Santa Barbara Startup Weekend

    Friday, July 28 - 30, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Santa Barbara Startup Weekend

Friday, July 28 - 30, 2017

Friday, July 28 - 30, 2017
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Impact Hub
1117 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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Startup Weekend coming back to Santa Barbara this July!

Lean Startup Circle is excited to host the next Santa Barbara Startup Weekend! Join us for a jam-packed weekend loaded with creativity, high-energy, and entrepreneurial spirit.

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." - Abraham Lincoln

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a three-day startup accelerator event that encourages a fun and engaging environment for startup enthusiasts of all backgrounds. It creates a forum for creators and idealists to gain insight while being a relevant, real-time experience for growing a business as well as expanding their resumes, portfolios, and networks. Weekend activities begin with rapid-fire startup pitches and team formation. Participants then move to prototype building while having continual valuable mentor feedback from experts in the field and keynote speakers. We conclude with a Shark Tank-style judging session where prizes are awarded to the best new startups!

Santa Barbara Startup Weekend Details!

There will be 3 distinct events as part of Startup Weekend:

  • Opening Night Open Mic Pitch Party where attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team.
  • The Working Sessions focused on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing Lean Startup Methodologies, and building minimum viable products
  • The Closing Event where teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of investors.

If you are participating in the weekend as a Hustler, Hacker, Designer, or Maker, then your ticket gets you into all 3 events and locations.  

Santa Barbara Startup Weekend hopes to make this event more diverse, inclusive, and impactful by removing barriers to attending. We are offering students a 50% discount code: "STUDENT". We will be checking student IDs at check-in so be sure to bring yours. To ensure that this event is not cost prohibitive for anyone, we will be sponsoring diversity scholarships to give up to 80% off for the weekend. If you identify as a woman, person of color, LGBTQ, or person with a disability, please fill out an application here: (Application Deadline is end of day on July 17) Please reach out to us at if you have any questions about these.

Startup Weekend FAQ's

If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ or email us at

Attend and Support!

If you would like to attend the opening and closing nights only, please purchase the event night tickets!  Everyone in attendance Friday night will get a vote on the ideas that continue through the weekend! 

Yes!  There will be an after party on Sunday!  

Interested in volunteering or sponsoring?

Send us an email at! We'd love to hear from you.

Sponsor tiers:

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Friday July 28th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat complimentary 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 July 29th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm
Complimentary Food

1:00 pm
Mentor Check-In
Coaches arrive! Teams update coaches what they have been working on and coaches offer support

3:00 pm
Optional Workshop
"Protecting and Increasing the Value of Your Business with Intellectual Property" by Mark Goldstein, Partner at SoCal IP Law Group

6:00 pm
Complimentary Food

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

Sunday July 30th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

12:00 pm
Complimentary food

3:00 pm
Practice Presentation & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Complimentary food

5:30 pm
Final Presentations
The moment you've all been stressing about and waiting for! Leave it all out on the floor here

8:00 pm
Judging & Awards
Judges review the presentation and choose the winners that receive the prizes

8:45 pm

9:00 pm
After Party!
Location to be announced


Paul Orfalea
Entrepreneur in Residence at Impact Hub

Paul Orfalea grew up in a family of entrepreneurs; one was expected to start a business rather than look for a job. Unfortunately, Paul suffered from ADHD and Dyslexia before these conditions were widely understood, so school was difficult. A typical report card was “two C’s, three D’s, and an F.” The school system was not able to adapt to Paul, but his parents never lost faith, and he adapted by capitalizing on his curiosity and energy, developing listening and questioning skills that would serve him well throughout his academic and business careers.  Paul says he learned how to learn in college, and cites graduating from USC as his greatest accomplishment, in light of his learning differences.

The inspiration for Kinko’s came as Paul watched students lining up in the USC library to copy reserved reading materials – at ten cents a page. With a $5,000 bank loan co-signed by his parents, he opened a 100 square foot store near UCSB, selling pens, notebooks, and – capitalizing on opportunity – access to a copy machine.

Much of Kinko's success can be traced directly to a unique business philosophy based on Paul’s freethinking, creative style. His theories and instincts on how to operate a successful business were grounded in his passion for retailing, his insistence on taking care of his coworkers and customers, and a sharp eye for opportunity. 

Organized as a series of limited partnerships rather than a franchise, Kinko’s grew from a collection of small shops near college campuses to a business services juggernaut with over 2,000 locations around the world, providing access to state-of-the-art business and communications technology to students, businesses, freelancers, and the general public – 24 hours a day. 

“If you want your coworkers to think and act like owners, make them owners.” Orfalea encouraged active participation from all 23,000 coworkers, and generous incentive programs and profit sharing stimulated a culture of engagement and creativity. Workers at every level were encouraged to share ideas freely in organizational decisions. A reflection of this success is that Fortune magazine selected Kinko's as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work with in America" in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Forbes magazine also ranked Kinko's 84th on its year 2000 "Forbes 500 Biggest Private Companies." Working Mother magazine listed Kinko's in its "Best Companies for Working Mothers" 2001 issue.

After 30 years immersed in the business, Orfalea retired in 2000. The company was acquired by Federal Express in 2004 and currently operates as FedEx Office.

In 2005, Orfalea wrote Copy This! Lessons from a hyperactive dyslexic who turned a bright idea into one of America’s best companies. This unique autobiography is filled with life lessons on overcoming obstacles and seeing the opportunities hidden in plain sight. It reveals how Orfalea succeeded using his learning differences and unorthodox approach to business to mold a compassionate, unconventional, customer and coworker driven culture that allowed Kinko’s to thrive.

Orfalea continues to invest in real estate, the stock market, and other prudent business opportunities, but his primary passion today is philanthropy, focused primarily on early life learning.

Event Judges

Vanessa Ting
CEO, Salty Girl Seafood

Vanessa Ting is a veteran of the consumer goods and retail industry.  Her career has spanned retail buying, consumer marketing, marketing research, new product development and brand strategy for companies such as Target Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, and now Salty Girl Seafood. After leaving her role as buyer with Target, Vanessa founded or co-founded three startup companies in the consumer/retail space, one of which was Buyerly, an online product discovery tool connecting retailers with product entrepreneurs. Her involvement in startups subsequently led her to Salty Girl Seafood where she is now CEO. Vanessa holds a BA from University of Southern California and an MBA from Georgetown University. 

Max Drucker
CEO @ {Carpe Data

As co-founder and CEO, Max leads Carpe Data in the development and execution of the business. Prior to Carpe Data, Max co-founded Social Intelligence, a social media background screening company. Prior to Social Intelligence, Max co-founded Steel Card, an enterprise software company, which focused on creating web-based applications for insurance companies.  Steel Card was sold to ChoicePoint (NYSE:CPS), a company now owned by Lexis-Nexis, in a substantial all cash transaction in August 2006.

Prior to Steel Card, Max co-founded and served as the Chief Information Officer & Vice President of Operations of eCoverage, a SoftBank/RRE/E*TRADE-funded startup that became the nation’s first online auto insurance company. In November 2010, Insurance & Technology Magazine named Max as one of its Top 10 Innovators of the Decade, an award that recognizes accomplishments in the insurance technology industry over the past 10 years.

Jill Feldman
President of Strategic Development Associates

Jill Feldman is the President of Strategic Development Associates.  SDA’s clients include start-ups, mid-sized companies, and large national companies with a focus on technology.  SDA partners with senior level executives in strategic planning, qualitative and quantitative market research, and competitive intelligence efforts.  SDA’s areas of specialization include consumer insights, market validation, and industry and competitive analysis.  Jill founded SDA in 1997, following roles as Market Research Director and Marketing Director with AT&T Wireless Services and as Strategic Planning Manager with Verizon Wireless.  Previously, Jill was an Associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Merchant Banking Departments with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and a Business Analyst with McKinsey & Company.

Since 2008, Jill has served on the faculty of University of California, Santa Barbara teaching courses in the College of Engineering’s Technology Management Program.  Jill holds a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

When she is not working, you can find Jill training for a marathon or practicing the drums.

Coaches and Mentors

Ron Gans
CTO @ Observables, Inc

Ron is a founder of several small startup companies, including a startup weekend first place winner.

Ron is currently CTO of Observables, Inc, an IoT, SaaS startup in the Security, A/V, and IT space.

Ron was previously Vice-President of Technology at MEDSEEK, where he led the technology side of the business, boosting growth from under 30 people to over 300, until it was acquired by Silverlake Sumeru and Essex Woodlands.

Ron's expertise is building the appropriate technology, team, and processes for startups and small companies to match their phase of development. He holds a Ph. D. in Physics from MIT and undergraduate degrees in Physics and Material Science Engineering from University of Pennsylvania.

Tania Mulry
Founder @ Steamwork Center

Tania is a tech entrepreneur, digital marketing and product development consultant, an award-winning mobile app developer honored by Microsoft, AT&T & Computerworld, and is an Adjunct Professor at USC, teaching interactive design for mobile devices. She led mobile payments and information product development initiatives for MasterCard Worldwide, and worked on the core strategy team leading up to their record breaking IPO. She has developed cutting edge digital marketing campaigns for an impressive roster of companies and professional sports teams like AT&T, JCPenney, GameStop, Brinkers (Chili’s), Nintendo, Nokia, RIM, LG, State Farm, Kimberly-Clark (Huggies), Frito-Lay (Doritos),, The United States Air Force, the San Diego Chargers, the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Yankees, the San Francisco Giants, and the San Antonio Spurs. She blogs about leveraging technology to improve your life and business at

Gary Baker
Principal, The Innovation Office

I help companies make and sell products and services that people will buy by focusing on solving real problems that their customers value and will pay for over and over again. 

For 15 years, I've been helping companies define their customer-centered innovation strategies and leading their cross-functional product teams throughout development and the product lifecycle. I also assist company leaders identify and resolve complex business problems with innovative management and technology solutions.

A versatile product and program leader, I help management teams rapidly uncover new market opportunities and reinvigorate their brands through customer-focused innovation strategies, digital products, services, solutions, and processes that have generated over $100M in revenue.

One of the founding members of IBM iX (formerly IBM Interactive Media), I helped define the digital consulting practice by providing IBM’s top clients with customer­-centered digital strategies and solutions that extend across the enterprise. I was also instrumental in expanding IBM Interactive’s operations and Innovation Centers, now the largest digital agency in the world with North American studios in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Austin, and Toronto.

As a three-time startup founder with two successful exits, I am as much an entrepreneur with extensive customer-centered jobs-to-be-done strategy, business model design, design nthinking, digital marketing, digital products, funding, and M&A expertise.

I attended UCLA and currently serve as a member of the UCLA VC Fund, a non-profit, where I get to mentor campus startups on customer-centered strategies and product management.

Doug Lynch
Managing Director, The LYNCH Group

Doug is presently the Managing Director of the The LYNCH Group, providing Lean Startup, Strategic Planning and Leadership Development services for startups and small rapid growth businesses. Doug has been involved with the startup scene in Santa Barbara for many years and was recently the first Executive Director of GEM, a local business incubator/accelerator.  Doug is also a Certified Lean LaunchPad® Instructor and an Accredited Investor and Advisory Board member for several tech startups.

Doug was previously Managing Director of The REACH Group, a company he co-founded last century. Based in Houston, Texas and with offices around the world, REACH is a leader in the implementation of organizational effectiveness programs to the upstream oil and gas industry. His clients included all of the world’s largest oil and gas companies and government organizations.

Now semi-retired and no longer living on an airplane, Doug lives in Santa Barbara and consults part-time, he is on the Board of Directors of the MIT Enterprise Forum Central Coast, an Instructor and Mentor at UCSB’s Technology Management Program and Adjunct Faculty in the MBA program at Antioch University.

In his spare time, Doug is a player, referee and past President with the Grunion Rugby Football Club; on the Executive Committee for The Santa Barbara Beer Festival and trains for Ironman Triathlon races.

Mark Goldstein
Partner, SoCal IP Law Group

Mark A. Goldstein is a partner of SoCal IP Law Group LLP. He has specialized in intellectual property law since 1999 after working as a civil litigation attorney. In addition to a practice that includes patent preparation, trademark acquisition, intellectual property licensing and related counseling, Mark renders patent and trademark infringement opinions, prepares intellectual property agreements, implements corporate patent programs, and develops trademark portfolios. He gained experience in the computer software business at Codex Corporation/Motorola Information Systems Group and Xerox Corporation.

While obtaining his law degree, Mark earned an Exceptional Achievement Award for his performance in an Intellectual Property Protection of Computer Software seminar. His technical experience includes applications software, networking software and devices, digital multimedia creation and broadcasting, and electronic commerce. Mark is a member of the International Trademark Association and the International Technology Law Association. Mark has presented talks on intellectual property at UCSB, Cal. Poly San Luis Obispo, California State Univ. Channel Islands, and Startup Weekend Santa Barbara.

Mark is a member of the California bar and is registered to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

Bob Lansdorp
CTO at Milo Sensors, Inc.

While pursuing his PhD in Materials, Bob co-founded Milo Sensors, which won the 2015 New Venture Competition at UCSB. Milo Sensors recently launched PROOF™ - the first wearable for alcohol - on Indiegogo. They hit their fundraising target in 24 hoursand sold out in a week. The next big challenge is scaling up to meet the demand!

Bob's favorite pastime is brainstorming about science and engineering, so if you want to bounce around an idea, he's happy to chat.

Adam Tashman
Director of Data Science at {Carpe Data

Adam has over ten years of experience in quantitative finance and machine learning, where his work has spanned research, analytics, risk, portfolio management, model development, and model validation. He has worked at a broad range of firms including hedge funds, investment banks, and commercial banks. His roles include Head of Analytics at a startup financial technology company, and Vice President of Quantitative Research at Citigroup in their Global Managed Investments department.

Adam holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Virginia, an MA from Columbia University in Mathematical Finance, and an MS and PhD from Stony Brook University in Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

Sky Gilbar
Creative Director, Experience Designer, Social Innovation Strategist

Sky Gilbar is a freelance creative director, experience designer, and social innovation strategist based in Santa Barbara, California. Sky works with brands and organizations that empower others to do good through the creative use of technology, experience, design, and storytelling.

Bryan Elliot
Director, Business Platform Engineering, LogMeIn

Bryan is a long-time veteran of the software industry across many roles - programmer, architect, manager, entrepreneur, and business owner - since childhood, starting with the Radio Shack TRS-80 in 1977.

Today at LogMeIn, Bryan leads several teams totaling approximately 75 Engineering staff, in seven locations across the United States, Hungary, and India. His teams develop API-based Platform Services which feed into the LogMeIn SaaS product portfolio (GoToMeeting/Webinar/Training,, LastPass, Grasshopper, and many more).

Bryan supports his management team for the purposes of recruitment, retention, career development, mentoring, and cross-org integration of the teams, in addition to (of course) product planning, milestone tracking, and delivery.

He also set the cultural tone for the org as an open, transparent, supportive, and amazingly cool place to work.

Greg Monterrosa
Community Manager @ Hub 101

My passions lie in two distinct areas: tacos and startups. 

I am the Community Manager and one of the founders of Hub101, a startup incubator and coworking space located in Westlake Village, California with a mission of encouraging businesses to “create, launch, grow.” 

As a Startup Weekend global mentor and organizer, I was able to interact with and learn from the innovative minds behind startups worldwide. 

In 2011, the Pacific Coast Business Times selected me as one of the top 40 up-and-coming business leaders in the tri-county area.

In 2015, I mentored over 100 different startups in France and London. 

In 2016, I received a 40 Under 40 award from the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as Congressional recognition of my efforts in supporting the local startup community. 

In 2017, I joined the City of Thousand Oaks Business Roundtable. I am also a speaker and Cofounder of one of the nation's leading business formations company,

Erick Went
Director @ Matter Labs

With decades of experience as an entrepreneur all over the world, Erick has a unique and interesting perspective on the past, present, and future of startups and the ever changing startup ecosphere.

Matter Labs is a California based think tank, startup studio, and consulting firm specializing in emerging technologies, making a difference in the world through innovation.

Gary Livingston
Vice President, Director of Products and Experience at 805 Startups

I am on a mission to accelerate the growth of the startup ecosystems in Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties.

My goal is to give every person and every type of business a reason to play their role in that ecosystem. From student to professor, small business to corporation, resident to politician, grade school to university, startup to investor...they are all vital to the success of the other.

Success only leads to more success. 805 Startups is my vehicle to driving the success of the entire region.

If you want to help me do this, connect and send me a message. Let's grab some coffee and talk about economic development and how we can work towards something bigger together. 

Tyler Susko
Lecturer PSOE, UCSB

Professor Susko completed his PhD at MIT in the department of mechanical engineering.  His research focused on the development of a novel robotic platform (the MIT Skywalker) for the neurorehabilitation of gait following a static brain injury such as stroke or cerebral palsy.  Before this, he worked as a design engineer for two companies within Ingersoll Rand. The first of these was Club Car in Augusta, Georgia where he was part of a design team for a new 4x4 UTV (Club Car XRT950) and a LSV (Villager 2 LSV). He then moved to Annandale, NJ to work for the industrial solutions sector of the company and designed the most powerful cordless impact wrench (IR W7150) on the market today which went on to win industry , automotive and internal design awards.

Professor Susko also holds a BS in Integrated Business and Engineering and a Master of Engineering both from Lehigh University.  He continues to be interested in business and especially hardware-based entrepreneurship.  

Alex Wyndham
Owner / Founder at WYNDHAMdesign

At the second Santa Barbara Startup Weekend I pitched an idea for an 
app and my team ended up winning first place. A couple years later I pitched another idea at the SB startup weekend and we came in second place. I have extensive experience in design and know what it is like to put together a winning pitch for a startup weekend event! I can help you develop the story you want to tell about your idea and help create a compelling presentation. 

I am a building designer and artist based in Santa Barbara, California. I was raised in Hawaii, New Mexico, Topanga, California, and rural Uruguay. My building designs – which draw on my master's degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and my background in marine ecology, combine living spaces with the natural environment. I like to think of my design work as equal parts innovation, earthiness, and simplicity. 

Luke Bayard
Podcast Host + Digital Marketer

Like many entrepreneurs, the idea of choosing your own agenda and defining your own rules only further solidified his path. Today he runs the multi-media brand Cult Of Startup, to help inspire entrepreneurs, startup founders and anyone who is looking to go into business for themselves. On Cult of Startup, Luke Bayard, invites special guests to recall the early days of starting there business before reaching their success. Listen as they share stories and advice based on their horrible, embarrassing or awesome experiences. In each episode, Luke takes a nothing-off-limits approach to discovering why entrepreneurs found success. This hour will feel like you’re hanging with your startup buddies. The format is informative, loose and most of all entertaining. 

Zach Johnson
Founder of FunnelDash

Zach Johnson is the founder of FunnelDash, an ad tracking application that is said to double your companies sales. It tells you which ads and funnels are giving you the largest ROI, while allowing non-technical marketers to use simple tools to control their marketing funnels. Zach is also the founder of GameChanger profits, another marketing strategic company with a focus on the traffic conversion of potential customers. 

Zach graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a B.A in Business Entrepreneurship. From there he applied his entrepreneurial knowledge to lead Traffic Geyser to have a 10,000 plus customer base and page 1 Google SEO Ranking. In 2010 he built a social referral contest system, which was the vision for three companies to use Facebook referral contests to increase page “Likes” by over 300% in 4 weeks. In 2011 and 2012, Zach helped FB advertisers uncover new marketing strategies using detailed psychographic information about their buyers to find traffic partners and cut spending on their FB ads budget.

 Zach has also worked for ONTRAPORT and LeadPages where he used his marketing background to increase sales and metrics.

Zach was awarded the San Diego’s Tech Executive in 2012 in San Diego Magazine. He also has served as a mentor for the UCSB Startup Weekend in 2015, and for the 2015 Citrix Startup Accelerator. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Santa Barbara Startup Weekend 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

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

  • Navjot
  • Mark
  • Jillian
  • Bernie
  • Mark
  • Nicolas
  • Breanna
  • Doug

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