Techstars Startup Weekend Washington D.C. Social Impact | April 2018

    Friday, April 6 - 8, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Washington D.C. Social Impact | April 2018

Friday, April 6 - 8, 2018

Friday, April 6 - 8, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Alley powered by Verizon
2055 L Street Northwest
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

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Taking ideas from concept to creation in a matter of days!

Have you ever seen a new product, app, or business and thought to yourself, "that was my idea a few years ago!"?  If you have, then that means you did not have a process for taking that idea and building it out into a prototype.

Startup Weekend is your chance to learn how to take any idea from concept to creation within a matter of days!  Whether you are looking to...

  • get introduced to the world of startups and entrepreneurship,
  • learn the process of going from concept to creation,
  • meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs in DC,
  • join or build an all-star team,
  • or take your own idea from concept to creation
Startup Weekend is your destination for the weekend of April 6th-8th!  

Who is Startup Weekend For?

It doesn't matter what you do or where you come from, Startup Weekend is designed as an inclusive event and program that brings all sorts of people together including...

  • aspiring & experienced entrepreneurs,
  • developers and other tech-related professionals,
  • designers of all types,
  • non-technical talent (i.e. business, sales, finance, legal, etc.)
  • students from universities and even high schools,
  • professionals looking to switch careers,
  • passionate visionaries
What's the twist?  

The next Startup Weekend has the theme of social enterprise. That means you’ll be joining like-minded designers, techies and business people in creating an organization aimed at making a difference. It might be targeting a social impact, environmental impact, or something else entirely. The purpose is up to you. What we provide is a fun, high-energy environment where you can learn through doing, with all the support you’ll need to launch a brand new social enterprise.

Your ticket includes:
  • Access to the full weekend-long event
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night @ Pitch Fire
  • Mentoring by all-stars from the tech startup community
  • Tasty meals all weekend
  • Collaboration with awesome professionals from throughout DC-Maryland-Virginia
  • All-star judge's panel lead by startup and entrepreneurial leaders
  • Membership in the Startup Weekend Community (>200K alumni)
  • A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days
  • And over 100 new awesome Facebook friends!
Do I need to come with an idea?

If you have an idea for a startup, then great!  We hope you pitch for the weekend.  If you don't have an idea, that's quite alright!  Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something piques your interest!  The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and learning from each other.  If you have more questions, check out the Startup Weekend First Timers FAQ!

Join us for a very special weekend! 

Questions? Press inquiries?  Please email us at

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Friday April 6th

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 April 7th

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

Sunday April 8th

9:00 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

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Sonal Shah
Executive Director, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University

Sonal is an economist and entrepreneur and has spent her career focused on economic policy and actionable innovation in the public and private sectors.  She is a global leader on social innovation policy including impact investing, data and technology for social good, and civic engagement through government, business, philanthropy and civil society.   She has led policy innovations at the White House for President Obama and the Treasury Department for President Clinton.   She brings a unique and diverse background.  An international economist she set up the central bank in Bosnia, worked post conflict reconstruction in Kosovo, and implemented poverty reduction strategies in Africa and financial crises in Asia and Latin America. In the private sector, she led technology for civic engagement and impact investing initiatives at Google, as the head of Global Development Initiatives and set up and ran the environmental strategy, including investing clean technologies at Goldman Sachs.  

She served as Deputy Assistant to the President for President Obama and founded the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.  She served on President Obama’s transition board leading the Technology, Innovation and Government Reform group.  In the Administration, Sonal led the efforts to set up innovative finance mechanisms for service delivery, leveraging technology to better engage citizens in government, creating new public private partnerships and supported and trained  leadership throughout government (political and civic service) to institutionalize innovative practices.

Sonal started her career at the U.S. Department of Treasury where she was an international economist working on timely development issues, including post-conflict development in Bosnia, Asian financial crisis, and poverty reduction in Africa.  

One of Sonal’s most proud accomplishments is working with her siblings to create a non-profit, Indicorps, to build a new generation of socially conscious global leaders.  They worked with some of the leading non-profit and social organizations throughout India working on issues of healthcare, education, farming, women’s development, etc.  Indicorps created the service movement in India inspiring and incubating new social enterprises like Teach for India and Sarvajal.

She serves on the board of the Case Foundation, Oxfam America, Non Profit Finance Fund, the Urban Alliance. She serves as an adviser to the Democracy Fund and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Aaron Saunders
Founder & CEO of Clearly Innovative Inc./Luma Lab/In3

With more than 25 years of software development and tech education experience, Aaron Saunders is an award-winning tech entrepreneur and author, who has founded and successfully built multiple startups. His companies include Clearly Innovative (a mobile app agency), Luma Lab (a tech and entrepreneurship education program), In3 (the nation’s first “Inclusive Innovation Incubator”), KissIntel (a dating relationship management and romance enhancement mobile app).

Aaron launched Clearly Innovative in 2009; Clearly Innovative’s work includes building mobile apps for the National Museum of African American History and Culture  and the National Military Family Association and the launch of an innovative Google tablets program for the Queens Library System that won a “Broadband Champion Award.” As the founder of Luma Lab, Aaron has won several prominent grants, including the Mission Main Street Grant from Chase Bank and TDF Foundation grants, to continue his work of training and supporting hundreds of youth and entrepreneurs in their endeavors. As author of “Building Cross-Platform Apps using Titanium, Alloy,  and Appcelerator Cloud Services,” Aaron provides readers a detailed guide to quickly developing the skills to build real, native apps and get them to market faster. He most recently opened the doors of In3 in partnership
with DC Government and Howard University.

Aaron serves as an adjunct professor at Howard University, and organizer for DC Tech Meetup. He has received numerous awards acknowledging his community work and commitment to inclusive innovation, including but not limited to, being named a “2017 Tech Titan” by Washingtonian Magazine, Black Data Processing Associates’ “2016 Entrepreneur of the Year,” “2016 Champion of Digital Equality Award” by the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, and Washington Business Journal’s “Power 100 of 2016.”

Janice Omadeke
Founder & CEO

Janice Omadeke is the Founder and CEO of The Mentor Method. The Mentor Method is a career development platform empowering minorities, women, and underrepresented tech talent to learn to lead with confidence by connecting rising stars to career mentors from companies interested in hiring diversely. She is shameless in her mission to provide resources to women interested in leadership positions. For her innovative approach to mentoring, Janice was selected for MIT's Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, the 1776 Global Accelerator, and attended the White House Summit on Building the Tech Workforce of Tomorrow.

Jason Feimster
Managing Partner of 3Si Microventure & Holdings

Jason is a former US Marine and is the Managing Partner of 3Si Microventure & Holdings, LLC.  He is a serial entrepreneur and active community leader, who values service, dedication and making real contributions. Jason has devoted his career to maximizing revenue, accelerating market expansion and ensuring corporate performance. He is actively involved in startups including advisory and board level experience in many of the startups 3Si works with and invests in.   Prior to founding and funding startups, Jason served in the US Marine Corps on various assignments to include two deployments in support of the war in Iraq, logistics supervisor for 8th & I Marine Barracks Washington, DC, and combat marksmanship instructor for the weapons training battalion in 29 Palms, California. Jason is an active community leader devoting much of his personal time to fundraising, social awareness campaigns, community activism. His passions include economics, business development and being in the service of others to help them further the mission and goals of their businesses and organizations.

Coaches and Mentors

Deloris Wilson
Fellow, BEACON- The DC Women Founder's Initiative

Deloris is an innovator, strategist, and social entrepreneur committed to promoting equity and inclusion worldwide. She is currently a fellow at BEACON: the DC Women's Founder Initiative and works to support the development of an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in DC. 

She has performed strategic policy, government and economic development work across six countries and on a range of social issues. As a strategist, she has created and implemented programs to train civil servants in Sint Maarten (Dutch West Indies), empower rural citizens with knowledge of their legal rights in Ghana, harness opportunities for economic development through the creative and cultural industries in Barbados, and build minority-owned businesses in underserved areas of the United States. She has consulted for a variety of startup ventures that fuse tech and social impact, and her work has been published in the Huffington Post, Politico, the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, the Harvard Kennedy School Review, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and is forthcoming in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. 

Grant Schroll
Co-Founder, Mission Collaborative

Grant is a co-founder of Mission Collaborative, a DC-based organization that helps professionals design careers they love.  Redesigning higher education for the 21st century has been Grant's obsession and career path for 5 years. Grant is a higher education expert, experience designer, and entrepreneur. 

Juliana Cardona Mejia
CEO & Founder, Street Entrepreneurs

Juliana Cardona Mejia, is an inquisitive, passionate, and creative thinker. In 2015 she founded Street Entrepreneurs (SE), an inclusive community-driven accelerator. SE connects entrepreneurs to human, social and economic capital via workshops, a talent exchange, and a showcase. Juliana is a Diana Davis Global Good Fellow and is committed to localized and actionable social impact. Prior to establishing SE, she had over 10 years of experience volunteering with disadvantaged, low-income and marginalized populations in over five countries and with over 20 grassroots organizations.

Elliot Roth
Founder, Spira

Elliot Roth is the founder of Spira, a company that creates technology to grow, process and engineer microalgae. After being trained as a University Innovation Fellow at the Stanford d.School, he started multiple entrepreneurial projects including the DIYbio lab Indie Lab, TEDxVCU, and a number of failed startups. Elliot graduated Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering; he spent five years consulting in product design and business strategy before starting Spira. He is a Kairos Fellow, a Seasteading Ambassador, and sits on the Virginia Governor’s Council for Youth Entrepreneurship. Elliot has spoken at Synbiobeta, SXSW, and Thought for Food on social impact, synthetic biology and food. Spira was chosen for the RebelBio, Lighthouse Labs, and the World Food Programme accelerator programs, and is the winner of the CommBeBiz award and Halcyon Fellowship. He is incredibly motivated to solve physiological needs using simple biological design.

Lauren Jacobson
DC Program Manager, Thinkful

Lauren is a community organizer and activist in the Women in Tech community. Currently, she works as the DC Program Manager for Thinkful which provides 1-on-1 mentorship to individuals learning how to code. Lauren is the Network Director of Women Who Code DC, the largest women in tech organization in DC. She also leads coding workshops + panels across the DC area and works as a freelance front-end web developer. In her free time, you’ll find her listening to hip-hop or reading a good book.

Mike Lovell
Vice President of Demand Generation, EVERFI

Mike Lovell is the Vice President of Demand Generation at EVERFI. In his role, Mike leads sales and marketing teams responsible for lead generation - digital, field, outbound and inbound marketing - sales development, and full cycle inside sales.

Prior to EVERFI, Mike held marketing and product roles at Blackboard, and Interfolio. Mike is also a mentor at 1776, a global business incubator based in Washington, DC, where he advises organizations on their marketing, sales and digital strategies.

Chida Sadayappan
Managing Partner, blitzar Accelerator

Technical Entrepreneur. Successfully built and exited Machine Learning, Big Data and Cloud Solution Startups.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Washington D.C. Social Impact | April 2018 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 Washington, D.C. is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • John
  • Steven
  • Erica
  • Jessica
  • Jimmy
  • Kushaan

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