Startup Weekend Phoenix

    Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

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

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

688 W. 1st Street
Suite 2
Tempe, AZ 85281

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What's this about?

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups!

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 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.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 events 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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Friday November 20th

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

8:15 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 November 21st

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
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 November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Pat Sullivan

Event Judges

Lawdan Shojaee

Lawdan Shojaee is used to breaking boundaries. As the CEO of Axosoft, she has become one of the few women in the Phoenix Valley to head a tech company. She has a doctorate in Physical Therapy, and over 800 hours logged at the controls of a single-engine plane. She is passionate about producing amazing software like Axosoft and GitKraken and is paving the way for women in the tech, which is why her company created the viral campaign #ItWasNeverADress. Lawdan also believes strongly in equipping the next generation with the skills they need to be successful in life; meaning a curriculum of programming, confidence building, and entrepreneurship!

Jim Goulka

Jonathan Cottrell

Brad Jannenga

Anila Arthanari

Adam Toren

Adam along with his brother Matthew founded (acquired by Entrepreneur Media). He is a fantastically genuine individual his passion for Entrepreneurship surrounds him all the time. He has been a mentor for years. Adam's best quality by far is his passion to help out others. He is extremely unselfish and that is a rare quality in todays business world. 

Coaches and Mentors

Eric Diaz

Eric Diaz is Co-founder for OYE! Business Intelligence which is a platform that segments and monitors real-time online multicultural conversations allowing clients to make educated business decisions and develop culturally relevant communications with the fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S. OYE!’s work includes ongoing analysis for Fortune 100 brand MassMutual as well as for the largest public higher education provider in the nation, Arizona State University. Other well-known clients include Big Lots, Got2b, Kroger, Schwarzkopf and White Castle. Eric has worn many hats throughout his professional career. He spent parts of 2007 and 2008 in Shanghai, China’s economic capital, serving an important supply chain development role to support exponential company growth in the region for Staples, Inc., a Fortune 500 retailer. Eric completed his Masters Degree in Finance at Northeastern University in Boston, obtained a Marketing degree from The Ohio State University and has a passion for helping people.

Sean Coleman

I build products that solve problems.

Christie Kerner

It was over 20 years ago that Christie Kerner first helped launch a company, and that company became a multi-million dollar business within two years.  Since then she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs create more success. In addition to her own entrepreneurial endeavors and her consulting practice, she has worked in Fortune 100 companies where she consistently won awards for identifying, creating and implementing efficient processes that leveraged technology to lower expenses and drive revenue.  Her deep understanding of both human behavior and business make her an uncanny expert at marketing; and her ability to translate strategy into tactics ensures things get done. Christie is also a very active connector in the #yesphx Phoenix business community.  She is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Executive Director of Student Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University.  She is also a Regional Director + the Phoenix City Director with Startup Grind (powered by Google for Entrepreneurs) as well as the Chair of Entrepreneurial Programs for Invest Southwest's Venture Madness startup competition.

Andrew Kolikoff

Brandon Mason

Will Mejia

Rick Lopez

Beth Lebowitz

Connor Hubach

John Carter

Leon Klepfish

Ron Robertson

As CEO, I am integral in the following:
• Establish company vision and short- and long-term strategies
• Determine annual operating plans and budgets that support strategic direction

Financial Management
• Raise necessary capital to develop, launch and grow an interactive online learning system delivering audio-visual mnemonics to help students study and memorize complex information
• Manage capital and organization’s resources
• Provides prompt, thorough and accurate information to stakeholders

Team Management
• Oversee hiring of senior management team and develop future leadership within the team 
• Develop and promote a culture that reflects Picmonic’s values and encourages excellent performance 
• Regularly evaluate organization and staff performance

Community Relationships
• Serve as a primary spokesperson and representative for the company
• Assure the company mission, image and performance consistently deliver a unified positive message

As a result of a unique nationwide marketing campaign, put Picmonic in the hands of medical students in more than 500 universities across the United States.

Arizona Innovation Challenge 2 Time Semi-Finalist (Fall 2012 & Spring 2013), Finalist (Spring 2014)
Arizona Tech Council Start up Connect Finalist & Winner (2013)

Ken Robertson

Kalev Kaarna

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Alicia
  • Michael
  • Robert
  • Brittany
  • Zach
  • Elizabeth


Cameron S. Kashani

Event Blog

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