One Month Away to SW Seattle: Data Science! Claim Your Sponsored Discounted Tickets by 4/30!

Hello, there! Startup Weekend Seattle: Data Science is moving right along!
With half of our tickets sold and a month left until May 20th, we’re projecting to sell out!


Promotional codes still available!

In return for the support from the following entities, we’re offering promo codes at 50% off for up to 10 people:


Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA)

The WTIA has graciously written a post about our efforts! Read more here:

Claim the WTIA discount with “WTIA” or go here:

New Tech Northwest

Long-time friends of the Puget Sound community, New Tech is supporting our promotional efforts as well.

Claim the New Tech Northwest discount with “NEWTECHNW” or go here:


Our local news source for all things startup and technology, GeekWire has graciously promoted us on their active website.

Claim the GeekWire discount with “GeekWire” or go here:

This and many other promotions currently available will expire in less than one week by April 30! Claim your tickets soon and join the fun!


New Bronze Sponsor: Algorithmia!

We’re grateful to add another sponsor to the mix! For the uninitiated, Algorithmia is an open marketplace for algorithms, to help data scientists and developers monetize their brilliant creations.

Thank you, Algorithmia! For more questions about our event, email us at

Don’t forget to register! Follow this link or sign up below:


Lee Ngo
Lead Organizer
Startup Weekend Seattle: Data Science

Time to Upgrade: Our Data Science Experiment on Startup Weekend Seattle

After attending 15 Startup Weekends over the course of four years (wow, that’s both impressive and embarrassing), I’ve noticed a pattern in the ideas worked on during the 54-hour worldwide phenomenon of a startup competition:

Everyone thinks they know how to work in big data, but few people know how to actually do it.


Paramount Pictures. Source. How we usually do Startup Weekend.


Many startups begin their companies based on what they know (stop me if you haven’t heard one of these at a Startup Weekend before):

  • User-driven advertising campaigns (i.e. the Facebook model)
  • Freemium-premium subscription models (i.e. the Pandora model)
  • Commission-based transactions on demand (i.e. the Uber model)
  • Software-as-a-service directly to enterprises (i.e. the B2B model)
Sony Pictures Television. Source. This is how I react on the inside.


What Startup Weekend newbies fail to realize is that there is a fruitful underlying approach to modeling their technology, even among startups: tapping into the enormous collection of data collected by all of these apps. This data can be re-structured in ways to create meaningful, valuable insights for some particularly interested entities.

However, what is the difference between meaningful and non-meaningful data, and how can that be commercialized within the confines of a weekend competition? Enter the data scientist.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Source. Science.


Data science is the hottest field in software technology right now. Even the companies listed above are applying themselves more in the data science sectors, improving upon their predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms. Whenever technology hits the news, it’s due to some experimentation in artificial intelligence or improved automation: all of which extend from the field of data science.

Universal Pictures. Source. Brought to you in part by data science.


Thus, I have been inspired for a while to do a data science-themed event, one that creates an entire category specifically for data scientists to participate and work with the standard developers, designers, and non-technical entrepreneurs.

I want the broader startup community to discover the direction the high tech industry is taking while exposing data scientists to the fun and excitement of entrepreneurship.

NBC Studios. Source. Teamwork is everything.


Perhaps it’s time for Startup Weekenders to focus less on what’s already been done and more on what everyone wants them to do: innovating in the space of big data.

On May 20th at Galvanize Seattle in Pioneer Square, we will launch the first-ever data science-themed Startup Weekend. Tickets are available at

In just a few weeks, we already have the support of the following groups:


Galvanize is an education company providing support for developers, data scientists, and entrepreneurs at several campuses throughout the U.S.


LIFFFT is a product development acceleration service that help customer-focused organizations learn more, build faster, and experiment at lower risk.


ProCogia is a technology firm that takes out the ambiguity from decision making by providing timely actionable insights from analysis of your data.



New Tech Northwest is one of the largest community-driven technological resources in the Pacific Northwest area, hosting monthly meetups and engaging content.

Washington Technology Industry Association is the state’s ‘fixed point’ for the technology community, mobilizing industry, education and government to make the region the leading technology community in the world.

We are still looking for support to keep costs low and encourage others from underrepresented communities to participate. Email me at if you’d like to help.


Join us in this grand experiment of taking Startup Weekend into the future with data science.

Lee Ngo
Startup Weekend Seattle: Data Science

Organizer's Thoughts: Jerrod Poss

“At a certain point in your career…it becomes more satisfying to help entrepreneurs than to be one.”

– Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz


I get it, Portland is cool. It’s renowned for coffee, craft beer, tattoos, TV shows, beards, eclectic donuts, funky clothes, an NBA team, an MLS champion and a vast sea of counter-culture heroes.


But, none of those explain why there is a chasm of entrepreneurial spirit between Vancouver and Portland, one wider than the Columbia and Willamette combined. There is no reason for it…right!? We all live, work and play in virtually the same area, and yet there remains a real lack of successful startups.

The truth is, there are amazing founders and growing startups here in Clark County too. What we lack are great hangouts, meet ups and events where we all meet each other and connect to strengthen the startup scene on the North Bank.

The question is – What can we do to change that? And it’s pretty simple. GET ENGAGED.

We have great founders who live up here. We have hundreds of innovative, resourceful people who will make great things happen. But, we need to start socializing and talking more about the great things we want to build together!

So who needs to start talking?

Um, well, you and people you know like you.

These folks are everywhere around us in Clark County. You pass them in a Fred Meyer aisle, they put a blanket down next to you at Esther Short Park, they’re laughing at a table across the room at Loowit or perhaps you see them every day at HP and have no idea they want to start their own company.

Being an Entrepreneur is an amazing journey that doesn’t happen alone. It takes a village to help us develop the will, the drive, the skill and passion to start and run our own business. That village is here…but staying at home, watching Netflix or playing video games in your spare time won’t get you connected to that village. Rather, you’ll need to attend events, meet-ups and networking opportunities to meet other great Entrepreneurs- inspiring us to build and achieve!


What truly matters is the mettle of a person, or small group of people, who want to impact their community and bring about real economic change. They have an idea that could profoundly change our lives…or maybe just the way we shop.

The point is, our community needs more entrepreneurs and commercial identity. Your business needs more people who think like founders. We’re all in this together! This isn’t benefaction, it’s proaction! Let’s help empower a new wave of makers, job creators and innovative employees.

I can’t promise that you’ll get to hire or even become one of these bold, brash innovators; but I can guarantee you’re going to help this business community thrive in the years ahead. We can create the community we want, but only if we start doing!

Startup Weekend Vancouver is one such event where you can meet and experience this amazing entrepreneurial energy. It happens on January 29th at Clark College.

It’s the first event of its kind in Vancouver and we hope it lights a fire we can’t contain. Please check it out, register, find a way to participate! Trust me, one day soon, Portlanders will wake up, stare across the nation’s second largest river and wonder how Vancouver turned into a Five Alarm Founder’s Hotbed!


– Jerrod Poss, and the entire team at Startup Weekend Vancouver

Startup Weekend comes to Vancouver, WA

Startup Weekend Vancouver
January 29th, 2016

Startup Weekend is amazing marathon event where participants build teams, business and futures all over the course of a weekend. For those of you who don’t haven’t heard about it before: imagine 54 hours of running with an idea further than ever before—with food, community, and mentoring.

Owning your own business and starting something great is a dream for millions of people across the country. To support this, UP global and Techstars have created an unusually hands-on startup workshop event that has spread around the globe. Startup Weekend collects amazing local mentors, entrepreneurs, and participants and says:

“Build a Business in a weekend!”

The participants come in three types: Hackers (technical), Hipsters (designers) and Hustlers (business), but there is space for everyone in the community to participate. Anyone can pitch a business idea on Friday night. When everyone who wants to pitch is done all the attendees vote on the best ideas. The top 8-10 ideas form teams from all the remaining people – so even if your idea isn’t picked you get to pick a great idea and a team you want to support for the rest of the weekend.

And that is where the fun begins!

Then – it’s a frantic race to the finish. You are competing on Sunday evening for the best Business Model, Best Design/Execution, and the Best Validation. It may sound daunting but that is exactly why we invite amazing business mentors, from marketing, business, finance, legal (and more!) to help guide you to make the business the best success it can be.

Building a business is hard work—and to squeeze the most out of every second of the weekend, we bring all of the meals and drinks so you can remain on site and with your team. Yeah—that’s 7 meals included in the registration fee!

We do this because we believe in you and helping you launch your idea. Startup Weekend is for anyone who want to start or be a part of something exciting from the very birth of the idea.

Don’t miss out on launching your idea. Register now!



Best Bets on Free Market Research Tools for Startup Weekend

Best Bets on Free Market Research Tools for Startup Weekendstaffer Steve Sandbakken at Lynnwood Library (2)

You may be wondering why there are three librarians listed as mentors for the November 6-8, 2015 Startup Weekend Snohomish. Sno-Isle Librarians are your free market research analysts, and three of us will be available to help you with on-the-ground support during Startup Weekend Snohomish.

We have years of training and experience in finding answers to questions that will help you understand your industry’s background. We can also unearth those nitty gritty details that will help you win over the judges in the final pitches on Sunday. We’ll show you how to use the many free tools for entrepreneurs that are accessible to any Sno-Isle Libraries card holder.

Examples of questions we can help you answer:

  • How many Snohomish County residents who earn between $50,000 to $100,000 like to jog? Answer: 16,511 (and we can tell you who they are). Source: AtoZdatabases. com, the Premier Job Search, Reference and Mailing List Database.Sno-Isle Libraries. Web. 17 Aug. 2015
  • What is the total market value of the United States software market? Answer: In 2014, it was $185.9 billion. Network and database management software covers 24.5 percent of the market with general business productivity and home applications covering 22.5 percent. Source: “Software Industry Profile: United States.” Software Industry Profile: United States(2015): 1-40. Business Source Premier. Web. 17 Aug. 2015.
  • What are the three biggest markets in the U.S. for our hair care products? Answer: California $731,601,702; Washington $442,084,146; and Florida $410,870,125. Source: “Consumer Expenditure Total Expenditure: Personal care products and services.” Demographics Now. 17 Aug. 2015.

Jay Lyman, the Business, Science and Technology Librarian at Seattle Public Library, recently provided research assistance at the Startup Weekend EDU Seattle event. He proudly reported to me that “The winning team at Startup Weekend Education was the first team to ask us a question.”

Here’s the takeaway: Ask Sno-Isle Libraries staff your questions at Startup Weekend or anytime you need some business help

Registration is now open for Start Up Weekend Snohomish. Early bird discounts NOW through Sept. 30th.

Visit our Startup Weekend Snohomish website for more information.

Amazon rolls out ‘Launchpad’ for startups, partners with Y Combinator, Indiegogo, Techstars and others

Amazon is working with some of the top startup programs and investors in the country on a new initiative called Amazon Launchpad, saying it wants to make it easier for fledgling companies to promote themselves and sell their products on the e-commerce site.  READ MORE at

Some of the initial products available from startups through Amazon Launchpad.
Some of the initial products available from startups through Amazon Launchpad.

Todd Bishop is GeekWire’s co-founder and editor, covering subjects including smartphones, tablets, PCs, video games, and tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google. Follow him @toddbishop and email


It's hard to describe, but….

Startup Weekend Vancouver
July 24th, 2015

“Startup Weekend is Coming, Startup Weekend is Coming!” is a gleeful shout of the people gearing up for the weekend event at Clark College in Vancouver.

It’s like Christmas.

The closer it gets the more excited we get about the great things that happen at Startup Weekends. People from every area of our community and from far away come to the weekend to create and build incredible business ideas over the course of a single weekend. The energy is amazing!

Here is a blow by blow of what you can expect.











Friday night starts with a really fun and casual pizza dinner for everyone, we get checked in, eat and meet some of the other attendees and most people start to mentally practice our pitches. After dinner we all get to hear from an amazing speaker who has farther ahead on the journey of building a company who helps us all understand how to be successful and move our ideas forward.

Then…. The pitches start… nobody knows how many, some people who never thought about pitching become inspired and jump up at the last minute to share the great ideas that was sparked by listening to other would-be entrepreneurs.

Then we all vote on the best ideas we have heard from that night! it may be your idea or something else that inspired you. What ever it is we select the top ideas by popular vote and we all redistribute among those teams. Its intoxicating to meet the talent and energy that will help grow your teams idea for the weekend. And without delay its off to work. Most of the time the venue has to shoo out the teams to close down for the night. Once the ideas get flowing they are hard to shut down. But you really should try to get to sleep because the weekend is just getting started.

When you show up again on Saturday morning there is an amazing buzz of energy, typing, laughing and tons of smiles (despite people being up earlier than normal for most weekends), and it’s off to work on your idea. Later on in the morning the mentors check in and help you shape and mold your business and answer any challenges you might be facing. What? Lunch already? Don’t worry, you can knock back or nibble and get right back to it. Its amazing to see all the parts of the team working in unison, the programmers are coding, the designers have built an incredible logo, the business development people are talking to potential customers and refining the revenue model. What? Dinner already? then a quick gut check with the facilitators on progress and direction and you are back at it until… yep they have to shoo you out the door again.

OK, The next morning, lots of smiles still, but the keystrokes seems to come a little slower, the coffee seems a little more important and oh thank god for the mentors helping knock down those road blocks! What? Lunch? how does that seem to happen so fast every day?!!?? ok, you can just eat at your desk and graze. More coding, more design, more business validation and soon we have your first real pitch practice!!!! Your chance to get in from of the organizers and key mentors to help you rock your final presentation. Its coming up soon! The finish line is close! Pencils Down! and….. Dinner. A great chance to detox a little destress a little before the final pitches.

Then no pressure… You get up in front of the judges and pitch your heart out, make your case and show off your teams sweat and hard work.

THEN………….. Thats when the fun starts, the awards are almost anticlimactic because you realize that everyone wins, everyone has had an amazing weekend and bonded with a team to make great things happen. Yes, some walk away with the hardware and some with accolades, but everyone walks a little taller and struts a little bit more come Monday morning when they walk back in to work. Cuz…. “I built a business in 54 hours this weekend, what did you do?”

I know it sounds like a fairy tale, but come out and spend the weekend with us you’ll agree, there’s a magic to these weekends.


Meet our Startup Weekend: Health Friday evening speaker — Sailesh Chutani, Co-founder and CEO, Mobisante

Sailesh Chutani co-founded Mobisante to develop a mobile, affordable ultrasound system that could make the technology more accessible to a broader group of primary care providers.


Sailesh has championed mobile technologies in healthcare since 2005 and he co-authored the book, “Technology at the Margins” that takes a global view of the impact of the mobile phone on healthcare, education, micro-finance and resource management.


SW: We are looking forward to your talk Friday evening. What do you plan to discuss?

SC: I’ll focus on my journey starting Mobisante: everything that it takes to get a startup up and running and into the marketplace—from funding, product creation, distribution, sales and marketing.


SW: Why Seattle? Why did you start Mobisante here?

SC: Seattle has a deep history in the ultrasound market. The University of Washington did seminal research in developing ultrasound for clinical use. Eventually some of that technology was commercialized and became ATL (which was subsequently acquired by Phillips). Sonosite spun-off from ATL and was early-to-market with more portable devices, it was recently acquired by FujiFilm.


Seattle has incredible bench strength in terms of talent: in healthcare, academic research and technologists. The University of Washington Bothell (and main campus) has incredible talent and. We have been very happy with the interns and full-time employees that we hired from those places.


SW: What are the biggest economic drivers for Mobisante’s business?

SC: With the Affordable Care Act, both the physicians and patients have become even more sensitive to cost and quality of care. The patient often has a very high deductible and pays for many of their procedures out-of-pocket. They are now ‘doctor shopping’ for clinics and primary care physicians that offer a high-level of care, at an affordable price. It’s one of the key factors that keeps them returning to that clinic.


For the primary care provider, cost-effective ultrasound equipment in a clinic cuts costs for two reasons—first, the primary care provider can reduce the number of patients who need to go to a specialized clinic for a scan, which saves time and eliminates a traditionally expensive scan; second, it cuts time to treatment because the scan is performed in-house. And just as importantly, keeps the patient returning to that clinic.

SW: What do you hope to see resulting from the event?

SC: My hope is that potential entrepreneurs who are on the fence will make the leap, learn new skills and techniques, and help grow the eco system. There’s so much learning that happens through Seattle’s network.





Health Startup Weekend: Spotlight on Prizes

Attendees of our May 15 event will all receive some valuable items: beyond the connections and education, there’s food, swag, a free .CO domain, and cloud storage. Winning teams will receive some great prizes thanks to our partners in the local community:

  1. WBBA Core Membership for one year ($250 value) for the top team (all teams are eligible to receive consulting from the WBBA).
  2. One hour of IP legal advice from Foundry Law Group ($500 value) for the 3 top teams.
  3. One hour of small business consulting from Kenmore Business Incubator ($100 value) for the top 3 teams.
  4. Three hours of marketing and business development strategy from Avatar Group ($450 value) for the top 3 teams.
  5. Bothell Chamber of Commerce Membership for one year ($300 value) for the top 3 teams.
  6. 10 free hours at Startup Hall ($300 value) for each of the top 3 teams.
  7. Review of your business application to the Mercury Medical Technologies Incubator, under the Bothell Biomedical Device Manufacturing Innovation Partnership Zone. ($300 value) for all finalists.
  8. For the top team, 2 tickets to 8th Annual Washington State Biomedical Device Summit at UW Bothell in Sept. 24 this year, and one ticket for the 2nd place winner ($750 value).

These represent over $2700 in prize value to our top teams (and don’t forget the intangible value of being featured by UP Global and entered into the Global Startup Battle).


Look forward to seeing you in Bothell for Health Startup Weekend on May 15th!

Interview with Neil Bergquist, Point B

Innovation often requires the sheer resilience and creativity of an entrepreneur, married with the success of established organizations. Neil Bergquist of Point B knows this all to well. He acts as a Sherpa to help ensure that healthcare solutions develop as quickly as possible. His official role as Innovation Architect, means that he spends most of his time incorporating entrepreneurial methodologies and thinking into large enterprises, often in the healthcare space. He’s a serial entrepreneur, startup mentor, and management consultant with Point B.


SW:  Tell us how you became involved with Startup Weekend: Health?

NB:  My friend Brady Ryan, one of the event’s co-organizers, told me about the region’s first Startup Weekend: Health edition, and I immediately asked how I could get involved as mentor.

SW: What type of consulting does Point B do for its healthcare clients?

NB:  Our healthcare team works with 40 different organizations across the country, and has completed more than 500 projects–ranging from strategy planning, to IT system implementations, business process improvement, to interim leadership. Personally, I help large corporate clients develop innovation ecosystems and guide them to become more entrepreneurial. A ‘day in the life’ for me includes developing workshops that help clients become the “best businesses of the future”, and to help them evolve their existing “core” businesses to address the changing environment.

Another big part of my role is to be a bridge between entrepreneurs building disruptive innovations, and the large established healthcare players who for the most part own the healthcare industry. It’s critical that the two work together, so that innovation can occur at a more rapid pace.

SW:  Name the biggest economic drivers for the Seattle region (in terms of healthcare innovation)?

NB:  Large self-ensured employers, like Boeing, are driving the industry changes. They need to cut costs, pure and simple. The healthcare industry is trying to respond with value-based solutions. In Seattle, we see providers looking to our rich technical talent pool to develop cost-saving solutions — either through big data, or consumer-facing applications that streamline processes and provide transparency to treatments and their outcomes.

Employers are also working with their employees (the consumer) to help them become more accountable for their health. Local startups like Limeade and, who offer corporate wellness programs, are great examples of companies providing innovative solutions to help employees become more aware of how they can help reduce their healthcare costs.

But we can’t have strong entrepreneurial organizations without proper financial resources. Per investment data provided by, Seattle-area healthcare-focused startups received $536 million in funding throughout 2014. Out of the capital invested, there were 26 deals and the top recipients include Juno therapeutics, Adaptive Biotechnologies and VentiRx Pharmaceuticals.  These capitol infusions in our region are encouraging, and demonstrate increasing investor confidence in our region.

SW:  Why did you choose to be a mentor in Startup Weekend?

NB:  Entrepreneurs take huge personal and professional risks when creating a startup, and the least I can do is offer to help them on their journey. Mentoring and supporting our community is part of the Point B culture.

SW: What do you hope to see resulting from the event? Give us your moonshot answer.

NB: I would love to see the teams walk away with a sincere passion for the healthcare industry. And while their version 1.0 ideas may or may not survive first contact with investors and customers, I am confident that they will develop a solution in the years to come.