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Now in its fourth incarnation in Santa Barbara, Startup Weekend returns to the Central Coast November 14th-16th (full schedule and list of locations can be found here).

Startup Weekend has always embraced Maker culture in all facets and forms, and this year is no exception; not only will the event feature multiple 3d printers, but Arduinos, motors, and multiple types of sensors will also be on hand for folks to experiment with and use throughout the weekend.

While it can admittedly be difficult to come in with a blank slate and create a prototype or designed object in 54-hours, fortune favors the bold, and there will be no shortage of awesome mentors to help you go from brainstorm to breakthrough:

Mike Bales
Mike “Swiss” Bales – As the founder of the Santa Barbara Hackerspace, Mike’s interests and abilities seem to be limited only by hours in a day. He learns it, he builds it, he improves it. He is a natural leader with interests in electronics, robotics and many other impressive “ics”.  If your idea involves 3d printers, microcontrollers, computers, radio control – heck, if you’re planning on making anything – Mike should be one of the first folks you ask for advice.

Robert Ramey – Robert Ramey has been developing software in the Santa Barbara area for over 20 years; he developed widely used open source libraries such as the Boost Serialization Library (www.boost.org) and licensed proprietary software such as the Postman’s Sort.  With vast experience in prototyping, planning, developing, and testing software applications both large and small on hardware platforms that run from PCs to PIC microprocessors to the Nintendo Gameboy, Robert’s vast development experience and expertise with both hardware and software platforms benefits coders and makers alike.

Nick Winters –  Formerly specializing in web, desktop, and mobile business development, Nick now spends most of his free time building 3d printers; he also modifies 3d printers to do things other than 3d printing (such as the ZAR plotter drawing machine).  Beyond working on 3d printing hardware, Nick also has experience creating and modifying 3d models to better suit them for printing, so feel free to run any final tweaks and design changes through Nick before printing your product!

Bob Kryczko – Bob has owned businesses, managed IT and software projects, and conducted thousands of customer interviews throughout his career.  This is Bob’s second Startup Weekend; his recent focus centers around biofeedback and the idea of the Quantified Self, so seek Bob out if your interests match his.

Mack Fixler – Mack Fixler is an experienced Maker with a strong background in 3D printing and design.  When not teaching at a local private school that implements 3D printing across all grade levels, he’s running summer camps for kids on 3D printing, robotics, coding, and circuitry.  Having Mack as a mentor means being able to get help and have things explained and broken down in an easy to understand manner.

This is but a small sample of the mentors available to all participants during Santa Barbara Startup Weekend 2014.  For the full list, please head to our website!  Feel free to sound off on who you’re most excited to work with in the comments.

Hong Lieu