Startup Weekend: FLIGHT

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend: FLIGHT

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

PCH Innovation Hub
135 Mississippi St
San Francisco, CA 94107

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Excellent question! Here's the deal:

Startup Weekend: FLIGHT will behave in many ways like a 'regular' Startup Weekend. 

(Around 100 hipsters, hackers and hustlers making very REAL businesses in less than 72 hrs)

However, this event will be focusing on THINGS THAT FLY.  


- UAV's!
- Quad-copters!
- Nano-sats!
- ROCKET ENGINES! (Srsly. This has happened before.)
- Aviation!
- SPACE THINGS! (How do you think it gets up there?)

- Hardware!
- Software!
- Excessive exclamation points!!
(If you're not sure if your idea is right for this event - ask us at, we'll be really nice. Promise.)

Who is this event FOR?

- Entrepreneurs looking for a team to build the next big (flying) thing.
- Hardware types with The Sweet Makey Makey Skills.
- Developers!!!111
- Designers. Dear god, designers. <3
- Well established professionals with many years of experience.
- Fresh-out-of-school students looking for tough challenges to throw themselves against.
- People who have been 'Thinking about starting a company, I guess' (This event takes 56 hours. What are you waiting for?)
- PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE SKILLS! (You'll have some by the time we've finished.)

Who is this event NOT for?

- Pre-assembled teams. NO! BAD!
- Weapon / Defense startups.





See what it's all about

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Friday November 14th

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 November 15th

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 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

1:00 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

5:30 pm

6:15 pm
Final Presentations

7:45 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Danielle Applestone
CEO, Other Machine Co. & CEO, SnipeSwipe LLC & Mom

Danielle is a cofounder of Other Machine Co., a San Francisco-based company focused on joyful creation experiences. Danielle’s expertise integrates a strong background in science and technology, education, and entrepreneurship.

Brady Forrest
VP of Highway1

Brady Forrest, VP of hardware incubator Highway1, is a technology evangelist obsessed with opening doors for makers, entrepreneurs, and inventors looking to launch the world’s next game-changing product. Under Brady’s leadership, PCH & Highway1 have funded over 35 companies with a focus on innovative consumer products. In his previous life, Brady co-founded Ignite: the worldwide, fast-paced geek event that invites participants to share ideas and personal or professional passions on stage.

David E Weekly
Partner, Drone.VC

Product Manager at Google. Built Ohana, a family sharing application, and sold to Facebook. Founded PBworks, one of the world's largest collaboration companies (in use by 4m people a month) - as CEO, grew the team to over two dozen and raised nearly $10m, hired seasoned enterprise CEO. Started Silicon Valley's first seed stage fund for Mexican Internet companies, Mexican.VC - portfolio 4x'ed in value over four years. Started SuperHappyDevHouse, one of the largest US hacker meetups (50+ events with hundreds of people), which turned into Hacker Dojo, a 24/7 community in Mountain View which constitutes the largest hackerspace in the world. Graduated Stanford with a BS in Computer Science as a President Scholar. ACM International Programming Competition World Finalist. Started programming at five. 

Jean Botti
Chief Technical and Innovation Officer, Airbus Group

Jean Botti has been the Chief Technical and Innovation Officer at EADS N.V. (now Airbus Group) since May 2006. He is currently also the Chairman of the EADS Corporate Foundation and, in the framework of 34 plans relating to the "New Industrial France" policy manages the project for "electric aircraft."

Since 2014, Jean Botti is Senator of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, also known as acatech. He will henceforth advise the Academy on strategic matters. In 2013, Botti joined the French national Air and Space Academy, where he became a corresponding member of Section II, Applied Sciences and Air and Space Technology". Since 2011, he has been an active member of the National Academy of Technologies of 
France, where he is regularly involved in discussions on better ways to put technology to use for the benefit of humankind. He provides important insights into new technologies, in particular on the Energy Committee, and actively contributes to reports produced by the academy to promote technology in training programmes. He is also a member of the National Centre of Technology Research (CNRT) in Belfort, France and of several other technology associations. He was also elected to the European Research Area Board (ERAB) as the representative for aeronautics and space, and sits on the board of Onera, the French aerospace research lab. Finally, he is a member of the technical committee of the Federation of German Industries (BDI)

Coaches and Mentors

Debbie Paterson
UX specialist, OpenIDEO SF organizer by evening, futurist designer by night

Founder of DesignGel, a young creative agency connecting start ups and non profits with young emerging designers in New Zealand. Currently cross pollinating innovative ideas as a community manager @ IDEO by day and futurist healthcare designer in the making @ the Experience Institute by night.

Alex Farcet
Cofounder & MD of Startupbootcamp

Alex is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Startupbootcamp - Europe's prominent startup accelerator with 9 programs in 8 cities.  He is also a partner at Rainmaking a startup factory with 9 portfolio companies and a fair share of failures. Alex has set up the original Startupbootcamp in Copenhagen, then moved to Berlin in 2012 to launch in Europe's up and coming ecosystem.  He is now working on a program in San Francisco... watch this space...

Christian Mueller
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Deutsche Ventures

Christian is a Managing Partner of Deutsche Ventures, a mentor to young technology companies and an innovation advisor to large corporates. He has more than 20 years experience in initiating and establishing new businesses and business models in the telco, media and utilities sector and in repositioning and transforming corporate organisations according to new market requirements. 

Gunnar Graef
Founder and Professor at ESCP Europe, Managing Partner at Deutsche Ventures, Mentor at

Gunnar Graef is Professor for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at ESCP Europe in Paris. He is Founding Partner of Deutsche Ventures, a berlin based company builder. He is Executive Chairman of Graef & Company, which he founded in 2000. Gunnar is a co-founder of Airtag (2006), DHL Globalmail (2004) and Index Europe (2000).

Teresa Weygandt

The past decade of Teresa's life has been aerospace oriented starting with her time at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to working at NASA and Boeing to starting up small satellite companies. Most of that time was spent on the research and development side of the industry which pushes the technological limits and creates incredibly optimized machines. She is still doing a bit of R&D with a major emphasis on production and sales to get these companies up and running!

Hélène Huby
Business Innovation Manager, Airbus Group

Helene is a Business Innovation Manager at Airbus Defence & Space where she leads a seed-innovation internal process, coaches innovative projects, and scouts startups for potential partnerships. Her focus is new space-related projects. Before, she worked in Paris (France) and Hamburg (Germany) for FABERNOVEL (, a French seed-investment and consulting company specialized in digital innovation, where she led several innovative projects. She began her carrier in Brussels (Belgium) in the European media sector. Privately, Helene is a business angel and she has 4 kids.

Alexei Dunayev
Technology entrepreneur

Alexei Dunayev is a Berkeley-based serial entrepreneur with a reputation for creating winning technology businesses. He is presently the co-Founder and CEO of TranscribeMe, an award winning voice-to-text business focused on delivering highest quality, lowest cost transcription service using a combination of speech recognition technology and tens of thousands human crowd-sourced global transcribers. Prior to TranscribeMe Alexei was COO at World Mentor, an education non-profit connecting volunteer business mentors with emerging young leaders. Alexei is a Fulbright Scholar and Stanford GSB MBA graduate, and a recipient of the ComputerWorld Excellence Award. Alexei holds undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Commerce from the University of Auckland. 

Thomas Dittler
Private Equity and Venture Investor & Entrepreneur

Thomas leads the Aerospace Group of the Band of Angels in California.
He also manages his own equity investments in Germany and in the USA in start ups and turn-a-round companies.
Over the course of his professional career of the last 25 years, he held technical positions in the aerospace industry with Boeing and Dornier, was a partner of management consulting firm RolandBerger and VC fund Centennium with two IPOs in 1999/2000 and went on to buy out aerospace testing and software engineering firm IABG,
co-managed the turn-a-round and sold in 2010. He has since invested in and is a board member of clean tech start ups and others.

He is a water sports enthusiast and loves to go out on the ocean, swimming, paddling or sailing.

Elias Bizannes

Elias Bizannes is an Australian entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley.Most recently, he is the founder of StartupHouse, a 6000 square foot building that housed over 500 entrepreneurs as a “Bed and Desk” facility and is about to relaunch as an 11,000 square foot building across three-stories in the heart of San Francisco where entrepreneurs live and work on their startups.He is also the founder of StartupBus which has become well known as a competition for entrepreneurs in addition to being an global invite-only community that currently stands at 700 people. Prior to that, he led a group of initiatives under the “Silicon Beach” moniker, which has now become the defacto brand and community representing Australia’s entrepreneurial technology industry.He began his career at Big Four accounting firm PwC in 2005 as a financial statement auditor and ended up becoming recognised as an “entrepreneur” internally working on a CEO-sanctioned cultural change program that he proposed to management, before being recruited to run business operations at search engine startup in 2009. He was subsequently approached to work as a director at one of America’s oldest venture capital firm’s, Charles River Ventures in 2011 before moving full-time onto his own ventures.

Daniel Faber
CEO, Deep Space Industries

Systems Engineer and Entrepreneur, with experience managing complex, international projects and designing and building satellite systems and subsystems. Particular interest in new technologies and business models for space, telecommunications and mining industries.

Specialties:Managing complex projects. Electrical and electronic system design. Space mission analysis. Nuclear engineering. Complex system assembly, integration and testing. Commercialization and business strategy.

Simone Syed
Managing Partner, Velorum Capital

Venture Capitalist, Bio-technoprogressive, Space Aficionado, Builder of Better Futures, Operations Wizard, Cultivator of Frontier Technologies, BitGeek, Pragmatist, Rational Thinker, Occasional Poet, Designer of Experiences, Expertly Weird, Gardener Extraordinaire, IceCream Maker.

Leveraging capital to accelerate the development of hard technologies (including innovations that may one day be used for commercial space exploration and colonization), designing a compelling and accessible narrative for the future by integrating space and high technology into popular culture, and inspiring young minds to create the world they dream of. 

Antics have been documented by Wired, Discovery Channel, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Reason Magazine, and NPR.

Ryo Koyama
Co-founder and CEO, Weaved

Ryo Koyama is a Silicon Valley based serial entrepreneur who been active in the networking & Internet connected device space for the past 15 years. Currently he is co-founder and CEO of Weaved, a cloud service company which provides services for the Internet of Everything. Previously Ryo was CEO of iReady from founding till its sale to NVIDIA. iReady provided TCP/IP technology to thousands of different Internet connected hardware products including CDMA connected credit card readers, kids toys, senior monitoring house-wares and other consumer electronic products, including early wi-fi connected televisions. Ryo professional experience also includes active participation in industry consortium activities, including serving as Chairman of RAPID, an industry consortium focused on intellectual property reuse in the semiconductor industry. iReady was also one of the initial companies involved in the Universal Plug and Play standard. Ryo holds seven US patents in the areas of multimedia and networking, and was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with an emphasis in fluid dynamics from San Jose State University.

Paola Santana
Co-Founder, COO at Matternet, Inc.

Lawyer, entrepreneur and specialist in public administration, policy and procurement; and a graduate from the PUCMM University in Dominican Republic; The George Washington University and Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C.; and Singularity University, in the NASA Ames Research Park, in California.

Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer at Matternet, a Silicon Valley startup creating the world’s next generation transportation systems using networks of UAVs. Recently appointed as the Chair for the ASTM F38 Subcommittee on Markings for small UAS, her current work includes running Matternet's operations and engaging with The White House, U.S. Congress, FAA, NASA, and other key actors to enact comprehensive regulatory frameworks and build an ecosystem for the nascent commercial UAV industry, allowing the first-ever commercial operations of UAV networks for transportation worldwide.

Antoine Martin
UAV and Robotics Business Advisor

Antoine has background in electronics, underwater robotics, geospatial, and business entrepreneurship.
He mostly worked as a business consultant in robotics (drones!), helping over 30 companies position themselves, understand the niches and end user problems, as well as acted in business development and sales for many of his clients. He has been exposed to many technology and business models and loves anything related to UAVs and drones.

Antoine earned 3 Masters from French and American programs.

3 topics I can help with:

- figuring out which are the sw and hw pieces in need for the drone sector
- who's your real customer, e.g. another company in between or end-user
- business model, fixed vs recurring revenues + hidden costs

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend: FLIGHT 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 San Francisco is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

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