Startup Weekend Silicon Valley

    Friday, April 20 - 22, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Silicon Valley

Friday, April 20 - 22, 2018

Friday, April 20 - 22, 2018
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Innovation Center @ Menlo College
1000 El Camino Real
Atherton, California 94027

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Startup Weekend Silicon Valley: Social Innovation Edition

A weekend for change agents and people of action!

Startup Weekend is back in Silicon Valley! If you're not familiar, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where developers, designers and business development folks come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend.  It is a great opportunity to test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build your community in Silicon Valley and launch your next startup!

Innovation is change that creates value

Our theme this first year is Social Innovation. We believe entrepreneurship is the single greatest force in making the world a better place. We will be encouraging entrepreneurs from all corners of Silicon Valley to come out, participate, and create ideas and opportunities that drive real-world social change.

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. We encourage entrepreneurs from all over Silicon Valley to come out and participate in creating ideas and opportunities that drive real-world social change. 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.

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

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Startup Weekend movement!
No talk, all action!

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday April 20th

5:30 pm
Registration, Dinner, & Networking
Arrive at the venue and get checked in. Dinner will be ready.

6:30 pm
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas. Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

9:45 pm
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:00 pm
Wrap up
Please check-out with the organizers before you leave for the night.

Saturday April 21st

9:00 am
Breakfast & Start Working
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee.

10:00 am
Morning Workshop
Discussion: goal setting & idea validation.

12:00 pm

1:30 pm
Sign-up for coaching sessions.
Let us know what you need mentored with.

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches onsite for 2 hours to help with MVP, business model, and validation.

4:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches onsite for X hours to help with MVP, business model, and validation.

6:00 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 April 22nd

9:00 am
Breakfast & Start Working
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Morning Workshop
Learn how do the give a great pitch on Sunday night.

9:45 am
Sign-up for coaching sessions
Let us know what you need mentored with.

10:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches onsite for 2 hours to help with pitch practice

12:00 pm
Lunch and Earth Day Activity

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches onsite for 2 hours to help with pitch practice

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Mandatory tech-check

4:30 pm
Sunday Night Kickoff
Presentation prior to final pitches.

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm
Dinner (Intermission)

6:30 pm
Final Presentation (cont)

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Let's celebrate!

8:30 pm
Networking Time!
Feel free to stay and mingle for our post-event networking event!

10:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Annika Steiber
Investor, Board Director, Entrepreneur

Dr. Steiber is currently acting as a Researcher, Advisor, Investor, and Board Director with extensive business experience from the tech sector and from digital technologies. She has started two startups herself and had executive positions in several international tech companies, frequently with the purpose of going global or totally transforms the company. Dr. Steiber has a PhD in Technology Management from Chalmers University in Sweden. She has collaborated with professor David Teece at Berkeley Research Group for several years and is the author of the noticed management books: The Google Model for innovation, the Silicon Valley Model for Entrepreneurship and Management for the Digital Age: Will China surpass Silicon Valley?. She is passionate about startups/technology development, and children tech- education.

Douglas Heske
CEO at NEWDAY Impact Investing

Based in San Francisco, Newday is a vertically-integrated, technology-enabled Asset Manager and Registered Investment Advisor. Newday provides affordable, transparent, and easy-to-understand impact investment solutions available to the mass market. Newday was founded in 2015 by Alexander Meek and Anthony Randazzo, who bring strong backgrounds in asset management and technology development, respectively. Doug Heske, CEO, brings more than 22 years of investment management leadership.

At Newday, we believe sustainable companies deliver significant positive financial performance in the
long term. By investing in socially responsible and sustainable companies Newday aims to generate
competitive returns and, most importantly, drive meaningful changes in the way companies in our
portfolios adopt environmental, social and governance - ESG - practices and policies. In order to be
effective in driving positive impact on corporate behavior, Newday adopts an active ownership model,
engaging with companies’ decisions as they affect their stakeholders including communities, employees
and shareholders.

Lopa Desai
Managing Director

Lopa Desai is Managing Director @ Niraat, an investment and wealth management firm. At Niraat, Lopa oversees direct investments and client portfolio strategy. She is passionate about supporting and empowering entrepreneurs. Lopa is a Parsons and Kellogg grad who lives in the intersection of human centered design thinking + data driven analysis. She is a passionate design disciple, investor, business strategist and hobby ceramist.

Keith Calix
Chief of Staff, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation

Keith Calix is Chief of Staff at the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF). At LAAF, Keith oversees day-to-day operations and manages media, speaking, MOOCs, case studies, giving day resources, high school course content and all Andreessen Philanthropies grantmaking. Keith cultivated his passion for philanthropy at his high school which was founded and supported by an anonymous benefactress. His interest in service, social justice and community development continued to grow at Stanford University, where he graduated with a B.A. in International Relations and honors from the Freeman Spogli Institute’s Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law Program. Prior to joining LAAF, Keith worked with the Policy Reform and Advocacy Unit at the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a Tom Ford Fellow. At Casey, he assisted in the strategic management and evaluation of the KIDS COUNT network, a 25+ year philanthropic initiative that supports child advocacy organizations in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Keith also taught high school World Literature and World History at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Keith is passionate about the intersections between community development and education reform. He is committed to exploring the ways in which equity-driven reform models can democratize access to opportunity. Keith is also a partner at Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2) and serves on the Steering Committee for Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Bay Area.

Alec Wright
Chief Innovation Officer @GSVLabs

Alec Wright is the Chief Innovation Officer of GSVlabs, overseeing startup coaching and corporate innovation programs across GSVlabs’ 185+ startups and 25+ corporate partners. He works with the Fortune 500 to unlock external innovation opportunities in the startup economy and create agile, scalable innovation infrastructure within their organization. In 2015, he co-founded the GSV Pioneer Summit, an annual innovation summit of 1,500+ entrepreneurs, corporate executives and thought leaders focused on technological innovation that transforms industry and culture.

Alec is also an advisor to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Innovation Network, a member of the Board of Directors of the Cleantech Open (the world’s largest cleantech accelerator) and the co-founder of the Pioneer Accelerator, a collaboration with Google’s Developers Launchpad to accelerate early-stage ventures from across the globe.

Always looking for a chance to chat about innovation or sustainability, he writes about cleantech innovation and finance at and has served as a judge for the Department of Energy’s FLOW startup competition and the Cleantech Open’s National Finals.

Coaches and Mentors

Manny Cappello
Director of Entrepreneurship Center of Excellence @West Valley College

Vice Mayor Manny Cappello was appointed to a two-year term on the Saratoga City Council in 2010 by his fellow City Council Members. He was then elected to a four-year term on the City Council by voters in 2012 and reelected in 2016. Mr. Cappello served on the Saratoga Planning Commission from 2005 to 2010 and served as Mayor in 2016.

Mr. Cappello attended Cal Poly State University-San Luis Obispo, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He then received his Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Mr. Cappello has worked for Lockheed Martin and Applied Materials, and owned and operated three restaurants for six years. He is currently a tenured faculty at De Anza College, full-time faculty member at West Valley College, and Director of the West Valley College Entrepreneurship Center of Excellence.

Nadia Gathers
Communications Program Manager @Github

I'm a human-centered designer, a design thinking facilitator/practitioner, and a storyteller. I create content that allows people to express and fulfill their needs & serve the needs of others. 

In the past year I've:
  • Taught design thinking to over 1000 people 
  • Lead classes at the Stanford and beyond 
  • Organized a 600+ person concert
  • Managed internal comms programs for a 700+ person company

Ken Wong
Founder and Mentor for sFoundation

Ken is an entrepreneur who had two other startups before. His recent gig was to help a small business scale from about $3.5 million to $15 million in revenue in about two and a half years. His skill sets are: operations, finance, FP&A, IT security, and advisory board. Ken spent his past 10 years in finance and accounting. Prior to that, he was an IT professional for 15 years, including network infrastructure, programming, and project management. Ken's strength is in understanding all aspects of a business that affect its finances, operations, IT, HR and many more areas, and to apply that knowledge to grow a business from the idea stage to revenue stage. He firmly believes in constant innovation, so one can thrive in a changing economic and market environment.

Dinkar Jain
Product at Facebook, Google | ML/AI expert

Dinkar is a currently product manager at Facebook, where his teams build the optimization engine behind Facebook Ads. He has expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence, in addition to having a wealth of experience building consumer-facing and advertising products. Before Facebook, Dinkar has worked at Google, Twitter, Amazon and the Boston Consulting Group. He holds a computer science degree from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also part of the national program to conserve the California Condor, has addressed conferences like South x South West on various issues facing the tech sector, and has written opinion pieces for several news publications. He's excited to meet the energetic new founders at Startup Weekend!

Christopher Garrett
Beer Chieftain/CEO

Chris Garrett Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Devil's Canyon Brewing Company Chris Garrett is founder and CEO of Devil's Canyon Brewing Company, a regional brewing company based in San Carlos, CA. His background spans agribusiness, internet technology, beverage manufacturing, sustainability, consumer product goods, design, construction and stewardship. He has held executive roles in a number of startup internet ventures including Disney Internet Group and RealNames Corporation. Garrett has also partnered with or advised for many companies, including Pure Energy Group, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Golden Star Tea Company, RealWear and numerous other green businesses and beverage companies. Garrett currently serves on the board of directors for a material recovery center in Portland, OR. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Menlo College in Atherton, CA. With many awards in sustainability and green business, he strives to perpetuate sustainable business practices throughout his community and industries.

Jorden Petersen
Tech Recruiter @ Google

I have a passion for technology, technical recruiting/talent acquisition, and learning new skills that can aid in my professional development. I love feeling busy and having 1000 things going on at once and find myself thriving when everything feels like it's "on fire".

I am a highly driven person with experience in a variety of fields including recruiting, sales, business operations, communications, and web development. I spend a minimum of two hours per day improving my technical knowledge via books/building applications. I'm currently working through courses on Linux, machine learning (specifically relating to semantic analysis), and learning more about system internals. I am the recruiter who you go to when you want to talk to someone who actually understands technology and can make jokes about how Java developers wear glasses because they can't C# =D!

Bruce Paton
Professor at Menlo College, Chair of Sunnyvale Sustainability Commission

Paton currently serves as Chair of the Sunnyvale Sustainability Commission, and as a member of the editorial boards for Business Strategy and Environment, and Academy of Management Learning and Education. He has worked on manufacturing education and environmental management projects at Hewlett-Packard; served as Director of Admissions for Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business; chaired the board of directors for Sustainable Silicon Valley, chaired the Fisher International MBA Program at Monterey Institute of International Studies, and served on the executive team of Rolltronics Corporation, a Silicon Valley startup. He earned a BA in Environmental Science from Wesleyan University, an MBA from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dima Leshchinskii
Associate Professor

Dima Leshchinskii received a PhD in Management (Finance) from INSEAD. In addition to teaching and doing research on Venture Capital and start-up financing at various business schools in Europe and U.S., he spent several years as a professional consultant, applying his valuation expertise to various case. He is also a mentor at GSVLabs

Tamera Aragon
Author, Real Estate Investor, Online Marketer

Tamera founded and ran her own small businesses since 1982. At the age of 20 she founded her first multi-million dollar company. Since then she has grown many, many successful businesses both online and off. With the smarts to invest her money, she jumped into real estate investing. Since that time Tamera Aragon has profited investing in hundreds of properties to date valued a billions of dollars. establishing her as an expert in the real estate investing field. Toda, in addition to flipping 20-30 houses a year, Tamera finds her true passion lies in teaching others the steps to profitable businesses of all kinds. This is why she continues as an online entrepreneur and event trainer providing tools and tips for her step by step methods to finding profits from any passion a person has in their own life. Tamera’s experience has earned her a solid reputation in the industry as well as the respect and friendship of many top national online marketing and real estate investment experts.

Rexford Hibbs
Serial Entrepreneur

Rexford R. Hibbs is the founder of, a real estate crowdfunding platform. He is also a co-Founder and former COO at Rexford is an angel investor and manager of his family office out of Seattle. Rexford graduated from Menlo College with a B.S. in Business Management and Accounting. Rexford has been a panelist and guest speaker at various startup pitch events in San Francisco and Seattle. Rexford comes from a startup and real estate investing background and makes early stage and pre-IPO investments as manager of his family office (Hibbs Family Office) in the technology and internet space. Before co-founding DreamFunded, Rexford helped grow two successful tech startup companies from the ground up, one with a successful exit. Rexford is a Seattle native with deep ties to the investment and startup communities in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. Rexford is passionate about Menlo College and is on the alumni council where he is dedicated to expanding the school's reach and academic excellence. He is also assisting Menlo College in developing an in-house incubator program and was a graduate of the BlueStartups Accelerator program in Honolulu, HI.

Massimiliano Genta
Founder at Senstek and SwayUp

Massimiliano he is an Italian serial entrepreneur with a passion for and expertise in IoT, social entrepreneurship, and AI.  Throughout my life I have worked with and led many project in Non Profit, Fintech, IoT, AI and Crowd Funding. In 2013, after working as CTO for Blackrose, he started his first AI software company that he personally coded, Upploud, a social game that allowed individuals to earn money through their social media contents.

After reaching a good success in Italy through Upploud, He moved to Silicon Valley to pursue his dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur worldwide. He received a generous scholarship from Menlo College and attained his second degree in Business Economics with a specialization in finance and marketing. In the meantime he was working as consultant and Web/iOS developer for Web&Tech Solutions, a company that provides several digital services such as Web design and development, digital marketing, Hosting and Cloud and graphic design.   

In 2016 He founded Smartphlex as a sensor platform company, founded to commercialize low cost, highly accurate, durable, flexible, compact and easy to integrate sensor platforms for Medical, Agriculture and Cosmetic applications. During that time he works as a technology analysts and director of the innovation center for Banca Alpi Marittime  and as a business developer for SVA ( a leadership group focused on identifying and commercializing breakthrough technologies by connectingTechnology Sources to Ecosystem in Silicon Valley for Commercialization.)

Ravi Mulugu
Investment Principal

Ravi is an Investment Principal at Next47 (formerly Siemens Venture Capital) based in Palo Alto, California. He focuses on venture and growth capital investments related to Energy Management, Industrial Internet of Things and Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence. Ravi’s professional experience includes working in both the solar and wind energy industries in various technical and managerial roles. Before joining Siemens Venture Capital, Ravi worked at SunPower Corp. as a Product manager responsible for utility scale solar inverters and plant control software. Prior to that, Ravi was a consultant at Siemens Power Systems Consulting Group where he conducted techno-economic studies for electric utilities and renewable project developers. Earlier in his career Ravi worked at GE Wind Energy where he was responsible for various electrical subsystems within the 1.5 MW wind turbine. Ravi received a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Tim Aragon
Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, King of Conversion

Tim Aragon started his career in sales 35 years ago with ADT Security then went on to achieve success at New York Life. He started his first business in 2000. His awards for success in sales and business are numerous. He founded and ran multiple Cell Phone stores for 12 years including the San Joaquin County exclusive Sprint repair Centers. He was awarded business man of the year in 2011 by the Area Chamber of Commerce honoring local successful business people. Today he manages territory for large Food Manufacturer and Distributor overseeing the entire Northern CA area working with both small and large chains like Savemart, Safeway, 7-11's, etc. He has led Dale Carnegie classes teaching others how to succeed. With a natural ability for speaking and motivation, he has enjoyed participating with Toastmasters for many years.

Arthur Chait
Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneurship and Technology

Mr. Chait is the Founder and past CEO of EoPlex Inc., a company that manufactures new
semiconductor products using a proprietary type of 3D printing that improved performance and
eliminated environmental problems. EoPlex was acquired by Singapore-based ASTI in 2012. Mr. Chait
is adjunct professor at Menlo College in Atherton CA and Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont CA, where
he teaches courses in entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. He mentors startups at Stanford’s
StartX incubator and Draper University and at Santa Clara’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurs. He is
also a Judge for Startup Chile. Mr. Chait is past president and current member of the board of the
Antigua Forum, a think tank of entrepreneurs and reformers that work on projects worldwide to
improve the lives of millions.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Silicon Valley 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 South Bay is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Ethan
  • Jessica
  • Dylan
  • Abigail
  • Christopher


Corey Stary
Enterprise Customer Success Manager @ Dynamic Signal

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