Techstars Startup Weekend D.C., Space

    Tuesday, October 22 - 24, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Coaches and Mentors
  4. Sponsors
  5. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend D.C., Space

Tuesday, October 22 - 24, 2019

Tuesday, October 22 - 24, 2019
Event starts at 8:30 am

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001

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Taking space 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.

Techstars Startup Weekend is your chance to learn how to take an 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 October 22nd-24th!  

Who is Techstars 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 focusing on SPACE. That means you’ll be joining like-minded designers, techies and business people in creating an organization aimed at commercializing space/expanding the space economy. This is a broad topic that could include everything from fixing orbital debris (space traffic management) to outposts on the moon to asteroid mining. It might be targeting a technology gap, consumer services, 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 space-industry enterprise.

This event is co-located with the IAC Conference 21-25 October, 2019.

Your ticket includes:

  • Access to the full Tuesday - Thursday event
  • Opportunity to pitch your idea on Tuesday morning @ 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!
EXCLUSIVE: AIAA Free e-Membership Offer

Sign up for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ FREE e-Membership. Stay informed with news impacting your profession, receive discounts on educational opportunities, and network with aerospace colleagues online—all for free!

Do I need to come with an idea?

If you have an idea for a startup, then great!  We hope you pitch for the program. If you don't have an idea, that's quite alright!  Come and spend the 3 days, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something piques your interest! The program 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 program in collaboration with AIAA!

Questions? Press inquiries?  Please email us at

See what it's all about

Learn More


Tuesday October 22nd

8:30 am
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

9:00 am
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

9:20 am
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

9:30 am
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

10:00 am
Attendees vote for the top pitches

10:15 am
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

11:00 am
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

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Breakout / Team Work
An opportunity to ask questions, and visit optional pitch sessions

6:30 pm

10:00 pm

Wednesday October 23rd

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

Thursday October 24th

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

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

3:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:00 pm
Judging & Awards

5:30 pm

6:00 pm
Program Ends!

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Amy Wilson
CoFounder, Just Startup

Amy J. Wilson is a user-centered product manager working at the intersection of communications and technology to solve complex challenges. She delivers innovative solutions that are valuable, usable, fit within a designated market and aligned to accomplishing client’s missions. Tackling problems with a left- (usability/analytic) and right- (design/creative) brain mentality, she has 12 years’ experience building holistic solutions that produce impact with multiple government agencies, private companies, and nonprofit clients. Her blend of communications and technology skills enables her to communicate effectively and empathize with clients, stakeholders, and end users, while also being able to design compelling user interfaces.

Adeleke Omitowoju
Venture Advisor, Project 500

Adeleke Omitowoju is an early stage venture consultant and advisor based in DC.  He started his career in private equity where he worked as an analyst in New Delhi India for global fund Avenue Capital Group.  He then joined IBM as a Client Executive where he led complex deals in healthcare and energy and utilities.  After leaving IBM, he co-founded Ghost Note, one of DC’s leading integrated marketing agencies.  

He also co-founded Technoir, an annual pitch competition for tech entrepreneurs of color.  He advises DC policymakers and philanthropic organizations on strategies to develop and sustain inclusive communities for innovators and entrepreneurs.  He attended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) where he earned his undergraduate degree and MBA with a concentration in finance.  His core focus now is the development of scalable models that deliver support services to idea-stage and early-stage entrepreneurs of color that de-risk the startup, increase the survival rate and ensure capital readiness.

Evan Smith

Evan Smith has more than 25 years of experience in business, law, and entrepreneurship. He was a partner at Greenberg Traurig, a successful startup CEO, and is currently managing partner at Cogent Law Group. Specialties: 1) Intellectual Property Strategy; 2) Negotiating & Closing Complex Business and Licensing Transactions; 3) Product Development & Design; 4) Business Planning, Structures, & Funding

Aurelia Flores
CEO, Perfect Digital Connect

Aurelia Flores, Managing Member of Athena Digital Media Group, has been in the digital marketing field for nearly 10 years. She has a passion for helping people connect with their ideal clients online and specializes in Facebook Ad Campaigns. Aurelia is especially committed to helping her clients change the world with their work. In 2016, Aurelia joined the Pipeline Angels network of women investors. She is deeply committed to their goals of changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. Her angel investments all focus on large social change projects led by women.

Jack Bienko
Director for Entrepreneurship Education at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

John “Jack” Bienko is the (A) Director for Entrepreneurship Education at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) headquarters in Washington, DC. SBA facilitates billions of dollars in financing and contracts each year while overseeing a broad entrepreneurial support system and assisting communities recover from disasters. Mr. Bienko’s team builds customized education solutions that include SCORE’s network of 11,000 business mentors, the flagship SBA Emerging Leaders executive training series in 50 cities, an award-winning digital learning portal logging 300,000 registrations annually, the national Encore Entrepreneurship campaign, and cutting-edge partnerships with global brands and civic innovators.

Kelly Miller

Banner Public Affairs

Mike Chan
Founder and CEO


I'm Mike and I'm the dad of Maya, husband of Vicky, entrepreneur, marketer, business developer, product guy, podcaster, terrible coder, but awesome power napper. 

I'm the Founder and CEO of WinOptix, a platform that helps government contractors win more contracts and grow their business by using data to more accurately predict the probability of winning contracts. 

I'm also the CMO of Thorn Technologies, a cloud computing and software development firm in Maryland. 

I used to be an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University and was formerly the Senior Director of Strategic Marketing for the Washington Capitals / Monumental Sports and Entertainment. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend D.C., Space 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

AIAA is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense.

Visit Website

Organizing Team

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

  • Jackie
  • Steven


Chris Franz

I found, fund, and drive the creation of high growth companies, primarily in high-tech, and data driven areas. I love the ability to disrupt markets that haven't moved in years with the leverage of technology and intelligence. I have pursued this goal in a number of markets that include real estate, finance, big data analytics, energy, healthcare (ouch), defense and first responder technology.

I love the power of data and technology to transform the efficiency and profitability of almost any industry sector.

I am passionate about Startups and how they drive our economy and future. I am committed to supporting, mentoring and doing everything I can to help good startups become growing companies.

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