Startup Weekend SB: AI | Big Data | Blockchain

    Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend SB: AI | Big Data | Blockchain

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019
Event starts at 5:30 pm

351 Paseo Nuevo
Floor 2
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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Come Innovate Around the Top Tech Verticals in Silicon Beach!

Come by and network with some incredibly smart folks, team up, and be the change you want to see in the world through Startup Weekend AI | Big Data | Blockchain!

"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 and relevant, real-time experience for growing a business while expanding their resumes, portfolios, and networks. Weekend activities begin with rapid-fire startup pitches, prototype building, mentor feedback from experts in the field, keynote speakers, and conclude with a Shark Tank-style judging session. Prizes are also awarded to the best new startups!

Startup Weekend SB: AI | Big Data | Blockchain 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 in to all 3 events and locations.  

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:

See what it's all about

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Friday November 8th

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

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:30 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 November 9th

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!

3:00 pm
Chatbot Workshop with Dustin Dye
Intro to bots, setting up automation workflow, setting up your first bot skills, and more!

6:30 pm

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

Sunday November 10th

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

2:00 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!


Brian Fox
Co-Founder, Orchid Labs

Brian J. Fox, Kano.ONE Founder, is a serial entrepreneur, technologist, investor, and musician. Brian was the first employee of the Free Software Foundation and the creator of Bash, a key component of every modern operating system, and used by millions of developers world wide. He has founded many successful companies including Orchid Labs. He has raised capital from tier one venture capitalists including Andreessen  Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, DFJ, and others.  Brian is active in the open source election system community.

Event Judges

Barbara Bickham
Managing Director @ Women's Innovation Fund Accelerator | CTO & Strategic Blockchain Advisor | Blockchain Accelerator

Managing Director, CTO, Technical Advisor with extensive experience in Technology, Monetization and Entrepreneurship for companies in industries: FinTech, Fashion, Wearables, Wireless, Security, Media & Entertainment, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain. Current areas of expertise are in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and the Internet of Things.

The Chief of the Block at the Blockchain Accelerator for Global Growth, helping companies become fundable with the Due Diligence Intensive, a 31-page analysis of the company for traditional and Blockchain funding and International Business Focus for growing and scaling a Blockchain company globally.

Over 7+ years of experience preparing and evaluating companies for private equity or venture capital financing. Founded an investment association connecting Southern California businesses with venture funding. Bridge the gap between professionals that speak in technology terms with professionals that speak primarily in financial terms. Representing companies to investors, key clients, and strategic partners.

Worldwide speaker on business, strategy, technology, and fund-raising.

Alon Goren
Founding Partner of Goren Holm Ventures

Founding Partner at GHV, Co-Founder of Crypto Invest Summit, LA Blockchain Week, 805 Startups & Investedin. 

Specialties: Blockchain, Securities, Crypto, Crowdfunding, Punk Rock :-) 

Coaches and Mentors

Taylor Adnan
COO, Rad Sourcing

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” 

Taylor is a passionate and committed builder of companies. Over the years he has been in charge of managing production and operations for a number of successful companies spanning multiple industries. Some industries include wearable technologies, consumer electronics, leisure and sports apparel, and accessories. Taylor's years of management and leadership experience across technology, operations, and consulting have given him a thorough understanding of exponential impact for business strategy, product expansion, marketing, and growth.
Taylor loves working with innovative companies, but more than anything he enjoys forming relationships with individuals who truly care about what they are doing and what they are building. He has built an impressive network of exceptional advisers, engineers, designers, and growth marketing experts so that he can evolve faster and pass-on his understanding of every component of his work. Currently Taylor is a founder of Rad Sourcing LLC, where he continues to work with and advise emerging companies.

Taylor is a Santa Barbara native and UC Berkeley Graduate.

Dennis Baker
President of DM Baker Media

An experienced, creative problem solver with global reach. Expertise in media messaging, crisis management, and technology innovation.

Dennis Baker (CEO of DM Baker Media & Polis Assist, Inc) consultant to numerous established corporations, non-profits, and high-profile individuals. A development specialist who raised millions of dollars for non-profits ranging in annual budget size from $100k to $2 billion in areas as diverse as museums, hospitals, universities, and international aid organizations. A PR expert having managed several New York Times bestselling authors and leading many public relations campaigns for advocacy groups, movie projects, and entertainers. Serving on several non-profit boards of directors with a special interest in human rights issues. As Chairman of Hardwired, Inc. (in collaboration with Pope Francis) successfully secured the release of the celebrated Sudanese refuge Mariam Ibraheem in 2014.

Founder & CEO of Polis Assist, Inc (, a mobile app company focused on locating fee free parking in L.A. and soon in NYC & San Francisco.  Polis Assist was voted the #2 mobile app by LAWEEKLY. Polis Assist was a finalist in the prestigious Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong L.A. Innovation Awards and a Finalist in the Leading Cities Accelicity program as one of only 15 chosen to participate from over 550 other start-ups.
A graduate of Westmont College and a Hansard Scholar at the London School of Economics in London, England. Before starting DM Baker-Media Relations, Mr. Baker, worked for the U. S. Senate, the British House of Commons, for FOX Entertainment and in management at a media buying/PR firm. A member of NEXUS Summit, the Anti-Defamation League Glass Leadership group, Google’s Zeitgeist community and serves on the board of EPIC Impact Society.

Anuj Dron
Engineering Manager at Amazon Lab126

Anuj Dron graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison and started his career as an Electrical Engineer at Qualcomm Inc. in San Diego California. He later joined a start up company in San Diego where he was the 12th employee. The company had 85 employees spread across three locations worldwide at it’s peak, however it folded in 2011. After the startup, Anuj joined Amazon Lab126 where he worked on the Fire Phone as lead antenna designer. He currently manages the
antenna design and development function for the entire Amazon Devices portfolio. He has 9 patents issued by the USPTO.

Laura Hassner
Lecturer at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Laura Hassner is a Lecturer on Leadership at Berkeley Haas. An expert in turnarounds, she is a former Big Five consultant and financial advisor who was recruited by Alvarez & Marsal to help to establish their West Coast presence. She has also taught in an inner city school and spent a decade innovating new products and programs for a national nonprofit.  She holds a Bachelors, with honors, from Stanford University and an MBA, with honors, from Berkeley Haas. Newly back from a ten country sabbatical in which she visited a museum every 3.1 days, she’s looking for her next adventure.

Scott Herriman
SVP Engineering at FastSpring

Scott’s career expertise is in consumer-focused telephony solutions. As the SVP, Engineering Scott leads the development and operation teams developing Invoca’s Voice Marketing Cloud solutions.  Prior to joining Invoca, Scott was Technical Manager of the client team at CallWave, Inc. Early in his tenure at CallWave, Scott was responsible for developing key portions of the telephony service platform. As manager of CallWave’s client team, Scott’s group developed the real-time telephony application installed on millions of Windows desktops. Scott earned his BS degree in Computer Science with a minor in Geology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Bob Lansdorp
CEO at Milo Sensors

While pursuing his PhD in Materials, Bob co-founded Milo Sensors, which won the 2015 New Venture Competition at UCSB. Since then, the company has found initial commercial partners in the research space, where continuous alcohol consumption measurements in a real-world environment cannot be obtained by any other means. The company is determined to make a positive impact on the thousands of lives and $250 billion that are lost annually to alcohol misuse. More products are in the works, stay tuned at:

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

Penelope Lopez
Hacker. Maker. Doer. at CyberCodeTwins

Penelope Lopez is a first-generation Latina born and raised in East Los Angeles. She has received various awards in tech competitions and hackathons such as the NASA International SpaceApps Challenge, AT&T Developer Summit, and many more. Together with her twin sister America, started a tech company known as "CyberCode Twins" to make communities safer thru wearable tech and mobile apps. Recently they were asked to speak at a TedX Talk about "The Hackathon Effect" in Los Angeles. Penelope is a CalStateLA student majoring in CIS and interested in cybersecurity.

Matt McLaughlin
Director, Technology at {Carpe Data

Matt McLaughlin is a Director of Technology at Carpe Data, a company that provides next generation predictive scoring and data products to the insurance industry. Upon graduation from UCSB in 2011, Matt started in an entry-level position on the operations side of Social Intelligence, whose technology arm recently spun off into Carpe Data. After switching to the technology side of the company early on and performing functions including quality assurance, product development, project management, and even customer support, for the past few years he was responsible for all technology prioritization and implementation within Carpe Data's dynamic and lean team. Armed only with a psychology background and an underwhelming amount of technical ability out of college, he has been trying to pick up everything he can related to the business and technology side of startups from his outstanding colleagues. Most recently, he moved to Lisbon, Portugal, to open Carpe Data's newest office, and has hired more than a dozen employees to date.

Greg Monterrosa
Founder @ Hub101

Supporting and advancing entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development. My passions lie in two distinct areas: tacos and startups. I am the Community Manager and one of the founders of Hub101, a startup center located in Westlake Village, California with a mission of encouraging businesses to “create, launch, grow.”

Victor Moreira
CTO @ {Carpe Data

Technology fanatic!

While enjoying the beautiful views in Santa Barbara, I graduated from University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in Electrical and Computer Engineer with high honors.

In 2008, I joined NozaSearch team, a local startup that created the world's biggest database of philanthropical data. Nozasearch was acquired in 2010 by a public company, Blackbaud CRM.

On the hills of acquisition, I co-founded HG Data (now HG Insights), a Santa Barbara startup. HG Insights maps the connections between business: Who buys from whom, and who buys what. As the CTO, I led the technology development and product creation. HG Insights grew along the big data and technology revolution and disrupted market. HG grew to 80 employees, with engineers in 3 countries.

I'm interested in technology in general, with focus in high-end computers and electronics, and brand new inventions. I'm an avid lover of cars and racing, and I like to pretend I'm a professional racing driver myself.

All my free time is dedicated to my puppy: The Penny, who is the star of the show!

Annette Shimada
Principal and Founder, Kickstart Consulting

Annette is a San Francisco Bay Area expatriate happily living in Santa Barbara for more than a dozen years. She launched Kickstart Consulting in the late 90s, well before “Kickstarter” was a thing. Today, this boutique PR and communications firm focuses on emerging technologies that will drive the businesses of tomorrow. Annette heads up a diverse team of experts in corporate messaging, product launch, thought leadership, media and analyst relations, journalism and media training. The team works with technology innovators delivering solutions across a range of industries, including retail, biotech, hospitality, higher education, architecture, healthcare, energy and others.   

Prior to launching Kickstart, Annette was director of corporate communications at Netherlands-based Baan Company and drove a cohesive global program following the company's IPO. Earlier in her career, she managed PR, advertising and events for LA-based clients in consumer products and retail.

Annette is proud to say that Kickstart is a referral-based agency that has survived and thrived through a few tech bubbles and bursts. And, while she focuses on early stage companies who tend to get snapped up by the likes of Oracle, BMC, Amazon and Corning, the firm also worked directly with icons such as IBM, Cisco and Siebel Systems. Her team loves coming to Santa Barbara and the surrounding wine country to enjoy a bit of our good life!

Christian Smith
CEO, Hypothesis Factory

Christian Smith is an entrepreneur who started his career creating the Bluetooth Tracking category in college. He co-founded TrackR (now Adero) in 2009, where he served as President, scaling the company to over $55MM in annual revenue, shipping over 8 million devices, and raising a $50 million series B round. In 2018, Christian handed the day-to-day responsibilities to the team at TrackR. Now, he helps founders prove their business hypothesis by guiding the process of creating growth and generating the key results.

Danette Wallace
Blockchain Consultant

Danette Wallace is a Blockchain Consultant who has recently returned from living overseas where she worked with the largest blockchain corporation in SE Asia. She is now working with corporate clients who are seeking to implement blockchain into their business model and formulate a strategic plan for growth. 
Danette’s personal mission is to create and support structures that enable connection, collaboration and community. With this as her mission, She has worked with multiple organizations from grass roots movements to global corporations to help them formulate and implement advanced technology systems that enable beneficial peer to peer connections. 
Danette’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado and a Masters’ of Science degree from Northwestern University. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend SB: AI | Big Data | Blockchain 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

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Organizing Team

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

  • Navjot
  • Rita
  • Ed
  • Ruben
  • Claire
  • Mitch


Navjot Brar
Product Manager | Startup Community Leader | Innovation Catalyst

Navjot is a technical product manager who leads all international product work at Carpe Data related to bringing our products to the international market. This includes localization management, translation management, product management, data analysis, R&D, sales support, and project management.

He has 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. He graduated from UCSB with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

He supports the local startup community of Santa Barbara by organizing the Lean Startup Circle Meetup and the global startup community through organizing/facilitating Startup Weekends.

Globally he works with organizations like Techstars, Lean Startup Co, TechCrunch, SXSW, and more.

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