Latinx In Tech Startup Weekend Tucson

    Friday, June 14 - 16, 2019

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

Friday, June 14 - 16, 2019

Friday, June 14 - 16, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

La Estrella de Tucson
4850 S. Park Ave
Tucson, AZ 85714

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Latinx In Tech Startup Weekend Tucson

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 Tucson 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:
  • 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 Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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See what it's all about

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Friday June 14th

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

Saturday June 15th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Keynote: Wilman Vergara

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!

3:30 pm
Prototyping Workshop
Learn how to prototype your idea in XD

5:00 pm
3D Printing Workshop; Xerocraft
Workshop on how to run the printers for your prototype

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

10:30 pm
Como se dice! Tucson Improv Movement
Spanish-English special Everyone has a story to tell. Five short and personal stories from our special guests inspire Tucson's premier improv comedy from The Soapbox

Sunday June 16th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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
Light Dinner

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm
Wrap up & Go Home!


Wilman Vergara
Healthcare Industry Professional

With more than 10 years in the healthcare industry (I started young), I am reaching what I believe to be the pinnacle of my career within the next year. My studies at Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC) brought forth wonderful experiences from studying the Bubonic Plague, leprosy, and water quality in the U.K. to participating in studies regarding the stigmatization of obesity in low socio-economic areas. Through my experience in helping the less fortunate acquire healthcare coverage through more than 35 Medicaid agencies in the U.S., I have been able to build relationships that will last a lifetime. I have 8 years experience working with low income populations, 3 years of epidemiological research, and I'm in my final year of my Masters in Healthcare Innovation (MHI) program at Arizona State University. Lastly, my most current efforts through my MHI program is to develop a system through the use of innovative technology to combat obesity in the U.S. thus reducing the cost of healthcare for a much needed populous as well as the industry.

Wilman is also an aspiring entrepreneur having co-founded Atomic Soccer Academy and more recently featured in various publications including The State Press and Phoenix Magazine for his innovative, MedTech startup KNOSIS Health.

Event Judges

Brian Ellerman
Leader of Arizona Forge

Leading the University of Arizona's new incubation arm, Arizona Forge (, beginning with the historic Roy Place Building in downtown Tucson and focused on sustainability (mining, food, energy, water, urban planning) and digital health (telemedicine, wearable devices, mobile apps) united by analytics/AI.

Active angel investor ( and advisor of several startups globally. Member of international Together. Health Steering Committee. Serve on various advisory boards, and founded the Tucson STEM Community.

Studied biology, chemistry and mathematics at Wabash College, earned a BS cum laude in clinical pathology at Marist College, an MS in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona’s Eller College, and began studies toward a PhD in Organization and Management with a Specialization in Leadership at Capella University. Native Arizonan.

Callie Groth
Owner at Black Bar Engineering; MBA Entrepreneurship

Callie Groth is the owner of BlackBar Engineering – a small engineering company that specializes in the research, design and development of unmanned systems, subsystems and components. As a firm believer of always saying “yes”, then figuring out how to do it, Callie co-founded the company in 2015 when she did not know what an unmanned system was, let alone, anything about doing business in Defense. But with a sincere passion for the entrepreneurial spirit, Callie spearheaded the company into quickly becoming an innovative and agile small business working with United States Special Operations Command, United States Army, and Department of the Interior. Prior to starting BlackBar Engineering, Callie worked in New Product Development for CoreLogic, a Fortune 50 data company, and in Change Management for Microsoft Services. Callie received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Arizona in Government & Public Policy and Chinese, and a Master of Business Administration in Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management.

Karla Bernal Morales
Government and Community Relations, The University of Arizona

Karla Morales is an impact driven professional.  She has been involved in the community engagement since the age of 14 years old, volunteering at her local community center since the early 90’s and continued her work in the public throughout the years with the primary focus to positively impact people’s lives.  Karla worked for the State of Arizona for over 15 years in Department of Economic Security and assisted thousands of Arizona families in the process of receiving assistance from employment, employment training, nutritional assistance, child care benefits, and medical assistance.  She has received several gubernatorial recognitions for her work as the Southern Regional coordinator for the State Employee Charitable Campaign.  Karla was also the recipient of the Women of Influence Award from the YWCA.  She has raised over 8 million dollars for United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona to support programs which directly impact the community in the areas of education, financial stability, and health.  She volunteers with Junior Achievement, United Way, YMCA, YWCA, UA Guerrero Student Center, Casa Maria, Tucson Autism Alliance, and Community Food Bank.  She served on the YMCA Board from 2005 to 2011, currently serves as the advisor for the Sophomore Honorary student group and is the liaison for the Commission for the Status of Women at the University of Arizona.  Currently working in the Executive Office of the President of the University of Arizona Karla oversees the multicultural advancement efforts in the Division of Equity, Inclusion and Title IX as well coordinates the university wide charitable campaign (15,000 employees) and year wide employee volunteer efforts.  Karla is a graduate of the University of Arizona and a proud Wildcat for life.  Currently working in the Executive Office of the President of the University of Arizona Karla oversees the multicultural advancement efforts in the Division of Equity, Inclusion and Title IX as well coordinates the university wide charitable campaign (15,000 employees) and year wide employee volunteer efforts.  Karla is a graduate of the University of Arizona and a proud Wildcat for life. 

Coaches and Mentors

Melissa Ortiz
Developer at MomsCan:Code

Problem-solving is my motivation. Software development is my medium. I am forever grateful for the women who inspired me to pursue this path and pay-it-forward by helping to increase the number of women in technical and leadership roles. My tools of choice include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Ruby/Rails.

Dawna Gravley
UX Designer

Inquisitive designer solving problems by understanding the why and the how. I love new information and ideas, and adapt quickly to new challenges. Looking for an environment where empathy, insight, ideation, and the ability to pull it all together through honest discussion is encouraged. Let the best ideas win! 

German Urrego
Founder / CEO at Unividoc

As an entrepreneur and purpose-driven community builder, German Urrego is out to change the way people experience the health care system in Spanish. German is a proud (DREAMER) who knows the meaning of hard work (REAL HARD WORK). He is passionate about everything (LATINO) and admires everyone that leaves everything behind in search of the (AMERICAN DREAM).

Lastly, He is one of the founders lead SEO at Moja SEO, chief executive hustler at Hustle Everyday and CEO of Unividoc... The first global Telehealth marketplace allowing Hispanics to see doctor all over the world and get a prescription if needed.

Cori Felix
Woman's Network Ambassador at Comcast

 I am probably the most self motivated person you will ever meet! I truly enjoy being involved in anything my job or community has to offer. I like to put myself out there and absorb all knowledge I gain from anything I do. In my current role, I get to utilize my motivation skills to help, not only my peers, but also our employee resource groups achieve their goals. I love being able to recognize a talent in someone, watering it, and watching that person grow and bloom. It is very fulfilling to know that I had a part in that growth and I look forward to working with everyone!

Zachary Brooks, PhD
Market Researcher, Consultant and Speaker

Zachary S Brooks earned his PhD from the University of Arizona in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching with concentrations in Cognitive Science and Management in 2016. His research -- bilingual decision making -- explored the varying decisions people make as function of their first language and second language competence. Previously, Zach worked at the Office of Global Initiatives at the University of Arizona focusing on research, analysis, and program development. Zachary also worked with Tech Launch Arizona to help develop startup companies. In this role, he helped organize eight pitch competitions during 2014 and has opened a consultancy based on his research called Bilingual Decision Sciences. Zachary speaks English, Spanish, German, and Portuguese and he enjoys spending time in Sonora. 

In his free time, Dr. Brooks  competes in triathlons, travels as much as possible in order to practice one of his four languages. 

Michael Tucker
Founder and CEO at Tucker Strategic Marketing and Consulting

I consult, advise and coach visionary businiess leaders who seek to transform industries with innovative companies or exponential technologies. Together we co-create an emergent future.

When I'm not building or marketing brands I am working with other amazing souls as a life coach to assist them in becoming their true Self.

I also produce content for the Institute of New Thought, an online platform for personal growth and transformation.

My Backstory

I began my professional career as an Air Force officer. I served in procurement, hospitality, and human resource related career fields. In each of these roles I led, mentored and coached America’s best and brightest through some of their most difficult and life-altering challenges.

After my military commitment I became an entrepreneur and investor. I have launched or been a part of companies in marketing, software, insurance, taxes, education and training. I have traveled, spoken, worked and lived around the world. 

Aaron Eden
Moves the Needle Founder, Lean Innovation Leader.

Aaron Eden is a co-founder & COO at Moves the Needle and adjunct professor at the University of Arizona. For more than 20 years, Aaron has utilized his passion for lean innovation, entrepreneurship and people to launch multiple successful businesses and turbo-charge product teams in industries ranging from information technology, healthcare, education, financial services and management consulting.

Previously, Aaron worked as a product manager in multiple product and functions during his time at Intuit, Inc. with specific focus on helping senior leaders apply Lean Startup principles. As an Innovation Catalyst, Aaron uses his design thinking, lean startup, design for delight and rapid experimentation skills to coach employees on how to effectively innovate across the entire enterprise. Resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of impact and delighted customers.

Ask me about startups in Tucson!

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.

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.

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.

Ashley Tsosie-Mahieu
Community Outreach Fundraising Administrator

Coming soon...

Aaron Gopp

Coming soon

Eleazar Coronado
HR Professional at Verdugo & Associates

Coming soon...

Elsa Maldonado
Coordinador de Zona Ei at Tec de Monterrey

Egresada de la Licenciatura en creación y desarrollo de empresas por el Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey con más de 4 años de experiencia en gestión de fondos de gobierno para proyectos de innovación. Actualmente es la coordinadora de la Zona de emprendimiento Innovador en el Tec de Monterrey, además de formar parte de las comunidades emprendedoras de Hermosillo Hackers and founders y Fuckup nights.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Latinx In Tech Startup Weekend Tucson 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 Tucson is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Stephanie
  • Melissa
  • German
  • Robert
  • Omar


david silva
Señor Developer | Facilitator Latinx in Tech Philadelphia

David is a Software developer at a medical company, that is working to address the lack of easy access to medical care. Very passionate about startups, and helping others be a part of the startup world.

Event Staff

Bobby Garcia
Startup Weekend Intern / Athletics and Business

Entrepreneur, great communicator, and currently an aspiring athletic director going the business route. 

Event Blog

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