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UW PACCAR Hall 4277 NE Stevens Way Seattle, WA 98195


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The 1st ever Northwest Battle is going to be hosted in Seattle! Head up for a night of entrepreneurial fun, watch Startup Weekends champions from around the NW face off against each other in a demo-day style event, and support the teams that you love. This is a one-night event, and will be a great opportunity to expand your entrepreneurial network.

You've been hearing about Startup Weekend and have thought about participating. Maybe you even took the leap and participated. Why? Because you want to have an impact in the world and you know the best way to do that is to build a startup whether a for-profit or a sustainable non-profit.

Startup Weekend is a level playing field where you can learn about entrepreneurship and technology, network with some of the most talented and interesting people in our region, and have fun bringing a grand vision to life.

Startup Weekend changes lives. There are countless stories from the literally hundreds of thousands of people like you from hundreds of countries around the world who have been impacted by their experience with Startup Weekend.

This Startup Weekend is a special one. During the weekends of November 15th and November 22nd, UP Global, the parent company of Startup Weekend, held its annual Global Startup Battle. There were over 300 Startup Weekend events held around the world during these two weeks, and several of those were right here in the northwest. This event will be part of that battle and is special regional event pitting the winners from about 8 Northwest cities against one another in a final showdown in front of an audience of over 300 people. This is a unique opportunity to explode onto the startup scene.

Jump in an hang on. This is going to be a wild, fun ride!

Startup Weekend Education – Trailer from StartupWeekendFilms on Vimeo.

Welcome to the Seattle Startup Weekend EDU event! Our event is similar to the traditional Startup Weekend Event, except it includes a fourth crucial participant category: educator. Who better to speak about problems in education than educators and school leaders?  We’re incredibly excited about this upcoming Seattle Startup Weekend EDU – we’re adding a few twists and turns to make this a great event that is designed to address the challenges our students and educators face on a day-to-day basis. So how does that work?

  • All of the pitches on Friday and companies demoed on Sunday will be educator approved and designed to solve problems in the education space, broadly defined (not restricted to K-12 or other “formal” education).

  • In addition to the traditional crowdsourced pitches, we have sponsor schools and school networks pitching ideas as well.

This isn’t a mere hackathon. Hackathons produce products or features; Startup Weekend EDUs produce new ventures. These could take the form of a new startup, or an internal venture incubated by a school. By bringing together education rockstars, marketing maestros, design gurus, relentless hackers, and serial entrepreneurs, ventures launched at a Startup Weekend get a team completely aligned around their mission, working with a harmony that’s hard to find anywhere else.

So what does the weekend look like?

Friday night is all about networking and the pitches. Those with an idea who are brave enough will stand in front of 120 strangers and give a 1-minute elevator pitch to the crowd. Teams form organically around the most compelling pitches, and then spend the next 48 hours (minus sleep and our delicious catered food) hacking away on your product and business plan.

Saturday and Sunday are work days.You and your team validate the problem, market, and customer, ideate and iterate relentlessly, and prototype your team’s solution. Mentors will be on hand throughout the time to help you your idea from a fledgling concept into a working company with huge potential in less than two days. While a small web app or other interactive deliverable is ideal, example final products include promotional websites, mock-ups, or anything else that would convince an audience that your product is viable, compelling, and worth developing further.

Sunday night is where the jury panel comes in. Seasoned startup veterans will scrutinize MVPs to evaluate your chances of real world success, and the most promising product will win its team a grab bag of great tools to launch your company. From there? Well, it’s all up to you. Startup Weekend EDU can only help you start your dream. It’s up to you to live it out.

BONUS : This Startup Weekend is a special one! During the weekends of November 15th and November 22nd, Up Global, the parent company of Startup Weekend, is holding its Global Startup Battle. This SW EDU will be part of that battle and we’ll be having a special regional event pitting the winners from about 8 Northwest cities against one another in a final showdown in front of an audience of over 400 people. This is a unique opportunity to explode onto the startup scene.

We hope you join us!




Nov 22
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Nov 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Global Education Sponsors

Scot Refsland

Co-Founder and CEO,   |   LinkedIn

Dr. Scot Refsland’s career in education technology spans over 25 years and across 4 continents. From helping aboriginal communities in Australia discover & learn technology, architecting the United Nations UNESCO World Heritage website in Paris, to coding apps for K-12 classrooms in the U.S., Scot considers himself extremely lucky to play a role in helping to change education. While Scot received a Ph.D. in Virtual Reality from Gifu University, Japan, is an award winning interaction designer, Innovation Fellow and serial entrepreneur, he measures his true success by how many student “ah-ha!” moments he can create.

portfolio of work:

Gold Sponsors

James Cooper

Kaplan University

As Executive Director of IT for Kaplan Legal Education, Cooper is responsible for continuous development and expansion of the KLE online education platform. Kaplan and Concord School of Law partner with law schools around the country to provide the tools and technology that make online teaching and learning possible. Cooper is also a member of an ABA working group preparing recommendations for best practices and policies for online legal education.

Previously, as Chief Information Officer at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, James Cooper was one of the key architects behind the school’s award-winning, technologically advanced new campus in downtown San Diego. Thomas Jefferson School of Law has built one of the most high-tech and attractive law schools in the country while making the environment and user experience top priorities.

Cooper received the Top Tech Exec Cox Business Exemplary Award in 2011 for his work at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He has also served as a judge and on the nomination committee in 2012 and 2013.

He earned a Master of Science in Information Management from the University of Washington Information School as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from Western Washington University.

Rebecca Lovell

Adjunct Instructor, UW Foster School of Business

Rebecca had a decade-long career in management, operations, and business development before coming to her senses and catching the startup bug. She then directed the Alliance of Angels, served as the executive director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network (NWEN), GeekWire's Chief Business Officer, and interim CEO of Vittana.

She teaches a class on Venture Capital in the UW Foster MBA program, serves as a mentor for TechStars, 9Mile Labs, Code Fellows and the Founder Institute, and is on the employer advisory board for the UW Foster School of Business, the advisory board LikeBright and the board of directors for NWEN.

Rebecca is a phi beta kappa graduate of Carleton College and a Dean’s Scholar, UW Foster MBA program. She is endlessly devoted to education, entrepreneurship, and karaoke.

Kishari Sing

Strategic Marketing Consultant, K-12 Education Technology   |  

Kishari is a relative newbie to Seattle, after relocating from Los Angeles 18 months ago to work for GlobalScholar/Scantron which was until recently headquartered in Bellevue. An experienced strategic marketing professional with more than 15 years working in advertising and marketing for global powerhouse brands such as Nestlé, Mattel, Cadillac, Computer Science Corporation and Sage Software, she taps into a broad range of strategic tools as a Marketing Consultant for organizations supporting K-12 education technology.

Six years of working with commercial edtech companies including a division of K12 Inc., (the national leader in virtual schools), projects with the Gates Foundation and a nonprofit organization representing teachers, has provided her with hands-on experience in critical business models and key initiatives in the industry. Because the most critical goal today in K-12 is to support the transition to Common Core standards, there is a tremendous need to improve the current systems: education management software, curriculum software, virtual schools, blended model classrooms, computer-adaptive assessment, flipped classrooms, bring your own device (BYOD) and project-based learning to support teachers as well as help students prepare for college and careers in a global marketplace.

Kishari earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of California, San Diego, and is Pragmatic Marketing certified. Her website is at She currently lives in Bellevue.

Charles Wright

Deputy Superintendent, Seattle Public Schools

Charles Wright is Deputy Superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools. Prior to that role, Charles served as a Program Officer and Portfolio Manager at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to the Gates Foundation, Charles served as the Chief Strategy Officer for the Denver Public Schools. Earlier in his career he worked with the Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, FL as Chief Officer for Organizational Effectiveness.

In addition to these executive roles in large districts, Charles founded Parent Valet, a marketplace that sought to connect parents with the programs, people, and resources they need to support their child’s learning and development in and out of school. He also founded a consulting organization that worked with schools, districts, and education nonprofits on performance management projects, focusing on linking strategy to clear outcomes for success. Charles also worked in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney and consulting for the Mitchell Madison Group, and was a program assistant at the Ford Foundation.

Charles received his BA in Finance from Morehouse College, MA in Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and JD from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Stephanie, and seven-year old daughter.

Silver Sponsors

Steve Siden

Product Manager, The Boeing Company   |   LinkedIn

Steve Siden is a Technical Product Manager at The Boeing Company, but also moonlights as a organizer/mentor at various regional STEM events, and a tutor at 826 Seattle. He is a former camp counselor and New York native, and holds an IT & Science, Technology, and Society degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Grant Leslie

Co-Founder and Director of Business Development, Beyond Sports   |   LinkedIn

Grant is a co-founder and Director of Business Development with Beyond Sports, the first international education and service learning program designed specifically for college athletes and teams ( To date, Beyond has hosted students from over 80 different Universities across the United States. Grant attended Copenhagen Business School in Denmark while earning his MBA and taught cross-cultural education workshops at Danish high schools. He was recently offered a Leadership Fellow position at Success Academy, one of New York City's top charter school networks but deferred for one year to continue building Beyond Sports. He is especially interested for-profit social ventures, sport as a tool in global development, as well as in innovative approaches to improving teacher effectiveness, reducing cost per pupil, and expanding education access nationally and internationally.

Mark Butler

Seattle based-Consultant

Mark Butler specializes in strategic planning and idea development, helping entrepreneurs transform inspiration into reality while navigating the myriad challenges ahead.
He pairs strategic brainstorming with detailed, measureable implementation plans – and brings years of experience in product and content development to help create compelling, easily communicated offerings to customers.
His clients have included entrepreneurs, growing businesses, and organizations like the Kauffman and Lowe Foundations. At IDG Books, he oversaw many of the best-selling …For Dummies business titles. A graduate of Kansas State University’s business school, Mark can be found at

Nick Pernisco

President, TeleBEEM   |   LinkedIn

Nick is an accomplished entrepreneur and educator with over 15 years of experience in the media and technology industries. He is president at TeleBEEM, a Seattle-based mobile software development and publishing firm focused on the youth market. Since founding the company in 2009, Nick has grown TeleBEEM into a leader in education and entertainment software for mobile phones and tablets.

In addition to his work in business, Nick has a decade of experience teaching media studies and broadcasting courses at California State University, Northridge, and at Santa Monica College. Over the years he has also worked in practically every facet of the entertainment industry, including producing films and television programs for the educational market.

Nick earned his bachelor's degree in Radio-Television-Film, and a master's degree in Mass Communications, both from California State University, Northridge. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two cats.

Ali Shahrazad

Co-Founder, Saltbox   |   LinkedIn

Ali is responsible for UI & web design and customer development at Saltbox. Saltbox is an analytics platform that shows companies how learning impacts employee performance. Prior to Saltbox, Ali was a regional retail and B2B sales leader at T-Mobile where he was responsible for sales, operations, and training. His region realized 30x bottom line growth in 8 years. Ali studied Physics and Bioengineering at the University of Washington where he published research on medical device technology.

Christina Green

Director of Technical Partnerships,   |   LinkedIn

Christina is a Seattle transplant who previously lived in San Francisco and Southern California. After receiving her degree in Physics, she taught middle school science for three years in Berkeley, California. Though her nickname “Ms. Green the Science Queen” never caught on, her passion for combining tech and learning resulted in successful technology grants for her classroom. She also served as technology coach for all the elementary science teachers in the district.

After teaching, she gained experience in customer development and retention at Ning and Eventbrite in San Francisco. She also co-developed Brite Camp as a way to strengthen Eventbrite’s culture and share knowledge across business groups.

After moving to Seattle, Christina took on roles at EnergySavvy, Lab 8 Ventures, and is currently the Director of Technical Partnerships at In her "spare" time, she's learning iOS development at CodeFellows in hopes of making an amazing app for her upcoming wedding.

Stephen Medawar

Co-Founder,   |  

Stephen Medawar is the co-founder of Seattle and, a global showcase of local startups. Since attending the University of Washington's Foster School of Business (Entrepreneurship), he has started three companies: CareerPaths NW,, and JobFerral (2 sold and 1 failed). He also has experience recruiting for Microsoft and Premera Blue Cross.

He describes himself as "a husband, father, Seattle sports fan (Go Huskies, Sounders, Seahawks and Sonics!), Lebanese, startup enthusiast, and entrepreneur."

Raghavendra Nyamagoudar

software development manager at Amazon

Raghu is a software development manager at Amazon. He has experience building ecommerce applications for sellers, catalog management and customer service applications. He enjoys brainstorming, solving problems and hackathons. He is from India, holds a masters degree in computer science from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) and is an avid soccer/futbol fan.

Kate Coxon

Producer, Intentional Futures   |  

Kate Coxon is a producer at Intentional Futures, a Seattle-based consulting and design firm with a passion for edtech.

Through December 2012, she was Rocketship Education's Senior Director of Individualization: in that role, she developed and implemented strategy for blended learning and tutoring for a network of seven high-performing elementary charter schools in the Bay Area. As part of this work, Kate managed the design and development of Rocketship's platform for online learning, including the creation of tools for assessment, reporting, and lab management.

Previously, she was a Teach for America corps member and teacher in the Alum Rock Union School District, as well as a teacher and dean at Rocketship schools in San Jose.

Kate has a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Contributing + Media Sponsors
Alec Matias
Thibaut Labarre
Helene Costa de Beauregard
Justin Ith
Eric Beaulieu
Katrina Stevens
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