Startup Weekend East Bay 2017 – Teams and Demo Day Pitches

  • The Sileo Foundation
    • Description: The Sileo Foundation provides places of services where homeless youth reach advantageous places with outstanding leaders through professional programs in a 90 day-process.
    • Team Members: Hector Topete, Jericho Apo, Ken Belangel, Roberto Nieto, Jessica Watson, Nilufar Chaus, and Jessica Inson

  • Foobids
    • Description: Focusing on changing consumers approach in searching food and creating a better relationship with consumers and restaurants.
    • Team Members: Abraham Kinfu, Jeromie Ingalise, Naveen Bhoomakkanavar, Bhushan Parulekar, Evan Brandt, Tarun Singh, Shruthi Shivaswamy

  • Plai
    • Description: An AI-powered game development engine for easily adding limitless unique content.
    • Team Members: Miguel Bomchil, Eli Cohen, Karan Monga, Kanoa Redic, Max Schoeffer, Bhavdeep Singh, Sandra Torres

  • GoRent
    • Description: Platform for landlords, renters and property managers to centralize, simplify and revolutionize the renting process.
    • Team Members: Amr Ramdani, Nimisha Pandey, Giselle Villalobos, Ricardo Marquez, Sagarika Annapragada, Meryl Bonge, Crystal Foggy, and Dennis Cobos


  • Ad Insights Pro
    • Description: Ad Insights Pro is one advertisement platform to rule them all.
    • Team Members: Westin Means, Hemal Adani, Jacob Teague, Jeremias Patajo, Leo Li

  • Cliqued
    • Description: The simplest way to unify and connect. Eliminate the friction of network building.
    • Team Members: Bryan Cortez, Glenn Norris Jr., Linda Beverly, Patricia Rodriguez, Joseph Andrews, Jamie Beverly, Chaitanya Nijhara

  • Class Zoo
    • Description: A Platform that Connects Parents, Teachers and Students to Reinforce Positive Behaviours.
    • Team Members: Felicia Chanco, Pablo Garnica, Louie Ramos, Erin McGarry, Stephen Wong, Andy Li, Kelsey Banes, Rigley Dutra

  • Next Time
    • Description: An app to help remember places and people when it’s relevant and timely.
    • Team Members: Jose Miguel, Maciej Hepner, Kate Yoak, Kelly McConnell, Jen Larson, Emmaleigh Brown, Sasi Goteti, Vera Wen, Francis Nguyen

  • Jeet
    • Description: Helping groups of people find the perfect place to eat.
    • Team Members: Ersin Kozak, Matthew Gounod, Angelina Rivera, Vic Tutla, Gerardo Sandoval, John Wong, Jade Woo, Abhishek Rajbhandazi, Yashank Varshney, Ruby Tran Hong Ngoc, Katrina  

  • Financial Buddy
    • Description: An app that will help support the financial health of military veterans.
    • Team Members: Nicodemus Moore, Jesus Sanchez, Zuhayr Mallam, Bobo Nie, Lony Phitsmay

    • Description: API making websites, ADA compliant and accessible to the visually impaired.
    • Team Members: Aaron Belief, Tionna Henley


A “Legit” Attitude

Startup Weekend Vancouver is a 54-hour sprint to building a business.  Such a concentrated effort demands drive, openness to ideas and honest feedback, and a positive working relationship with your new weekend colleagues.  The right attitude can go a long way.

If you are reading this, then you are interested in entrepreneurship much less an entrepreneur in waiting.  That makes you a special individual.  Think that through for a moment.  You want to create, and are willing to risk in ways that others are not.  Such is the difference between an everyday employee and the entrepreneur.  That’s you.

Were success assured, then we’d all be entrepreneurs.  Every last one of us would love to win the lottery, win at the casino table, and win in the stock market.  Why not win in the product and service markets, too?  We would drive our own (winning) fate, and determine our lifestyles to the smallest detail because every last one would be a winner.

Enter reality.

It’s not about winning, but how you play the game

The boundary in which the entrepreneurial game is played is not a threshold between winning and losing.  Winning and losing implies selfish schemes of overcoming other people, or a zero-sum game.  I win, you lose; you win, I lose.  One must be demanding of something more from the world.

Neither Richard Branson nor [enter iconic entrepreneur here] won anything except lost sleep, naysayers, and a whole lot of anxiety because nothing was guaranteed at startup.  Read that again.  Nothing was guaranteed.

Feeling so compelled to change the status quo will manifest itself into something new, different and desired – because you are an entrepreneur who, along with others, is willing to make it happen.  What successful entrepreneurs do is create legitimacy.

ƒ(Initiative & Integrity) = Legitimacy

I wrote two blog posts this past week.  One encouraged entrepreneurs to just get started instead of slowing the potential pace of progress.  The other had a completely different focus – integrity should be fundamental to any business, and is neither a core value nor a power to impress upon others.

Legitimacy is a function of the initiative and integrity.

The right balance

Too little initiative undercuts integrity.  No one wants to work with or for a lazy person.  He or she wants something for nothing (“a loser”).  That’s awful.  Similarly, who wants to work with someone who spends all of his or her time dreaming and considering when just a little effort could go a long way to creating something new?  They call that “analysis paralysis.”  With either attitude, there is no quality of integrity.

To the other extreme, one’s integrity can be pushed too far.  It becomes focus gone awry born of a poor attitude.  Trying to prove oneself (“I want to be viewed as a winner”) is a petty reason to start a business; at the same time, being perfect (“I want to win”) will not realistically spur a product to market.  Lost focus tarnishes if not diminishes initiative.

There is a sweet spot when initiative goes up and so too does integrity.  When this happens, several positive-sum actions take place.  The entrepreneur garners the respect of others in addition to their desire to associate.  The result requires consistency through self-motivation when nothing is guaranteed, even when no one is watching.  The right balance over time becomes legitimacy.  A legitimate startup is a successful startup by whatever mission, values and culture its entrepreneur devises.

Planning for new, different, and desired is an attitude

The right balance of initiative and integrity can, with an outstanding idea, create a special phenomenon.  The activities and the positioning of the product or service becomes an article or arrangement that is new, different, and desired.  That’s legit in the world of entrepreneurship.

Again, entrepreneurship isn’t a matter of winning and losing.  One must overcome by respectable effort, and being deemed someone with whom to associate either/both for colleagueship or for transaction.  Have a premise of the attitude necessary to produce legitimacy going for you as you walk into Startup Weekend Vancouver and your imagination and creativity will be free to come to life.  Even better, the legitimacy of others with whom you work will compound into a profoundly productive and fun experience!

Startup Weekend Vancouver 2017 by Techstars Startup Programs will take place June 2-4 at CoLab, 915 Broadway Street, Vancouver, WA 98660. See the Eventbrite bulletin for further details and to purchase your ticket. Students are eligible for a student discount using the code ‘VANWASTUDENT’.



Integrity is Fundamental to Startups

Some companies have integrity listed as a core value.  This shouldn’t be a core value at all.  Integrity should be inherent to just being in business.

To all you entrepreneurs out there, integrity is the effort to be respected.  And integrity takes constant maintenance.  That maintenance is the sole purpose of a business’s core values.

Think about integrity as identity

Who and what you are as a person and as a startup is crucial – for competitive advantage, for differentiation, for strategy, for marketing, for what you are not, for who you do and don’t serve, and so on.  (Your startup might be able to fake it for a time, but ultimately, your real identity will show through.)  It follows, then, that the degree to which a person or company has integrity is the degree to which he, she or they are fundamentally deserving of respect and association.

Two disclaimers about the power of integrity…

First, integrity does not a startup make.  Integrity cannot take the place of a poor product or service.  You could run a company of an integrity the world has never before witnessed.  If, however, your startup is based upon a product or service that doesn’t warrant demand, the startup won’t last.

Secondly, integrity that leads to respect has nothing to do with power.  Power is influence.  Take for example a large company that dumps toxic waste into rivers.  Say they have lobbyists on the payroll.  The wrongdoer’s power to influence government policy does not supersede a lack of integrity.

Integrity is ultimately perspective unto, not put forward

Respect is the magnitude someone bestows upon another – as a person or business with whom to associate.  For example, Joey is so polite, but Joey cannot sell his politeness.  Others can recognize, accept and consider it in part as reason to conduct business with Joey and his company.

The key to integrity is to conduct oneself as respect-worthy at all times

Say Sarah always goes the extra mile.  What if Sarah works hard only when someone is watching?  She’ll eventually be outed, surely losing a sense of integrity as applied by others who realize her ruse.

Less cynically, Gail’s team has never met a challenge they don’t like.  Gail’s startup must take on challenges whether or not others recognize her team’s great energy and devotion to problem solving.  Similar to Sarah, but in the opposite light, others will eventually take notice.  That startup will develop a reputation of integrity.

Integrity is yours to develop and maintain

In the example above, Sarah can change her attitude and work hard all of the time.  She might begin to value quality.  Quality would then be the value that maintains Sarah’s sense of integrity.  Furthering another example from above, Joey may swear by being polite to everyone.  Maybe he believes that is how one person should treat another.  Valuing humbleness and humanity are the tools for ensuring integrity for Joey.

In summation, integrity is about respect from others’ perspective; integrity must be practiced or developed, and maintained all of the time; additionally, values maintain integrity.

Startup Weekend Vancouver 2017 by Techstars Startup Programs will take place June 2-4 at CoLab, 915 Broadway Street, Vancouver, WA 98660. See the Eventbrite bulletin for further details and to purchase your ticket. Students are eligible for a student discount using the code ‘VANWASTUDENT’.



Entrepreneurs ready for StartUp Weekend Maui

If yesterday’s Pitch Bootcamp Workshop is any indication, this week’s Startup Weekend Maui will be an unforgettable experience,according to Frank De Rego Jr., Director of Business Development Projects for Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB).

Now in its fourth year, Startup Weekend Maui kicks off this Friday, May 19, 6:30 pm and runs through Sunday, May 21, 9 pm. Presented by MEDB, the event will be held at the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei, Maui; starting at MEDB’s Malcolm Center at 1305 N. Holopono Street, Suite 5.

Those interested in an exciting opportunity to learn business creation skills can still register online at

According to De Rego, everyone to participates in Startup Weekend Maui walks away with something new they’ve gained and/or learned about their startup idea and even themselves.

Kim Scott who plans to participate this weekend shared, “I was looking for an interesting activity I could do with my 19-year-old daughter so we participated in the 2015 Startup Weekend Maui. We were on the Waikapu Pickles team which went on to become very successful. At first, we didn’t know how we could contribute to this team. We had no food experience. But my daughter is an awesome artist and drew the logo for their company which is still used today. So don’t feel like you don’t have the right experience in order to participate in a Startup Weekend event, because everyone can make a contribution.

I really enjoy hearing all the cool startup ideas and the process to make these business ideas happen,” said David Pickett, who participated in MEDB’s last three Startup Weekends and who plans to pitch his startup idea this Friday. “I like to solve puzzles and problems and I really enjoy working on a team and networking.

Among the many benefits of participating in Startup Weekend Maui is the opportunity to receive insight and advice from experienced and accomplished judges and coaches. Those who will be volunteering their time to support this year’s teams are:


Erik Blair Owner, The Accidental Consultant
Doug Nelson Game-based learning producer and publisher, President, Kinection
David Fry 2015 SUWMaui Winner, President Tanuki Interactive
Beth Holiday Business Coach, Master Trainer, Leadership Expert, Beth Holiday’s Hawaii Business Training
Chris Speere Site Coordinator,UH Maui College’s Maui Food Innovation Center
David Daly BDC Director, MEO, Inc.
Nick Heyd Co-founder of Galley, a full-stack meal delivery app
Wayne Wong Director, Hawaii Small Business Development Center – Maui Center
Jeff Milone Co-founder/CEO of Invulu
David Morgan CoFounder of Organic Themes, GivingPress and Kahuna Host


Omar Sultan Co-founder Sultan Ventures and Founding & Managing Partner XLR8UH
Donavan Kealoha Senior Associate, Startup Capital Ventures
Britanny Heyd     Managing Director & General Counsel, 1776
Luana Mahi Owner, Principal Broker, Kismet Natural Foods Brokerage
Susan Yamada  Executive Director, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), University of Hawaii

For more information and to register for the 2017 Startup Weekend Maui, visit For additional questions, please email or call (808) 875-2300. Connect via Facebook ( for event updates.

Startup Weekend Maui is presented by the Maui Economic Development Board.  Event sponsors include: County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, High Technology Development Corporation, Pacific Media Group, Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation, HI-Growth Initiative and Startup Capital Ventures.

Judges and Coaches for Startup Weekend Maui

A Brief History of Startup Weekend

In 2007 Techstars, Andrew Hyde founded Startup Weekend in Boulder, Colorado. According to the Seattle Times, participants paid $20 to receive shares of their company. Andrew Hyde, claimed 5 percent of the company. The model quickly expanded, and ‘in January 2010, Marc Nager and Clint Nelsen took over full ownership and registered the organization as a not-for-profit, relocating to Seattle in 2010’.  In the fall of 2010, Startup Weekend gained a grant and 501c3 nonprofit status from Kauffman Foundation.     

Mark and Clint also broke Startup Weekend attendees into small groups. With the slogan: ‘to build a business in 54 hours,’ Startup Weekend entrepreneurs challenge those enrolled to ‘get out and validate,’ as current Portland area organizer Dave Barcos puts it. In the end, a diverse mindset can change the idea for the better. Composed of an average of of 60-120 participants, these  ‘Weekend Warriors’,  engage in a bootcamp experience and network with like minds. ‘In the end perseverance to overcome and a team of people with diverse mindsets can change an idea slightly and still build a great business,’ says Seattle organizer Ewelina Kelley ’it’s more important to talk about what the software will do than actually show it’

Hackathons and meetups focus on the deliverable, Startup Weekend focuses on the business and it’s intentions. In software and hardware development you can build a prototype but it still takes a number of guesses. Different ways to think about your business make sense as safe houses to build great ideas with less customer validation, but attendees must be prepared to fail. ’You’re going to fail either way,’ says Kelley.  

In hackathons, developers search for commonalities, using semantic programming to understand the context of what is being asked. Hackathons focus on the deliverable, while Startup Weekend is focused on the business and  it’s intent . Rather than building things whether or not they’re usable by anybody else, Startup Weekend offers a good mix of talent.

One successful startup from Startup Weekend is a ‘uv sensor plug[s] into a phone, takes information regarding skin type, sunscreen, [and] would tell you how much sun exposure’ you had, according to Barcos. Another, a gift accelerator, purchases gifts. With the gift giver unable to give big gifts alone, the group gifting app. results with a person receiving a bigger, better gift. They also receive a group gift card when the gifting is completed.

One emphasized common dynamic is to not worry too much about pitching  and winning. Learning to connect with what would be or will be cofounders. According to Portland organizer Yu Te, ‘startups take time, rely on business model foundation what kind of product business serves, what kind of revenue.’ Go with flow the flow don’t be overly attached.

Learn interpersonal skills necessary for building successful business ventures from successful individuals. Judges, mentors, and attendees take time out of their busy schedule to make the Startup Weekend experience.

‘There’s a hurdle [and] the first hurdle is taking action’, says Yu Te. By sharing a weekend with like-minded individuals, the attendee is able to show off their strengths and answer their weaknesses through team collaboration. The next Startup Weekend in Portland has an education focus, and will begin in March. Please consider Startup Weekend Seattle as well, their next event is music focused. Themes vary event to event including hispanic, tourism, food, devices, youth, social impact, and women/girls. Common dynamics of teamwork, business planning, and self discovery enhance any participants’ work experience.

5 Reasons to Attend Startup Weekend ABQ

If you haven’t heard already, Startup Weekend Albuquerque is June 2nd – 4th @WESST and I am excited to be part of the central New Mexico’s new organizing team. A lot of great organizations are working together to bring a fun and impactful event that you don’t want to miss.

Having organized and participated in Startup Weekends in the past, here are my 5 reasons why you should attend this 54 hour hackathon.

Try out that idea you are always talking about

I have consulted with hundreds of entrepreneurs, visionaries and developers about their ideas and products. Many of them never schedule nor take the time to work on their startup ideas, instead they continue to just talk about it with their friends. Don’t be that person. Startup Weekend allows you to make the time and gives you a structure to take action and see your idea come to life.

Focused Networking

Most people that are changing careers or trying to get a job know that networking is key to success. But what no one tells you is how hard it can be to make time to research and do it. At Startup Weekend, you will meet some of the leaders of the local ecosystem as well as coaches and mentors to gain wisdom. You will build new friendships and business partnerships with others participants that are taking the same steps to bring new companies and ideas into the world.

Community Engagement

Service not only looks good, it is good! These types of activities impact local industries. Participating in a hackathon is a great way to show you are engaged with your local community and care about something more than just getting a job. Employers and recruiters now look for “soul” on job applications and cover letters nowadays. So ask yourself, what are you doing to connect and contribute back to society?

Food, Fun and Fame

Probably not the main reason why you should come to Startup Weekend but having fun and getting fed all weekend already justifies the cost of ticket registration. Something else you might gain is a chance at fame. Winners at times have opportunities to move on to global competitions and get into the press.

Start a New Future

It may sound unreal but, for some, participating in a Startup Weekend can lead them on a new career path or even create a new startup company with other participants. Don’t believe me? and, both leaders in their industries, are just a couple of the companies that came out of a Startup Weekend. And, Albuquerque’s very own Teeniors was launched at a Startup Weekend!

If you are in ABQ or surrounding area, I encourage you to sign up for Startup Weekend ABQ 2017 before the early tickets are gone.

Startup: Is the Question Really ‘Why not me?’

With entrepreneurship so much is made of changing the world, discovering the next blue ocean, and being the next big thing.  We challenge doubt from others–and of ourselves–by asking Why not me?  Sure, someone’s gotta do it, but is that the attitude with which to do something really special?

When we ask ourselves Why not me? are we encouraging initiative or approving possibility?  Think about it.  The difference is a matter of determination, action, and learning:

  • Determination of what needs to get done versus who could do it;
  • Doing versus the realization that something could get done;
  • Improvement versus accepting that it could be done.

What the question Why not me? comes down to is timing.  When one asks him or herself Why not me?, he or she is slowing the pace of progress.

Two people are going on a date.  One hops in the car and picks up the date.  The other is stuck looking in the mirror to get ready (I can do this.).  One orders dinner, sparks conversation; and is vulnerable to an enjoyable evening, making a new friend, or calling things off after one date.  Prince or frog.  There’s only one way to find out.  The other person who asks Why not me? in front of the mirror builds the date mentally, but never leaves the house.

How can one go from Why not me? to a mover and a shaker?  The answer is simple.  Move.  And shake.  Embark.  Do.  Ideas are cheap.  Everyone’s got ’em.  Failure’s going to happen.  No one is perfect.  The goal may change.  That happens, too.

Why not me?

Happenstance is productive in the entrepreneurial sense only when it is preceded by some form of effort.  Instead of asking Why not me?, answer the problem to be solved by building a solution.  The key to a startup isn’t a question; the key is the solution baked in to the word startup.  Start.

Startup Weekend Vancouver 2017 by Techstars Startup Programs will take place June 2-4 at CoLab, 915 Broadway Street, Vancouver, WA 98660. See the Eventbrite bulletin for further details and to purchase your ticket. Students are eligible for a student discount using the code ‘VANWASTUDENT’.



Why Sponsor Startup Weekend Springfield?

Why Sponsor Startup Weekend Springfield?

Local businesses need and thrive from startup companies. Every business needs a lot from its community. From financing (hello, Mr. Banker), to a facility (real estate), to sales (hey community members!) startup companies do so much good for our local economy.

In the next few slides we’ll explain what Startup Weekend is, and what it can do for you and your business.

If you don’t know briefly, Startup Weekend is a global organization that provides the opportunity to cities across the world to join forces, resources, and minds to create a company in 54 hours. In short, it’s like a slumber party for adults…but a productive one where you form teams and create the company of your dreams.

The 3rd Startup Weekend Springfield is happening June 9th, 10th, and 11th!

What You Don’t Need

What you don’t need for Startup Weekend

If you don’t know briefly, Startup Weekend is a global organization that provides the opportunity to cities across the world to join forces, resources, and minds to create a company in 54 hours. In short, it’s like a slumber party for adults…but a productive one where you form teams and create the company of your dreams.

But this isn’t about what Startup Weekend is, this is about what Startup Weekend provides you. So without further ado, here are the top 10 things you do not need for Startup Weekend!

  1. Friends. Sure friends are great, but you know what? Sometimes they get in the way of new ideas.
  1. Beer. We got you covered! Mother’s Brewing has stepped up again to offer some of the most tasty brews from all the Ozarkian land!
  1. A Shirt. We got you covered on that too! Sure, maybe you don’t want to wear the same one all weekend, but rest assured you’ll have at least one clean shirt for the big weekend.
  1. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Okay, we might skip one of these, but you guys- the food is going to be delish! In the past Wheelhouse has stepped up to dish out fantastic food, come see if they are catering again!
  1. People like you. Entrepreneurs often feel isolated with their crazy ideas of innovation. We are pioneers people, let’s stick together. Who knows- you might leave with your future wife or husband.
  1. An idea. Yeah, it’s super cool if you have an idea for a company, but one of the greatest parts about Startup Weekend is how people work together and how ideas are generated. If you have nothing, join a team that interest you!
  1. Interwebs. The eFactory is graciously hosting again and giving us access to their fabulous Internet! Yessssss!
  1. Money. Other than your ticket price (prices go up May 1st)! Get your ticket here:
  1. Experience. From straight up beginners to retired CEOs- it’s all the same playing field at Startup Weekend. From experienced to novice all are welcome!
  1. Rich Uncle Bob. Sure rich uncles are awesome, but remember the winning company of Startup Weekend earns many resources from the community, possible access to investors, and the kick-start to get their business thriving.

We welcome you to join us in June and see for yourself!

Stay tuned for our next blog featuring what you do need for Startup Weekend Springfield on June 9th, 10th, and 11th!

Why Try?

Odds are your startup won’t succeed. We hear it all the time. only 5% of all businesses stay in business after 5 years. So what is the point of trying?

We hear it all the time. only 5% of all businesses stay in business after 5 years. So what is the point of trying?

It’s been my experience that people start businesses because our ideas get hold us and they won’t let go. There is a beauty in an idea that helps us make sense of the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s an app, or a food, a beer, or a device. In our heads, all the pieces fall into place to create a success where our ideas are embraced and valued. It doesn’t have to be about the recognition, but it is about the validation we feel. Our compulsion comes from the desire to create what is in our head in the real world.

That is where we the trouble begins. We all have ideas and can see a future where those ideas become embraced by others. But too few of us have the experience to build the vehicle of a successful business that can bring our vision to life.

What is amazing is there are so many resources for people today to learn the skills and tools to help them tackle the journey ahead. For the last 3 years, I have been committed to the amazing entrepreneurs who choose to believe there is a way despite the odds and their lack of experience. One of the best events I have ever seen to demonstrate the power and potential of ideas and the community that is committed to fostering them is Startup Weekend. It pulls together individuals with the core expertise, desire, and talents and focusses them for 54 hours over one weekend to build the start of a viable business. It is as much about the business as it is about the idea. That’s what makes it so powerful.

Reach out to people who know about Startup Weekends, investigate Techstars and their desire to foster visionaries. Then ask yourself if a weekend with creative, supportive experts helping you build your idea into a company is worth your time. It has been for my five separate times. And now I host them to help others build their ideas. I hope you come join us on June 2nd-4th.