Seattle International Startup Weekend

    Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018

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

Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018

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

Amazon Arizona Building
207 Boren Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

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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.
Who are the organizers?
Members of our team come from more than 8 different countries, work in different industries - business, diplomacy, education, finance and tech - and share this common passion in entrepreneurship.

Should I belong to the expats or international community to join this event?
No, the event is open to everyone. It is like a regular Startup Weekend, with a specific focus on mingling members of the international community in the Seattle area with their Seattle counterparts.

Is there a particular theme?
No, the theme is general.

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

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
Doors Open, Registration, and Dinner
Arrive at the venue and get checked in. Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Program begins by reviewing agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:35 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:50 pm
Form Teams
Attendees start to form teams and discuss 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

11:00 pm
Venue Close

Saturday February 24th

9:00 am
Venue Open & Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Morning Briefing
Get organized on what the goals are for Saturday, and aware of what resources are available to help you

9:45 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and set up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Coaches Arrive
Experts in various fields have volunteered their time to help your startups grow

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Coach meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm

10:00 pm
Venue Closed

Sunday February 25th

9:00 am
Venue Open & Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Morning Briefing
Get organized on what the goals are for Sunday, and aware of what resources are available to help you

10:00 am
Pitch Coaching
We will have lots of time where you can practice your pitch with industry experts

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

2:30 pm
The main portion of the event (the work) is over, time to take a break and get seated for the final presentations

3:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

6:00 pm
Venue Close


Luis J. Salazar
Co-Founder and CEO, Giving Tech Labs

Luis is the co-founder and CEO of Giving Tech Labs where they incubate technologies and sustainable business models to address pressing social issues. He previously co-founded, Optio3, and as co-founder and CEO led Jobaline from ideation to leader in the sector. 
Luis held international executive positions for Yahoo, Microsoft (co-founder of Office 365), GMI (acquired by WPP in 2011), Xerox and ABB.
He has led the launch of more than twenty-five global products in the consumer and business spaces and is an expert on reinventing processes, creating scalable and efficient cloud-based solutions. 
He has taken companies from zero to one million users and upwards of 700 million users. He has led businesses from zero to +$2M in annual revenues and up to $4B global P&L operations. Luis had driven private capital raising efforts for five different startups, for a total over $20 million. Luis is also a board advisor to the School of Business at the University of Washington Bothell. 

Event Judges

Haresh Ved
Founder and Chair, TiE Angels Group Seattle (TAGS)

Haresh Ved is a seasoned technocrat with 30+ years of experience in the corporate and startup world.  He is a former Microsoft employee and has been an angel investor for 20+ years.  He is an integral part of the startup ecosystem in the northwest and is associated with multiple entrepreneur-centric programs, organizations, nonprofits and academic institutions.  He is interested in technology startups, particularly in the areas of AI/ ML, Cloud, IoT, Analytics and Data Science.  He enjoys working with entrepreneurs and startups as an advisor or board member.  In his spare time, he loves to travel and build lifelong memories with his wife, Chhaya, and two sons, Ronak and Chirag.

Kari Kailamäki
CEO, Voyaxes, Inc.; CEO, Notava, Inc.

Kari is a technology and business executive with 20+ years of broad global experience delivering world-class software products and integrated business solutions for the delivery of mobile connectivity, value-added services and digital media.  He has been pioneering innovation and the evolution of the Mobile Internet industry and worked in various key executive and advisory roles for companies ranging from startups to larger international corporations.

Mia Lewin
CEO-in-Residence, Madrona Venture Labs

For the last 12 years, Mia Lewin has been working at the intersection of commerce, design and lifestyle industries. As an entrepreneur, executive, investor and advisor she has built teams and scaled businesses in roles that span Founder CEO, head of product management, business development, and finance. A Scandinavia native, her true passion is design and creating beautiful and functional products that enhance the way we live. 
Mia is currently CEO-in-Residence at Madrona Venture Labs, incubating her third start-up Spruce Up. Previously she was Founder CEO of Kontor (now Workframe), product executive at eBay, Founder CEO of design/story and Head of Business Development at Zazzle.  
Mia has degrees from Stanford Graduate School of Business, ESCP-EAP and Helsinki School of Economics. She is also the proud mom of three boys—plus a dog—and lives with her husband and family in Issaquah, WA. 

Olivier Fontana
Director of Product Strategy and Marketing, AI & Research Division, Microsoft

Olivier is a senior product and business leader with a broad technology and business experience across three countries and within organizations and groups ranging from a handful to hundreds of people. He has led or supported the growth of multiple products and services in the AI, IOT, cloud, hardware, system and software markets. A serial in-house entrepreneur, his focus is on bridging the gap between technologies and nascent markets by driving end-to-end, from strategy to execution, both product and go-to-market aspects. He is director of product strategy and marketing for Microsoft Translator and Speech in the AI and Research division at Microsoft since 2014.
Married and father of three, he holds an MSEE from ESIEE Paris and an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

Tomas Vetrovsky
Sr. Director of Product Management, Vmware

For the last 20 years, Tomas has been helping companies large and small to define their product strategy, improve critical features, create business plans and other aspects needed for a successful product launch. He served on advisory boards for HP (printer division), Celio (mobility) and Sunnysoft (enterprise mobile apps) and advised companies as part of the Silicon Valley based Plug&Play accelerator. He established development centers for 2 different companies in the Seattle region and is in the process of doing the same for the EUC Division of VMware. Tomas made a handful of investments as an Angel investor and is always looking to learn more about what makes others successful, in business and life. 
When he is not spending time outdoors with his kids, either skiing or biking, he loves to be on solo adventure motorcycle rides, scuba diving and dreams of racing in the Paris-Dakar rally.

Coaches and Mentors

Alex Stoklas
Customer Experience Management Expert, Microsoft

Alex has extensive experience in consumer marketing and customer relationship management for high-tech and services companies around the globe.  Prior to joining Microsoft in 2013, where he currently helps implement marketing in customer service, he spent over 10 years working for T-Mobile subsidiaries in Europe and the USA. He successfully led teams there focused on the development and implementation of strategies to grow customer base value. His responsibilities included lead gen., customer retention, cross-and up-selling, segmentation and direct marketing to name a few. Alex started his professional career at a wireless start-up, running local marketing and sales campaigns to drive subscriber acquisition. His experience with subscription-based business models (wireless, cloud) taught him about the importance of life-cycle management and made him an advocate that 'customer retention starts at acquisition.'
Alex grew up in Austria and moved to the USA four years ago. He enjoys living in Seattle and loves to explore the Washington mountains and lakes together with his wife and two kids.

Anders Maul
Sr. Marketing Manager, Textio

Anders is Sr. Marketing Manager at Textio — The augmented writing platform. Prior to Textio, Anders was Marketing Manager at LiveStories — The data storytelling platform for governments. Anders was the first demand generation marketer at both Textio and LiveStories and has been responsible for building out marketing activities from the ground up. Maul previously worked for Techstars in Seattle where he helped select program candidates, run the program, and manage marketing efforts. 

Arean van Veelen
Angel Investor, Advisor, Entrepreneur

Technologist with more than 20 years cross functional experience with the design, building and management of software products.
Currently advising startups working on mobile and market place solutions.
Especially interested in challenging solutions involving technologies touching every day life.
Loves to grow teams and create scalable solutions that make a difference.

Bruno Botvinik
Owner & CTO, enova-labs

Bruno is the owner and CTO of Enova Labs, a boutique technology consulting firm serving startups and entrepreneurs in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. As a senior technology executive he has extensive experience directing, developing and executing innovative web and mobiles services. 
Bruno is a successful serial entrepreneur that co-founded three startups as CTO on two continents. Prior to Enova Labs he co-founded SquareHub, a social network for families, where he led the platform development and engineering team, eventually licensing the IP. Previously he sold his first venture, MotionBridge a mobile search engine, to Microsoft bringing him from France to the vibrant Seattle technology hub.  
Bruno has volunteered as an organizer of the four previous editions of EuroSeattle Startup Weekend and is involved in FACC Startup Committee. 

Cameron Borumand
Associate, Ignition Partners

Cameron is an investor at Ignition Partners, a venture capital firm based in Bellevue and Los Altos. He focuses on early stage enterprise technology investments in areas including big data analytics, machine learning and AI, next-generation infrastructure, and the future of the workplace. Prior to Ignition, Cameron was a co-founder of Curious Capital. He raised a small fund of outside capital to invest in innovative seed-stage technology companies based in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to Curious, Cameron was a technology investment banker at Vaquero Capital in San Francisco. Cameron holds a BS degree in Business Administration – Finance from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. 

Cassie Wallender
Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, Invio, Inc.

Cassie Wallender has been a senior contributor and manager in both product and design for several successful Seattle software startups (iLike, acquired by MySpace in 2009, and Appature, acquired by IMS Health in 2013). A strong believer in utilizing data to solve software design problems, her empathy and user research experience champion an accurate “voice of the user” perspective.  
In early 2016 she co-founded the enterprise SaaS company, InvioInvio battles the high costs of delays and inefficiencies in clinical trials by moving clinical operations to cloud-based automated workflows. SourceDrive™ by Invio is an easy-to-use, compliant platform for remote and automated clinical trial monitoring. 

Cynthia Tee
VP Product Development, PlayFab, Inc.

Cynthia is a strong believer and supporter of growing inclusion through allyship skills. Currently VP of Product Development at Playfab and formerly Executive Director for Ada Developers Academy, she actively works on her two passions in the tech industry: building great products and championing inclusive behavior by being a facilitator of the Ally Skills Workshop.
Cynthia’s industry experience also spans many years at Microsoft building a wide range of products. She earned her Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
She was born and raised in the Philippines, and currently lives in North Seattle with her husband and 2 children. She is an avid aerialist and loves to travel.

Erik Goerke
Co-Founder, Alliance Management

Erik is the co-founder, and has been the CEO of his company, Alliance Management, for 10 years. His company provides consulting, real estate brokerage, and management for income producing, investment properties.  He served on the Green Bay (WI) Chamber’s Advance Business Incubator Board, Downtown Inc. Business Development Board, the CEO Roundtable program, and the St. Norbert College Presidents Advisory Council, as well as other board positions. He’s also currently pursuing his executive MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and has just launched his first app (a free textbook exchange app for university students – currently under beta testing). 

Sam Sarmad
Founder, Health & Fitness Startup

Sam has over 17 years of business and technology leadership experience in startups and large organizations and is currently working on this health and fitness startup. An entrepreneur at heart, he has been active in the Seattle entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout his professional career. His technology background is in software engineering, progressing to architecting, managing and evaluating high impact, enterprise scale networks and systems. Sam’s business experience includes management, strategy, execution, change management, and complex problem-solving in ambiguous scenarios with high-risk outcomes. Sam is multi-lingual with extensive cross-cultural experience and achieved two master degrees with top honors at University of Washington Foster School of Business.

Carolyn Spencer
Program Manager, Amazon

Carolyn is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. Carolyn is one of 50 Amazon Think Big Evangelists, acted as a coach for Seattle University’s business plan competition, and is joining the Europe Entrepreneur in Residence program this summer. Carolyn previously worked for Intuit TurboTax, where she designed a patented personalized blog experience. Carolyn loves to interview other thought leaders in her space and blogs about her knowledge and experience on her website. In her free time, Carolyn enjoys traveling, photography, and volunteering.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Seattle International 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.




Organizing Team

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

  • Marie-Laura
  • Zsuzsa
  • Michel
  • Jack
  • Katalin
  • Laurel
  • Thea
  • Carlton
  • Théo
  • Alexander
  • Stefania
  • Vivien
  • Niveda
  • Michael


Kartik Rishi
Product Manager

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