Startup Weekend Sacramento EdTech Edition

    Friday, May 15 - 17, 2015

  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 Sacramento EdTech Edition

Friday, May 15 - 17, 2015

Friday, May 15 - 17, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Urban Hive
1931 H Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

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Technological Innovation in Education

Innovation in education is critical for future students and educators. With advances in education technology, we can remove education barriers such as distance and cost, and we can make education available to all those willing to learn.

At Ed Tech Startup Weekend, we welcome anyone who has a passion for creating solutions to the obstacles holding back the evolution of education and wants to meet people who are interested in doing the same.

What is Startup Weekend? 

Startup Weekend is a worldwide movement of ambitious entrepreneurial minds who are looking to learn the basics of founding and launching a startup venture successfully. Startup Weekend is part of a global initiative called Up Global, which is focused on building a thriving startup community. Startup Weekends are a unique opportunity for those who may be interested in learning how to launch and expand their business dreams, or those just interested in connecting with other passionate community members.

Startup Weekend is one of the largest communities of zealous entrepreneurs with events in nearly 600 cities around the globe; from London to Brazil, to Fredericksburg to South Africa. Passionate entrepreneurial minds from many different backgrounds converge for weekend long workshops to generate new ideas, network and even start new ventures. Startup Weekend events undoubtedly create an unprecedented opportunity for anyone who is enthusiastic about exploring their ideas and inspiring those around them. 

What’s different about this event?

This event focuses on innovating education for all involved, not just for students. The great things that will be conceived during this event will be created by it’s participants. This is how it goes: 1) Presentation of ideas: This is the first phase of the weekend long event. Anyone is welcome to present their startup idea who is looking for a team to help make it happen.2) Team formation: The second phase is the formation of teams around the top ideas. The top ideas are normally determined by popular vote. 3) Building: This is the third phase whereby a 54-hour period of great energy and activity involving business modeling, coding, designing and validating takes place. 4) Presentation to judges: This is the final stage. Every team presents what it has come up with before judges made up of local Entrepreneurial leaders. 

Who should participate?

We welcome all who have a passion for or are interested in changing the face of education for Sacramento, or for the world. This is an opportunity to collaborate with other thinkers, tinkers and entrepreneurs. We are especially in need of developers and designers interested in participating.

Why should I participate?

Startup Weekends are the ultimate learning and networking opportunity. Participants not only practice valuable entrepreneurial leadership and teamwork skills, they get to learn helpful business techniques from qualified coaches and compete for a chance to win prizes that will take their startup beyond the weekend. Meet a co-founder, connect with local educators, or learn a skill outside your usual 9-to-5. This is a chance to meet and interact with many successful entrepreneurs, some of whom may turn out to be your promoters. Get your tickets now to Ed Tech Startup weekend. This is a chance to make your ideas happen.

Register for the event today!

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday May 15th

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

11:55 pm
Venue Closed
The Venue closes at 12:00 AM

Saturday May 16th

8:00 am
Breakfast and Venue Opens
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

12:30 pm

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

11:55 pm
Venue Closed
The Venue closes at 12:00 AM.

Sunday May 17th

8:00 am
Breakfast and Venue Opens
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

12:30 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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Ryan O'Donnell

Ryan O'Donnell is a high school social studies and technology teacher at Rocklin High School in Rocklin California. He has been teaching since 1997 and has been an advocate for using technology to transform his classroom since he first began. 

His teaching assignment currently has him teaching AP World History, Advanced Geography, Digital Storytelling and Web Design. In his classes, Ryan utilizes new technologies as tools and strategies to help his students become more engaged, while demonstrating passion in the classroom. 

Along with teaching, Ryan has been presenting at technology and social studies strategies workshops both in his district and throughout the country as a trainer for Teacher Created Materials. Outside the classroom, he serves on the board of directors of CapCUE, the chair for the Rocklin Unified School D​istrict Technology Team, and enjoys his family time with his wife and two daughters.

Event Judges

Jeff Louie
Founder, Capsity, Inc.

Jeff Louie is a Sacramento native and UC Berkeley Alumni. In 2008 he founded Capsity, Inc., a CA Benefit Corporation that serves as a hybrid model of business development and community engagement space for entrepreneurs and business professionals. As a serial entrepreneur Jeff has started several companies and projects revolving around video media & marketing, events management, and mobile app development. He has 13 years of broad experience across multiple industries including information technology, education, media, and real estate. Currently Jeff is working on a Startup mobile app platform built on geo-fencing technology which is aiming to launch soon. 

Kalimah Priforce
CEO of Qeyno

Kalimah Priforce is just a kid from Brooklyn making "hackathon" a household word in every community as Headmaster and CEO of Qeyno Labs - a leader in harnessing the STEM interests of high potential youth from low-opportunity settings through inclusive hackathons that teach entrepreneurship, rapid prototype engineering, and design thinking. From providing Oakland with its first Startup Weekend to launching hackathons for Prince, Essence, and the White House's "My Brothers Keeper", hackathons powered by Qeyno are bringing tomorrow's talent into today's tech and revolutionizing education innovation for an economy that truly lives up to Dr. King's dream.
He has been featured on the cover of USA Today, MSNBC, Essence Magazine, Dreamforce, KQED, NPR, PBS Newshour, Black Enterprise, CNN,, and was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change. Kalimah is a 2013 Echoing Green fellow, a 2014 StartingBloc Fellow, a College Board Professional Fellow, Yes We Code's first tech inclusion fellow, and Hive Global Leader.

Janine Yancey
Emtrain, CEO and Founder

As a long-time employment lawyer, Janine Yancey founded Emtrain to give employees and managers direct access to expert HR and legal guidance and training. Emtrain's focus is to help companies develop the workplace skills and ethical decision-making needed to foster an awesome and respectful workplace. Janine has been an employment lawyer for more than 20 years and is certified by state and federal courts as an expert in workforce compliance training. Janine is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Hastings College of Law.

Bree Cahill
Executive Director, Social Venture Partners of Sacramento

Before joining SVP Sacramento as the first Executive Director, Bree was a private service plan coordinator at the district level for students with disabilities. She served in the Teach For America Phoenix Corp where she earned her MA in Special Education while teaching K-3rd grade students with emotional disabilities. Her belief that all students deserves a quality education and desire to make an impact led her to SVP Sacramento. Since joining SVP in late 2013, Bree has made Sacramento her home (Go Kings!) and is excited to continue her work with the incredible nonprofits this region has to offer.

Dan Koellen
Angel Investor

Dan Koellen is a veteran of the semiconductor industry and a leading mentor and investor in the Sacramento area. Dan was part of the leadership team that took Level One Communications, one of Sacramento’s most successful startups, from pre-revenue, through IPO and eventual acquisition by Intel. Since then he has been an active mentor for entrepreneurs through the Sacramento Angels, UC Davis GSM, Hacker Lab, Startup Weekends and individual one on one interactions. As an angel investor Dan has been an early investor in local successes such as Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII), Digital Music Group (DMGI) and Visicon (now part of ESIO).

Jason Sutter

Jason Sutter is a tech enthusiast. He received his Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Animation and VFX from The Academy of Art in San Francisco, California in 2012.  He is currently taking classes at Sierra College for personal enrichment.  He is a long time tinker and maker. Jason enjoys all things technology and strives to learn new things every day

Allen Chen

Allen Chen is a 13 year-old Sacramento native passionate about entrepreneurship. He has lots of enthusiasm for new ideas and a knack for evaluating them. Allen participated on the winning team for the recent Hacker Lab Sacapalooza 2 in Rocklin.  He currently attends Western Sierra Collegiate Academy and will head to Jesuit High School next year.  Allen holds a black belt in mix martial arts and is also an accomplished pianist. He loves tennis and Dungeons & Dragons. In the future, Allen wants to apply his talents to innovate in the health and medical field.

Coaches and Mentors

Stephane Come
Co-founder and CTO, LCS Technologies, Inc.

Stéphane Côme is the co-founder and visionary behind LCS Technologies. During his 20-plus years as a System Architect and Oracle Database Tuning Expert for Oracle, Stéphane discovered that the root of most design and performance issues was not technology. It was the inability of technical teams to work efficiently and effectively together. He founded LCS Technologies to assemble the best human and technical teams possible to guide customers toward the successful implementation of their IT projects. Developing and connecting elite technical teams that can work together to solve customer problems first fulfills Stéphane’s vision. This is the essence of LCS Technologies, Inc.

Dylan Holcomb
Outside Sales Consultant, Technology at Follett School Solutions

Education technology leader with an excellent record of strategically focused experience in the design, implementation, and management of highly successful EdTech infrastructures and projects.

Ryan Norman
Founding Partner and Attorney at Norman Roos, LLP

Ryan Norman is an attorney at Norman Roos LLP, in Sacramento. Ryan’s practice focuses on start-ups and businesses, assisting with formation, funding, and various transactional matters. In addition to his law practice, Ryan is a partner in a software and mobile app development company also based in Sacramento. Ryan attended undergrad at Sacramento State and law school at UC Davis, King Hall School of Law where he was a member of the moot court board, the negotiations team honors board, and the King Hall Intellectual Property Law Association.

Meghan Murphy
Biomedical Engineer

Meghan Murphy is a Biomedical Engineer at The Shop Innovation Lab @ VSP Global. At The Shop, Meghan investigates future generations of eyewear, including the integration of wearable technology into eyewear, and mobile health platforms. Meghan received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California Davis. While a graduate student at UC Davis, Meghan co-chaired outreach efforts for the Biomedical Engineering graduate group, bringing science and engineering lessons into Sacramento schools. Prior to her doctoral research, Meghan received her B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, Meghan participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates under Dr. Stacy Klein-Gardner, where she aided K-12 teachers in generating challenge-based STEM curricula and publishing the curricula with Since joining The Shop, Meghan has remained active in Sacramento schools and summer programs teaching STEM and design thinking lessons. Meghan is passionate about education and community-based opportunities to promote underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines.

Cheryl Beninga
Managing Director, Beninga Advisors

Executive with over twenty years experience building high growth and adaptive learning organizations in several new technology segments as a corporate development leader, consultant, venture capital investor and board member. She is active as an operations and board member in --technology startups-- and Managing Director of Beninga Advisors an advisory firm. She is a leader focused on building rapid learning teams and cultures.
Cheryl has worked with leading technology investors including GE and Intel Capital on all stages of venture investing. She has been involved at the board and operation level at all venture stages A round to IPO. Cheryl has been lucky to work with many great startup teams having successful IPO and acquisition exits. Her technology sector experience includes energy efficiency, consumer mobile software, enterprise software and semiconductors.

Feli Ortega
Founder at ZUBMIT

Feli Ortega has a background in marketing and business development for the design and construction industry. More recently, she was on the founding team of local startups that addressed workflow efficiency for architectural firms and public agencies. With the use of agile development, Feli worked with her team to create a web-based application for the public procurement process of professional services. She understands the dynamic nature of the startup process as a result of her experience with these recent startups, funding for seed stage startups and as a past Startup Weekend Women’s Edition attendee. 

Dan Gilbert

Daniel is an assistant professor and coordinator of Instructional Development and Academic Technology at the Sacramento City College Center for Online and Virtual Education (COVE). Previously, he served as the Acting Director for California Connects, a 10.9 million dollar federally funded grant program designed to decrease the Digital Divide by providing outreach, training, and educational support in key communities throughout the state.
Daniel’s work focuses on the integration of technology in education, social media integration in course/learning management systems, and student engagement through technology. His research is focused on student populations in California’s community colleges.  
Daniel holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on Academic Technology from Drexel University.

Robert Clegg

Robert Clegg - Mr. Clegg ignited the game based learning world in 2004 when his company released Dimenxian, the first action adventure series and multiplayer network to teach algebra. With over 2M game sessions played in classrooms, the Dimenxian series won Macworld Editors' Choice Award in 2006 and CODiE's in 2007 and 2008. With over $12M in venture capital raised, Mr. Clegg has startup experience from concept to classroom implementation.

Sundar Chari

Sundar Chari is currently the Director of Innovation & Technology for Education for Change, an Oakland, CA based charter network. Sundar is is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that leverage technology to improve both instructional practice and organizational capacity and is helping to lead the organization's transition to blended & personalized learning. Prior to working at EFC, Sundar helped lead multiple high-profile initiatives for Chicago Public Schools.

Addie Ellis

A nationally published speaker, facilitator, researcher, and entrepreneur, Dr. Addie Ellis is not satisfied with finding Band-Aids that merely mask problems.  She has a talent for quickly assessing root causes and assisting those with whom she works in finding and implementing lasting, solutions.  Her ability to foster consensus solidifies the sustainability of the change processes that she leads.
She is co-founder of The Koci Group® a leadership and management consultancy headquartered in Sacramento.  She holds a doctorate degree from Drexel University in Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in public policy, credentials in executive and life coaching, administration, and pupil personnel services. Dr. Ellis was appointed to the Human Services Coordinating Council, where she currently serves a chair, by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and serves on the board of directors for Families NOW and the Youth Development Network.
In her spare time Dr. Ellis is a marathoner, a cyclist, and is training for her next fitness adventure.  The proud mother of her U.S. Navy son, Naseer, she lives by F3, Freedom from Fear.

Raju Pandey

Dr. Raju Pandey is the VP of Technology (IoT) at Panduit. He was the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the IoT Company, SynapSense, which was acquired by Panduit. Dr. Pandey was also on the faculty in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Pandey’s research interests include Internet of Things, Mobility, Cloud, Distributed and Parallel systems, Programming Languages, Security, and Software Engineering. He has published over 40 conference and journal papers, and has authored several patents. Dr. Pandey holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, and a B. Tech. (Computer Science & Engineering) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.Let me know what I need to do.

David Inniss

Dr. David Inniss is currently the President & CEO of The Koci Group, a leadership and management consultancy. Leveraging a 15-year career in the High-Tech industry, David has led high-performing teams in Software Engineering, Software Quality Assurance, Professional Services and Product Marketing in startups, growth-stage and a Fortune 100 company. Throughout his career, Dr. Inniss has had a passion for understanding how organizations can leverage their human capital to maximize productivity.  
David completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at The United States Military Academy, where he graduated as a Distinguished Cadet in the Class of 1999. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento and a doctorate in Education Leadership and Management with a concentration in Human Resource Development from Drexel University.  
Dr. Inniss currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Mission Focused Solutions, and the Center for Fathers and Families. He is a Senior fellow of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program, a 2014 fellow of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy and past president of the Graduate Students Association at Drexel University.  
David is a husband and proud father of two sons and lives by the personal mantra "Pave the Way, Bridge Gaps and Serve Others”—a motto that embodies the notions of leadership, relationship building, civic responsibility and ownership of one’s legacy.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Sacramento EdTech 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

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Organizing Team

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

  • Laura
  • PheOnix
  • Cinde
  • Peggy
  • Deborah
  • Jeni
  • Mia
  • Jim
  • Sean
  • Bicky
  • Michael
  • 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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