Meet Your Startup Weekend Las Vegas Judges

Piotr Tomasik – CTO of Influential

Piotr Tomasik is the CTO of Influential, an Influencer Technology Platform and Social Intelligence firm that has partnerships with IBM Watson, Facebook, Oracle, and WME. Influential is the largest VC-funded startup in Nevada, according to VC platform, Pitchbook. Previously, Piotr was Co-Founder & CTO at ActiveSide, a fitness-centric social network, and a tech leader at Playersync & eCommLink (acquired by Green Dot).    A serial entrepreneur, Piotr is a very proud Las Vegan, who strives to help build a prosperous and diversified economy here in Las Vegas. Piotr was named to VEGASINC’s “40 under 40” list in 2018. Piotr has a BS in Computer Science from UNLV.

Rob Meadows – President & CTO of AI Foundation

Rob Meadows is the President & CTO of AI Foundation which focuses on the advancements and risks around personal AI. Rob is also the founder of Originate, which builds next-generation, AI-enabled software for many of the Fortune 500. Previously, Rob founded Lumitrend, the mobile platform provider acquired by Asurion in 2006 which launched several products like Cellbackup to protect the data on millions of mobile devices. Rob holds a Master’s Degree from Arizona in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Rob believes that an AI-first world will ultimately lead humanity to abundance and bliss, but will require a reinvention of every industry and every job to get there. He is therefore very passionate about responsible AI, advancing AI education, and working alongside some of the top researchers in the world. AI may very well be the last invention of humanity, so we better make it a good one…

Geoff Sanders was the Co-founder and CEO of LaunchKey, a cybersecurity company specializing in next generation mobile authentication. A rare mix of engineering and creative talent, Geoff has more than a decade of professional experience as a full stack developer, designer, and product manager with expertise in creating end-to-end custom interactive applications. 

Geoff and 2 co-founders pitched their concept for LaunchKey at Startup Weekend Las Vegas 2012 in response to the LinkedIn password breach that year. LaunchKey won 1st Place for Design and 1st Place Overall, but one of the biggest victories for his team was securing a $750,000 seed round of investment led by Vegas Tech Fund and nearly $4 million in venture capital over the next 4 years. In 2017, LaunchKey was acquired by Iovation, a global leader in online fraud detection and device-based authentication. Currently, as Product Director of LaunchKey, Geoff leads the overall strategy, vision, and direction of the LaunchKey product at Iovation.

Ciara Byrne – Co-CEO of Green Our Planet

In March, 2013 Ciara co-founded a non-profit organization called Green Our Planet based in Las Vegas. Green Our Planet’s mission is to raise money for green projects and to educate the public about the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet today. The overall goal is to help conserve, protect, and improve the environment through funding green projects and through education, which includes STEAM, nutrition and conservation education in K-12 schools. 

Since March 2013 Green Our Planet has raised over $2m, built 115 school gardens, won the American Honda Foundation grant to pay teachers to adapt PreK-5 STEAM curricula so it can be taught in the gardens.  Green Our Planet won Public Health Hero of the Year 2014 awarded by the Health District of Southern Nevada; Community Organization of the Year 2014 USGBC; Ciara won Las Vegas Tech Woman of the Year 2015 and the Las Vegas City Compassionate Hero of the Year 2017.    

 








Meet your SWLV Judge – Piotr Tomasik

Meet Piotr Tomasik, the Co-Founder and CTO of Influentialan Influencer Technology Platform and Social Intelligence firm that has partnerships with IBM Watson, Facebook, Oracle, and WME. Influential is the largest VC-funded startup in Nevada, according to VC platform, Pitchbook. Previously, Piotr was Co-Founder & CTO at ActiveSide, a fitness-centric social network, and a tech leader at Playersync & eCommLink (acquired by Green Dot). 

A serial entrepreneur, Piotr is a very proud Las Vegan, who strives to help build a prosperous and diversified economy here in Las Vegas. Piotr was named to VEGASINC’s “40 under 40” list in 2018. Piotr has a BS in Computer Science from UNLV.

For more information about Startup Weekend Las Vegas you can visit our event page here!








Meet Your SWLV Judge – Rob Meadows

Meet Rob Meadows, the President & CTO of AI Foundation which focuses on the advancements and risks around personal AI. Rob is also the founder of Originate, which builds next-generation, AI-enabled software for many of the Fortune 500. Previously, Rob founded Lumitrend, the mobile platform provider acquired by Asurion in 2006 which launched several products like Cellbackup to protect the data on millions of mobile devices. Rob holds a Master’s Degree from Arizona in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Rob believes that an AI-first world will ultimately lead humanity to abundance and bliss, but will require a reinvention of every industry and every job to get there. He is therefore very passionate about responsible AI, advancing AI education, and working alongside some of the top researchers in the world. AI may very well be the last invention of humanity, so we better make it a good one…

For more information on Startup Weekend Las Vegas or to purchase your ticket today, please visit startupweekend.vegas








Meet Your SWLV Judge – Geoff Sanders

Meet Geoff Sanders, Co-Founder and CEO of LaunchKey, a cybersecurity company specializing in next generation mobile authentication. A rare mix of engineering and creative talent, Geoff has more than a decade of professional experience as a full stack developer, designer, and product manager with expertise in creating end-to-end custom interactive applications.

Geoff and 2 co-founders pitched their concept for LaunchKey at Startup Weekend Las Vegas 2012 in response to the LinkedIn password breach that year. LaunchKey won 1st Place for Design and 1st Place Overall, but one of the biggest victories for his team was securing a $750,000 seed round of investment led by Vegas Tech Fund and nearly $4 million in venture capital over the next 4 years. In 2017, LaunchKey was acquired by Iovation, a global leader in online fraud detection and device-based authentication.

Currently, as Product Director of LaunchKey, Geoff leads the overall strategy, vision, and direction of the LaunchKey product at iovation. 








Meet Your SWLV Judge – Ciara Byrne

Meet Ciara Byrne, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Green Our Planet. Back for the second year in a row as a Startup Weekend Las Vegas judge, Ciara Byrne brings a wealth of operations and funding knowledge to this years’ panel.

In 2013 Ciara co-founded their non-profit organization, Green Our Planet, based in Las Vegas. Green Our Planet’s mission is to raise money for green projects and to educate the public about the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet today. The overall goal is to help conserve, protect, and improve the environment through funding green projects and through education, which includes STEAM, nutrition, and conservation education in k-12 schools.

Green Our Planet has raised more than $2 million to build 115 school gardens, and won the American Honda Foundation grant to pay teachers to adapt PreK-5 STEAM curricula, so it can be taught in their school gardens. Green Our Planet was also awarded the Public Health Hero of the Year by the Health District of Southern Nevada and Community Organization of the Year awarded by USGBC in 2014.

Ciara is also a Startup Weekend Success story! She attributes part of her organizations success to Startup Weekend Las Vegas 2012, where she originally pitched her idea for Green Our Planet.








What are the judges looking for at Startup Weekend?

Did you know that Startup Weekend Las Vegas is not only ran by volunteers, but the mentors, coaches and judges are volunteers as well? We will dive into each one of these groups as we progress closer to the event, but let’s start with a little bit about what the judges look for and how they play an important role in Startup Weekend.

Startup Weekend typically has 3-5 judges who will evaluate your final presentation on Sunday evening. Many of the participants will be pitching an idea for the first time, so judges play an integral role in providing valuable feedback to teams. There are three things that judges will keep in mind during your pitch, and so should you as you build out your business or prototype:

Customer Validation
Did your team build something that people actually want? How well do you understand your customer and your customer’s needs? Did your team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers?

Execution and Design
Has your team established a minimum viable product (MVP) for the weekend, such as software or hardware, etc.? Did you build the minimum set of features needed to start collecting data? Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Were you able to demo something functional?

Business Model Validation
How does your team plan on making this a successful business? Have you thought about (either solved or identified problems) competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, your revenue model, etc.? How will you acquire your first 100 customers?


Startup Weekend Las Vegas 2017

 








Meet Your Mentor – Tom Wszalek

Meet Tom Wszalek, Partner & Founder of SW14 Group. Tom is returning for the second year in a row as a Startup Weekend Las Vegas mentor! SW14 Group provides management consulting services to help businesses – from startups to small and medium size firms – unlock new avenues of profitable growth. The consultation process includes researching areas of opportunity such as: strategy, customer culture, organization structure, operation processes, and the utilization of digital technology.

Tom has C-level operating executive experience across a range of industries including: media/entertainment, technology, e-commerce, hospitality, retail, and consumer products. His professional experience also encompasses analog and digital companies, US and international assignments, and Fortune 500 as well as small, medium and startup firms.


Do you have what it takes to join Startup Weekend Las Vegas and build a company from the ground up in 54-hours? Register today with our early bird discount code SWEARLYBIRD for 70% off. This offer only lasts until September 14th, so make sure to take advantage of this offer ASAP! Register through our eventbrite page, here.