Startup Weekend San Francisco: Asia-America

    Friday, July 17 - 19, 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 San Francisco: Asia-America

Friday, July 17 - 19, 2015

Friday, July 17 - 19, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Block 71
599 2nd St
San Francisco, CA 94107

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What happens when the best brains of Asia and America work together?

Why Asia-America?

Throughout history, communication and exchange of ideas among cultures have always led to tremendous changes and progress for involved parties. That exchange is always powered by a platform - the Silk Road, the sea trade routes of the British Empire, the telephone, the Internet… Entrepreneurs always love to venture into the unknown, lured by the prospect of rewards beyond measure. At Startup Weekend, we aim to bridge the East and West. It is time to get out of your comfort zone, learn to speak a new language, and challenge your assumptions. If the idea does not scare you, it is probably not big enough!

What you get for attending:

  • All meals are provided (see schedule)
  • A free .co domain name 
  • Awesome coaching by investors, founders and experienced startup members
  • Swag from Google
  • A network of new developer, designer & entrepreneur friends who are excited starting up
  • Validate your startup ideas with judging panel including VCs, angel investors, accelerators

About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. We want entrepreneurs from Law, Business, Humanities & Sciences, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, and Education to join us to create the next great company.  

Join Startup Weekend for a 54-hour whirlwind of pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of a panel of judges and an opportunity to win great prizes. Please stay tuned for updates about the amazing coaches, sponsors, and prizes involved with this event.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and teams organically form around the top ideas. All ideas, applications and platforms are welcome – remember that the sky is the limit!

At Startup Weekend: Asia-America, we would like to add a twist - participants are highly encouraged to join a team with members from different nationalities. Who knows what can happen when the best minds of different countries work together to solve the biggest issues of the world!

Frequently Asked Questions:
  • Can I buy a ticket if I am not an Asian? Yes! Although this Startup Weekend event aims to gather, inspire and connect Asian students, professionals and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area, participants regardless of race, ethnicity and professional are welcome in Startup Weekend San Francisco Asia - America.
  • Do I have to have an idea? No! Get ready to be inspired. 
  • Do I have to have experience? No! Each person brings something valuable to the team. We will be hosting a practice pitch night.
  • Do I have to have a team? No! If you have a team, great. If not, you can form a team on Friday night. 
  • How can I be a mentor or coach? Please email us at


Friday July 17th

6:00 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 Address
Welcome address by Jeff Karras of Singtel Innov8.

7:35 pm
Keynote Speaker: Anson Zeall
Co-founder of CoinPip, Anson Zeall, will be sharing his personal story of struggles on the road to 500 Startups.

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

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

10:15 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 July 18th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm
During the lunch time, Attorney Robert Abedi of Law Office of Robert Abedi & Associates will give a speech.

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 July 19th

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!


Anson Zeall
CEO of CoinPip

Singapore's CoinPip part of 500 Startups' Batch 11 (
Anson Zeall is the Co-founder/CEO of a 500 Startups backed company CoinPip, a money transfer service leveraging blockchain technologies. Anson is also the Chairman of the Association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups Singapore (ACCESS). Prior to CoinPip, he ran a private family office in Singapore, managing various asset classes, equities, derivatives and real estate. Anson is an alumni of University of New South Wales and Columbia Business School.

Event Judges

Jeff Karras
Managing Director at Singtel Innov8

Jeff is Managing Director for SingTel Innov8 and supports the fund's North American investment activities. Jeff joined Innov8 from Levensohn Venture Partners where he spent 10 years and was a General Partner, responsible for investing in early to expansion stage companies in software, semiconductor and communications technologies. Prior to Levensohn Jeff was Group Product Marketing Manager at Sun Microsystems. Before Sun, Jeff was a Principal Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers' Strategic Change Group. Jeff received a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia. An MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jerrod Engelberg
Venture Team Lead @ FundersClub

My two [million] cents (pt. 1): A founder’s time is worth 5-figures… per hour  (
Jerrod leads the venture team at FundersClub, the world’s most selective & fastest growing online VC firm, targeting early investment in the world's most promising tech startups. Since Jerrod's joining of FundersClub in June 2013, the platform has increased its total invested capital from ~$7M to >$40M. FundersClub’s highly vetted portfolio of over 140 startups have raised over $700M of follow-on capital from other leading startup investors.

Jerrod came to FundersClub from Vector Capital in San Francisco, where he was a Private Equity associate focused on technology investments. Prior to Vector, Jerrod worked as an Investment Banking Analyst in Greenhill & Co.'s New York office. Jerrod graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics.

Xiao Wang
Chief Fire Starter at InnoSpring Seed Fund

Xiao Wang, Ph.D, is the CEO at InnoSpring Inc., the first US-China cross border technology incubator. She joined the company in 2012 as the head of the business development and cross-border partnership team. In addition to her new role as CEO at InnoSpring, Dr. Wang is also a Project Manager at Entelos, a pharmaceutical consulting company. Here she advises global Pharmaceutical or Biotechnology companies in regards to drug development decisions, including target evaluation/ prioritization, translational medicine, biomarker analysis, and clinical trial design.

Dr. Wang co-founded China America Innovation Network (CHAIN), a professional non-profit organization envisioned to help transform innovation into value through fostering entrepreneurship in 2011. She is an honored associate member of Tsinghua Entrepreneur andExecutive Club (TEEC) and the president of Tsinghua Alumni Association of Northern California (THAA-NC).

Angie Krackeler
Manager, North America Cloud Technical Evangelist

Angie leads a local team to engage the communities in Silicon Valley, Northern California and the Northwest region. Their goal is to develop partnerships with VCs, Academia, Incubators, Accelerators and organization to help the startups and developers innovate and succeed in the marketplace leveraging IBM’s Cloud technology portfolio to create value differentiation.

Puneet Gupta
Venture Partner at Fenox Venture Capital

Puneet is a Venture Partner at Fenox Venture Capital. Based out of San Jose, he contributes to deal sourcing activities through leading accelerators and incubators across the US/Asia. He is the primary technical advisor to Fenox’s due diligence team. His primary areas of interest are seed and series A round startups in the field of IoT (Platform and Devices), Consumer/Industrial Hardware and Semiconductors. Concurrent to his role at Fenox, Puneet is a Hardware Engineer by profession. With more than 15 years of chip design and debug, he is passionate about developing systems with cutting edge software and hardware. Puneet holds a M.S. in EE from Virginia Tech and has published several technical papers along with four US patents.

Coaches and Mentors

Himawan Gunadhi
Co-founder, Sankia / Adjunct Professor, NUS Overseas Colleges

Himawan brings diverse skills and experiences into the management of technological innovation and value creation for high-tech companies. He has built and led startups in the field of algorithmic search, concept-based ad targeting, visual discovery, and marketing automation. Himawan’s startups focus on the US and international markets such as Japan and Korea, and attracted financing from a wide range of investors.

Himawan holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in Management Science, and is an adjunct professor at the National University of Singapore Overseas Colleges, where he develops curriculum and teaches classes in product and market innovation, and lean venture creation.

Darryl Jit Kian Tan

Darryl Tan is with Singtel Innov8 (Innov8) focusing on sourcing early and growth-stage investments in infrastructure, platforms and applications in the consumer and enterprise space. He has also taken an active role in several of Innov8's companies, including NPL, DataTorrent, DemystData and Neura.

Prior to Innov8, Darryl worked in Big Data Team within Singtel, where he was involved in shaping the customer value proposition, improving customer experience and formulation of corporate strategy across the consumer group. 

Darryl graduated Summa Cum Laude from Singapore Management University, where he was a Lee Kong Chian Scholar.

Sayyed Ahmad Masud
Director - Founder Institute

Sayyed Ahmad Masud always wanted to do his own thing, starting his business was his dream. He completed my education (ICOM, BCOM, MBA) and immediately launched his business in the media and communications industry. Channel 7 Communications (Pvt) Ltd has been an amazing roller coaster ride and a most rewarding experience, now besides Channel 7. He has ventured into a number of other domains and launched a few other startups, some are doing well and some have failed spectacularly adding to his experience.
He is director of Founder Institute at Islamabad. Founder Institue is an American business incubator, entrepreneur training and startup launch program that was founded in Palo Alto, California in 2009. Although based in Silicon Valley, The Founder Institute maintains chapters in over 80 cities and more than 40 different nations across the globe. It offers a four-month part-time program for new and early-stage entrepreneurs that helps them develop their business ideas and form a company. Among the key requirements for graduation is the creation of a fully operational company by the end of the four-month program. As of 2014, over 1,300 companies had been created from the program, 89% of which were still operational.

Robert Cate
Founder/CEO - Trommelo

Startup Spotlight: Quiz and Stack-Rank Candidates in Your Talent Pool With Trommelo
After playing collegiate soccer at UC Riverside I founded my first company, PaidGrade. PaidGrade was an online site where college students could participate in paid academic competitions, a hybrid of online poker and Jeopardy. From the fallouts with money laundering and online poker, I needed to make a change. I used the same technology and pivoted to Trommelo, a site that mass screens candidates in real-time for hiring companies. Since our launch we have established a unique partnership with SXSW in Austin, Texas and have worked with some large brands such as IBM, Zumba, Prudential, OpenTable,, McDonalds, 3M, and Verizon. In addition to our web platform Trommelo also transforms job fairs by allowing job seekers to participate in engaging onsite job competitions. I have experience creating and launching products, raising funds, establishing large partnerships, and working with Fortune 500 companies. In my free time I enjoy traveling, surfing, and photography.

Max Kersting
Managing Director & Founder @

Max is a German-American Entrepreneur with a background in Consulting trying to change the way people live together in big metropolitan areas.

LouAnn Conner
Founder & CEO, SagaciousThink, LLC

Ms. Conner holds an MBA in International Business from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, she has a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, a Master's Certification in Business Process Engineering, and is also Six Sigma and Lean trained. She has extensive experience in operations, transition management, and startups.  She has worked in variety of verticals including telecommunications, IT, federal government contracting, aerospace and defense, and clean technology. Ms. Conner is passionate about helping startups.  She advises women-led startups for Astia (a non-profit focused on giving women lead companies more opportunities) and mentors some of her business students.

Linda Parker Pennington
Founder and CEO, Parker Pennington Enterprises, LLC

As the CEO of Parker Pennington Enterprises, LLC, Linda Parker Pennington coaches tech company founders to succeed through their leadership, talent, team and culture. For her clients - ranging from technology startups to Fortune 500 corporations and social enterprises - she designs and implements talent and organizational programs that drive growth, innovation and inclusion. Linda has rich cross-cultural expertise, having lived or worked in close to 50 countries, South Africa being her most recent. Her clients have included: Apple, Applied Materials, Cisco, Citibank, Genentech, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Kaiser, PayPal, Stanford University and the Wikimedia Foundation, along with close to a dozen early stage tech ventures.

She is a trailblazer and community leader, having co-founded several organizations, including the Women of Color Acton Network (WCAN) a professional development network for Asian, Latina, Black and Native American women, now in it’s 15th year.

Linda is an Integral Coach, certified in the Five Dynamics assessment method. She is a facilitator for Stanford Business School’s world famous Interpersonal Dynamics course, and serves as an alumni judge in their Executive Challenge, developing leadership skills in first year MBA students. Linda holds an MBA from Stanford, and a BA from Boston University’s School of Management. With her husband, Greg and their son, James, Linda recently moved to the historic, new development at San Francisco’s Naval Shipyard.

Andrew Vasserman
Founder & CEO at Logyc

Andrew started his career in the financial industry before entering the high tech world. Over the span of his career, Andrew has worked on designing smarter cities, investing in stocks and options, real estate and helped clients mitigate and transfer financial risks. Currently, Andrew is working on his second startup, developing semantic technologies and artificial intelligence for the enterprise world. When he is not spending 80-100 hours a week working on his startup, he advises fellow entrepreneurs, or learning something new; and once in awhile you can find him on a race track, snowboarding or traveling the world.

Imran Sheikh
Founder@OneAvenuetv & Sr. Product Designer @DwellAware

Imran Sheikh is currently Founder of OneAvenue.Tv and Sr.Product Designer at DwellAware. He has founded 3 startups, out of which he founded his first startup in Pakistan, Jawoco (Internet Company). He was the first youngest web browser and search engine developer in South Asia according to local media and won award from ITCN Asia for 'Architect of IT' in 2010. His second startup was based in San Francisco, R9 Irvine, synced personal assistant. Later, he joined Peerlyst as product designer/founding member and helped raised $3 million.

He is now a founder of OneAvenue.Tv, which is an entertainment magazine focused on emerging to rising talents. Endorsed by celebrities like Echosmith, Life of Dillion, Megan Nicole and companies like Sony Music, IMG Models and more.

Sean Tan Ying Quan
CEO & Co-Founder at Peasures LLC

Sean Tan Ying Quan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Peasures, a food manufacturing company based in San Francisco. Peasures's first product is called the Green Pea Cookie, a delightful guilt-free vegan cookie developed in Singapore. The company has recently finished a successful Kickstarter Campaign and are launching their production this August.

In addition, Sean is the Executive Producer of SteadiProductions, a non-profit film collective in Singapore that produces meaningful social videos. Sean also has experience with digital marketing and marketing automation as he previously worked as a Growth Hacker in Visually, an online marketplace for visual content.

Norman Tran
Interaction Designer at Declara

Norman Tran is a Product Designer at Declara, a Peter Thiel-backed startup helping people get smarter, faster. His background spans multiple disciplines and continents, from digital strategy in NY, to technology consulting in Singapore. He holds a Master Certificate in Systems Design and Project Leadership from Cornell and a BA in MIS from UCI. An avid advocate for learning and apprenticeships, Norman Tran has been mentored by Laura Klein (UX for Lean Startups) and Kate Rutter (Adaptive Path) at Tradecraft as an Inaugural Design Scholar. 

Recently Norman has been studying under the creators and facilitators of Stanford GSB's highly-rated Touchy Feely interpersonal dynamics course, and brings intentionality, empathy, and scientific rigor to his craft. His writing has been featured in Medium's Front Page,, Mattermark, and General Assembly.

In his spare time, Norman enjoys jamming on piano, Tea with Strangers, memes, Salon talks, coffee, and spending time with nature.

Tiffany Lin
Senior Consultant, Strategy and Operations


Enrico Bruschini
Product Marketing Manager at Instana

Enrico has started his career in the CleanTech industry, bringing to the market a software to cut the wind assessment time for wind turbines from 18 to 3 months. He completed the European Space Agency Business Incubation Program and pitched the startup at the European Venture Contest among the best 30 in Europe about energy. After his Master in International Business in San Francisco, he joined as COO Pick1, a 500 Startups company and built a product in partnership with IBM Watson.  

In late 2014 he moved to the infrastructure and application performance management industry. He contributed to the go-to-market of Sysdig, the container visibility company acquiring 100 customers within 6 months from the launch worthy the company the Series B of $15M. Sysdig open source project attracted a community of over a million of developers worldwide.

Enrico is currently bringing to the market Instana, the Dynamic APM for Microservice Applications. Applications performance management (APM) has always been limited to collect data and fill a screen with time charts. Instana is the first APM to analyze and understand data for you with machine learning techniques so to provide plain English information and not just data.  

Marissa Louie
Founder and Chief Designer at BearBear Inc.

Marissa Louie is the founder of BearBear Inc. (, which designs and manufactures unique plush stuffed animals inspired by art, design, and engineering. Marissa's vision is to produce high quality stuffed animals that become beloved objects of children and adults alike. Stuffed animals have been a big part of Marissa's life since childhood, fueling her creativity and emotional development. In 2014, she launched BearBear’s line of stuffed animals and accessories, including Orange Marmalade, the Adventurer BearBear; Ice, the White Polar BearBear whose proceeds help save endangered polar bears and other arctic animals; Glitter, the Unicorn BearBear with a refillable glitter capsule; animal hats, and much more. Special edition bears have been produced for Epilepsy Disney and Miss America beauty pageant contestants.

Marissa was formerly an award-winning Internet entrepreneur and web designer at Apple, Ness Computing, and Yahoo. Marissa lives in Silicon Valley.

Nikhil Aitharaju
Co-founder at Tint

Nikhil's Immigration Story (
Nikhil was born in India and came to the United States in 2010 to pursue his Masters in Computer Science at the University of Southern California.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend San Francisco: Asia-America 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

  • Thinh
  • Jerry
  • Duong
  • Jasmine
  • Keith
  • Keith


Chris Chang
Program Manager, Techstars Adelaide

Chris is the Project Manager for Pilot Programs at Techstars, guiding new products through the introductory phases of the product's lifecycle. This role works closely with cross-functional teams across the business to create and deliver on detailed project plans, driving on-time strategic objectives and pilot execution.

Previously, Chris was the Program Manager for Techstars Adelaide, the first Techstars accelerator in the APAC-region, focusing on startups advancing innovative applications in IoT, big data, sensors and robotics.

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Gerald Tan

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