Startup Weekend Spokane

    Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Spokane, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Spokane

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Gonzaga University - Jepson Center
502 E. Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99202

Buy Tickets

Startup Weekend Spokane

About Startup Weekend: Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.  Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.  Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education.  Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 11th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 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

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 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 12th

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

1:00 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 13th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

2:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:00 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Jordan Allen
President at Stay Alfred Vacation Rentals and Corporate Housing

Allen's expertise in leadership and entrepreneurship has grown the Stay Alfred model from the first nationwide urban vacation rental company to the best nationwide urban vacation rental company--offering the space, privacy and value of vacation rental with the convenience of online booking.
Allen's vision and experience promise to make Stay Alfred one of the top brands to watch in the hospitality industry.
Prior to his work at Stay Alfred, Jordan was a Captain in the US Army and founder of a vacation rental listing company.

Tom Simpson
Investor & Advisor

Tom Simpson has over 25 years of experience as an investment banker, venture capitalist, angel investor and entrepreneur.  Currently, he focuses on working closely with emerging companies in the Spokane region to achieve growth and profitability. 

Tom is co-founder and Chairman of etailz, a rapidly growing eCommerce company.  The business was listed as the 313th fastest growing company in the country, and the 3rd fastest growing company in Washington State, by INC. Magazine in 2013. He also manages three angel funds focused on emerging companies in the Inland Northwest and is President of the Spokane Angel Alliance, a 100 + member group that invests in early stage companies in the region.

Previously, he had been Managing Partner of NWVA.  Between 1996 and 2008, NWVA invested over $125 million in emerging companies throughout the Northwest.   Prior to NWVA, Tom was a Managing Director in Dain Bosworth's Seattle-based investment banking group and managed public offerings, private placements and mergers and acquisitions for multiple companies in the region.  He began his career as a CPA for Deloitte, Haskins + Sells.

Tom is on the board of directors of etailz, Berg Manufacturing, GenPrime, Nuvodia and Telect.  He also serves on the Board of the Mobius Science Center, on the Board of Trustees of Greater Spokane Incorporated and on the Advisory Board of University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.  

He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Washington, and an MBA from The Wharton School and has served as an adjunct professor in Gonzaga University’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program.

Tom has three children, is a private pilot and has participated in numerous triathlons.

Daniel Wadkins
Corporate and Intellectual Property Attorney at Lee & Hayes

Dan advises a wide variety of businesses, from startups to well-established companies, in the areas of corporate, securities and financing, mergers and acquisitions, trademark and brand protection, intellectual property protection and commercialization, wine and alcohol beverage law, and commercial transactions. Dan has a passion for helping startups and emerging companies navigate the complex business and legal landscape and is able to assist clients in every stage of the business lifecycle, from formation and financing to a successful exit. Dan also has considerable experience drafting and negotiating complex commercial transactions in the areas of manufacturing, services and technology development. In addition, Dan regularly counsels and assists clients with the strategic acquisition, protection, registration, commercialization and enforcement of all types of intellectual property assets.

Cameryn Flynn

Cameryn Flynn currently is the Manager for the Business Development Services for SNAP Financial Access.  Ms. Flynn has over 20 years’ experience in Organizational Development and owns and operates a small business providing Training,  Consulting and Life Coaching for other small businesses and individuals.  She has worked in both private and public industries ranging from a variety of Non-Profits,  City Governments,  and Public Hospital District.  She is a certified Life Coach, holds a B.A. from Gonzaga University and a M.A. in Organizational Development from Antioch University.  

Coaches and Mentors

Richard Denenny
Attorney at Lee & Hayes, PLLC

Richard has been counseling entrepreneurs and companies throughout his career, in both internal and external roles.  Throughout his career, Richard has helped companies in a wide array of transactions, from formation through to exit.  Richard’s practice focuses on general corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, financings, and commercial transactions. Richard’s experience includes practicing at a large international law firm, working as CFO/COO and General Counsel at a market-leading software company, and leading all customer-facing aspects of an established, larger network solutions provider.  As both a business executive and outside counsel, Richard has successfully identified, negotiated, and structured various strategic partnerships and financings.  His unique combination of legal expertise and extensive operational experience provides a unique perspective and the ability to apply practical business judgment in counseling businesses.

Chad Cleveland

Born and raised in Spokane Valley, WA I graduated from Washington State University in 2006. I enjoyed a 5 year career managing Golf Clubs and Resorts across the US, and moved back home in 2011. When it comes to work, I always ask myself "How I can Work Smarter; Not Harder?" I've realized that effective Systems are how. So I've spent my career focused on creating repeatable processes, or systems, at various sales and management positions across the country, making lasting improvements ranging from sales workflows to integrated pest management, from order fulfillment systems to team coordination. Now, this same philosophy has spurred ezIQ, an innovative, “Think Easy” solution to Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Hannah Camacho
Digital Strategist Lead (Sales Manager) at Gravity Jack

Much of what I do for a living I learned in preschool, but I am still working on mastering the following skills: how to listen, how to tell stories, how to read a room, how to make friends and how to color inside the lines.

Steven Tabacek
Co-Founder and President of RiskLens

Steve Tabacek is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder, and President of RiskLens. RiskLens is a cyber and technology risk analysis software-as-a-service company headquartered in Spokane employing 65 high-tech jobs between Spokane, WA and Reston, VA. Steve raised the initial equity funding to start RiskLens, hired an experienced management team and commercialized the industry’s first cyber risk quantification SaaS application. Today RiskLens services the enterprise market space and has 30 of the top Fortune 100 companies as customers.
Prior to RiskLens, Steve was the founder and CEO of IT-Lifeline, the largest data backup and business continuity services company in the Northwest which sold to Rentsys Recovery Services. Steve is an Eastern Washington University graduate and U.S. Airforce veteran.

Michael Ebinger
Director, WSU University Center for Innovation

Michael Ebinger is currently the Director of the WSU University Center for Innovation, which is funded by a 5-year grant from the US Economic Development Administration.  His efforts and interests include commercializing technical research and evaluating the economic feasibility of new ideas and products through marketing research, business strategies, and operations.  In addition, Ebinger currently teaches courses in the WSU Online MBA program.
Ebinger graduated from the University of Arizona in 1980 (BA with Honors, Anthropology) and 1984 (MS, Soils, Water, and Engineering); from Purdue University in 1988 (Ph. D. in Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy); and from Washington State University in 2010 (MBA).  He joined the research staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1988 and served as staff scientist until 2003.  He became Ecosystems Team Lead in 2003 then interim Group Leader and Deputy Division Leader at different times for the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division through 2005.  In 2005 he was named Group Leader of the Atmosphere, Climate, and Ecosystems Dynamics Group, a position he held until 2008 when he moved into program development efforts.  He left the Laboratory officially in 2013.  
As an R&D scientist at Los Alamos National Lab, Ebinger helped to develop a novel spectroscopic analysis of soil elements (carbon, metals, and radionuclides) that employed laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and assisted in climate change measurements. The soil methodology was granted a US patent in 2010 (US 7,692,789); a derivative of this technology is at work on Mars aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover.  He leveraged his climate change research into pivotal policy development that was part of the foundation for greenhouse gas verification efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations.  This information also formed the initial stages of key national security interests in climate change verification in denied-access territories.  
Ebinger remains an active classical musician as a student of viola and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra.  As an academic, he is developing course material for Professional Science Masters programs on the Spokane and Pullman campuses. 

Penn Brownlee

Robin Bishop
Editor of Inland Business Catalyst Magazine/Bozzi Media

Robin is Editor of the Inland Business Catalyst magazine published by Bozzi Media. She has been a long-time resident of Spokane and is passionate about supporting entrepreneurship in the Inland Empire to help grow our local economy!

Joe Snodgrass

Joe Snodgrass is co-founder of the Geodesic Workshop of Communication Design, a design collective that works with organizations, start-up and small businesses, among other clients. He was the graphic designer for the Start-Up Weekend Spokane 6 and 7 teams Go-Kefi (winner SWS 6), Safety Click (winner SWS 7) and Dossier (third place winner SWS 7). He holds a BFA in Visual Communication Design and a degree in Public History, both from Eastern Washington University. MEMBER AIGA.

Rebecca Writz
Designer at Hagadone Digital

I am Rebecca Writz, or That Red Head. While my titles have included graphic designer, web designer, and front-end developer, my true title is problem solver.
My skills experience ranges from branding to packaging, app design concept to digital illustration, even a little movie makeup. User interface, experience, and design psychology, round out some of the "soft" sides of my interests, while typography and responsive design are two of my hard skills that I am particularly passionate about.
I’ve been involved in Startup Weekend here in Spokane since almost the beginning. Along the way I’ve created branding and packaging for winning and runner up teams. I’ll help you see the whole of your idea, poke holes where holes are needed, prompt you to ask the hard questions, and do some quick branding while I’m at it. 

Ken Farr

Ken has diverse experience in designing and implementing embedded microprocessor systems on a variety of architectures. He can be thought of as a software developer with an emphasis in hardware design and programming with thorough experience in agile and waterfall methodologies. Being self-managed in single and co-op projects and multitasking between different customers and project priorities makes him a highly motivated team-player with leadership qualities. 

Working as a consultant has provided Ken with a wide range of customer service skills that are extremely beneficial in the engineering community. This provides him with the ability to explain technical details to non-technical people and develop exemplary verbal and written communication skills with strong documentation and research capabilities. His embedded development experience includes automotive, medical, security, entertainment and networking applications, just to name a few. Attention to user interface design and secure coding standards are of top priority when human interaction is required with his software. 

Ken's specialities include embedded system design, user applications and network servers. His experience ranges from HTML/JavaScript using AJAX and CSS technologies to include C# user applications and C and Assembly embedded microprocessor systems.

Rion Lothrop

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Spokane 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




Organizing Team

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

  • Michael
  • Andy
  • Connor
  • Doyle
  • Clay
  • Steve
  • April
  • Zach
  • Doug
  • Kevin
  • June


Chip Overstreet
Vice President, Business Development at Affirm, Inc.

Chip Overstreet is a serial entrepreneur with 25+ years experience in the software business. He has been CEO of 3 startups, raised over $40 million in venture capital, and sold his first company to Sony back in 2000 -- enabling the Playstation 2 with multi-player gaming support. Chip currently is the head of business development for Affirm Inc in SF, but he lives in Spokane and is deeply involved in the startup community.

Event Staff

Chip Overstreet
Head of Business Development, Affirm, Inc.

Chip is a serial entrepreneur with 25+ years experience in the software business. He has been CEO of 3 startups, raised over $40 million in venture capital, and sold his first company to Sony back in 2000 -- enabling the PlayStation 2 with multi-player gaming support. Chip currently is the head of business development for Affirm Inc in SF, but he lives in Spokane and is deeply involved in the startup community.

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!