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Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups!

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 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

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!

Schedule

Friday

Feb 21
  • 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

Saturday

Feb 22
  • 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

Sunday

Feb 23
  • 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
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Mentors

Zach Hamilton

Entrepreneur In Residence, Venture51   |   LinkedIn

Zach has started several companies, some successful and some failures. Currently he works as the Entrepreneur In Residence at Venture51, a seed and early stage venture capital firm located in Scottsdale, AZ. His experience lies in entrepreneurial finance, business models, startup marketing, growth hacking, and small-team management. He is happy to help with business model analysis and financial concerns.

Eric Diaz

Founder of Coworking on 15th Ave in Phoenix and Nativa   |   LinkedInGoogle+

ERIC DIAZ is Co-owner of Nativa, a multicultural communications agency that focuses on the Hispanic market through digital communications, online advertising and culturally relevant content creation.

In 2013, Eric founded Coworking on 15th Ave in central Phoenix. Tired of renting from lackluster office buildings, Eric decided to create the type of environment he would want to work in which allows an entrepreneur to work hard, collaborate with others, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Eric has worn many hats throughout his professional career. He spent parts of 2007 and 2008 in Shanghai, China’s economic capital, serving an important supply chain development role for Staples, Inc., a Fortune 500 retailer constructing a modern and efficient warehouse to help support the exponential company growth in the region. Eric completed his Masters Degree in Finance at Northeastern University in Boston and completed his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University.

Sean Coleman

Faculty at ASU, Product Manager at GoDaddy   |   LinkedIn

Sean is the founder of OrangeSlyce and Blogic. OrangeSlyce ultimately failed, but Blogic was acquired by Jobing.com in 2011. Currently he's an ASU faculty member teaching the course Design & Entrepreneurship and is also a Product Manager at GoDaddy. Sean graduated from ASU with a degree in Computer Systems Engineering. He's passionate for building disruptive products and can help with design, development and marketing. Outside of building products, Sean enjoys running, rock climbing, and hiking.

Jonathan Coury

Partner at Hool Law Group

Jonathan Coury is a partner at the corporate and securities boutique law firm of the Hool Law Group. Jonathan Coury’s practice is concentrated in numerous areas of business transactions and strategies, with a focus on representing emerging growth companies and entrepreneurial clients. Jonathan presently represents and advises emerging companies on legal strategies for growth and various legal aspects relating to their businesses, including raising capital, creating effective capital structures, and building strategic relationships. Jonathan’s emerging company practice includes representing entrepreneurs and companies in the sale, acquisition, merger, divestiture, and spin-off of their businesses. Jonathan’s general transactional practice also includes representing clients on mergers and acquisitions, real estate, commercial transactions, corporate law, venture capital, securities, franchising/distributorship, and aircraft finance. Jonathan’s real estate practice focuses on representing clients on the acquisition, disposition, sale, leasing, and financing of commercial properties, multifamily buildings, and other interests in real estate. Jonathan has previously represented large publicly held companies, international banks, and regional airlines.

Jonathan is currently an adjunct professor of law and serves as counsel-in-residence for the Innovation Advancement Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, a program that pairs inventors, technology entrepreneurs, tech transfer professionals, and emerging technology companies with students studying law, business, engineering, and the sciences. Additionally, Jonathan is a frequent guest lecturer at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Jonathan is a past Chair of the Invest Southwest Capital Conference (2012) and sits on the boards of a number of non-profit entities based in Phoenix, Arizona. Jonathan has a sincere interest in promoting capital formation and the growth of companies in the local marketplace, as he is a native Phoenician whose family has lived in and has been involved in small businesses in the greater Phoenix market since the early 1900s.

Matthew Giacomazzo

Senior Front-End Developer at Coplex   |   LinkedIn

Matt is a ten year veteran with electronic multimedia and technology. His expertise also spills over into web architecture, UX, design implementation, process development, product development and more. He is constantly parsing the web to keep Coplex and himself in the know in a sea of constantly evolving best practices, techniques and resources. If you need something found he knows how to find for it.

Matt grew up in the frozen northeast area of the country, better known as Maine. He received his B.S. in Electronic Multimedia, Arts & Communications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Matt has also been known to dabble in other areas including music composition, audio engineering, video editing, graphic design and experimental game design. He also enjoys all kinds of geek culture, transformational festivals and recently becoming a dad.

Judges

Jim Goulka

Managing Director of ATIF   |   LinkedIn

Jim Goulka is the Managing Director of ATIF - Arizona Technology Investor Forum - the 74 member angel group in Phoenix focused on companies developing new technologies. He is currently CEO of an early stage software company that offers project management tools for large enterprises. In the past he has been CEO of an angel backed software company (sold to Apple), a venture backed software company, and a national technology transfer entity that markets technologies developed by NASA and parts of the Department of Defense. He also took a large old line print publisher into digital publishing. Jim started his career in corporate finance at units of JPMorgan/Chase and Citibank. He has been an advisor to several early stage companies and a board member of both private companies and nonprofits. He holds two degrees from Yale.

Will Mejia

Design Manager at meltmedia   |   LinkedIn

Will has over 13 years of experience in developing brand communications and user experiences across traditional and digital media. He is currently the Design Manager at meltmedia. They are a passionate team of technology experts, digital strategists, and design leaders focused on the strategic application of mobile and web technology in Tempe, Arizona. Prior to joining melt he spent time with GoDaddy’s User Experience team and worked on redesigning their desktop applications, mobile website and apps. Will also spent years in advertising as an Art Director for Scottsdale based Blind Society creating brand identities and interactive campaigns for clients such as Warner Bros. Entertainment, ASU Athletics, Arizona Cardinals, Suzuki Cycles, and PAC-MAN for Namco. To unplug Will has a variety of interests ranging from mountain biking to gardening…just ask him about his backyard chickens.

Adam Toren

Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founded YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right.

Joshua Odmark

Co-Founder at iSell.com Worldwide, Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Joshua Odmark is a serial entrepreneur who started his first company at the age of 15. He went on to create and sell his second company, a network of webmaster websites that served over 500,000 unique visitors a month, before he graduated from college in 2007. His next venture, Simply Ideas LLC, which created an industry agnostic lead generation platform, was acquired in 2009. Since then, Joshua has co-founded numerous companies including Furnished.com, Websitez.com, and most recently the angel funded iSell.com that focuses on hyper-local mobile commerce.

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Organizers
Paige Soucie
Zach Ferres
Colby Gergen
Cayla Ewing
Dan Schmitz
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