Techstars Global Startup Weekend Sustainable Revolution - Sacramento Edition

    Friday, June 21 - 23, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Techstars Global Startup Weekend Sustainable Revolution - Sacramento Edition

Friday, June 21 - 23, 2019

Friday, June 21 - 23, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The Atrium
7300 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95826

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54 hours to create and develop startup ideas that will boost sustainability around the world!

  • 💡 What is Startup Weekend?
    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?   Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend. The last decade, we’ve organized more than 4,000 in over 150 countries, consolidating Startup Weekend as the biggest incubator for the world!

  • 🙋‍♀️ An event open for all ages, experience levels and backgrounds, of motivated people with ideas or willing to join other teams and improve the sustainability of their communities and the world. If you’re looking for a team, co-founder, mentors or an idea to leave your mark in the world, Startup Weekend is the event for you.

    🌳 This edition will be part of the Global Startup Weekend Sustainable Revolution, a global initiative led by volunteers in order to put sustainable development at the forefront of the world stage. Here in Sacramento the Startup Weekend will take place on June 21-23. At the same time, more than 50 cities around the world will organize their own Startup Weekend on sustainability! After that, a final round online will be held where each local winner will pitch its idea in a one minute video. The 5 best projects elected by the public will get special prizes to help them launch their startups in real life!

    🌎 Why a Startup Weekend on sustainability ?🌿 Because environmental sustainability is one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing, it’s our duty to help entrepreneurs find the best solutions to overcome it.

    ✅ The challenges of entrepreneurship in sustainability you can work in during this weekend are diverse:
    • Build eco-conceived products & reverse planned obsolescence
    • Upcycle
    • Substitute the disposable by the sustainable
    • Reduce food waste
    • Foster local production and local distribution
    • Build a sustainable agriculture and a sustainable food industry
    • Build highly energy efficient products and systems
    • Produce sustainable energy
    • (Re)Build sustainable buildings
    • Design resilient, smart and inclusive cities
    • Design Fintech for inclusive sustainable finance and markets
    • Build the future of sustainable transportation
    • Foster education on sustainability

    🙆‍♂️ Don’t be shy and join us to experience an exciting weekend full of all the highs and lows of the life as a startup founder. Even if you think you might be lacking some skills, your ideas and motivation are worth more than you think!

    🤔 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 and needs to be related with sustainability.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, build a viable business model and likely pivot your approach entirely!
    ☝️Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.   

    How to participate ?🎟 Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. 
    Your ticket includes:  
    • Hands-on chance to learn the process for going from concept to creation.
    • Opportunity to meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs in your city.
    • 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.
    • Focused time to learn and practice new skills to take back to your job or to take your own idea from concept to creation.
    • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
    • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
    • Time to present your final pitch to a select panel of judges and investors.
    • A LOT OF FUN!
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

This event is organized by volunteers, teams are coached by professional mentors, and all is possible with the support of great partners ♥

✉️ Still have questions? Feel free to reach us at

🔥 Don’t wait any longer and join the Startup Weekend movement! No talk, all action!

* Be careful: participating in a Startup Weekend presents a risk of resigning on Monday morning to set up your Startup, live your dreams and make the world a better place!

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday June 21st

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

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:45 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:45 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

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

9:30 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

11:00 pm
Venue Closes
Finished for the day. Go home and get some sleep!

Saturday June 22nd

7:00 am
Doors Open

8:30 am
Continental style with coffee and tea

8:45 am
Begin Work
Set up your workspace for the weekend and get busy!

10:30 am
Morning Coaching Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help! This session goes until 2:00 pm.

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

3:30 pm
Afternoon Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help! This session goes until 6:00 pm.

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

11:00 pm
Venue Closes
Finished for the day. Go get some sleep!

Sunday June 23rd

7:00 am
Doors Open

8:30 am
Continental style with coffee and tea

9:00 am

10:30 am
Coach meetings
Coaches are here from 10:30 am -2:00 pm

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Pitch Coaching
Teams will get 15 min time slots to practice their pitch and get final feedback between 1:00 - 3:00 pm.

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 Deliberation

8:00 pm
Winners Announced

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Julia Burrows
Special Assistant to the Mayor, City of Sacramento

Julia is the Senior Policy Advisor to the City of Sacramento's Mayor Steinberg. Her portfolio includes climate, housing, transportation, diversity & inclusion, and the Chongqing, China trade office. Julia's career spans three decades in government, economic development and sustainability. She most recently served as the director of the Governing Institute, a think tank and affiliate of Governing magazine, with a mission to advance innovation, alliances and ideas among state and local governments nationwide. Prior to joining Governing, Julia was President & CEO of Greenwise Joint Venture and senior adviser to Mayor Kevin Johnson for sustainability and investment in Sacramento’s green economy. She previously served 22 years with the City of Roseville in various roles, including Deputy City Manager and Economic Development Director. Julia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning from the University of California, Davis.

Event Judges

John Bissell
CEO & Co-founder, Origin Materials

John co-founded Origin Materials in 2009. Origin Materials is a chemical technology firm that converts biomass into both conventional petrochemicals and new chemical intermediates. John is an inventor on two dozen issued and pending patents, was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2014, and was listed as one of Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2014. John received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the UC Davis. John raised $90 million in venture capital between 2008 and 2017, and has experience negotiating and structuring venture equity financings and complex commercial off-take agreements.

Mariah Lichtenstern
Founding Partner, DiverseCity Ventures

At the intersection of technology, entertainment, and venture capital, Mariah Lichtenstern addresses social, economic, and environmental equity through entrepreneurship. Mariah is the Founding Partner of DiverseCity Ventures and Managing Director of the Founder Institute, Sacramento Chapter. She is a member of UCLA Ventures, and serves as an advisor for CalSEED CleanTech Fund, Berkeley SkyDeck, and Village Capital Finance Forward US 2019. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley, USC, and UCLA. 

John Peters
Chairman, Sacramento Angels

John is the Chairman of the Sacramento Angels. He is an active investor and advisor to a number of northern California startups. John is also on the selections committee for the UC Berkeley Skydeck, an accelerator based on a partnership with the Haas School of Business and College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. John built his career in the technology industry as a senior executive at Hewlett Packard, BMC Software, and Touche Ross Consulting (now Deloitte Consulting).  He has been heavily involved in M&A initiatives throughout his career. John is also the Chair of the Harvard Business School Community Partner program, an organization providing pro bono strategic consulting services to non-profit organizations located throughout the valley and bay area. 

Kousthub Raghavan
Senior Director of Product Management at Walmart eCommerce

Kou is a product leader who enjoys solving complex real world problems using data and technology. He is currently a Senior Director of Product Management at Walmart e-Commerce and has led teams to develop and improve online and in-store digital experiences like search, re-ordering, checkout, in-store cashierless technology and customer service. Prior to Walmart, he had entrepreneurial roles at eBay where he established consignment selling services and was part of the founding team that built the third party marketplace on Kou has an MBA from Purdue University and a Bachelors in Engineering from India. On the weekends Kou keeps busy with home remodeling and automation projects.

Coaches and Mentors

Katherine Cota
Executive Director, Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Sacramento State

Katherine has spent 20+ years working in entrepreneurship and innovation. Now the founding Executive Director of the Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Sacramento State, Katherine came from the award-winning student program at the entrepreneurial center at the University of Northern Iowa.  At UNI, she directed the entrepreneurial center, taught entrepreneurship, and was UNI’s IP and tech transfer officer. She also managed two equity funds. An entrepreneur herself, Katherine started her first business at just 12 years old.

Tamara Barthel
Entrepreneur, Investor, Coach

Tamara is a business leader with over 35 years of experience in the technology sector with specialties in finance, marketing, and customer service. She has started and run multiple start-up businesses, executed over $3 billion in merger transactions comprised of hundreds of sales and purchases of small, medium and large businesses. Semi-retired, she provides professional coaching and is collaborating with multiple research and health organizations to develop programs benefiting youth and young adults on the autism spectrum.

Jubal DeLong
Principal Industrial Designer, JDID

With 25 years professional product design and development experience DeLong has served clients, from regional startups to global brands. The resulting portfolio spans a wide variety of demanding consumer and commercial product development projects, from disruptive enterprise solutions to award winning high volume consumer electronics. DeLong’s comprehensive experiences in product development include collaboration and management of multi-faceted projects, carrying hundreds of concepts from whiteboard to mass-production while securing IP and strategic development of global design languages. JDID's work has been recognized for both design and engineering excellence.

Mang Fang, CPA
Tax Senior Manager, Moss Adams

Mang has been in public accounting since 2002 and focuses on providing tax compliance and consulting services to an array of clients primary in the Technology, Communication and Media as well as not-for-profit industries. Her technical experience also includes preparation, review, and assistance with income tax provision (ASC 740) for publicly traded and privately-held companies. Prior to joining Moss Adams, Mang worked at a Big Four firm and as a fund tax manager for a global investment firm.

Rich Foreman
CTO at Cordico

Rich Foreman is the Chief Technology Officer of Cordico. He led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. He leads Cordico's technical operations with over 25 years of experience in leadership, engineering, mobile application development and sales. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to and Rich also co-founded Apptology which was acquired in 2019.   

Mark Henwood
CEO, Henwood Associates, Inc.

Mark is the CEO of Henwood Associates,. an owner, operator, engineer, and constructor of hydroelectric and other power facilities. In addition, Mark developed and manages Powersoft, LLC which provides a SaaS solution for managing recurring tasks, PPA settlements, and resources used by renewable generation projects. Previously Mark built Henwood Energy Services into a market leader providing enterprise software for risk management, market data, web-based analytics and mapping, and management consulting services. Since selling Henwood Energy in 2002, Mark has been heavily involved in the formation and sale of two other software companies serving the electric utility market.

Kyle Kaneshiro
Strategic Marketing Manager at Micron Technology

Kyle Kaneshiro is an experienced leader in high tech with expertise in strategic planning, product development, user experiences, new business development, and marketing.  He has over 25 years of industry experience, including Director of Strategic Planning and Client Computing Group Manager at Intel Corporation. Kyle has driven strategies and provided leadership for imaging, 3D video, security, audio, voice recognition, and silicon component/platform planning.  Kyle’s recent activities focused on cutting-edge technology usage efforts, including “No Password” security initiatives and 3D video experiences, which incorporated the use of LEAN methodologies and user experience (UX) testing.

Carolyn Lewis
Founder & CEO, The Lewis Group

Carolyn has spent her 30 year career building organizational capacity and strongerteams for her own and client businesses. She frequently shares lessons learned from herpersonal experience scaling companies from raising capital to marketing/productizing tosustainability. Her expertise in sales & marketing, organizational development, talentmanagement, and culture/strategy alignment has created competitive advantage as well asaccelerating results for her own companies and clients. An inspiring leader, Ms Lewis offersdeep insights into managing change and growth for fast-paced organizations.

Josh Miller

Josh David Miller is the CEO of Mindbox Studios, where he works with a diverse group of creatives, strategists, investors, and engineers to help innovators turn ideas into winning products.  A serial entrepreneur with a strong passion for hypothesis testing and rapid iteration, JDM leads a team of product strategists who help organizations evaluate market opportunities, find product-market fit, and build something worth building.

Gary Simon
Chairman of the Board, CleanStart

Gary is the Chairman of CleanStart, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating the success of clean tech businesses in the Sacramento region.  Gary's career spans 46 years as a senior executive with two Fortune 500 companies, a CEO of two small start-ups, a President of an international energy company, head of a corporate venture fund, worldwide energy company consultant, and government service. Most recently he was President and CEO of Atrex Energy, a manufacturer of small high-efficiency ceramic-based power generators for off-grid markets. He also was a board member for publicly-traded Capstone Turbine Corporation (CPST) and Neon Communications (NOPT), and is Chairman of SmartPower, a non-profit organization promoting clean energy use. Gary has a BA from Indiana University and an MS from the UC, Davis.

Brenda Horton
VP Business Development, Humaxa

In 2000 Brenda built a strawbale home with solar panels on 28 acres in Nevada County. Over the next ten years, her home became a regional model for sustainable home building techniques and practices. Brenda is the co-founder of two startups. She sold one (an e-commerce site) for a successful exit. Today she is working on her third startup, Humaxa Inc. as Chief Marketing Officer and VP of Sales and Business Development. She is a graduate of the inaugural Founder Institute Sacramento cohort. Brenda is also the founding organizer of SacWomenBizTech, a Meetup group for female founders in Sacramento. In 2017 and 2018 she was nominated by the Sacramento Chapter for Outstanding Woman Leader of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Global Startup Weekend Sustainable Revolution - Sacramento 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.

Signature Sponsors

CleanStart accelerates the development of clean technology ventures in Northern California.

Visit Website




Global Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Thomas
  • Gary
  • Deborah
  • Adam
  • Ingrid
  • Laura
  • Josh David


Michael Norton
Entrepreneur In Residence

Michael has led over 60 Techstars Startup Weekend events throughout the US, Canada, and Australia. He teaches workshops, designs programs, and speaks on a variety of topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Michael has worked professionally in marketing technology startups, with big data, non-profit fundraising, customer support systems design, technical project management, educational program development, event production and decor, iOS app design, video games, user testing, prototyping, and in the coffee industry.

His own past and present business ventures include several SaaS web app platforms, photography, woodworking, printing, audio engineering, video production, musical composition/recording/performance, publishing, art curation, operating an Amazon Pro Merchant storefront, and a funnel cake stand.

Michael guides innovative communities to build and nurture regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He guides corporations through internal innovation and intrapreneurship. 

He frequently works as a freelance business development consultant, crowdfunding guru, technical project manager, and as a marketer — focused on branding, messaging, storytelling, social media, and email marketing.

Michael loves hiking in Yosemite, bicycling around San Diego, eating authentic Baja California Mexican food, and drinking amazing coffee in Seattle.

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