Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition

    Friday, November 13 - 15, 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: Elk Grove Edition

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

8153 Elk Grove Blvd.
Elk Grove, CA 95758

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Startup Weekend Sacramento is back

Join us for the fifth Startup Sacramento event at Elk Grove’s newest coworking space, InnoGrove!  Bring all of your ideas, big or small, because this is your chance to:
  • Create a business plan and see your idea come to life.
  • Network with like-minded creative and passionate people.
  • Learn valuable skills from one on one mentorship with professionals in the region.
  • Have a chance to compete in Global Startup Battle, against startups all over the world.
What’s special about this event?

This event coincides with Global Startup Battle, the largest startup battle in the universe (it’s true!). This means that participants at Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition will have a chance to present their startup ideas to the whole world

An initiative created by Startup Weekend, Global Startup Battle aims to generate a stronger global community of entrepreneurs through the largest startup competition in the world. During the weekend prior to and following Global Entrepreneurship Week, hundreds of Startup Weekend and other Techstars Community Programs programs are hosted around the world and winning teams from each event move forward to compete with one another via a global video competition. Global Startup Battle enriches the global entrepreneurial community by creating a sense of inclusion between startup teams around the world.

What is Startup Weekend? 

Startup Weekend is a worldwide movement of ambitious entrepreneurial minds who are looking to practice and learn the basics of founding and launching a startup venture successfully. It is a unique opportunity to get your startup off the ground, risk free. 

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs of various skill sets who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1,800 past events in 120 countries around the world… just in 2014! 

How does it work? 

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: 

  1. Pitch your startup idea and receive feedback from your peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote)
  2. Then, it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation.
  3. The last part of the weekend is the most intense, teams present their ideas to a panel of judges and after a palm sweating Q & A, the judges pick the top 3 startups (did we mention, the winners get prizes to help launch their startup?). 
Who should participate?

We welcome anyone and everyone who has a passion for.. well.. anything! This event is open to anyone who wants to hone their skills in business planning, developing, marketing and design.

Why should I participate?

Startup Weekends are the ultimate learning and networking opportunity. Participants not only practice valuable entrepreneurial leadership and teamwork abilities, 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, receive invaluable one on one mentorship, or learn a skill outside your usual 9-to-5. This is a once in a lifetime chance to meet and interact with many successful entrepreneurs some of whom may turn out to be your promoters.

Get your ticket for Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition today!

Still aren’t sure if Startup Weekend is for you? Ask us anything at

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday November 13th

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

7:30 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 November 14th

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 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

11:00 am

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!


Sonny Mayugba
CMO, Waitr Holdings

Sonny is Chief Marketing Officer of Waitr Holdings, the highly successful mobile on-demand restaurant ordering and delivery company. In his role, he’s has been instrumental in positioning Waitr, which became a public company in 2018, for the national stage. Stewarding the Waitr brand, user acquisition, activation and retention and company revenue growth, Sonny has helped Waitr grow to serve cities in 22 states across the U.S. Sonny joined Waitr through the acquisition of the company he founded, Requested, a software platform that enabled diners to name their own price at restaurants. He is also the Founder/Owner of the popular Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar, Solomon’s Deli and Tiger Bar.

Event Judges

Douglas Bosley
Partner, Bosley Till Neue & Talerico

Douglas Bosley represents entrepreneurs and their businesses at all stages from inception to exit.  Mr. Bosley formed Bosley Business Law (BBL) in 2010 after a decade of sophisticated corporate and securities transactional experience at some of the world’s largest corporate law firms.  With offices in Sacramento and Newport Beach, BBL focuses on financings (venture capital, debt, private equity), mergers & acquisitions, securities law, technology and other business transactions, and general corporate and governance matters.  Mr. Bosley’s clients cover many industries, including technology, healthcare, franchising, professional services, retail, real estate and natural resources and the firm also represents angel and VC investors. Mr. Bosley currently serves on the Board of Directors of SARTA, the Advisory Board of HackerLab, and the Board of Directors of UCP of Northern California. He earned his law degree with high honors from Duke University School of Law, and holds an economics degree from CSUS.

Kim Box
President and CEO, GateKeeper Innovation

Kim Box is the President and CEO at Gatekeeper Innovation, Inc., a medical device company that provides innovative solutions for securing prescription medications.  Ms. Box is an Independent Director on the Board of McGrath Rentcorp (NASDAQ:MGRC), a diversified business-to-business rental company where she is a member of the Nomination/Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee and on the Board of Directors of American River Bank (NASDAQ:AMRB), a community business bank, she is the Chair of the Finance & Capital Committee and also on the Audit Committee, she is the former Chair of the Directors Loan Committee. She is on the Board of the NorCal chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Box is a former Vice President at HP where she led a $1B global IT Services organization. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Sacramento.  She is an international speaker and author of Woven Leadership – The Power of Diversity to Transform your Organization to Success.

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.   

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.

David Puente
Assistant Vice President, Frontier

David Puente is currently the AVP of Technology for Frontier Communications and is currently leading the Advanced Technology Support team for Frontier communications national network. Prior to his focus on Advanced Technology Support, Mr. Puente Video lead Frontier’s Video Engineering, Operations and Technology organization including supporting the strategic development of Frontier’s next generation network architecture.  Before joining Frontier, Mr. Puente was the Director of Network Architecture at EarthLink and also worked as the VP of Advanced Technology Development for Loral Space and Communications, where he led efforts to optimize Internet performance over satellite networks. Mr. Puente is credited as an inventor of several patents integrating satellite and internet technology.  Mr. Puente graduated from Cornell University.

Joe McClure
District Director, US Small Business Administration

Joe McClure is the District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) office in Sacramento California and is responsible for the delivery of SBA services in a 21 county area in northern California. The United States Small Business Administration provides technical assistance in conjunction with local resource partners and operates a loan guarantee program with lenders nationwide to support and develop small businesses. McClure has been involved in economic development and small business lending for over twenty years and has held progressively more challenging development for the past eleven years.

Coaches and Mentors

Mark Otero
General Manager, Capital Games

Mark Otero is general manager of Capital Games - an Electronic Arts game development studio with studios/locations in Sacramento, Austin, Kitchener (Canada), and Redwood City. 
Mark joined EA in 2011 and has full operational responsibility for Capital Games. The studio's vision is to make genre-defining core games on mobile. Prior to joining EA, Mark was the CEO and Co-Founder of KlickNation, a successful developer of free-to-play, core social games. KlickNation was acquired by EA in 2011 and was renamed BioWare Sacramento. In 2013, BioWare Sacramento became Capital Games to reflect the studio's aspirations on mobile and its physical proximity to California's capitol. In 2014, Capital Games added a new studio location in Austin, TX. 
Mark has an MBA from UC Davis (marketing emphasis), and a BS in computer science from California State University, Sacramento. He currently resides in Midtown Sacramento, California.

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.

Vaibhav Nadgauda
General Partner, Moneta Ventures

Vaibhav Nadgauda is a partner at Moneta Ventures. Prior to joining Moneta, Vaibhav was President of the SAP Business Unit at KPIT, managing a global portfolio of over $100 Million in revenue and a team of over 1,800 employees. He was co-founder and partner at Sparta Consulting, where he served as Executive Vice President and played a key role in growing the company to $100+ Million in five years. He was Vice President of Corporate Development and Global Delivery at Fujitsu Consulting, a Fortune Global 500 company, leading a team of over 1700 consultants globally. Vaibhav started his career 21 years ago at Siemens. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electronics and a Master’s Degree in Computer Management, both from the University of Pune.

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).

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.

Navdip Bhachech
Cofounder, ZenNut

Navdip owns the technology, platform and product engineering for ZenNut. He is driven by the idea of ‘software with a purpose’, and brings this philosophy to the large scale distributed systems he builds. Prior to Zennut, Navdip held key engineering leadership roles at Amazon and Microsoft, as well as at startups in healthcare and agri-sciences. He has a Masters in Computer and Information Science from UMass, Amherst. To stay centered, Navdip likes to play tennis, and the guitar.

Please reach out to Navdip if you have any ideas, opinions or feedback on the technology platform or product performance and design.

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.

Elizabeth Dodson
Cofounder, HomeZada

Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, an online and mobile home management solution. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home inventory, home maintenance, home remodel projects and home finances. Elizabeth has an MBA from Loyola University in Maryland, and a BS in Business from Stevenson University, also in Maryland.

Robb Moore
Founder & CEO, ioSafe, Inc.

Robb is the Chief Executive Officer of ioSafe, Inc., responsible for setting the company’s strategic course. Robb founded ioSafe – the market leader of the emerging disaster proof computer hardware. With limited marketing and PR resources, Robb has used guerilla-marketing techniques to garner top press from print, internet and television media outlets. ABC, BBC, PC World, Wall Street Journal, Engadget, CNET and many others have covered ioSafe’s unique product line. Robb has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and he is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of California. He has developed hundreds of designs for hi-tech, medical, consumer, aerospace markets. In addition, he serves as CEO of Kollabra – a product development company and also serves on the SARTA Board of Directors. He is also a general aviation pilot, published author and primary inventor for multiple US patents.

Brett Owens
Co-Founder & CEO, Chrometa | Marketing Director & Co-Founder at LeadDyno

Brett has started and scaled two software-as-a-service companies, Chrometa and LeadDyno. Both companies were self-funded and quickly became profitable thanks to early customer's sales. Brett and his companies have been featured by Forbes, CNBC, The Economist, Inc Magazine and other leading media channels. He is a graduate of Cornell University

Fatima Ruiz
CEO & Co-Founder, Make My Quince

Fatima has a Masters degree in Counseling. She is a counseling professor at Woodland Community College. Recently, she authored the children’s book, “Zafu's Quest: A Child's Introduction to Meditation.” And currently, she is the CEO of Make My Quince, an event planning and crowdfunding platform designed specifically for the Quinceanera market

Shane Barker
Digital Strategist

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant, named the #1 social media consultant in the nation by PROskore Power Rankings. He has expertise in business development, online marketing and is an SEO specialist who has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and a number of A-list celebrities.

Jennifer Grainger

Jennifer T. Grainger is a Business Makeover Master to first time entrepreneurs who are struggling with under-performing businesses. Together with the entrepreneur she implements turnaround strategies and tactics to fast track their business to the level of success they envisioned when they started. Earlier in her career she helped build a business in 1986 providing on-call IT service for small companies.  In 1989 she created a spin off business, The LedgerWorks, a mobile computerized bookkeeping service at a time when very few small business owners had a computer.  After taking a career hiatus, Jennifer launched her current business in 2000.

Wendy Beecham
Managing Principal,Korn Ferry

Wendy Beecham is Managing Principal with the Leadership and Talent Consulting Practice of Korn Ferry, a global recruiting and talent management firm based in San Francisco. Her past professional experience includes Managing Director Executive Education at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management; CEO of Watermark, an organization for senior women leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area; Managing Director of Sweet & Maxwell, a UK legal publishing division of the Thomson Corporation; and SVP at Lexis Nexis, a division of Reed Elsevier. Her board service includes the National Association of Corporate Directors Northern California chapter; Illuminate Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture fund and she is a former Board member of Granicus Inc., an equity backed SAAS start up in San Francisco. 

Aimee Hasson
Founder and CEO, The Gift of Education

Aimee Hasson founded The Gift of Education, an online gift registry for education saving accounts. In addition to working on her own startup she feels it is extremely important to support and foster young entrepreneurs.  She is a wife, mom and an entrepreneur. In her spare time, she is chauffeuring her children to all their activities, coaching her oldest son’s 7th grade basketball team, and spending time with her family and friends.
Aimee graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Design and was a member of the UC Davis Women’s Basketball Team. Aimee can be reached at

Ryan Norman
Partner, Norman Roos LLP

Ryan’s practice focuses on start-ups and businesses in the initial forming and brainstorming stages. Ryan helps groups choose and organize business entities and the right equity structures, operating agreements, and bylaws to ensure their success and ease of operation. He also negotiates and develops software and service license agreements, privacy policies and terms of use, employment and service agreements, and other contracts of various kinds on behalf of his clients. He is excited to help emerging groups with fresh ideas navigate the legal landscape and bring their products and services to market.In addition to this advising practice, Ryan works with solo and small firm attorneys on litigated matters, appeals, and legal research and writing on a contract basis.Ryan is currently a member of the Schwarz-Levi Inn of Court, the Sacramento County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Business Law Section of the SCBA.Ryan attended 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. Ryan coached and competed in moot court competitions, including the Sutherland IP Competition and ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and both transactional and adversarial negotiation competitions, including the Drexel Transactional Law Meet. He remains involved with both programs where he served as an adviser and coach to the ABA NAAC team and judges both moot court and negotiations competitions.

Andrew Klein
Executive Vice President at Zino Society

Andrew Klein has been working with startups and emerging growth companies for over 10 years as a founder and as an outside advisor for both the entrepreneurial team and their investors. In this capacity he has managed the strategic operations and funding of companies in a variety of industries with specific expertise in SaaS, Healthcare, Hospitality & Consumer Products, and Energy/Construction. Companies with Andrew's direct involvement have raised almost $70 million in debt and equity. He also has a strong passion for entrepreneurship and connecting people together as shown in his involvement as a TechStars Alumni, mentor at 9Mile Labs Accelerator, teacher at General Assembly, and in running the meetup group Cigars & Startups. He holds a BS in accounting and an MBA focused on entrepreneurial finance both from Seattle University. 

Steve Nilan
Startup Advisor

Steve’s career spans more than 30 years as an executive, entrepreneur and angel investor with a focus on turning ideas into valuable businesses. His most recent role was as SVP Marketing for Engage3, an early stage data analytics company in Davis. Over the last 15 years, he has helped more than twenty early-stage technology companies achieve success including Khimetrics (acquired by SAP), Revionics, Emtrain, iSnap, Atone (acquired by First American Core Logic), PPI Media (acquired by MAN AG), and WebRaiser (acquired by Flextronics). Steve’s passion is coaching entrepreneurs as catalysts for economic growth in the Sacramento region.

Magdalena Coronel

Magdalena is a senior analyst experienced in helping tech companies through different stages of development and funding. Magdalena was VentureStart Program Manager at SARTA, Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance. VentureStart provided hands-on, customized guidance to assist tech companies working towards venture capital funding. In addition to these responsibilities, she supported the Sacramento Angels investment group in managing their monthly selections process. Prior to joining SARTA, Magdalena has 7+ years in the early stage venture capital industry in Latin America and the United States. Since 2007, she worked as a top analyst for Prosperitas Capital Partners, a financial management company that established venture capital in Uruguay. In her role, she reviewed hundreds of potential investments and was in contact with the largest investment and venture capital firms from Latin America. In 2011, she was selected as a Partners of Americas’ Business Fellow, a program form the US Department of State, to work in a venture capital firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has the passion for developing innovative and globally high-potential ideas which could transform the world. Magdalena is still a partner in an Angel Club in Uruguay.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove 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

Collaborative Space for Innovation in Elk Grove




Organizing Team

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

  • Laura
  • Mia
  • Jeff
  • Cinde
  • Peggy
  • Ron
  • Maria
  • John
  • Kevin
  • Binh
    Thuy Do
  • Michael
  • Maelene


Brett Noyes
Director of Partnerships at Hero City at Draper

Brett Noyes started his startup journey in Eastern Washington when he put on his first Startup Weekend 5 years ago.  Following the success of his first event Brett went on to put on the region's first hackathon and run 2 angel investment groups.

Brett relocated to the Bay 2 years ago.  In his time in the Bay, he has worked for the #1 angel on Angel List, Jason Calacanis and worked for world famous venture capitalist Tim Draper at Draper University.  In addition, he has managed the NEXT pre-accelerated, LAUNCH Accelerator and Draper FinTech Incubator.  Brett has a passion for helping early stage entrepreneurs find the resources they need to grow and scale their companies.

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