Startup Weekend Orange County

    Friday, June 24 - 26, 2016

  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 Orange County

Friday, June 24 - 26, 2016

Friday, June 24 - 26, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

UCI Applied Innovation
Irvine, CA 92697-7700

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UCI Applied Innovation Hosts Startup Weekend Orange County

We are bringing Startup Weekend to Orange County via one of the biggest innovation hubs in Southern California, the UCI Applied Innovation community at the Cove,
Like us on Facebook at StartupWeekendOC and follow us on Twitter at @startup_oc, or join our LinkedIn group.

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Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday June 24th

6:30 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

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

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 June 25th

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
Ice Cream Social at VineOC
While waiting for meetings with mentors, or just to get some fresh air and top your lunch off with some sweets, walk a few steps over to the VineOC's courtyard for some ice cream treats. This is also a good chance to mix and mingle informally with other teams, mentors, and volunteers.

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 June 26th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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!


Robert Murray
Engineering Director, Irvine Site Director at Google

Rob Murray is an Engineering Director at Google. He supports teams working on various parts of Google Analytics ( and Google Tag Manager ( as well as other stuff he can't talk about yet.  He is also the Site Director for the Irvine office.  He joined Google in 2008.  Rob's earlier jobs include various executive positions in the Insurance, Real Estate, and Professional Services industries. Rob got his start at Bell Labs where he was part of the team that launched the C++ programming language. His book, C++ Strategies and Tactics, is still in print after 20 years (

Event Judges

Ray Chan
Managing Director

Ray is currently the Managing Partner at K5 Ventures, he is also a Investment Partner of Tech Coast Angels ACE Fund. As an active angel investor with a successful 25 year track record as a king/queen maker, Ray is committed to partnering with entrepreneurs to lead them to success.  Working in tandem with these entrepreneurs, Ray loves sharing his passion and knowledge with the next class of game-changers.

K5Launch hosts, invests, and accelerates game-changing, early stage, technology driven businesses led by visionary founders

Taryn Rose
Serial Entrepreneur

Taryn Rose created one of today's most successful and highly coveted brands in footwear. An orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer, Dr. Rose married fashion and function in 1999, changing the footwear industry forever. Her idea of being dressed with a sense of well-being touched a nerve with women from coast-to-coast, creating a dedicated following for her footwear collections. A formally trained surgeon, Dr. Rose witnessed the serious foot problems caused by fashion footwear. A high heel lover herself, Dr. Rose saw a need to combine her knowledge of foot biomechanics and passion for fashion to spread ease to women everywhere. What started in a garage grew to a 40 million dollar business with boutiques all over the country.   

After a decade of building her company Dr. Rose sold her company in 2008 and rested. She took some time off to enjoy her family, travel the world and attend speaking engagements and entertain new ideas for her next phase of business. Energized and inspired in June 2010, Dr. Rose re-joined her namesake brand as a principal under the Schottenstein Luxury Group while also creating partnerships to design for the ever popular Home Shopping Network (HSN) and high-end specialty retailer Neiman Marcus.

Henri Duong
Director of Orange County Chapter, Founder's Institute

Tracy Kwiker
Owner & Founder

Tracy Kwiker has 25 years of entrepreneurial startup experience and is well-known in the Southern California startup community for her ability to pinpoint the core essence of a company’s strategic value proposition to craft that proposition into comprehensive, precise, concise, and compelling pitch materials. Amongst other volunteer activities in the Orange County startup ecosystem, Tracy serves as an EvoNexus Irvine Committee Member, Cove Seed Fund Investment Committee Member, and UC Irvine Applied Innovation Expert-in-Residence (EiR).

Ash Kumra

Ash Kumra

Youngry CEO | Syndicated Radio Host

Ash Kumra is CEO of entrepreneur movement YOUNGRY™, author and host of the top Southern California entrepreneurship radio show. He has been awarded both by Linkedin and White House for making an impact. Ash has spoken to over 10,000 people on peak performance, entrepreneurship and mindfulness. TV and media credits include Sony”s “Meet The Drapers” starring venture capitalist Tim Draper, Forbes, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur. 

Ash also serves on UC Irvine’s Beall Center for Entrepreneurship, Startup Grind OC and Newport Beach Foundation. Previously Ash worked with the White House, Case Foundation and other business leaders to help launch “Startup America” a public/private partnership that in total helped inform, educate and provide resources for thousands of businesses across America.

Coaches and Mentors

Mark Bachman
Chief IoT Evangelist and Technologist, Calit2-Irvine; Chief Technical Officer, Integra Devices

Prof. Bachman is an expert at bringing early stage technology to commercialization. He has brought several university technologies to the commercial sector, through startups that he formed, as well as with companies that he advises. Dr. Bachman serves on the leadership advisory board to OCTANe, an industry group dedicated to working with startups, investors, and university partners, and is on the technical advisory boards for four IoT companies. Dr. Bachman has participated and advised numerous startup companies, and has assisted his students in building successful startup companies based on the commercialization of cutting edge, early stage technology.   Prof. Bachman currently serves as IoT Evangelist and Technologist for the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). He is also part-time faculty in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Bachman also serves as the Chief Technical Officer of Integra Devices, a Southern California startup building embedded microdevices for telecom and IoT applications.

Howard Mirowitz
Principal, Searchlight Advisors

Howard Mirowitz brings over 30 years of experience in high-tech business and new product development to mentoring Startup Weekend teams.  He is a member of the Investment Committee of The Cove Fund I LLC and is an Expert-in-Residence at the Institute for Innovation at the University of California-Irvine (UCI).  He also works with strategic and private equity investors in identifying, evaluating and closing investments in high-tech businesses.  He served on the Board of Directors of SBI-Razorfish prior to its sale to aQuantive, which was subsequently acquired by Microsoft.

Howard co-managed Mitsubishi Electric’s U.S. high-tech business incubator, which created PocketNet, AT&T Wireless’s first Internet-capable smart phone, and On Command Video’s first digital pay-TV system for hotels.   The incubator also seed-funded OpenWave, which had a successful IPO.  Prior to this, Howard led advanced product planning in Mitsubishi’s U.S. Information Systems Group, and he supervised product marketing in Mitsubishi’s U.S. Computer Division, where he launched several new products that achieved leading U.S. market shares and started a U.S. final assembly facility for PC’s.

At Western Digital, Howard led the company’s entry into the Imaging business, achieving the top share of the worldwide PC display controller market.   Earlier in his career, he headed market research and planning at Microdata Corporation and led Deloitte & Touche’s information systems consulting practice in Philadelphia.  He began his career in software engineering at McDonnell Douglas. 

Howard is extremely active in community affairs and has served on the boards of numerous charitable and public sector organizations.  Among these, he co-chaired the Orange County Transportation Authority Measure M Taxpayers’ Oversight Committee and served as Treasurer and Board Chair of the Mental Health Association of Orange County; he also is Board Advisor to the Illumination Foundation, and was Foreman pro tempore of the 2006-2007 Orange County Grand Jury.  Howard has taught New Product Development in the MBA program at UCI’s Merage School of Business and presently serves on the Board of Advisors of the school’s Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Howard received a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He lives in Newport Beach, California.

Bill Holden
Founder at Roadiy

As long as he can remember, Bill was always an automotive enthusiast and technology lover. He began work in the industry at a very young age. Having worked in both the automotive and tech industry, Bill fused his passion for cars whit his desire to help people and Co-founded Roadiy.

Roadiy is looking to disrupt the outdated automotive service industry by uniting dealerships onto their platform, in order to deliver a new car maintenance experience that consumers can trust and depend on.

Roadiy is a grant recipient and graduate of the prestigious National Science Foundation Innovation Corp program in Silicon Valley. And most recently was awarded with acceptance into Facebook's FB Startup Program for promising mobile startup companies.

Bill and his team have recently launched their Roadiy's pilot program in the greater Los Angeles and are laying the foundation of the next fastest growing startup.

Esosa Agbonwaneten

Esosa is the Founder and CEO of Bulletin.

"We believe that every student has the ability to achieve academic excellence by staying organized and engaged with their peers. We help students stay organized. Meanwhile, we enable professors to do what they do best: Empower the next generation of doctors, lawyers, researchers, artists, writers, educators, and scientists!"

She is a recent graduate from UCI and a past participant in Startup Weekends.  She was a Blackstone Launchpad finalist and launched Bulletin right here in the Cove. 

Paul Backofen
Patent Attorney

Paul J. Backofen is an intellectual property specialist with 20 years in practice.  His primary practice is IP prosecution and client counseling, specifically regarding patents.  Mr. Backofen has worked with clients to obtain patent protection on ideas ranging from high-technology military electronics, networks, internet business methods, digital and analog electronics, communication systems, IC manufacture and design, medical devices, microturbines, air bearings, animation techniques, and digital cinema to pre-fabricated wall sections for building construction, fishing lures and musical instruments.

His broad technical experience coupled with his business experience provides clients a valuable perspective for identifying, capturing, protecting and exploiting their intellectual property.  Mr. Backofen counsels industry leading organizations how to develop and run formal IP management programs.  Some representative clients include Industrial Light and Magic, Lucas Digital, Skywalker Sound, THX, The Wattstopper Inc., Inc., Zoll Circulation, Inc., Fakespace Inc.

Mr. Backofen began his legal career at Brunell & Associates, and joined the Intellectual Property department of Irell & Manella LLP for 6 years.  He moved to Crockett & Crockett PC to build a practice and bring his experience to smaller clients and startup companies.

Mr. Backofen began his technical career in high school earning an AS in Electronics while in high school and then with Hewlett Packard during college.  After graduating college he worked as an electrical engineer for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory doing a range of work from designing hardware and communication systems to designing, testing and operating the Galileo spacecraft.

Mr. Backofen received a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California and he attended Southwestern University School of Law, where he received his J.D.  

Thuong Nguyen

Thuong Phi Nguyen is an environmentalist with a passion for renewable technology. His vision is to assist local communities transition to a sustainable future that is independent from public utilities. He has recognized that the largest hurdle is the cost that is associated with the renewable technology. His initiative through LEDLending has been creating a conglomerate of environmentally conscious contractors, technologists, lenders, and leaders who share a common purpose in sustaining their local communities. Through partnership, collaboration, and education the partners of LEDlending are creating a more sustainable future, one commercial project at a time.

Thuong won Startup Weekend Garden Grove with LED Lending and is returning to mentor and inspire the participants.

Don Osborne

Don Osborne is Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Concordia University’s Graduate School of Business  in Irvine, Calif. He teaches MBA students advanced concepts in marketing strategy, marketing communications and digital marketing. Don earned his MBA at Pepperdine University in 1991.

Don owns his own consulting company and currently works with medium-sized businesses on how to design, implement and optimize their online marketing and sales funnels.

Don’s startup project has recently been accepted by UC Irvine’s tech incubator (“The Cove @ UCI”)  for mentorship.

Don runs one of the largest monthly meetups (2,000 members) on the topic of digital marketing.

Don is the author of three books, including The Early Career MBA, Pre-Med Success Stories and Great Letters of Recommendation and has published marketing- and sales-related articles on his website ( He lives in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Dan Nguyen

Dan Nguyen has been an attorney for over 10 years, nearly all exclusively to business law and tangential areas. He is Outside Corporate Counsel to TDL International Law Firm and manages it’s USA office.

Dan’s experience includes advising companies and entrepreneurs on corporate structuring, intellectual property, contracts, negotiations, and business expansion, from start-ups to well-seasoned businesses.

He has registered and maintained over 20 federal trademark registrations for his clients and currently advising a client on corporate structuring in anticipation of acquisition from a larger entity. 

This will be Dan’s third Startup Weekend.  Dan is also a professor of law at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California.

Sean Phelps
Sales Director

Sean has been in telecommunications and technology for over 23 years, having held roles at Fortune 500 companies and start-ups in product marketing, sales management, business development, and global account management.   He has built product roadmaps, managed strategic alliances, and framed sell through and GTM strategies.  Sean is a follower of various aspects of the ever growing IoT ecosystem, including applications in the smart home, enterprise, and medical arenas.   He holds a BS in Business and Management from the University of Redlands, and currently manages a large global relationship for an internationally based telecommunications company.  Having been at two start - ups in his career (in the “dot com” era), Sean has continued to follow new and disruptive technology trends, was a follower of Benjamin Kuo’s socalTECH website in the early days, and is a huge fan of Seth Godin!

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Orange County 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

UCI Applied Innovation brings campus-based discoveries together with Orange County’s vibrant business community to support job creation and economic growth.

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Community Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Stefan
  • Matt
  • Brennon
  • Sunaina
  • Michelle


Brien Buckman

Brien works at Magic Leap where he is excited to help redefine the human experience and the definition of "real." Previously, he worked within MasterCard's Digital Labs group, for Apple's education group, founded an HR SaaS company that was acquired, and consulted for a university technology incubator working on nano-particle production. Outside of work, Brien enjoys traveling to new places, eating good food and supporting entrepreneurs. 

Event Staff

Brien Buckman

Brien works at Magic Leap where he is excited to help redefine the human experience and the definition of "real." Previously, he worked within MasterCard's Digital Labs group, for Apple's education group, founded an HR SaaS company that was acquired, and consulted for a university technology incubator working on nano-particle production. Outside of work, Brien enjoys traveling to new places, eating good food and supporting entrepreneurs. 

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