Startup Weekend MEGA San Diego, CA

    Friday, October 30 - November 1, 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 MEGA San Diego, CA

Friday, October 30 - November 1, 2015

Friday, October 30 - November 1, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common
330 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

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Launch Your Hardware or Software Idea at Startup Weekend MEGA!

This fall we're hosting our 2nd MEGA Startup Weekend event at the Downtown Central Library and Fab Lab.

Just like last year, we will have two tracks: hardware as well as software innovation. 
The hardware track will blend the traditional entrepreneurial skills in web and mobile software development with new means of making:  3D printing, robotics, laser cutter, hackable hardware, and more. 
We will kick off at the Central Library, then those needing prototyping equipment will head to Fab Lab (a few blocks away), where we will have access to a venue will be decked out with tools from laser cutters to soldering irons, small computers and smart sensors.

** This year the event gets event better for Halloween! ** 
We will be hosting a party at Fab Lab starting at 9:00pm on Saturday night for ticket-holders. 
While you are launching the next great product or business, be sure to see who captures the prize the for the best costume and see what else we have planned for our Spooky Startup Spectacular!

The Startup Weekend team in San Diego is dedicated to helping our local community be a great place to launch new businesses.  Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries. All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is encouraged to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation.


Friday October 30th

5:30 pm
Doors Open
Doors Open

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

8:00 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 October 31st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee with morning announcements and tips for success.

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

10:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

12:00 pm

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

6:30 pm

9:00 pm
Halloween Surprise!
Halloween + Startups = Awesome!

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 1st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Opportunity to ask questions and get help on pitching.

12:00 pm

1:00 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!


Jeremiah Gardner
Author of The Lean Brand

Jeremiah Gardner is an author, speaker, lean brand practitioner, and bulldog lover. He helps startups, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 organizations reframe the way they think about brand innovation, culture, and leadership. He is the author of The Lean Brand, the first book to apply lean principles to branding, is a sought after speaker, and has been featured in several media outlets including Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Lifehacker, The Guardian, Branding Magazine, and SayDaily.

Event Judges

Mark Steele

Mark has over 25 years of executive management experience with various technology leaders including IBM, Motorola, Qualcomm, Symbol Technologies, Gateway and Monster Worldwide. He also has extensive start-up business experience with wireless internet pioneers PCSI and Airprime (now Sierra Wireless) and has been advising many early stage technology companies for two decades, especially in the area of strategic partnerships. 

Mark is President of SPMC Group, an international strategy and partnership consulting practice. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Hunter Industries, a global innovator in industrial irrigation and lighting solutions. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CONNECT and UCSD’s Zahn Center for Innovation and serves on the Advisory Board and is a past Board Chairman of CommNexus.

Cliff Boro

Cliff Boro is an entrepreneur and startup investor. He is best known as cofounder and former CEO of KidZui, a child-oriented Internet browser and search engine. He also founded Internet Financial Network (later Infogate) and became cofounder and managing partner of The Team Group, LLC, a technology startup/accelerator investment group. In addition, he has been chief executive officer, board member and cofounder at several other firms, including Internet Financial Network (Infogate), VideoEgg, mSnap and CVT Ventures, LLC.

Ryan Lange

From online, digital experiences to physical build-outs and installations, Ryan has been a Creative Director and Collaborator for brands such as Nike, The Home Depot, Carhartt and Marriott International. High-impact, on-target, and unexpected is the name, nationally-celebrated campaigns, press, and awards is the game.

He have more than 15 years of creative, interactive experience and always brings donuts to a meeting. Other specialties include: 

-Creative Direction / Lead
-Social / Digital media
-Mobile marketing
-People management
-Content development
-Art direction
-Web design

Coaches and Mentors

Dina Moskowitz

Dina Moskowitz is recognized by UBM Tech Channel CRN as one of the ‘Top Women in the Channel’, the recipient of the SMB 150 Award, the CRN Top 500 Solution Providers Award and San Diego IT Leadership Award, Dina Moskowitz has been leading and/or consulting to cloud-based, SaaS and other technology companies throughout her career. As founder and CEO of SaaSMAX Corp., the ultimate SaaS Marketplace for business cloud software vendors (“SaaS Vendors”), Dina conceived and built a market place allowing resellers to create new revenues and partner opportunities. Prior to SaaSMAX, Moskowitz was CEO and founder of Critical Digital Data Solutions Inc., which developed cloud-based data storage solutions. Dina has presented at various IT Channel events, including Channel Partners, SaaS University, CompTIA Breakaway, RetailNOW (RSPA), ChannelPartners and gSocial 2.0. Dina is also a member of the CloudNOW Steering Committee.

Tyler Jensen

Tyler is a serial​ entrepreneur, startup coach, early stage PT CFO and trusted advisor to numerous founders.  The first company he started and sold was VAVi Sport & Social Club, which grew to over 25,000 members in six years.  The San Diego Business Journal recognized VaVi as San Diego’s 30th & 32nd fastest growing private company in 2006-2007 and it sold for over 25x the capital investment.  With 20+ years of experience, Tyler now ​focuses his attention on helping other entrepreneurs.  He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs start companies that matter and has helped launch over 250+ companies, non-profits and social enterprises. 

Jeanine Jacobson

Jeanine Jacobson is the San Diego Partner for the Founder Institute. Prior to the Founder Institute, She was with Athena, the premier organization for executive women in technology and life sciences, where she served as Executive Director/President for seven years. She directed all aspects of the organization including board management, fundraising, operations, member relations, and marketing. 

Jeanine's background includes business development for a healthcare system and wireless technology company in San Diego developing new services, physician practices and health plan contracts.

Ms. Jacobson is a graduate of the University of San Diego, where she earned an M.B.A. and M.S.N. degrees. She is active in the Corporate Directors Forum and a number of other industry and professional societies in the San Diego area. Jeanine's strong background in the life sciences, healthcare and telecommunications, along with her success in fund raising make her an asset to the Founder Institute as the organization pursue its far-reaching goals.

Specialties: Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Venture Capital, Social Media, Online Community, Social Networking, User Generated Content, Strategic Partnerships, Business Development.

Samantha Urban
CEO, Urban Translations

Samantha is a tech leader that brings a balanced perspective of engineering best practices as well as sales and business know-how.  She started her career as a Software Engineer and a Patent Examiner for Graphical User Interfaces.  She then moved into project management for the 3rd largest social network,  While that company was bought for $100M and went IPO, she transitioned into managing an ad agency working directly with Facebook.  After being promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing, she was able to capture large scale clients such as Dreamworks, Coach, and Mentos.  During the sale of that ad agency, Samantha focused on being CEO of her current company, Urban Translations, an enterprise software platform for the hospitality industry.  Recently expanding to San Diego, she joined forces at CONNECT and is now an EIR (Business Advisor).  She also advises four technology companies and always finds time to inspire women engineers.

Allison Wass

Allison is well versed in the startup landscape, as well as larger corporations.  She has over five years of project manager experience at digital advertising agencies from Philadelphia to San Francisco, and currently in San Diego.  With a large focus on budgets and successfully allocating resources, Allison has found passion in finance and getting companies funded.  She is also a part-time CFO to a consumer product company and heavily focused on scaling business models.  When she's not diving into pro formas, she spends her remaining time consulting for a Sofware as a Service (SaaS) company in the areas of design, UX/UI, product management, processes, and training.

Don Seidenspinner

Don Seidenspinner founded Spincraft in April 1990. He attained a BSEE from State University of New York, Stony Brook University and his MBA from San Diego State University.

He has had entrepreneurial success in hi-tech ventures, can build & lead cross-functional teams, inspire New Product Development with multiple domain expertise, target & develop strategic alliances, design & improve Enterprise Process, and drive profitability.

Experienced Business Development Services: Venture Planning and Funding, Product Design, Prototype Construction, Test & Evaluation, Industrial Control, Custom Programming, Web Development, Process Design, ERP System Planning/ Installation, and Project Management

Specialties: Professional Services Provider since 1990
-new product strategy
-angel funding
-grant proposal writing
-protoype design & development
-test equipment design
-custom programming
-ISO documentation

Clarissa Redwine
Program Manager at Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars

Clarissa has enjoyed tremendous success in the tech sphere. She is currently serving as the program manager of The Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars. The program will host approximately ten companies on our campus for a four month Techstars program building the next generation of robots and intelligent machines. Clarissa also has experience as cofounder of TechMill, Associate at TechStars, and CEO & Founder of Render Crowd Intelligence. In addition, she's been a strong community leader building platforms for entrepreneurship and tech alike.

Clarissa's expertise includes: Business development, Ideation and Follow-through, Community Organizing, Risk mitigation, Crowd-funding, V
alue proposition strategy, Marketing analysis, Sustainable growth

Eric McDavid
CEO, Founder at Tecsomed

Eric is a Technology Solutions Professional with more than 15 years of achievement in growing, diversifying and expanding business. He's experienced in selling hi-tech capitol technology, software, Medical Imaging, and eClinical Solutions requiring long complex sales cycles and technological expertise. Eric also has a proven record of success initiating contacts, developing relationships, and selling customized solutions to meet my clients needs.

Deeply involved with biotechnology, Eric currently serves as CEO of Tescomed, which provides innovative solutions to effectively manage diabetes providing better quality of life, peace of mind, and reduced healthcare cost. In addition to his previous leadership positions in the industry, Eric has become an expert in medical devices, the pharmaceutical industry, clinical research, and healthcare analytics. 

Business specialties: Account Management, New Business Development, PMA/510k, Capitol Equipment and Technology Sales, Technical Presentations, Customer Training and Support, Profit Building and Sales Growth, New Product Innovation, New Product Introduction, Sales Rep. Management, SaaS, Enterprise Solutions

Ping Wang
Lead Mentor

Ping was the Director  of Techstars, the largest technology incubator/accelerator in the world, where he helped with technical evolution, business development, recruiting, analysis, solutions finding, and more. 
Before that he founded a coworking center - Ansir Innovation, (a club for creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs) - and founded a tech startup (in display technology).
With a Masters of Science from Stanford University and a PhD in Theoretical/Computational Neuroscience from UCSD, Ping is extremely well versed in both hardware and software systems. He's also held several research positions for institutions such as the Salk Institute and the Burnham Institute. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend MEGA San Diego, CA 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



Organizing Team

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

  • Julian
  • Tyler
  • Allen
  • Katie
  • Blake
  • Uyen
  • Mack
  • Amin
  • Samantha
  • Jen
  • Rafael
  • Natalie
  • Allen
  • Daniele


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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