Startup Weekend Santa Clarita

    Friday, November 13 - 15, 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 Santa Clarita

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015

Friday, November 13 - 15, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center College of the Canyons
Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Room #258
Santa Clarita, CA 91355

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The coolest entrepreneurial thing you can do in a short weekend!


November 4-6, 2016

Looking to show your design skills?

Designers will be able to:
- expand their portfolios
- show off their design skills
- get feedback on their ideas within a startup and feasible business context
- see how they can perform under pressure
- land potential job leads
- network with other creatives and business leaders

Ready to build the next Airbnb?

Developers will get the chance to:
- build something people want and might actually use
- test out the fast-paced startup environment and challenge themselves
- gain a fantastic experience to share in future interviews
- develop their portfolios
- build the core features of a product under an extreme time constraint
- meet potential co-founders

Are you a scrappy entrepreneur?

Biz folks will have the opportunity to:
- pitch and validate an idea, and potentially earn the bragging rights for launching a successful startup
- start an actual business
- build on their leadership skills by directing a team to success
- experience the fast-paced startup environment
- receive direct feedback from experts in the field, and more importantly, potential customers!
- learn new skills and gain a ton of experience in an intense, but fun setting
- connect with talented developers, designers, and like-minded entrepreneurs (you might even find your future co-founder)
- collaborate and coordinate with a team to achieve a common goal

Tickets to Startup Weekend are capped at 30 per category: 30 designers, 30 developers, and 30 biz folks. If you fit into one of these roles snag your ticket now before it sells out! Funds from your ticket go towards the costs incurred with putting on this entirely volunteer event, most of which cover your meals!

Prizes to be claimed:

1st Place – 600 Sq. Ft. Office Space Free for Three Months (Avenue Stanford), a sit-down with the Pasadena Angel investing group, One Hour “Intellectual Property” Consultation with Fish & Tsang, One Hour “Entity Formation and Startup First Steps” Consultation with Spectrum Financial Resources Inc.

2nd Place - Half Hour “Intellectual Property” Consultation with Fish & Tsang, One Hour “Entity Formation and Startup First Steps” Consultation with Spectrum Financial Resources Inc.

3rd Place - Half Hour “Intellectual Property” Consultation with Fish & Tsang, One Hour “Entity Formation and Startup First Steps” Consultation with Spectrum Financial Resources Inc.

Global Startup Battle prizes: Workspace memberships, conference and festival passes, travel money, cloud storage credits, tons of mentorship opportunities. Read more about the GSB Prize tracks at .

Learn what it's all about!

Santa Clarita Startup Weekend is a grassroots event, organized by five volunteers who currently live in the Santa Clarita Valley. This is a unique opportunity for software developers, designers, and business-minded entrepreneurs to team up and build several new startups in just 54 hours! Startup Weekend is part of the largest entrepreneurial community with 80,000 past attendees of 905 weekend events in 501 cities within 135 countries, as of 2014. This is big, and this will be the second event hosted in Santa Clarita! We’re here to prove that Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach aren't the only places where a startup can grow, and we are excited to see which companies sprout during the weekend.

This three-day event encourages a fun and engaging environment for startup enthusiasts of all backgrounds. Startup Weekend 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, a keynote speaker, and conclude with a Shark Tank-style judging session. Prizes awarded will be designed to add value to the winning startup teams, and of course come with bragging rights!

Participants arrive the evening of Friday, Nov. 13th. Those with a startup in mind get 60 seconds to pitch their idea (not required), the attendees vote for their favorites, and then teams naturally form around the top picks! Days two and three involve collaboration as teams take their ideas from paper to working prototype. The potential for startup growth in Santa Clarita abounds, and this event is the perfect opportunity to learn about the resources that exist right here in the Santa Clarita Valley!

This event is also part of the Global Startup Battle, a worldwide competition for the best startup ideas created in a weekend. Winning teams from these Startup Weekend events go on to compete in the global digital competition!

You’re busy, we get it! Shake up your routine and come to Startup Weekend on November 13 - 15! It’s the coolest entrepreneurial thing you can do in a short weekend. We promise to feed you lots of  good food, introduce you to talented locals (potentially your future co-founder), connect you to business leaders, and provide you with a challenging and engaging space to test out that idea you’ve been hanging on to for the last year (or help someone build theirs). Seriously though, it’s time to act on it and try it out! We welcome anyone passionate about business, development, design, marketing, etc. Here are some of the top reasons we came up with at our last organizing meeting for any developer, designer, or business-minded entrepreneur to attend. Check it out:

Get in touch!

Questions about the event? Email us at .


Lastly, sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact us via email if you are interested!

Tom, Chris, Dale, Emily, Wyatt, & Parker
Your Santa Clarita Startup Weekend 2015 Organizers


Friday November 13th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 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 14th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

10:00 am
Fish & Tsang IP Presentation
Fish & Tsang LLP Intellectual Property Presentation. Learn about what it takes to protect your ideas.

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!

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 November 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:15 am
VEDC Presentation
Valley Economic Development Corporation workshop on “Do’s & Don’ts” of startup financing / “How to pitch your idea when you are seeking financing”

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Bill Momary
Senior Vice President, Content

Bill Momary, Ebyline CEO/Co-Founder:    As Co-Founder and CEO of Ebyline, a company that was acquired by IZEA in January of 2015, Momary built a foundation that helped media companies, brands, and agencies produce quality content assets at scale. Ebyline is an online marketplace that enables publishers to access a network of professional content creators ranging from writers to illustrators in 73 countries around the world.  Today, Ebyline's content marketing network boasts more than 15,000  fully vetted journalism professionals with backgrounds at media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired and ESPN. Since the acquisition, Momary has stayed on as Senior Vice President of Content at IZEA, bringing 15 years of advertising and marketing experience to the company from branded content to sponsored social. As the company’s key content strategist, Bill’s role places him as a center of excellence for all education and planning related to the needs of IZEA clients and partners. Momary has worked with brands and media properties including Tribune, Forbes, the Associated Press, Microsoft, Levi’s and AllState.

Event Judges

Steve Reich

I’m Steve Reich, a Pasadena Angel and veteran entrepreneur in Southern California.  Through my experiences with Digital Insight, LeisureLink, and Treasury Services, I’ve been with startups from launch to IPO.  I’ve had the good fortune to be funded by such great VC firms as Clearstone, Mission Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and General Atlantic. 

Ajay Kapur
Associate Dean for Research and Development in Digital Arts

Ajay Kapur is currently the Director of the Music Technology program (MTIID) at the California Institute of the Arts, as well as the Associate Dean for Research and Development in Digital Arts. He also runs a PhD Research Group in Wellington New Zealand called Sonic Engineering Lab for Creative Technology.  He is also Founder and CEO of Kadenze, the Creative Arts MOOC. He received an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2007 from University of Victoria combining computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, music and psychology with a focus on intelligent music systems and media technology. Ajay graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University in 2002.Kapur has published over 100 technical papers and presented lectures across the world on music technology, human computer interface for artists, robotics for making sound, and modern digital orchestras. His first book “Digitizing North Indian Music”, discusses how sensors, machine learning and robotics are used to extend and preserve traditional techniques of Indian Classical music. His latest book "Introduction to Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists" is a textbook for artists to learn computer science. 

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

Raimone Roberts
Business Advisor

A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Raimone Roberts’ 20 years of military and business experience includes leading & managing teams of 200+ and programs over $400 million. He currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Technology Officer for Empire Construction. He is a business advisor for the Small Business Administration. Raimone is also Co-Founder of dco and dcoVentures, with entities and projects that include tech startups and incubators, co-work studios, entertainment/media, and real estate development. Raimone, an Eagle Scout, has a B.S. in Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a MBA from Pepperdine University. Raimone and his amazing wife, Noelle, are pursuing a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors.

Chris Wadden
President of Veraison LLC and Active Investor / Board Member at Pasadena Angels

Mr. Wadden is an active member, treasurer, and board member of the Pasadena Angels that invests and mentors early stage companies.

Chris is an entrepreneur, executive, consultant, investor, and educator. He is President of Veraison LLC which provides strategic and operating advice to small and medium sized companies along with assistance for debt, equity, and non-bank financing. He and his wife Susan produce, sell, and market artisan single vineyard pinot noir wines under the “Affaire de Coeur” brand.

Chris has had 30 year career in consumer products with 20 years as General Manager and President working domestically and internationally. He has driven top line growth through aggressive new branded, private label and licensed national product introductions (over 400 new products) and focused marketing programs. He has also developed several independent brands including the” Back to Nature” brand that was purchased by Kraft Foods in 2003. He is also noted for his expertise in optimizing operating performance resulting in improving all of the companies operating income that he has worked with. Chris ran Nabisco’s joint venture in the People Republic of China in the early 90’s for four years and designed the market development, operations, and manufacturing plan that are in place today.

Chris is an adjunct professor at local universities He specializes in teaching courses in Marketing, Change Management, Business Planning, Entrepreneurship and Finance. He has also been a guest lecturer at conferences that focus on doing business in China and entrepreneurship.  

Mr. Wadden earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M, Degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and an MBA in finance from Keller Graduate School of Management.  Mr. Wadden also holds a professional engineer license from the State of Texas.

Sugath Warnakulasuriya

Sugath Warnakulasuriya is passionate about transforming the way people live, work, and play by combining breakthrough technology with world-class design.

He is an entrepreneur, strategic advisor and investor currently working with Enterprises as well as startups across a broad range of industries. He previously built and served as the CEO of 10EQS ('Ten X'), and was co-founder and CTO of eLink Commerce.

As a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Co and independently, he has helped Fortune 500 companies pursue new ventures, design and launch major products, and develop and execute high-profile market initiatives.

As a part of Sand Hill and Pasadena Angels, he currently invests in game-changing startup teams and concepts.

He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and MS/BS in Computer Science from USC.

Coaches and Mentors

Erick Arndt
Founder of SCV Startup community, Co-founder of TripRocker

Erick Arndt, co-founder of TripRocker and tech enthusiast, launched SCV Startup with help from Brad Feld and Jim Armstrong.  Interesting factoid: Erick pitched live on Jason Calacanis’ show This Week in Startups and went on to win Microsoft Bing's "Pitch of the Year" contest.  By day, Erick is a Financial Advisor in Santa Clarita for Virtue Wealth Management.

Brian Tippy

Brian is the Director of Business Development at NationBuilder, an Andreessen-Horowitz backed company that provides software for leaders. He manages the company's ecosystem of creative agencies, app partners, and developers that work on top of the platform. His previous experience includes co-founding two startups and as the first hire for a gaming company that was funded by Idealab and acquired by Kik Interactive. Brian was born and raised in the SCV and helped organize the city's first Startup Weekend back in 2012. He also has an affinity for red wine, one-liners, and Scandinavian metal. 

Scott Capistrano

Scott is an entrepreneurial leader possessing a multi-track background in Operations, Finance, and Technology.  He is a change leader with strategic vision, and a proven track record in results-oriented management, with nearly three decades of experience.  He has a BS in Accounting from Loyola scMarymount University, an MBA from Pepperdine University, and retains multiple industry certifications. Scott is the President and co-owner of Status Not Quo - a Creative Services and Software Development firm.  SNQ provides turnkey services beginning with digital marketing strategy, brand alignment, and creative design, with that vision executed and implemented utilizing the highest caliber of programming expertise and technologies.  This is all built upon an exceptional foundation of hands-on industry experience in the areas of marketing, operations, and finance. Scott is also the President and co-owner of Oddly Even Studios - a mobile development firm specializing in mobile and multi-screen applications, for both corporate apps and mobile gaming - with a specific focus on location-based mobile technology and augmented reality.

Genevieve Halpenny
Associate Attorney

Genevieve Halpenny is an associate with Fish & Tsang LLP. Genevieve assists senior attorneys and partners in their everyday IP practice by drafting necessary documents and serving as an important informational resource for a variety of disputes related to patent, trademark and intellectual property issues.

Genevieve is inspired by the passion and enthusiasm displayed by F&T clients as she takes part in turning their ideas into tangible inventions. She has a natural zeal for overcoming challenging situations, an attribute that benefits innovators as she helps them realize their IP dreams. Genevieve excels in the firm’s collaborative environment and holds value in the ability to work together to find outside-the-box solutions.

Andrew Mar
Law Contractor

Andrew Mar is an IP attorney with nearly a decade of experience preparing and prosecuting patents, trademarks and copyrights. At Fish & Tsang, Andrew specializes in prosecuting patents in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science, including chip design, virtualized computer architecture, SaaS, web-based services and virtual world systems.

Andrew’s litigation experience includes preparing court documents for trademark infringement claims and serving as co-counsel, litigating on behalf of clients in the California Central District Court and Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He also assists the F&T litigation team with essential background research for many IP cases.

Alex Givens
Co-Founder of Noon Pacific

Alex is a developer, designer, and co-founder of Noon Pacific 🌴

Charles G. Yacoobian
Business Advisor

Charles G. Yacoobian, an SBDC Business Advisor since 2010, assists clients with accounting, business plans, business financing, business startup, gen- eral business, global trade, management, and distribution and warehousing.Charles brings a unique combination of hands-on financial and operational skills that enable him to solve complex business problems and uncover opportunities to maximize cash flow, profits and working capital. He has over 30 years of experience in wholesale distribution of consumer products, manufacturing, food processing, import/export, startups, retail, service, franchising and licensed products, as well as mergers, acquisitions and
business sales. 
Charles started his first business in college and has been owner/partner in a mail-order camping products business, an arts and crafts distribution business and a licensed products business. A CPA since 1975, he has also worked as Controller/CFO for companies in a variety of industries. 

Gil Murphy
Senior Business Advisor

Senior Business Advisor Gil Murphy assists SBDC clients with business plans, business financing, business startup, general business, global trade, management, sales and marketing and business turnarounds. Gil is skilled in each stage of the life of a consumer product, including product development, promotion, licensing, marketing, sales and distribution.
 After serving in the Marines, Gil spent 20 years in management at AT&T before leaving the corporate world. He has owned several businesses, including a premium and incentive rep firm, a promotional sales company focusing on entertainment-related licensed merchandise, and an asset
 management company. He is CEO of Group G Asset Management, a sales
 consulting company that helps offshore manufacturers place products with U.S. buyers.

Erica Bristol
Business Advisor

An SBDC Business Advisor since 2013, Erica Bristol assists the SBDC’s clients with legal issues that affect their small businesses and startups. Her areas of specialization include mediation, intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and patents), business contracts and transactions, and residential and commercial real estate. Erica is a member of the Executive Committee, State Bar of California, Intellectual Property Section; and member of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association; the Beverly Hills Bar Association; the San Fernando Valley Bar Association; and the Santa Clarita Valley Bar Association and has contributed to the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Sylvia Martini
Business Advisor

An SBDC Business Advisor since 2011, Sylvia Martini assists clients with global trade, sales and marketing, technology, Web communications and Web design, public relations, and mobile and online marketing. Before she began working with the SBDC, Sylvia had more than 20 years of experience in international marketing and sales. As International Marketing Coordinator for an automotive company, her responsibilities included assisting international customers, developing media and public relations plans, conducting competitive analyses. As Outside Advertising Sales Representative for two publishing companies, she developed and maintained relationships with advertisers, planned and organized client events, and substantially increased each company’s sales. 

Mark Colonomos
Business Advisor

An SBDC Business Advisor since 2011, Mark Colonomos specializes in helping clients with business plans, business startup, general business issues, management and sales and marketing. Mark spent 30 years as a manufacturer, retailer and consultant in the fashion industry, where he held positions ranging from head designer to sales manager for various apparel companies. In addition, he previously owned four apparel companies, as well as two retail stores. His last business, a sweater manufacturer, had annual sales of $18 million; more than 150 employees; and clients including Kohl’s, Sears and JC Penney. The success of that business enabled him to retire at a relatively young age. 

Tora Brown
Business Advisor

A Business Advisor since 2007, Tora Brown specializes in helping clients with business startup, government contracts, sales and marketing and public relations. In 1997, Tora started Tora Brown Public Relations, which executes external- focused communication strategies for more than 35 nonprofit organizations in the Los Angeles County area, including developing public relations plans, national and local advertising, media events, creating media press kits, b-roll footage, photography shoots and social media. 

Paul Mazbanian
Business Advisor

An SBDC Business Advisor since 2003, Paul Mazbanian specializes in assisting clients with Business Plans, Business Financing, Business Startup, General Business, Management, and Sales and Marketing. Paul is the owner of Small Business Community (SBC) Lending in Glendale, California. Founded in 2007, SBC Lending focuses on financing small businesses and generated over $10 million in loans funded for fiscal year 2010. As a loan consultant at the Valley Economic Development Center in Van Nuys, Paul funded nearly $10 million in loans for small business clients, focusing on SBA loans. 

Helene K. Liatsos
Business Advisor

SBDC Business Advisor Helene K. Liatsos is a Certified QuickBooks Instruc- tor, and specializes in helping clients with QuickBooks. In addition, Helene assists clients with business startup; general business & management; and accounting issues including payroll, tax issues, financial statements and projections. A small business owner, Helene has a special expertise in home-based businesses. She has had several articles on how to start and run a home- based business published, has developed an instructional DVD on the topic, and teaches a class in “How to Start and Operate Your Own Home- Based Business” at Pierce College and West Los Angeles College. In 2004 she received the Home-Based Business Award from the Los Angeles District of the Small Business Administration (SBA). 

Stuart Fried
Business Advisor

An SBDC Business Advisor since 2013, Stuart Fried specializes in business networking and teaching small business owners how to use LinkedIn to promote their businesses and search for, identify and connect with potential clients, strategic referral partners, vendors and industry peers. A small business owner himself, Stuart creates and delivers workshops and presentations on LinkedIn and career-related topics at SCORE Los Angeles; California State University-Northridge (CSUN); Jewish Vocational Service (JVS); and a variety of job clubs, professional associations and business groups. 

Connie Sparks
Business Advisor

A successful entrepreneur, Connie Sparks assists SBDC clients with business plans, business financing, business startup, general business, management and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) assessments. An SBDC Business Advisor since 2006, Connie is a Certified Personal and Professional Development Coach. In 2000, she founded Wade Institute, which helps companies grow by creating revenue-generating ideas, obtaining financing, and improving process and project management. Connie is author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide for Starting a Business and Where’s the Money: Big Dollars to Do Big Business Like the Big Boys. In 2009, she received the Small Business Administration’s Home-Based Business Champion Award. 

Michael Letson
Business Advisor

A former sales and operations executive, Michael has a wide range of expertise in all aspects of supply chain development, including planning, purchasing, quality, inventory, assembly, testing, shipping and receiving. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt; is Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) by the Association for Operations Management (APICS) and is a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO). 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Santa Clarita 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

The College of the Canyons Economic Development Division generously offered space at the College's University Center to hold the event. The Santa Clarita Startup Weekend organizing team is grateful to hold this event in a state-of-the-art facility.

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Organizing Team

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

  • Christopher
  • Dale
  • Wyatt
  • Emily
  • Tom


Tom Beckett
Crowdfunding Consultant

Event Staff

Noelle Chadbourne

Noelle Chadbourne is an educator with the William S. Hart School District. Noelle's interests include curriculum development, student engagement and technology fluency in the classroom. She has worked both at home and abroad with special populations. Noelle is inspired by the technological and collaborative community startups foster.

Event Blog

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