Past event…

Event Ended

UW Paccar Hall, 4277 NE Stevens Way Seattle, WA 98195

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!



May 9
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • 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


May 10
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


May 11
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!

Arif Gursel

Technologist - Marketeer - Innovator

Arif is the Senior Product Manager of Revenue Growth at Zillow and is very active in the Seattle Startup community. He specializes in product development, strategic business engagements, partner alliances, business model analysis, and technology strategy equipped to lead initiatives & people toward common goals. As a highly adaptable communicator and motivator, Arif works with diverse management styles and people across all levels of an organization. A blend of curiosity, creativity, persistence, commitment, passion, and optimism are his keys to success.

Gold Sponsors

Rebecca Lovell

Startup Liaison, City of Seattle

Rebecca Lovell is the City of Seattle's Startup Liaison, working to connect startups to resources, expand opportunities in entrepreneurship , and measure and promote our success. She also serves as a mentor for Techstars, 9 Mile Labs, and Founder Institute, and is an instructor on venture capital investing in the UW Foster MBA Program. She is on the advisory board of LikeBright as well as the UW Foster Employer Advisory board, and has coached, screened and mentored hundreds of startups in Seattle. Prior roles include Program Director, Alliance of Angels, Executive Director, Northwest Entrepreneur Network, Chief Business Officer, GeekWire and interim CEO for Vittana. She brings 20 years of operating and management experience to her leadership roles in both for-profit and non-profit sectors. Recognized as of the top 100 women in Tech from the Puget Sound Business Journal (2009), she was Tech Flash's "Do Gooder of the Year" in 2010. She is endlessly devoted to entrepreneurship and karaoke.

Marc Barros

Co-Founder, Moment & Contour

Marc is an entrepreneur, a creator, and a picture taker. He is passionate about amazing product experiences and building great companies. His latest project is Moment. Marc believes the future of photography is in your pocket so he has created a collection of the highest quality lenses to empower mobile picture takers everywhere to capture incredible images with their phones. After asking for $50,000 on Kickstarter, Marc received over $450,000 of support.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Washington in 2004, and before founding Moment, Marc co-founded Contour, a hands-free camera company that makes action video easy to capture and share. He lead the organization from a garage to a multi-million dollar company with hundreds of thousands of customers around the world.

George Huang

Associate, Madrona

George is an associate at Madrona Venture Group where he works on identifying and investigating new investment opportunities and is closely involved with Madrona's portfolio companies. Prior to joining Madrona, George was an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley in Menlo Park, California. At Morgan Stanley, he worked on M&A and capital raising transactions for companies in the technology sector. His experience includes the initial public offerings of Workday and Groupon, Ariba's sale to SAP, and Tencent's investment in Epic Games. George graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics, with concentrations in Finance and Accounting and a minor in Music.

Margaret Dawson

Vice President of Product Marketing, HP Cloud

For more than 20 years, Margaret has held global leadership roles with start-ups and Fortune 500 technology companies, including Microsoft and As Vice President of Product Marketing & Cloud Evangelist for HP Cloud, she is part of the executive team driving HP’s cloud strategy. Margaret is a frequent author and sought-after speaker on subjects such as cloud computing, Big Data, network security, and the convergence of technology and business, and is ranked one of the Top Ten Women in Cloud Computing (2013). Margaret is an advisor to Cloud Connect and the Cloud Network of Women (CloudNOW) as well as multiple early-stage companies and CEOs. Based in Seattle, Washington, Margaret has worked and traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and North America, including four years as a foreign correspondent for BusinessWeek magazine in Greater China.

Daniel Rossi

Chief Business Officer, GeekWire

The first decade of Daniel's career was spent developing business for media publications like the Economist and the Seattle Times. His interest in startups developed while getting his MBA at the University of Washington. His company Nanocel won the 2009 UW Business Plan Competition and was a national finalist in the 2010 Clean Tech Open. After Nanocel Daniel worked side by side with hundreds of startups as Executive Director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. Today he combines his love for startups and media as the Chief Business Officer for GeekWire. Daniel is a mentor for Startup Weekend NEXT companies, the Founders Institute, and a coach and judge for the University of Washington's Environmental Innovation Challenge and Business Plan Competition.

Silver Sponsors

Michael Mott

COO, Microsoft Studios

Formely the COO of Microsoft Studios, Michael is a serial "Intrapreneur" responsible for developing the strategy, business partnerships and product portfolios that will embody the next generation of entertainment across PC, TV and mobile devices. He also started Microsoft's first ever accelerator program, The Kinect Accelerator. Along with experience in Fortune 500, Michael mentors several startups including Ubi Interactive and Styku.

Emer Dooley

Executive Director, Alliance of Angels Seed Fund

Dr. Emer Dooley is the Executive Director of the largest seed fund in the Pacific Northwest, the Alliance of Angels Seed Fund. She is also a lecturer in the Foster School of Business and Department of Computer Science & Engineering. Emer specializes in technology strategy, entrepreneurship, and venture capital. She also works with the UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, involving students in all aspects of company creation, technology commercialization and investment. Dr. Dooley holds a Ph.D. and an M.B.A. from the University of Washington and an M.Eng. and a B.Sc. from the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Neil Bergquist

Director, SURF Incubator

Neil Bergquist is an endlessly curious and passionate entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was seventeen, managing vacation rental properties in Island County. He continued to run the business through college where he played football for a nationally ranked team while earning his Masters in Business Administration at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. He currently serves as the Director of SURF Incubator which supports more than 40 startups in downtown Seattle. Prior to SURF Incubator, Neil was responsible for all Seattle-based due diligence for the Willamette MBA Fund and managed corporate real estate portfolios for commercial end-users at Washington Partners. Neil moonlights as a Board Trustee for the Friends of the Seattle Public Library and is Chair of a committee responsible for spinning off new business ventures in order to supplement government funding.

Fabrice Herpain

CEO, BusinesSense

Fabrice is a consultant in business and product strategy with over 20 years experience bringing innovative businesses and products to market globally. Specializing in Mobile and Cloud markets, Fabrice customers range from Microsoft and T-Mobile to local startups looking for help understanding their customer needs and refining their product market fit, value proposition, business model and go-to-market strategy. Prior to consulting Fabrice was a Director of Product Planning and Business Development at Microsoft where he spent 15 years in Europe and Redmond bringing to market a wide range of products including Windows, Hardware devices, Xbox Live and Microsoft Online services. Fabrice also coaches business leaders on Lean Startup methodology and the Business Model Generation canvas.
Fabrice has a BS in Computer Science and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Rice Universtiy.

Anup Chathoth

Co-Founder, Ubi Interactive

Anup Chathoth is the CEO and co-founder of Ubi Interactive, a startup that turns any surface into a touch screen. After founding the company in Germany, Ubi was one of the companies that got accepted into Microsoft's first accelerator program - the Kinect Accelerator. After graduating from the accelerator, Ubi moved into SURF Incubator in downtown Seattle. Since moving to Seattle, Anup has been an active member in the Seattle startup community and remains involved with the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program at UW.

Alex Diaz

Product Marketing Specialist, Projectline

Alex Diaz is a Product Marketing Specialist for marketing consultation firm, Projectline, where he helps manage the social & creative content initiatives in the Xbox digital space. Alex is also active in the community— having organized several Startup Weekend & TEDx events, he also currently sits on the board of advisors for the UW American Marketing Association & Comm Dept. Alex co-founded tech startup, MyUnfold, a passion project focused on getting jobs for recent graduates & military veterans through a skills validation platform meant to help recruiters see a candidates potential as an employee and not a perceived “lack of work experience”.

Andrew Klein

Executive Vice President, ZINO Society

Andrew Klein is the Executive Vice President of ZINO Society. Andrew is a serial entrepreneur and prior to ZINO Society, he worked in a finance capacity at a health care startup, created and scaled a coffee kiosk business, and most recently was a TechStars graduate of the MSFT Azure Accelerator class. His energy, passion, and experience for entrepreneurship is helping energize and accelerate the ZINOpreneurs to scalability and fundability. He is also leading the charge of providing more opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate with investors prior to the time they pitch to help guarantee traction and investor interest.

Alex Samano

Co-Founder & CEO, Life Dreams, Inc.

Alex is an Entrepreneur and General Manager working on a personal startup after 8 years building new ventures for T-Mobile USA. Alex has launched over 20 mobile apps (even before Android or iOS existed), the first calling app for Facebook, one of the first Connected Home platforms withCisco. This work led him to over 25 patent filings and numerous articles in TechCrunch, WSJ, The NYT, and many others. Alex has raised over $38M for 5 ventures and has delivered over $670M in annual revenues. On the side, Alex is a mentor for TechBA Seattle an incubator focused on promising technology companies in LATAM. Alex holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Oregon State.

Adam Benzion

Founder, Entirely

Adam Benzion is starter with a Fortune 100 background. Adam was fortunate to experience early stage startups and exits, 3 of which I founded, as well as working for giants like Microsoft @Windows. At present, Adam is the founding CEO of Entirely, a launchpad for hardware startups. This is Adam's 4th Startup weekend!

Aseem Datar

WW Strategy & Sales Leader, Microsoft

With over 15 years in tech, Aseem is currently an intrapreneur at Microsoft leading the charge to scale businesses from an idea to multi-million dollar P&Ls. An active advisor to startups in the Seattle area, Aseem is passionate about uncovering the next frontier. He is a part-time faculty member at UW School of business teaching entrepreneurial business & marketing.

Jason Hamilton

President, Richmond Public Relations   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Jason Hamilton, president and partner of Richmond Public Relations, specializes in creating strategies, campaigns, crisis management, media training, and messaging with clients ranging from The Westfield Group to Canlis Restaurant to UW Medicine Northwest. His past experience includes: chief marketing officer at a wealth management firm

Kristen Hamilton

CEO and Co-Founder, Koru

Kristen Hamilton is an entrepreneur, globalist and education innovation junkie. The latest company she’s started from scratch is Koru – an innovative start-up that seeks to bridge the gap between college and career by providing bright, gritty young college grads with the relevant skills, hands-on experience, and network to launch their careers at kickass companies. Before serving as Koru’s CEO, Kristen worked as COO of World Learning, a global non-profit, launched mobile media devices for Microsoft, and rode the .com wave of the '90s, co-founding Onvia, which she helped take public.

Media & Contributing Sponsors
Kenny Raymond
Emmeline Vu
Arnavi Chheda
Steven Xu
Gordon Shelton-Jenck
Hakon Verespej
Thibaut Labarre
Jason Hwang
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