Startup Weekend Tucson | LatinX in Tech

    Friday, October 19 - 21, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Tucson | LatinX in Tech

Friday, October 19 - 21, 2018

Friday, October 19 - 21, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Rail Yard
610 S Park Ave
Tucson , AZ 85719

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Your idea in 54 hours | Everyone is welcomed | Startup now!

Techstars Startup Weekend Latinx in Tech brings exposure, awareness, and an experiential way to learn about tech to the community.

We aim to inspire potential entrepreneurs in the Latinx community to breathe life into their ideas and learn how to bridge the gap from ideation to prototype with customer validation.

We're gathering 100 Latinx entrepreneurs in the making and allies over 54 hours, in different cities to identify and design technology solutions to problems disproportionately facing the U.S. Latinx community.

Our main focus is on tech solutions, but we welcome all ideas that will help to create a future fueled by Latinx leadership and experiences.

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:
  • 1 Kick-Off Dinner; FRI (Pizza), 2 Breakfasts; SAT/SUN (Fruit/Burritos), Snacks; FRI-SUN (Fruit/Cookies), over the course of the weekend
  • T-shirt, personalized for LatinX In Tech. Only available for attendees. 
  • 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 Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday October 19th

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

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Included with ticket - 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 October 20th

9:00 am
Included with ticket - Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm
Tucson is home of the The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food and Downtown Tucson is home to over 80 restaurants and bars. Provecho!

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
Tucson is home of the The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food and Downtown Tucson is home to over 80 restaurants and bars. Provecho!

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 October 21st

9:00 am
Included with ticket - Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm
Tucson is home of the The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food and Downtown Tucson is home to over 80 restaurants and bars. Provecho!

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
Tucson is home of the The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food and Downtown Tucson is home to over 80 restaurants and bars. Provecho!

5:00 pm
Keynote: Maria Luna, BRAVO

5:15 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Maria Luna
CEO & Co-Founder at BRAVO Pay

Maria Luna, Speaker, Entrepreneur-Co-Founder and CEO of BRAVO BRAVO is a location based app that allows you to connect to tip or pay (or get paid) without exchanging your contact information. Join our Blockchain platform beta at We exist to improve the financial and social connections within the service economy and reduce the friction of non-wage incomes.

Event Judges

JP Martin
Globalist Entrepreneur

JP Martin is an emerging technology business leader and serial entrepreneur. He has 6 years expertise in start- up project management, strategic planning, grant writing, and administration. He has a passion for grassroots political advocacy, and volunteers countless hours to not for profit organizations focusing on fundraising. 
He has 4 years of experience in technology-based workforce and economic development. He identifies high- impact applications for clients in the U.S. and international markets and develops strategies to penetrate those markets. He has a broad background in creating and mentoring teams to identify, market, pursue, implement, and successfully deliver projects in manufacturing, sensors, communications, and software.

Stephen Viramontes

Stephen Viramontes is 3-time entrepreneur. He built his first multi-seven figure company in his hometown of Fresno, CA at the age of twenty-one prior to exiting and moving to AZ in 2006.   After arriving in AZ, Stephen joined the Royal Bank of Scotland as an Investment Banker managing assets for entrepreneurs of small-medium size businesses for 5 years.Stephen, goes by “V”. (He was given the abbreviated nickname by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.)  After spending several years in politics “V” founded AssureVote, a vertical SaaS (software-as-a-service) company that uses big-data to make elections more secure and voting simple. He is also the Executive Vice President of TechFabric, a software development firm focusing on microservice architecture and native cloud applications.Even though “V” is an AZ transplant, he’s committed to growing the startup and tech community throughout the State. As a volunteer, he serves as: the Chief Organizer of PHX Startup Week, (AZ’s largest entrepreneurial event); Cofounder of StreetPitch, (a new way to pitch your company and earn an investment); and, a member of the Arizona Tech Council VentureShip Committee, (focusing on the collaboration of local startups and AZ-based Fortune 1000 companies). His nonprofit organization 48 Startups recently launched an early revenue tech incubator for founders wanting to scale their startups in downtown Phoenix. “V” was recently named to the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 under 40 class of 2018.Lastly, “V” is a certified Apple and Agile developer who can ship code. He has a decade of experience as a Product/Project Manager.  He is ASU, Harvard and M.I.T educated. He loves baseball, reading and cooking. He and his wife Rachel live in Mesa with their three children Elijah (12), Sydney (10) and Joshua (7).

Robert Kahl
Founder/Portfolio Manager at Sabino Investment Management, LLC and Founder/Publisher of

Check back soon...

Maria Luna
CEO & Co-Founder at BRAVO Pay

Maria Luna, Speaker, Entrepreneur-Co-Founder and CEO of BRAVO BRAVO is a location based app that allows you to connect to tip or pay (or get paid) without exchanging your contact information. Join our Blockchain platform beta at We exist to improve the financial and social connections within the service economy and reduce the friction of non-wage incomes.

Peter Mantas
Mentor | Advisor | Problem Solver | Tech Evangelist | CEO

Peter Mantas is a Mentor in Residence at University of Arizona’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and a member of the New Venture Development teaching team.

Peter is a serial entrepreneur from Silicon Valley with diverse technology company background. He is experienced in leading organizations from early stage start-ups through large high-tech public companies. He is an electrical engineer with an MBA and has held positions such as senior electrical design engineer, product manager, EVP sales and marketing, business unit head and CEO. His career highlights include the creation of a disruptive strategic business unit, which he grew to more than $52 million in annual revenue within five years of inception.

He has mentored and or led SaaS, sensing, IoT, safety, VoIP, biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, integrated circuit, industrial automation, process controls and numerous other technology and services companies.
He has mentored and advised over two thousand teams at incubators and accelerators at University of California Berkeley, University of Arizona and the MIT Enterprise Forum. He is focused on developing strong entrepreneurs and not just the formation of viable startups. His international mentees came to him from more than 10 countries. Peter challenges teams to be self-reliant, to think out of the box and to assess opportunities from the perspective of customers, partners and other stakeholders.

He subscribes to, advocates and teaches such concepts as lean canvas, agile business and development practices, customer discovery interviews, minimum viable product, and pivoting vs just creating elaborate business plans. He’s helped companies build out their teams, tell a compelling story, identify and protect IP, connect with industry experts, get MVP into customers’ hands, reach product market fit, pitch to investors and acquire funding.

Coaches and Mentors

Audrey De La Rosa

Perpetual optimist, entrepreneur, startup junkie and serial volunteer. Audrey has cultivated local, national and international relationships to strengthen the thriving startup ecosystem within the Sonoran Megaregion. She has served as congressional intern and has lobbied in Washington D.C. to make higher education accessible to minorities. She founded TEDxStarrPassWomen to include the southern Arizona community in global conversations that affect  women’s and minorities. She often mentors, helps to organize or participates in startup events.

Ashley Tsosie-Mahieu
Community Outreach Fundraising Administrator

Coming soon...

Janelle Briggs,
Co-Founder and Business Strategist at Stackhouse

An author, speaker, brand strategist, entrepreneur, event manager and equal rights advocate, Dr. Janelle Briggs understands the value and beauty of humanity and, more importantly, how to empower others to disseminate a message of positivity and social change. Not one to shy away from hard work and multitasking, Janelle is the co-founder and business strategist for Stackhouse — a Tucson, Arizona-based container living company specializing in eco-friendly, elevated living alternatives to the rising cost of urban housing. A lifelong lover of academia, Janelle holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Louisiana-Monroe in 2007 and 2009, respectively. While working toward her doctorate, Janelle performed extensive research in the areas of feminist and political theory — both of which beautifully intertwined to greatly influence her advocacy work. The additional education and experience catapulted her expertise, validating others’ perception of her skills while cementing her communication methods as accessible, inclusive and empowering. She received her Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University in 2014.

Gaege Root
Founder / Entrepreneur

Gaege Root is a web development professional that recently launched his tech consultancy Gaege Root Consulting (, where he provides a holistic approach to software innovation and integration for small- to medium-sized businesses. He is also an active real estate investor and in the process of launching a software platform to get people away from their devices and back into face-to-face conversations.

Matthew Bernier
Founder, CEO

Matthew is the chief smile officer at Flashbulb Memories, lead SEO at Moja SEO and chief executive hustler at hustler everyday.  He is a food lover, Travel nut, Thrill addict and Artist that sums things up.

Jamain Miller
CEO, Violet White Media LLC

Jamain is a 6 year Tucson transplant from New Jersey. He came to Tucson via the US Air Force and was stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB as an Intelligence Analyst for Combat Search and Rescue. At the end of 2016, before leaving the Air Force, Jamain started a consulting company called Violet White Media LLC. While connecting to the Tucson startup community and realizing the value of making new connections, he created The Drunken Entrepreneur. A filmed networking event where forward thinking innovators are interviewed in front of an interactive audience.

Luis Palomares
CEO, Product Manager

Check back soon...

JJ Wendt
Director of Development Operations, House Edge Digital

JJ Wendt is a developer who takes a designer’s approach to development and a developer’s approach to design. He provides a unique perspective and consistently contributes fresh solutions to clients by utilizing the latest technologies including AI, automated personalization, and social engineering. Wendt is the recipient of numerous awards for marketing and customer acquisition. He recently joined the American Advertising Federation Tucson Board of Directors.

Jose Luis
Co-founder, CTO

GlobeHe has spoken, trained and coached in the US, Canada, Australia, Austria, Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Tens of thousands of people from four continents have studied with Doug in his Story Theater, Inspirational Leadership and Presentation Skills workshops and train-the trainer programs.
Doug used to believe he was destined to be the next Bob Hope. That was back in the 1960’s when he was a child making up his mind about who he wanted to be. He dedicated 20 years of his life to becoming a successful actor, only to realize that his destiny was much greater and far more meaningful than being a movie star. Life has a way of teaching us who we are, doesn’t it?Now, having spoken to audiences all over the world, and having coached and trained countless individuals on how to become amazing speakers, trainers and leaders – he’s discovered that he isn’t supposed to act like Bob Hope. His gift is the ability to give people hope.Story Theater MethodDoug is the creator of The Story Theater Method for strategic storytelling in business and author of the book by the same name. He is also the creator of The How to Write and Deliver a Dynamite Speech System, and the Next Level Storytelling Video eLearning Series. He not only presents transformational speeches, he follows them by analyzing what he has just done. Not only does he make you laugh and cry, he teaches you how he does it. It’s as if he’s a magician who does a wonderful magic trick, and then takes you behind the curtain and shows you all of his secrets.What Doug Stevenson does is not magic. You can learn how to be a transformational speaker using his methods and technology. You can learn how to use acting, storytelling and drama techniques to connect with people at a deeper level. His motto? Emotion is the fast lane to the brain. The process? Speak from your head with your heart wide open.On the practical side, Doug knows marketing, sales and customer service because he has owned a number of businesses including a real estate brokerage. He learned his lessons in leadership while serving on the board of directors and then as the president of a state association. And finally, Doug learned how to embrace diversity by speaking in different countries to people of different cultures.
  • 1969 – 1985  Professional actor in Chicago and Hollywood
  • 1975 – 1985  Owner of Justgood Carpentry – construction and remodeling
  • 1980 – 1985  Mobile disk jockey with Franklin and Friends
  • 1985 – 1999  Residential real estate broker/owner of Sherlock’s Homes
  • 1996 – present – professional speaker, trainer, consultant and coach
As a speaking and storytelling coach, he has coached over 1000 business professionals from CEOs to entrepreneurs to a member of the House of Lords in London.Doug’s keynotes and training programs are like watching a business presentation as theatrical experience. He doesn’t just give a speech. He takes you on an intellectually stimulating and emotionally moving journey into your own magnificence. When Doug is done working his magic with you, you know more, understand more and can do more to change the world you live in. In the end, it’s always comes back to the beginning. It’s about hope.In addition, he conducts Story Theater Retreats – his 2 -day intensives for four students. He has contributed a monthly column entitled Talk Your Walk for the Denver Business Journal and is the author of twelve audio and DVD programs including the Story Theater Audio Six Pack.Doug  DebDeborah Merriman, my wife, is the heart and soul of Story Theater International. This company is as much her baby as it is mine. We call her the Vice President of Everything, because she is. With backgrounds in accounting, office administration, computer systems, and biology (!), Deborah has the skills to run an office. Her greatest quality, however, is her unqualified commitment to treating each and every client and customer with respect and fairness.Deborah is a quintessential earth mother. She monitors our carbohydrates, anoints us with essential oils and gets us out of the house to take walks with the dog. She likes to nest. While you may meet her at one of the programs we do around the country, she’d rather be home returning emails at the Story Theater International headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.Deborah is a native of Houston, Texas and is the proud mother of two fine sons. Michael lives in Los Angeles, with his wife Christina, and granddaughter, Rebel.  Mike is the Founder and President of Parr3LLC, a business management company for music and film artists. Bennett is a Major in the US Air Force and is currently stationed in Valdosta, GA, with his wife, Jessica and our granddaughter, Sage Olivia, and grandson Garrett Parr.  

Diana Charbonneau
Fundraising at IMPACT of Southern Arizona (non-profit)

Diana Charbonneau is a native Tucsonan and the Fundraising & Event Coordinator for IMPACT of Southern Arizona. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While there, she lobbied on Capitol Hill for non-profits and began a career of volunteering that would translate to the local community after returning to Tucson after graduation. She has since worked for a #1 TV show,  a Fortune 100 company, traveled the world and hopes to show youth and young professionals the opportunities that can await them. 

Diana sits on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement and on the Logistics Committee for El Rio Vecinos. She has a passion for helping the community and actively volunteers with multiple organizations throughout the year including El Rio Community Health Center, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (THCC), Literacy Connects, Habitat for Humanity, D-S Rescue and many more. She is a Woman of Influence Award Winner - 3rd Place for Community Service Champion, 40 Under 40 Recipient and PBP Young Alumna Achievement Award National Finalist for 2017.

Andres Ruiz
Entrepreneur and Life Coach at I Believe In Myself Coaching

Andres Ruiz is a Motivational Speaker, Life Coach, and Stand Up Comedian.  Andres’s Life Purpose is to help improve & save people’s lives. As a coach he helps his clients gain the confidence to believe in themselves so they can pursue their Goals and Dreams, and ultimately find their life’s purpose like he did. He is also very passionate about helping our youth by speaking to them on how to be more confident & help raise their self esteem. He is also a speaker for NAMI aka National Alliance On Mental illness.  He is one of the Co-Host of the Power, Passion & Coffee podcast where they help raise awareness and motivate their audience to live their full potential.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Tucson | LatinX in Tech 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.

Initiative Partner


Organizing Team

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

  • Stephanie
  • Alexis
  • Wilman
  • German
  • Jocelyn


Stephanie Bermudez
Founder at Startup Unidos

Reinforcing and building entrepreneurial communities. 

I am often praised at being a gifted community builder because I care to understand the nuances of human behavior and how to encourage positive interactions. Lately, I pour my innovative ideas in creating cross-border communities and environments that expand on binational relationships to encourage collaboration and co-inspiration.

Innovation Spaces | Community | Networks | Events | Training | Consulting | Research

International | Entrepreneurship | Innovation | Programs | Youth | Underserved Populations | Economic Development

Bilingual | Bicultural | Arizona | Sonora | Borderlands

Guaymas, Sonora | Hermosillo, Sonora| Nogales, Sonora | Nogales, AZ | South Tucson, AZ | Tucson, AZ | Phoenix, AZ

Startup Unidos Youth VozFrontera | University of Arizona's Southwest Folklife Alliance | UA College of Social Sciences

Minority Small Business Owner of the Year, Woman of Impact 2019
Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson Bright Futures Award 2018
40 under 40 Woman of the Year 2016
TEDxStarrPassWomen Local Leader 2015
Emerging Leader Award 2015

Jordan Rothenberg
Regional Manager

Jordan is a Regional Manager at Techstars, overseeing and supporting community leaders as they bring Startup Weekend, Week, and Digest to cities across the Western U.S. and Canada.

In a past life, Jordan was the cofounder of a natural food startup that simplified the smoothie making process, worked in advertising, healthcare IT, among a few other odd jobs. Jordan is from Milwaukee, WI, attended his first Startup Weekend in Madison, WI and is now based in Boulder, CO. He has an appetite for outdoor adventures, cars, and travel!

Event Staff

Eric Meyer

Startup Unidos Youth VozFrontera

Ashley Avila

Starup Unidos Youth VozFrontera

Samantta Garcia

Startup Unidos Youth VozFrontera

Event Blog

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