Past event…

Event Ended

Alder Commons at University of Washington

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!



Jan 25
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Speaker
  • 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


Jan 26
  • 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


Jan 27
  • 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!
Platinum Sponsors

Brian Ma

Co-Founder,   |   LinkedIn

Brian is a Co-Founder at, a 30+ person company that helps consumers shop online with no regrets using big data to predict when prices of products will go up or down. He is a serial entrepreneur, passionate problem solver, calculated risk taker, and lifelong dream follower. During non-existent spare, Brian likes to code for fun, ride curves on his motorcycle, conquer the world in the latest strategy board game.

Gold Sponsors

Greg Gottesman

Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group   |   LinkedIn

Greg joined Madrona in 1997 and currently serves on the boards of AdReady, Bocada, BuddyTV, Cheezburger, Decide, Intrepid Learning Solutions, Nimbic,, ThinkFire, ThisLife, and WildTangent.

Greg serves on the board of Startup Weekend and W Fund Investment and is the president of the Evergreen Venture Capital Association. He is an advisory board member of the University of Washington Technology Transfer Office.

He is the author of three books. Greg is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington Business School, where he teaches a class on entrepreneurship.

Greg graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors and distinction from Stanford University, with honors and distinction from the Harvard Business School, and with honors from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Rebecca Lovell


Rebecca had a decade-long career in management, operations, and business development before coming to her senses and catching the startup bug. She then directed the Alliance of Angels, served as the executive director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, and most recently, GeekWire's Chief Business Officer. She teaches a class on Venture Capital in the UW MBA program, serves as a mentor for TechStars and the Founder Institute, and is on the employer advisory board for the UW Foster School of Business. She also sits on the advisory boards for LikeBright and Fresh Consulting, and is endlessly devoted to startups, tech, and karaoke.

Tom Hobbs

Creative Director, Teague   |   LinkedIn

Tom provides inspiration, motivation and direction for TEAGUE’s design team. Originally from the UK, he studied at the Leeds College of Art and the University of Wales. Tom has been in the industry for over fifteen years, working for the legendary Colors Magazine and clients such as Sony, Nikon, Sprint, Verizon, Wells Fargo and Amazon. Tom has received numerous awards over the course of his career, including accolades from IDEA, iF, and Red Dot. In 2000, he was named one of ID Magazine's Forty Under Thirty. His work has been published in a variety of publications, including The Guardian and The New York Times. An inveterate globetrotter, Tom has traveled extensively both for work and for pleasure. He’s visited all but one of the world's continents--Australia is yet to be checked off the list--so it’s no surprise that airport kiosks top the list of things he'd like to redesign. He believes in bringing passion to everything he does. "Indifference," he says, "is a disease."

Jenny Lam

Co-founder, Jackson Fish Market   |   LinkedIn

Jenny Lam is a co-founder of Jackson Fish Market, a small software startup focused on making beautiful software experiences. They've shipped over 20 software products in the past 4 years. Their latest product is A Story Before Bed - the first (and only) service that lets parents, grandparents, and children record video of themselves reading children's books and play it back as often as they like on the Mac, PC, or iPad.

Before Jackson Fish Market, Jenny worked at Microsoft from 2001–2007 as Creative Director of the Windows User Experience team. When she isn't running her startup, she serves on the board as Experience Director of the AIGA Seattle chapter and works with national & local organizations to foster the next generation of creative design talent headed for the tech industry. She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal and was awarded Seattle 2.0 Best Startup Designer in 2010.

Sarah Bird

Chief Operations Officer, SEOmoz   |   LinkedIn

Sarah Bird is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at SEOmoz. A qualified global citizen, Sarah has attended school in Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), Koc University (Istanbul, Turkey), University of Washington School of Law, and East China University School of Law and Politics (Shanghai, China). As the CCO of SEOmoz, Sarah owns legal, finance, human resources, facilities, and customer service. She also works with other members of the executive team to develop and implement strategy. Most of what Sarah does for SEOmoz can be broken down into 2 levels: (1) understanding current and future problems, and (2) finding realistic and efficient ways to fix these problems— both for SEOmoz’s customers and the SEOmoz team.

Silver Sponsors

Daniel Jaeger

Senior UX Designer, Amazon Mobile   |   LinkedIn

Daniel Jaeger is a User Experience Designer with over 10 years experience designing mobile, web, and desktop applications. He has spend about half his career working with start-ups or internal startups, most recently as part of a mobile incubation team at Amazon. He is passionate about creating great products and enjoys contirbuting to the local design community.

He was the local leader for IxDA Seattle from 2008 – 2010 and has presented at SIGCHI and IxDA events.

Nicholas Smith

User Experience Designer, Microsoft   |   LinkedIn

Nicholas Smith is a User Experience Designer at Microsoft and University of Washington alumni. Before Microsoft, he worked as a designer on multidisciplinary teams at Amazon and frog. Nick is a founder of the University of Washington Interaction Design Association (IxDA UW) and co-founder of the Stanford Graduate School of Business start-up, Wanderland.

Patrick McLean

Experience Designer, Adobe   |   LinkedIn

Patrick McLean is an Experience Designer for Adobe and a University of Washington alumnus. Fusing his unique skills as an interaction designer, user researcher, and web developer, Patrick's professional projects have spanned work in defining new forms of gestural interactions and gestural languages to user experience design and project development for the Creative Cloud desktop app Muse, one of Adobes newest tools for HTML5, CSS3, and JS web design. Patrick's work with Adobe has resulted in multiple patents and the development and implementation of new strategies in lean design and rapid user research practices.

Jeff Bartenbach

Senior Interaction Designer, Teague

As a Senior Interaction Designer, Jeff has a passion for bringing ideas and interactions to life. Jeff wears many hats, often contributing to all parts of the design process including scoping, defining and laying out screen designs, and demonstrating interactions through software prototypes. He is a storyteller who visualizes complex ideas, often through video and multimedia, to demonstrate functionality in context. After receiving a Bachelors degree in English Literature and a Masters in Media Arts and Sciences (New Media) from Indiana University, Jeff worked as a designer at Getty Images before joining Teague. Since then, he has had the opportunity to apply his creative talents to several projects for global giants such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Boeing. Some of Jeff’s most notable projects to date have been those that pushed past the traditional realm of interaction design including unboxing experiences and visualizing interactions of the future. Jeff derives inspiration from artists and scientists—from film director Fellini to physicist Richard Feyman—who inspire him think to think differently about the world. In his spare time, Jeff pursues his passion for the arts by writing short stories and making movies. Given the chance to redesign anything, he’d focus on reshaping inner-city travel, Facebook, phones, and payment systems. His mantra? Project the life you want to live.

John R. Castle

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, University of Washington   |   LinkedIn

John R. Castle, Sc.D. teaches Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, Seattle University and the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. His practical classes have inspired many former students to found innovative new companies in many industries. He founded and ran many companies during his forty year business career, including several that went public or were acquired. He now advises companies on how to turn their ideas and technologies into profitable businesses and his innovative methods help businesses focus on the elements of the venture that are essential for success.

Rick McPherson

Lecturer, University of Washington   |   LinkedIn

Rick McPherson has 25 years of business and industry experience including serving as a Vice President at T-Mobile and at AT&T Broadband, and as a Partner in a small consulting firm. Rick currently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Alpine Evergreen company leading the company’s business development efforts. He has been a leader of various aspects of 7 different mergers, acquisition and divestiture projects, ranging in scope from $2.5 billion to $60 billion in value. He has started 4 different business units within large corporations, and has also been involved with small business and non-profit strategic planning and operations improvement.

Rick is currently teaching strategy, business planning, leadership and marketing courses in both graduate and undergraduate levels as a Lecturer at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and as an Adjunct Professor in the Masters of Communication in Digital Media. Rick has been the instructor/advisor for over 150 business plans and external consulting assignments including the winning business plan for the 2010 UW Business Plan Competition ($25,000 prize).

Dominic Muren

Founder, The Humblefactory   |   LinkedIn

Dominic Muren is founder and principal of The Humblefactory, a design laboratory in Seattle, Washington which develops tools and technologies that increase the capabilities of Makers around the world. He cut his teeth in the blogging world, on his own blog, and as an early staff writer for Since 2006, he has been writing about a new, open-hardware-based, human-scaled ethos for manufacturing at In 2010, he was awarded a TED Global fellowship for his work on Humblefacture. In 2011, he was named a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow. His most recent venture,, is an online platform to host a global conversation about what can be made, and how to make it, in order to accelerate the development of open, distributed, community embedded manufacturing. In addition to his work at The Humblefactory, Dominic lectures in Industrial Design at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Lauren Cascio

Design Strategist, Teague   |   LinkedIn

As a Design Strategist, Lauren tirelessly asks "why?". Her curiosity guides her as she dives deep into user needs, working to understand how to better the way people interact with the world. Lauren graduated first in her design class from the University of Washington with a BA in Design Studies and a certificate in Marketing. Her passion for fusing design and business continues today in her role as a combination designer and strategist. She deploys creative and analytical thinking to yield simple, informed, and purposeful solutions. While at Teague, Lauren has worked with clients such as SC Johnson, Intel and Starbucks, creating products and experiences, and telling their stories. The best part about her job is that she's constantly indulging her passion for learning, which also fuels her love of trying new things. She will frequently remind you that "you can't knock it until you try it", and from fried crickets to 500 foot free falls, she tries her best to practice what she preaches.

Media & Contributing Sponsors
Ross Hattori
Vijai 'Vj' Rajpal
Kartik Rishi
Alexander 'Alex' Diaz
Tom Nagel
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