Startup Weekend EDU Seattle

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

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

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Seattle Public Library
1000 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104

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Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here’s your opportunity to transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complementary skills & the passion to build an education product in one weekend. Design for learning, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced education designers & industry professionals and win prizes that will help take your idea to the next level!
  • Friday night: 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable education concepts.  Educators validate ideas, then all attendees vote.  We hope you’ll pitch, but definitely not required!
  • Saturday and Sunday: Work days! Teams focus on user research, customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches from the education and entrepreneurial world.  You’re welcome to stay and work as long as the venue will allow!
  • Sunday evening: Teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges.  Winning teams take home a grab bag of great tools to help launch their company!
Here’s some examples of startups that have come out of Startup Weekend EDU:
+ MathChat 
is a mobile collaboration tool for students to help each other with math homework. Founded at Startup Weekend EDU Seattle 2013, the startup is now in the Imagine K12 edtech accelerator.
+ Qeyno is a career exploration game that helps inform students about possible STEM career options & offers guidance on how to achieve them.
+ Kidfit Academyis a nonprofit running interactive physical & health education curriculum that empowers students to take control of their health & wellness with fun technology.

Here’s some of the things you get from attending
+ Delicious & healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole weekend
+ A free .co domain name
+ $2,000 of credit on Google App Engine
+ $100 of AWS credit for hosting
+ 50 free business cards
+ Event t-shirt
+ Awesome coaching by education startup industry leaders
+ Fun swag from Google, .Co and more!
+ A network of 120 new developer, designer & entrepreneur friends that are also excited about improving education

All of the pitches on Friday and companies demoed on Sunday will be educator approved and designed to solve problems in the education space, broadly defined (not restricted to K-12 or other “formal” education).

We hope you join us!

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday November 21st

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

11:00 pm
Library closes
Get a good night of sleep

Saturday November 22nd

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!

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

11:00 pm
Library closes
Get a good night of sleep

Sunday November 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

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

3:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm
Judging & Awards

5:30 pm

6:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Frank Catalano
principal and founder of Intrinsic Strategy

Frank Catalano is a hands-on strategist for companies applying digital technology to education. He is also a well-known tech industry analyst, professional author and speaker.

As a consultant, his Intrinsic Strategy clients included a wide variety of startups, as well as Professional Examination Service, Apple, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, MetaMetrics, Corbis, Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door and the Toy Industry Association. In July 2015, Frank joined SchoolMessenger (part of West Corporation) as vice president of marketing strategy.

Kishari Sing
Co-founder, CMO/COO EdCourage, Inc.

Kishari served as a judge for last year’s Startup Weekend EDU, and is thrilled to return to support entrepreneurs who are ready to tackle critical issues in education. She is a strategic marketing and advertising professional with 20 years working with consumer and B2B brands such as Mattel, Cadillac and Nestlé. Her seven years working with K-12 edtech companies has given her hands-on experience in critical components of today’s education ecosystem: learning management systems (LMS), curriculum, virtual schools, language acquisition, project-based learning and standards mastery. Her current startup company, EdCourage, Inc., offers Contemporary K-12 Curriculum Design. Co-founded a year ago with David Hunter, a dynamic former teacher from Bellevue Big Picture Schools and creator of the innovative Zombie-Based Learning geography curriculum, EdCourage is currently a semi-finalist for the SVP Fast Pitch competition here in Seattle and currently in discussions for funding with top edtech VCs in Silicon Valley. Kishari earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of California, San Diego, and is Pragmatic Marketing certified. She lives in Bellevue, and is always on the lookout for fun ethnic restaurant recommendations.

Patti Hearn
Head of School at Lake Washington Girls Middle School

Patti Hearn is the Head of School at Lake Washington Girls Middle School in Seattle, a school committed to offering girls the opportunity to become competent risk takers and courageous mistake makers.  About seventeen years ago, Patti began working with a group of parents to open the first middle school for girls in the Northwest. Since then, she has been sharing her expertise in humanities, drama, martial arts, and curriculum development. She has also “taught”  lots of things in which she is not an expert, because she believes that teachers who are excited to learn alongside their students are the best role models. Today, LWGMS is an inspiring hub of creativity, design, inquiry, presentation, performance, analysis, messiness, and resilience, with 100 students, a few hundred alumnae, a dozen teacher role models, a leading-edge STEAM program, and lots of joy.

Patti has spoken at educational conferences that include the National Association of Independent Schools and the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, as well as local events such as the Seattle Interactive Conference. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Antioch and a Bachelor’s from Rutgers University. She has also broken a concrete block with her elbow, married the same architect twice, and produced two sweet yet strong-willed children. Sometimes, she reads the whole book before her book club meeting.

Rakel Solvadottir
Founder & CEO of reKode

Rakel is a proud mother of two. She is a computer engineer with a background in psychology and education, and bears the 2013 title "Nerd of the Year" in Iceland with pride. As the founder of reKode, an award-winning computer education program for children based in Washington State and Iceland, Rakel is an innovative developer of teaching through technology. In addition, she’s spearheading a collaborative research study with Reykjavik University to analyze the impact of computer programming on the cognitive development and well-being of children in elementary school. Rakel is a frequent speaker at conferences both in Europe and the U.S., with appearances that include WITI, TEDx and SXSW Interactive. Rakel recently "graduated" from the Kaplan Techstars EdTech Accelerator in NYC.

Jim Loter
Director of Information Technology for The Seattle Public Library

Jim Loter is the Director of Information Technology for The Seattle Public Library, overseeing technology operations and digital strategy.Jim’s career has included positions higher education institutions and libraries, including Seattle University, the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and the University of Iowa Libraries. Jim has also taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in organizational management and application development.Jim has a Master's degree in Film Studies from the University of Iowa and has written and published on Irish cinema, with other interest areas including semiotics, narrative theory, and early American cinema.

Coaches and Mentors

Greg Bamford
Head of School at Watershed School

Greg Bamford is Head of School at Watershed School, an innovative young independent school in Boulder, Colorado. Watershed is a national leader in applying research-based best practices in education, for which it has been recognized by The New York Times and College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA) scores that exceed 96% of peer schools.

A former classroom teacher, Greg took a break from school life in 2010 to consult across industry verticals on strategy, leadership development, and organizational learning. In 2011, he curated TEDxOverlake on the theme of "How People Learn." In 2012, he co-founded Leadership+Design, a 501(c)3 non-profit that works with school leaders across the country to support and accelerate educational innovation. His clients have included Microsoft, Philips, Group Health, Catlin Gabel School, the Los Altos School District, and The Urban School of San Francisco.

In 2014, Greg took the helm at Watershed School. A sought-after speaker on the future of learning, Greg has appeared at events like TEDxPugetSound, the NAIS Annual Conference, EduCon, fuse, ieSonoma, and the Martin Institute Conference on Transformative Learning. 

Greg holds an Ed.M. in Educational Leadership from Columbia University, is a father of two young girls, and lives and works in the Boulder area.

Steve Siden
Customer Relations at Actively Learn

Steve Siden helps teachers improve student reading and critical thinking at Actively Learn. He is a co-organizer of the Seattle EdTech Meetups and volunteers at 826 Seattle, a non-profit tutoring and writing center for students. Steve strongly believes that bridging the education & technology spheres can create thoughtful solutions for real classroom needs.

Mike Blumenstein

Jonathan Copley
Founder, CFOCare Inc.

For 35+ years Jonathan Copley has been helping entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams.

He is the CEO and Founder of CFOCare Inc., which specializes in Business Consulting and Education for entrepreneurs. He is also Founder of Grow50, a consortium of leading professional firms supporting early-stage businesses.

Jonathan’s expertise includes CEO Coaching, fundraising, strategy, and valuation for early-stage businesses. He is the Chief Energy Officer at the Center of Energizing Leadership where he oversees CFOCare’s Energy Cabinet Incubator program for pre-revenue and early stage entrepreneurs.

In the early nineties Jonathan worked with World Cup 94 Chairman, Alan Rothenberg, to develop the business and marketing plan for Major League Soccer, which now includes the Seattle Sounders.

Jonathan is the former Managing Consulting Partner of both Andersen Business Consulting and Deloitte, having spent 22 years with those Big 4 consulting firms.

Kate Coxon
Producer, Intentional Futures

Kate Coxon is a producer at Intentional Futures, a Seattle-based consulting and design firm with a passion for edtech. 

Through December 2012, she was Rocketship Education's Senior Director of Individualization: in that role, she developed and implemented strategy for blended learning and tutoring for a network of seven high-performing elementary charter schools in the Bay Area. As part of this work, Kate managed the design and development of Rocketship's platform for online learning, including the creation of tools for assessment, reporting, and lab management. 

Previously, she was a Teach for America corps member and teacher in the Alum Rock Union School District, as well as a teacher and dean at Rocketship schools in San Jose. 

Kate has a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lamia Youssef

Dr. Lamia Youseff is a computer scientist and a social and tech entrepreneur. Most recently, she was a product manager with Google Cloud and Google Research on Education. At MIT between 2009-2011, she worked on scalable cloud OS while helping manage a multimillion dollars grant to invent the next-generation computing paradigm. She earned her Ph.D. in 2009 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lamia received several awards, including ACM-UPE'02, xHPC best paper'06 and TCPP IPDPS best poster'08. She has tens of technical publications, earning her thousands of non-self citations. In 2011, Lamia co-founded EgyptNegma, a US non-profit promoting social entrepreneurship in Egypt and currently serves on the board of directors of RISE-Egypt, a US non-profit in Massachusetts.

Ana Redmond
CTO at Infinut

Ana is the Founder and CTO of infinut, an ed-tech company that is on a mission to change what it means to learn math with interactive, fun, engaging games that teach concepts, not rote learning. She architects the data solution, builds the infrastructure for game screens, and provides creative direction. As an entrepreneur, she also handles business development, marketing and fundraising. She previously taught Android and server-side Java programming at University of Washington PCE, and worked as a Software Developer for 15 years. She is the mother of two young daughters and is very interested in seeing more girls and women succeed in STEM.

Allan Yeung
Director of Adaptancy LLC

Allan Yeung is founder and Director of Adaptancy LLC, a consulting company that helps businesses and government agencies cut the chaos from their projects.  Adaptancy specializes in software and technology project management, and lean process consulting.  He is also project manager and design for Prior to establishing Adaptancy, Allan managed complex projects at T-Mobile USA, Microsoft, Intel, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Tatung Company.

Allan holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Electrical Engineering.  He is a Washington State Licensed Professional Engineer (PE), Microsoft Six Sigma Green Belt, and certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

He is motivated to volunteer at Start-up Weekend, because has learned and hatched great ideas from these events. Feel free to ask him about project management, software product design, or his favorite collaboration tools.

Greg Bulmash
Technical Evangelist – Login with Amazon

Greg Bulmash is a Technical Evangelist for Login with Amazon, the founder/lead for Seattle CoderDojo (a volunteer group that teaches children STEM skills), and Registration Director for the NewTech Seattle and NewTech Eastside meetups. He has been invited to technical conferences around the world to tell fairy tales, talk about robots, discuss managing user identities, and show how to make it rain flaming sheep in Minecraft.
He can advise on developer marketing, developer relations, technical communication, user identity, and creative issues.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend EDU Seattle 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

OUR VISION FOR SEATTLE A city where imagination and opportunity thrive. OUR MISSION The Seattle Public Library brings people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.

Visit Website


Contributing Sponsor

Part Of Global Startup Battle!

Organizing Team

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

  • Carina
  • Marion
  • Thibaut
  • Jay
  • Marion
  • Alex
  • Kerric
  • Michelle


Marion Desmazières
International Expansion Lead, Amazon Alexa

Marion is a tech business developer based in Seattle, WA. She manages international expansion of developer programs for Alexa, the voice service powering Amazon's Echo devices. Before joining Amazon about four years ago, Marion coordinated the 2012 Global Startup Battle and managed partner relations for Startup Weekend in Seattle. She holds a Master's in Business Management from EDHEC Business School and an MBA in Technology Commercialization from the University of Alberta. A Startup Weekend veteran, Marion has facilitated 20+ events in France, Canada, the US, Algeria and Morocco.

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