Techstars Startup Weekend Washington D.C. Grow with Google

    Friday, September 21 - 23, 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. Grow with Google

Friday, September 21 - 23, 2018

Friday, September 21 - 23, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

WeWork 80 M SE
80 M Street SE
Washington, DC

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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 Sept. 21st-23rd!  

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 is a special Grow With Google Edition. That means you’ll be joined by some incredible Google Experts to think through your ideas and learn from their different areas of expertise. Your idea might be innovation-led, tech-enabled, 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 business.

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 September 21st

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 September 22nd

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 September 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Final opportunity to ask questions and review

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm

7:15 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Kristina Francis
President, EsteemLogic

Kristina is the President of EsteemLogic, an advisory firm that implements sustainable strategic solutions to ensure organizations optimize engagement with its people and the communities they serve. Kristina earned her BA in Psychology from Georgetown University and an MSc in Information Systems Technology from George Washington University. She is a member of Women in Technology (WIT) and United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). Kristina serves on the Advisory Board for a community development financial institution, serves as an assistant basketball coach for 4th grade girls, attends and volunteers as a judge for VirginiaFIRST robotics events, and previously served on the Board of the Women’s Ministry at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Kristina lives in Chantilly, VA with her husband (Elliott), daughter (Nyla), son (Evan), and Newfoundland (Onyx).

Phil Jung
Associate at Maryland Venture Fund

Phil works as an Investment Associate at the Maryland Venture Fund, an early-stage, evergreen venture capital firm dedicated to growing the next generation of exceptional businesses in Maryland. With $110M in assets under management, the Maryland Venture Fund partners with entrepreneurs to build high-growth technology companies that last. Prior to joining the Maryland Venture Fund, Phil worked for Foundation Capital, a venture capital fund based in Menlo Park, California, and TDF Ventures, an early-stage fund based in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  Phil began his career at KPMG’s Risk Consulting practice in the Silicon Valley where he specialized in software asset management and contract compliance services. He also co-founded the Jeremy Lin Foundation, a Palo Alto based non-profit whose mission is to serve at-risk youth through education and leadership development in underserved communities. Phil received an MBA from Georgetown University and a BA from UC Berkeley.

Sam Clearwater
Legal Counsel - Area120 at Google

Sam is the lead lawyer for Area120 in San Francisco, Google's internal start-up incubator, where he counsels a range of projects, from robotics to the fashion industry. He has also mentored start-ups with Campus, Google's hub for entrepreneurs, in London and Tel Aviv, including a two-week program focused on Machine Learning ventures. Sam first joined Google in London, where he spent two years advising on mobile and electronic payments deals. 

Sam grew up in New Zealand and studied history and law at the University of Auckland and Copenhagen University. He then spent six years working for a leading international law firm where he specialized in technology, media and communications law. During this time, Sam worked and lived in Paris, Brussels, London and Tokyo. He also spent six months in Dakar in Senegal volunteering for Human Rights Watch. 

Nancy Kamei
Program Director, National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Program

Nancy Kamei is a Program Director, managing a portfolio of grants to start-up companies.  For several years, she had served as a National Instructor for the Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program, interacting with National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health grantees.  This inspired her to come out of retirement to join the National Science Foundation full-time and continue working with innovators and entrepreneurs. Nancy has more than 20 years of experience as an investor, having selected and managed billions of dollars of investments of both public equities (Capital Group Companies) and venture capital (Intel Capital). She is also a serial entrepreneur, having been on the founding team of several Silicon Valley startups (Onyx Pharmaceuticals). After receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of California, San Francisco, she started her career at Merck and then completed her Master of Business Administration at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Nancy also has more than 40 years of service to the non-profit sector. She recently relocated to the Washington, D.C. area after a lifetime in California.

Coaches and Mentors

Amy Chiou
Founder, #WTFwevote (We're The Future)

connector. innovator. problem-solver.

Shahier Rahman
Partnerships Specialist, General Assembly and Founder, Miranda

Shahier Rahman is the Co-Founder of legal tech start-up Miranda (SW Winners!) and Partnerships Specialist for GA DC. He previously managed business development for DC Incubator 1776. A recent transplant from Florida, Shahier is a connector in the DC Tech community. You can occasionally catch him doing bad stand up comedy around town.

Jonathan Mansfield
Labs Manager, WeWork

Jonathan runs WeWork Labs in DC, the startup support and corporate innovation arm of WeWork. There he connects early stage companies with the mentorship, programming, and founder-focused community they need to grow. Before his time at WeWork, Jonathan owned a brand and identity design firm, taught business fundamentals to public school children, and was active in the startup and design communities of Chattanooga, TN. 

Julia Westfall
CEO, Hera Hub DC

Julia is the founder and CEO of Hera Hub DC, a professional work and meeting space for women business owners in the Washington DC Metro area.

Julia’s passion for supporting women business owners comes from her 20+ years working with small businesses, helping them manage their financial and HR needs. She is focused on building a vibrant community and network of women in business that fosters collaboration and supports the launch and growth of their businesses. 

Through her work as the Hera Hub DC founder, she supports organizations focused on entrepreneurship and women in business.

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. 

Dan Light
Early Stage Advisor

Dan Light, founder of Dan Light Consulting, is a Consultant, Mentor, Coach, Speaker, Author and SCORE Mentor focusing on early stage companies. He was on the winning team at the Charlottesville, VA Startup Weekend in March 2014 and a Mentor at Start Peninsula 3.0 in March 2014. His career successes include 4 successful start-ups and an IPO. These included: Foxville Business Development Corporation, a business consulting practice for Defense contractors, Exposures Photography, a stock and freelance photography company, MALCO of Northern Virginia, an automotive and industrial chemical company, and Gatherings, an event planning service. He has contributed to the success of 18 of Washington Technology’s top 100 companies.

Anne Yu
Associate Account Strategist, Google

Anne is an Associate Account Strategist at Google working on Google Ads Digital Marketing strategies for SMB. As a recent grad from the University of Houston's Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, she has already lead teams on customer validation, product planning, and pitching. She has a strong love for startups because entrepreneurship creates a culture of working on one's passion and hopes to work more with the startup community throughout her time at Google. 

Mack Kolarich
Cofounder, Startup Angels

Mack is the Cofounder and VP of Product at Startup Angels. Their core product is an online marketplace where people can find and invest in venture capital funds. They also produce a variety of investor educational content and produce angel workshops in cities around the world. Mack is also a cofounder of SceneSquid, a SaaS marketing tool for the events industry.

Previously, he was a partner at Startup Jackpot, an active organizer of Startup Weekends out of Washington, DC, and a corporate innovation consultant.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Washington D.C. Grow with Google 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

Grow with Google is an initiative that draws on our 20-year history of building products, platforms, and services that help people and businesses grow. Through Grow with Google, we aim to help everyone across America – those who make up the workforce of today and the students who will drive the workforce of tomorrow.

Visit Website


Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Washington, D.C. is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Steven
  • Monica
  • Brittany
  • Keith
  • Yurani


Daniel Johnsen
Founder, The Recovery Station

Founder, The Recovery Station (winner of Startup Weekend Lexington, Kentucky 2013)
From:KY (we love bourbon), live in Louisville, Kentucky, United States; currently residing in Longreach, Queensland, Australia.
Background: Founded a few companies, currently making a vending kiosk that dispenses pre/post workout drinks like protein shakes that are customizable and blended on-demand for everyday athletes in gyms (idea was the #1 placing idea at a Startup Weekend during a global startup battle).  I'm heavily active in Louisville & KY's startup scene where I help from basic mentoring with early stage ideas, organize Startup Weekends, throw happy hours for the startup & tech scene, the go-to person for pitch feedback before our area accelerator demo days, and random other items that I often forget and just do as they show up on my calendar.  I have a passion for asking some pretty forceful questions to get early stage entrepreneurs to evaluate their market, problem and solution and arrive at some decision point sooner rather than waiting 18+ months to launch MVPs, scale or bury the idea.
SW/UP: Been part of 30+ (?) Startup Weekends as: Sunday night observer x4; team lead x2; organizer x4; facilitator x1; judge x1; only KY rep for 2014 Vegas Summit; Startup Next participant x3 (I think I hold some type of non-verifiable record for as many ideas as I've taken through); Startup Next mentor x1

Event Staff

Daniel Sanabria
Production Crew Member

Photography & Production

Event Blog

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