Startup Weekend Santa Clara

    Friday, May 25 - 27, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Santa Clara

Friday, May 25 - 27, 2018

Friday, May 25 - 27, 2018
Event starts at 5:45 pm

Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, California 95053

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Startup Magic in 54 Hours

In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup.

Startup Weekend is a well­ established program that has been held more than 1000 times in 120+ countries around the world.
Next stop - Santa Clara University!

Startup Weekend is a weekend-long event that allows anyone to turn an idea into reality. In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. Here you will look for a team, create a prototype of an idea, validate a business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs.

Who is this for?
ANYONE! Think of it like a hackathon, but for designers, engineers, and business people.

How does it work?
• Friday evening: Share ideas & form teams around the top ideas
• Saturday: Validate and build on the idea
• Sunday evening: Pitch to a panel of judges

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.

• 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
• All the caffeine you can consume
• Benefits and discounts from our global partners
• Quality feedback and insights from a team of mentors and judges
• A rare opportunity to connect and work on a meaningful project with people from diverse fields

If you have an idea,  it 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.

Still have questions? Feel free to reach us at:

About us:
We are an energetic & inspired group of Santa Clara University students from the Leavey School of Business and the School of Engineering. We are creators, engineers, analysts, marketers, entrepreneurs, and designers. We came together from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, united by our passion for design thinking and determined to achieve one mission:

By bringing Techstars Startup Weekend to Santa Clara University, we aim to cultivate a culture of interdisciplinary education to ignite a culture of collaborative innovation. Join us! Let's make Startup magic happen.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday May 25th

5:45 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in. Location: California Mission Room in Benson Memorial Center

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

7:45 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
Snacks & Projects kick-off
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 May 26th

7:00 am
Doors Open + Breakfast
Location: Williman room in Benson Memorial Center

9:00 am
Design Thinking Workshop - Part 1
CI/CX - Customer Need-finding

9:30 am
Design Thinking Workshop - Part 2
CI/CX - Value proposition

12:00 pm

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

1:15 pm
Meet the Coaches
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 May 27th

7:00 am
Doors open
Location: California Mission Room in Benson Memorial Center

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
Pitch Workshop

10:00 am
Mentors arrive
Final opportunity to ask questions

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
Pitch Practice
Receive feedbacks from mentors!

4:00 pm
Keynote & Final Pitch
Final pitch begins after a keynote session by a great speaker!

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Winners will be announced!

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Rio Maeda
Managing Director

Rio focuses on investing in innovative companies in Cyber Security, mobile, storage, and retail tech area that could work in global scale. His portfolio companies include Cylance, vArmour, AppDome, Ayasdi, Remotium, Klout, Fyde, JoyMode, and
Prior to joining Draper Nexus, Rio spent six years at Globespan Capital Partners where he had put his resource on both investment and business development of Japan/US portfolio companies. Palo Alto Networks
(NYSE: PANW) was a good example portfolio company that he took a lead on taking them to the Japanese market.

Prior to Globespan, Rio spent seven years at Sumitomo Corporation, 
a Japanese conglomerate trading company in which he had built expertise his international business skill in IT technologies and consumer web services in Tokyo and his capitalist career at Presidio Ventures (Sumitomo’s corporate venture capital arm) in Santa Clara.

- Cyber Security 
- Mobile
- Retail tech

Andy Reed
Investor Operations Associate

Andy joined Propel(x) with a diverse background in finance, entrepreneurship and operations. Prior to joining, Andy was an investment banker for Robert W. Baird, where he focused on M&A in the Industrials and Business Services groups. Andy is passionate about early stage company development and financing, especially in high-impact areas like life-sciences and energy. He previously worked with Picoyune, an early-stage Mercury sensor startup and helped develop their initial go-to-market strategy and identify early customers. Andy spent the first chapter of his career as a co-founder and manager of a cycling store in San Francisco.Andy holds an MBA from the Cornell Johnson School of Graduate Management, where he received the Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow award, and a B.A. from Oberlin College in Religion and Politics. Outside of work Andy spends as much time as possible cycling, open water swimming, playing squash and cooking with friends. When possible, he volunteers as a rooftop solar installer. He is a San Francisco “local,” but still enjoys finding new hidden corners of the city.

Gabriele Sorrento
CEO at Mindesk

Gabriele is an Architectural Engineer with the passion for digital technologies. He obtained an Engineering Master’s degree in 2014 at Politecnico di Milano.
After 7+ years of Architectural 3D modeling experience, while developing his Master’s thesis, Gabriele spotted a huge potential in Virtual Reality and its application in Design and Manufacture industries. He started developing Mindesk as an experimental idea. In February 2015 Gabriele founded Mindesk SRLS and built an international team to bring its concept to reality. In August 2015 the Fulbright Commission admitted Gabriele in the BEST (Business Exchange Student Training) program. Gabriele is currently committed in spreading his vision about the future of design in Silicon Valley.

Coaches and Mentors

Ronak Gajrawala
Student Mentor

Currently a third-year CSE student at SCU. Loves hiking, biking, and playing video games (of course), especially Destiny 2 and PUBG. In terms of experience, Ronak has been interning at various startups and big companies like Facebook and PayPal since his second year of high school. He is also working on a bunch of side projects from a web-based startup to a simple Word Unscrambler iOS app.

Skills: C, C++, JavaScript (Node.js, React), HTML, CSS, PHP, Ruby, Objective-C, Google-fu, Common Sense

Mickey Hoang
Student Mentor

Mickey Hoang is a Computer Engineering student at SCU. His favorite language is Python and he enjoys 10 hours of sleep every day. He is practiced in public speaking, music, and programming in C/C++, Java, HTML/JavaScript/CSS, and SQL. He also understands blockchain and implementation and advocates its use in specific and niche projects. While he is only fluent in English and Vietnamese, you can talk to him in any language and get two thumbs up.

- Python
- Java
- C/C++
- HTML/JavaScript/CSS
- Unity/C#
- Python

Organizing Team

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

  • Payton
  • William
  • Rory
  • Matt
  • Tiffany
  • Kai


Kris Riley
Director of Partners

Just another entrepreneur trying to take over the world one idea at a time. 

Kris has 3+ years experience organizing Startup Weekend events. His expertise is in payments, e-commerce, hospitality technology, product strategy, and positioning. He's started 2 businesses and is working on his 3rd currently. 

I love the startup world and mentoring/helping people mold their ideas into MVPs and eventually into validated businesses. The magic is in helping them realize that an idea needs legs to grow. And these legs are built out of involvement, sharing and doing. Let's go! 

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