An Overview of How Startup Weekend Sacramento: Health Edition Will Work

Interested in participating in the upcoming Startup Weekend Sacramento: Health Edition at The Urban Hive April 29 – May 1 but not sure what to expect? Here’s an animated infographic to show the five basic phases of a Startup Weekend. Whether you’ve got an idea to develop or just want to contribute your skills to the Sacramento startup community and make an impact on health and healthcare, sign up to become part of this event.



Save the Date: Startup Weekend Sacramento Health Edition, April 29 – May 1

Calling all Sacramento entrepreneurs! Startup Weekend is returning to Sacramento April 29 – May 1. Startup Weekend Sacramento: Health Edition is your next opportunity to launch a company in just 54 hours! This empowering event offers a fun, intense, risk-free way to get your startup off the ground; connect with other passionate and skilled individuals; and perhaps even find a co-founder or two to transform your ideas into reality.

This event will focus on Health/Healthcare because they present significant challenges in our society, they have great business potentials, and because the Sacramento region is recognized as a hub for health and healthcare innovation and medical technology.

Our goal is to bring together the healthcare community, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, doctors, nurses, engineers, med techs, patients, etc. to facilitate the formation of new ideas. We all face challenges like rising costs and transparency or finding ways to make better personal health decisions. We wish to bring in new technologies and ideas that have the potential to improve the healthcare system and positively impact health in general.

We aim to engage public and private companies and organizations that are involved in the healthcare system, as well as inventors of technologies, software developers, designers and students with interests in Healthcare, eHealth, Mobile Health, Health Technology, Digital Health, or anything related to health.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: pitch your startup idea and receive feedback from your 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 weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs of various skill sets 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.

When: April 29 – May 1
Where: The Urban Hive 1931 H St. Sacramento, CA 95811

Get your tickets, today!

It's a Wrap on a Great Startup Weekend in Elk Grove

This past weekend, eight teams competed for first place at Startup Weekend in Elk Grove at the new coworking space, InnoGrove.

The winning teams of Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition
The winning teams of Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition

By all accounts it was a very successful, fun, and rewarding weekend. The weekend kicked off Friday night with pizza, registration, and an inspirational keynote address by Sonny Mayugba of Requested, followed by initial 60 second pitches from nineteen eager entrepreneurs.

Sonny Mayugba serving up startup advice with a generous side movitation & inspiration
Sonny Mayugba serving up startup advice with a generous side of motivation & inspiration
Local entrepreneurs line-up to pitch their ideas on opening night.

After all the initial pitches, participants voted to select the winning ideas by placing stickers on each idea’s giant Post-It note.


Winning ideas were announced and the teams formed around those ideas and got straight to work.

Saturday was a busy day for teams as they worked around their tables creating business models, validating their market, designing, and coding. In the afternoon, teams tapped into the knowledge of local business leaders who generously donated their time and knowledge to coach & mentor the teams.

Teams get advice from our facilitator Brett Noyes
Teams get advice from our facilitator Brett Noyes

Teams continued fleshing out their fledgling startups on Sunday and polished their pitches in preparation for their big moment later in the afternoon.

Eight teams presented their new startup plans to the panel of judges and a packed house at Innogrove.

Empire Arts Collective kicked off the final presentations.

After a short period of deliberation, the judges returned and the teams waited with anticipation as Startup Weekend organizing team leader Laura Good acknowledged the support of our sponsors.

The Winning Teams

First place went to Invima, an app that provides instant video messaging on missed calls.

Team Invima
Team Invima

Second place went to Renit — a platform to rent items you aren’t using to people who need them (like sporting equipment).

Team RenIt
Team RenIt

Third place went to team Play to Gather — a mobile platform for board games.

Team Play to Gather
Team Play to Gather

If you’d like to check out the winning teams, they will be pitching at Startup Expo on Tuesday night at Hacker Lab and at Startup Grind at The Urban Hive on Wednesday. They’ll also be exhibiting at the Startup Weekend table at Velocity’s Startup Fair on Thursday afternoon downtown at the Renaissance Bldg. I hope you come out to see the great work they did! All the teams now have a chance to compete in Global Startup Battle. Stay tuned for details on how to help them advance through online voting!

Event by the Numbers:

54 attendees
19 ideas pitched
  8 teams formed/final pitches
14 local sponsors

The Lowdown on What Happens at Startup Weekend

We’ve covered the basics of how Startup Weekend works. But, are you looking for a detailed rundown of what will happen the weekend of November 13 – 15? Read on.

Day 1 – Friday

Participants arrive between 5-7 PM, begin networking, and eat dinner. After an ice-breaking game and a short introduction by the Facilitator, there will typically be 1 short speaker talk on practical topics ranging from Pitching Best Practices to Lean Startup Methodology and more. Then the “Pitchfire” will commence: anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds to give their best pitch. No presentations or props needed for Friday, it will just be you and a mic. After pitches are finished, all attendees will vote on their favorites, and using these votes the top ideas will be selected to be worked on over the weekend. Teams will form organically, consolidate, and begin working.

What if my idea doesn’t get selected?

The purpose of the Friday voting and crowdsourcing isn’t to exclude certain ideas, but simply to highlight the most popular and high-potential pitches and end up with a manageable number of teams – ensuring that each team has a variety of backgrounds and skills. If your idea isn’t selected but you’ve formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend.

Day 2 – Saturday

Teams will work all day, with the occasional breaks to eat or listen to 1-2 short talks. Coaches will be circulating to provide advice in the field of their expertise for those teams that want it.

Day 3 – Sunday

Teams will work uninterrupted from morning until mid-afternoon. They’ll begin wrapping up their product/prototype and presentation around 3-4 PM to do tech-checks and practice their demonstration. After all Judges have arrived presentations will begin. Each team typically has 5 minutes plus 2-3 minutes Q&A from the judges (this varies occasionally.) The judges will select the top teams, give out prizes, and the event ends (and celebration begins!)

Still have questions? Check out the Attendee FAQ.

Still haven’t registered? Get your tickets now and join the Sacramento startup community!

Interview with our Keynote Speaker, Sonny Mayugba

Recently announced as our keynote speaker, Sonny Mayugba, CEO and Cofounder, Requested will be joining us on opening night of Startup Weekend on November 13 to share his experience as a Sacramento entrepreneur. The following is an excerpt of a discussion I had with Sonny at De Vere’s Irish Pub recently.


[Jeff] What’s your 30 second pitch to describe Requested?

[Sonny] Requested is a mobile app where you can book a table and pay with your phone at awesome restaurants, bars, and cafes. What’s really cool about Requested is it’s a curated list of independent, locally-owned restaurants only, in the Sacramento area, soon to be global. We’re Hotel Tonight meets Uber, for restaurants.

You’ve got eleven startups to your name so you obviously don’t have a shortage of ideas. How did the idea for Requested come about?

One of my startups in that eleven was a venture called The Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar. It was a Tuesday at about 1:30 in the afternoon, I was sitting in a booth and I was looking around and I saw the bartender starting to clean lights. And I looked and I saw we have a hostess, and we have an army of cooks, and we have a server, and GM, and there’s no customers, and I thought, man, this is the time I want to do advertising and promotions, and discounts, and hook good people up. So that dawned on me. And then I started thinking, if I can do that during the slow times, what about those busy Friday and Saturday nights, maybe there’s someone who says, hey, I’ll pay you guys a little bit more and get a table when there’s no reservations available and we can fit them in. So that was the other part of the idea.

And then I started thinking, look at Red Rabbit. It’s a very unique style of restaurant. It’s a craft cocktail bar, Farm to Fork. And next door is my friend Trevor’s restaurant called Bar West which is a sports bar with twenty TVs and fish bowl drinks. Two very different concepts. Both very successful. We have different customers, and I thought, I wish there was a way that we could actually connect to the customers that really like what we do. And that’s where the idea came from.

So the idea came about because you saw an unfulfilled need in the marketplace. How did you validate that your solution was viable?

That’s a really great question. As a young entrepreneur the first thing I would have done is find some people, find a little bit of money, build it in a private room and then launch it on the world and say, “We’re gonna be huge!” I don’t do that anymore.

So, the first thing I did was I started telling everyone I know about this idea. This is 2012 by the way, so, mobile was really starting to skyrocket. The idea of the social layer and mobile commerce was brand new – because I wanted this payment to go through the phone – and so I started telling everybody I know about this idea, and said, “What do you think of this?” And I started getting a lot of good feedback from people. And actually, truth be told, I really had thought about the discount side and I told my friend Mark Otero, who’s had a really successful exit with video game company EA, he said, “You know Sonny, if you can do the discount side during off peak times, why couldn’t you do the premium side on the peak times?” So you get good ideas that way. So I was getting some good validation there. Then I got together with my team, my cofounders.

The team from Red Rabbit or did you start a new team?

Yea, I started asking people saying hey I’m going to build this product. I identified some people I wanted to work with – they’re all three engineers – and I said I want to build this with you, would you be into doing it? So really the next step was finding the team.

The number one people sought after in the world today are software engineers. So, if you want to get an idea validated, ask some software engineers if they want to join you for free and quit their high-paying job. So I asked them and they agreed, “Yeah, we want to quit our high-paying job and follow you on this mission.” So that was validation.

So then I said before we build anything why don’t we paper test it. Let’s get a bunch of foodies in a room and show them the idea. And we did. We got a bunch of foodies, and the real key was I got a bunch of foodies that I didn’t know. I asked one person, my friend Callista, a marketing director at Paragary Group and I said “Grab a bunch of your friends that don’t know me. Let’s put them in a room at Hacker Lab.” And I said, “We’re going to show them some screens and some ideas, just ideas, see what they think.”
Then the next thing was I went and found people from Ella, Mikuni, Zocolo, big restaurants and said, hey can we do the same thing? I put them in a room and said what do you think of this idea? So all these groups shot holes in it, and told us what they liked and didn’t like. And from that we got a lot of validation and told us that we wanted to do it.

So what were some key lessons-learned in getting from the idea to launching the app.

The biggest lesson is product iteration. If you read Eric Ries’s Lean Startup, he borrows from Toyota’s manufacturing process which is all about Build, Measure, Learn. That is one of the biggest key learnings in the early stage before launching. It is product first, build the product, put it in front of people. And a product can be screens. Get something in front of people. So you build it. Then measure how they use it and learn from it. Then go back to building. Iterate.

We built a prototype in late 2013 and put it out in front of people and the feedback was tremendous. It lasted 3 weeks. It was an app on a phone. And then we shut down and quit our jobs in 2014, started bootstrapping it and then we built our second prototype.

How big was that team that did the initial prototypes?

Four people. Four founders. Myself and my three cofounders. Back to your original question, the biggest lessons-learned, besides Build, Measure, Learn, are definitely Move Fast, Be Lean.

So in moving fast, you don’t want to worry about it being perfect?

One of the best quotes that a lot of startups live by is General Patton’s quote, and I don’t know if I’ll get this exactly right, “An executed plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

Actual General Patton Quote:
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

I’m not getting that exactly right, but it’s basically saying, Ship! Get it out there! As entrepreneurs, we can sit in the back room and try to perfect and tinker on our product forever and get it perfect. Because we in our minds have a vision of what it should be versus get something in front of people. Listen to your customers. Talk less. Listen more. Move fast. Break things. I’m a huge believer in the Facebook philosophy Ship Love. Move fast. Break things. I love that.

So switching gears a little bit to the overall startup scene here in Sacramento, the upcoming Startup Weekend. You’re going to be the keynote speaker at Startup Weekend in Elk Grove in November. Can you tell us a little bit why you’re participating, what you’re looking forward to from the event?

Well first off, and I mean this honestly, I’m honored to even be considered and asked. The fact that I was even asked to be the keynote is an honor. I really mean that. I’m doing it because it’s a great way to participate in the startup community in my native city, but beyond that, it’s a great way for me, — the pragmatic thing is — it’s a great way for me to evangelize Requested and spend a little time doing that and that’s awesome for me.

But mostly the reason that I’m doing it, all my extra time, besides with my family should be spent on working on my company. But those type of events are going to be filled with entrepreneurs like me. As experienced as I am I still sit in a crowd at conferences and I learn and listen and hear ideas. I always feel very for grateful for the speakers who tell their story and you get a nugget and you get information and you’re like “God I never thought of that!” That’s awesome to hear and so if I can affect a local entrepreneur who applies it to their world or their company or maybe even just their job, doesn’t have to be a company, right? Maybe it’s someone who’s working a day job who comes and wants to apply the entrepreneurial spirit to their day job. If it affects them in a really positive way and I meet some great people out of it, man, that’s what it’s all about, right? It’s about making those connections in the world and life and sharing the experiences you have and the knowledge you’ve learned and to be quite honest, learning from others. Whenever I do these conferences you learn from other people. You get questions after, you’re like, “Huh, I never thought of that! Glad I came here. Glad I met you.” You know, making new connections. I’m really, really glad to be a part of it.

Lots of people have great ideas but don’t pursue them. What traits or attributes do you think are necessary to go from the idea phase to starting down the road of entrepreneurship?

This is an interesting question. First off, I think that everybody has the former trait that you mentioned. Everybody. Whether you’re Zuck or me. We all have ideas that we don’t act on. It’s just human nature. I think every single person has the trait to follow an idea that they think of. What it takes, is not so much a trait, which I consider innate, I think it takes the discipline and gumption to decide that you’re willing to pursue this idea. And it takes the feeling that this is how you want to spend some of your time here on Earth. And that’s the part that some people forget. Some people think, “Oh, I could never do that. I’m not that type of person.” I don’t buy that. Everybody can be an entrepreneur and everybody can follow an idea, whether it’s making a backyard garden or starting the next Airbnb. Everybody has that in them.

So it’s more about the motivation, rather than a skillset, like being a developer, a coder, or a UX guy?

Absolutely. There’s plenty of great non-technical founders. Travis from Uber is not technical. He’s smart. He’s competitive. He’s amazing, but he’s not like building code for NASA, right. He decided this is what I want to do and I’m gonna get my team and I’m gonna make it happen, I’m gonna pursue this.

But more important than that, he felt, and I think all entrepreneurs feel, you know we all get up and we have a choice of how we want to spend time in life. That’s just reality. If you want to spend your time going to work at a job, that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s really about the resolve of saying how do I want to spend my time. And sure there’s risk in everything. There’s risk in having a full-time job. There’s risk in doing your own thing. There’s risk in living on a beach. There’s risk in everything right? So you gotta quit thinking about that and decide how do you want to spend your time here. Do you have the resolve to pursue this idea. Do you care about it enough. Do you have the passion to care about it enough. That’s not a trait, that’s really a decision. We all have the trait. It’s really a decision. It’s not for everyone.

Awesome! Thank you very much for your time. Any last parting thoughts?

Thank you for the interview. Thank you for the post. Come check out Startup Weekend. And keep hacking!

Business Model Canvas Workshop Slides

Business-Model-CanvasMonday’s Business Business Model Canvas workshop with John Selep was a great introduction to the Business Model Canvas framework. John covered the 9 building blocks to map, discuss, design, and invent a new business model for your next startup. As promised, John is sharing his slide deck from this workshop.

Download Business Model Canvas workshop slides.

Also, if you haven’t yet registered for the main event, register now for Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition.

Business Model Canvas Resource Sheet 

7 Reasons to Go to Startup Weekend Sacramento


Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition has so much to offer to the local community. Even if you don’t have an idea of your own that you want to develop, there are still a lot of great reasons to come to Innogrove in Elk Grove on Nov 13 – 15 to participate.

1) You’ve Got an Idea
The most obvious reason to come to Startup Weekend is that you’ve got an idea that you want to develop and you need some help creating a business plan, validating your market, or creating a mockup of an app. At Startup Weekend you’ll find others with the skills to help you take your idea to the next level and beyond.

2) You’ve Got Skills You Want to Share
Ok, maybe you don’t have an idea for a new startup, but chances are good that you’ve got skills and knowledge that will be incredibly valuable to others participating in the event. Whether you’re a programmer, developer, designer, marketer, or business person, your skills and experience are needed. Team up with an entrepreneur whose idea resonates with you and you could play a key role in helping to launch an idea.

3) Get Noticed through Networking
Even if you don’t win the competition, the whole weekend is a great opportunity to meet others, share your skills and knowledge, and get noticed.

4) Access to Experienced Coaches and Mentors
We’ve got a very strong line-up of experienced mentors and coaches participating, with years of knowledge and experience that you will be able to tap into. Where else are you going to have access to such great advice in one place over a 3 day period?

5) Great Learning Opportunities
You’ll learn more in one weekend about startups, entrepreneurship, and business than you could ever imagine. You’ll be able to apply what you learn at Startup Weekend to developing your own products or business.

6) Get Involved in the Sacramento Startup Community
The global startup movement is growing and Sacramento has a great, vibrant startup community. Startup Weekend is a great opportunity to meet others in the Sacramento startup community and get involved with the revitalization of our region.

7) A Chance to Compete on the Global Stage
This event coincides with Global Startup Battle, the largest startup battle in the universe. This means that participants at Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition will have a chance to present their startup ideas to the whole world.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now for your chance to tap into all the great opportunities that await you at Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition.

Startup Weekend Pitch Practice Workshop

Here’s your chance to practice your pitch and get feedback from peers and coaches before Startup Weekend begins! It’s a safe place to try your idea out. Not sure if you are ready to commit to Startup Weekend? Come on out anyway — the people you meet and the practice experience will help you decide if Startup Weekend  is right for you.

When: Monday, November 9, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: Innogrove Coworking 8153 Elk Grove Blvd.
Elk Grove, CA 95758

Cost: FREE!

Register for Startup Weekend Sacramento Pitch Practice Workshop

Elk Grove Joins the Sacramento Region Startup Scene

Coworking spaces are key to fostering a successful startup scene and Sacramento’s and coworking spaces consistently rank high nationally. New coworking spaces, including Innogrove in Elk Grove, are expanding the region’s startup scene support.

Get involved with the Sacramento Startup Scene. Sign up for Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition.

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Business Model Canvas Workshop

Come join the Sacramento Startup Weekend community for our Business Model Canvas Workshop on Monday, November 2, 6:30 PM at The Trade Coffee and Coworking. Learn about the 9 building blocks to map, discuss, design, and invent a new business model for your next startup. Then, work with fellow innovators and entrepreneurial enthusiasts to dissect established companies before evaluating your own ventures. Hear from a local, successful entrepreneur and see his business on the canvas.

Admission is FREE for registered participants of Startup Weekend Sacramento: Elk Grove Edition! Please check your order confirmation for the promo code or email us ( The workshop is open to everyone else for only $4 to cover printed material cost. Light refreshments will be provided.

Register Now for Business Model Canvas Workshop