Techstars Startup Weekend University of California Santa Barbara

    Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend University of California Santa Barbara

Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018

Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Loma Pelona Center

Isla Vista, CA 93117

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

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Friday February 23rd

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:10 pm
Dinner and Networking
Meet and network with business executives, Investors, Community Activists, Professors, and Recruiters

6:30 pm
Introduction Speeches
What is Startup Weekend?

7:00 pm
Key Speaker (TBD)
Presentation on how to successfully create a business with social impact.

7:30 pm
Intro Game
What problems can you solve / businesses can you create with new and emerging technologies?

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

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 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 12 am

Saturday February 24th

8:00 am
start arriving, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Intro to Market Validation
How do you know if your idea will be successful? Learn how to build a business by first identifying a problem and finding the target market.

11:00 am
Lunch and Networking
Interview mentors and local community members about their problems and formulate customer profiles and hypothesis

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

2:00 pm
Minimum Viable Product
Learn rapid prototyping and design theory and get customer feedback

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

5:00 pm
Special Topics
Learn about hot tech, developing startups in the field and why it's important to starting your businesses. (Blockchain, Renewable Energy etc.)

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

8:00 pm
Building a Tech Business
What kinds of business are booming in this modern era and how can you make your own business successful in this changing world?

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as 12 am

Sunday February 25th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

11:00 am
Customer Traction
So you have an idea, you've done the research, talked to customers. How can you start getting loyal customers before even launching your product?

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:00 pm
How to Develop a Pitch Deck
Learn what to include in your pitch to investors. Go over public speaking and presentation skills

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
Arrive/Checkin at Loma Pelona

4:20 pm
Final Presentations

5:30 pm
10 min Presentation Break

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards

6:45 pm

7:00 pm
Go Home!


David Campos
Founder of Inertia7

David is a startup and technology junkie with a passion for building products that help humans reach their highest potential.

Currently, David is focused on building out Inertia7 (, a social platform for computer & data science enthusiasts to share their open-source projects. Still in early stage, Inertia7 has garnered ~30 contributors, ~100 open-source projects, and ~9000 users.

In 2012, David founded Napses, a EdTech startup, which provided a digital and cheaper alternative to traditional class readers. After placing 3rd in the 2013 New Venture Competition at UCSB and serving ~100 students, Napses failed to scale due a lack of technical and product expertise in the founding team. After this experience, the entire founding team (including David) shifted their focus toward learning code.

Professionally, David has experience in product management, technical support, and enterprise sales. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Spanish, as well as a Technology Management Certificate from UC Santa Barbara. In his free time he loves learning, coding, drumming, painting, hiking, music festivals, and hanging out with friends.

Daniel Colantonio
Co-Founder and Executive Director

Daniel Colantonio is a social entrepreneur and community organizer in Santa Barbara, CA. Born and raised outside Boston, MA, he graduated from Boston University before moving to Los Angeles. 

In 2014, Colantonio and his twin brother launched a service organization called Hustlers for Humanity in Santa Barbara. Applying their 10+ years experience in team building and coaching, Hustlers has become a growing team of hundreds, that has supported 50+ non-profits and volunteered thousands of hours in town. Last fall Hustlers launched its first college chapter at UCSB.
In 2017, Colantonio and two partners co-founded Serve Community, a Santa Barbara based startup, dedicated to uniting humanity in service.
Serve Community is currently teaming with global visionaries, respected academics, and entrepreneurial students to design a global network and game out of service, that will help humanity solve our greatest challenges together. The company will beta test its platform this spring on UCSB campus.

Laz Alberto
Asset Manager at Science Blockchain

Laz has spent time on both sides of the startup table. On the founder side, he helped build the Rise Awards, a community for tech talent. Then, on the investor side, he serviced a portfolio of over 100 early-stage companies at Lowercase Capital. Now he is an Asset Manager at Science, a startup studio in Santa Monica, where he helps companies with growth, strategy, and fundraising. Science has built successful companies across multiple sectors, including Dollar Shave Club which sold for $1B to Unilever. Most recently, they have expanded their focus to include Blockchain projects, which Laz helps lead the charge on. He also runs The Block Report, a newsletter and media outlet for cryptocurrency news. When he isn't buying Bitcoin, Laz spends his time playing music and competitive video games.

Event Judges

Jason Spievak
VC Investor and Chief Commercial Officer Apeel

Jason Spievak serves as the Chief Commercial Officer at Apeel Sciences, where he has been an investor and board member since the company's seed funding following Apeel's victory in the 2012 UCSB New Venture Competition.  Prior to Apeel, Jason was the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Invoca, the leading mobile analytics software company, backed by Accel Ventures, Upfront Ventures and Rincon Venture Partners.  Prior to founding Invoca, Jason was Chief Financial Officer at CallWave, a VoIP software and service provider, where he helped grow the company to more than $50 million in annual revenue and sustaining profitability and led its successful IPO in 2004.  Prior to CallWave, Jason was Vice President of technology M&A in Broadview's Silicon Valley office, where he was the execution lead on more than $1.25 billion in successful technology merger transactions and earned his NASD Series 7 and Series 63 licenses.  Jason has also held product roles with Nextel Communications and with Netopia, where he helped the company complete its successful IPO.  Jason is also a co-founding venture partner with Persistence Partners, an early stage venture fund with investments in some of the leading information technology and life sciences companies on the Central Coast.Jason is an active angel investor and a founding member of the Santa Barbara Angel Alliance, having invested in more than 20 early stage technology companies in Southern California.  He holds several patents in internet advertising, telecommunications, and microscale fluidics.  Jason earned his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and his BA from UCSB.  Jason lives in Santa Barbara with his college sweetheart, three awesome kids, and a puppy.

Coaches and Mentors

Matthew Stotts
Partner at Tenor; Lecturer at UCSB

Matthew is the founder of Tenor, a strategic consulting firm for startups, growth companies and investors in the private capital markets. Matthew has helped launch dozens of companies, products and services in consumer, enterprise and financial markets, working with companies from two-person startups to Fortune 50 enterprises. His technology experience spans enterprise software, telecommunications, consumer internet, consumer electronics and semiconductors. Since founding Tenor, Matthew has also advised over two dozen private investment firms on branding, fundraising and communications.

Matthew is a board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum and a lecturer at UCSB College of Engineering’s Technology Management Program.

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.

Jonathan Pearce
Intellectual Property Attorney at SoCal IP Law Group

Mr. Pearce counsels clients on intellectual property matters related to interactive entertainment, virtual reality, mobile gaming, social networking, digital video systems, satellite systems, multi-function printing devices and consumer products ranging from hand-held spray bottles to mobile phone cases. 

Mr. Pearce has counseled industry-leading interactive entertainment and virtual reality companies in addition to industry-disrupting startups in fields as diverse as Internet marketing and cosmetics. 
His experience includes litigation, patent prosecution, trademark prosecution, licensing, technology transactions and adversarial proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He received his computer science and business degree, master of business administration, and law degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

Specialties: patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, and related intellectual property counseling.

Organizing Team

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

  • Isabelle
  • Mustafa
  • Sahaj


Navjot Brar
Product Manager | Startup Community Leader | Innovation Catalyst

I am a startup/tech enthusiast helping the product team at Carpe Data provide next generation predictive scoring and data products to P & C and life insurance companies via product management, project management, sales support, data analysis, quality assurance, and more. 

I have previously worked in insurance services, AI-powered marketing SAAS, speakers, and MEMS industries fulfilling a wide variety of roles such as product, sales, hardware quality, and software engineering. Plus I'm a proud UC Santa Barbara alum!

In my free time, I like to both support the local startup community of Santa Barbara by curating the Santa Barbara Startup Digest, organizing the local Lean Startup Circle Meetup, and organizing/facilitating Startup Weekends globally. If you are interested in getting more involved in the local tech/startup community, check out our local community Facebook group:

Globally I work with organizations like Techstars, Lean Startup Co, SXSW, and more to bring more startup programs to Santa Barbara.

Please reach out to me at if you think I can help you out with anything!

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