a degree in philosophy & religion Shane has spent the last 16 years designing, developing and implementing software products. He began his career during the internet boom, and has focused on web based technology from the start. From large scale enterprise management software, to multi-million dollar online banking platforms, to simple web tools, Shane has a wealth of experience using technology to improve how people work and play. In his current role as Phase 2 Interactive’s Chief Technology Officer, he employs this experience by bringing together people, processes, and technology to create beautiful software.

Greg Starling

Greg Starling, a native of Oklahoma City, is the Chief Technology Officer at As CTO, he has primary responsibility for developing technology strategy, stewarding innovation, and fostering relationships with the tech community. He has multiple patents pending and was recently awarded Innovator of the Year by the Journal Record. Greg, a book-a-week reader, is currently working on writing his own book on managing knowledge workers. A husband, dad, and wannabe chef, Greg can be found most weekends at a local sporting event, church, or enjoying time with extended family.

Luke Woodard
CTO & Co-Founder, RaiseMore

Luke is the CTO and Co-Founder of RaiseMore, an Oklahoma City based startup providing mobile and analytics technology to non profits. RaiseMore went through the first VentureSpur accelerator class and successfully raised a Series A round right here in Oklahoma City.  Luke has over 15 years of experience building software for companies ranging from small startups to large Fortune 500 companies. He has a degree in Computer Science from Oklahoma State University.

Ashok Kamal
Co-Founder & CEO, SIVI

Ashok Kamal is Co-Founder & CEO of SIVI, which is a virtual incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs. SIVI’s flagship product, LaunchLeader, is a micro-crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs to raise proof of concept capital from friends and family. Ashok’s career as a social entrepreneur spans the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, including launching a green social media marketing company and leading a youth development organization in New York City. Ashok holds a BA in Sociology from Boston University, a master’s in Nonprofit Management from Milano The New School and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY). 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend OKC 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 Oklahoma City is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

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