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Cal Poly State University - Chumash Auditorium


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This January, Startup Weekend returns to San Luis Obispo. In just 54 hours, local entrepreneurs, leaders, community members and students will converge to create businesses. It’ll be chaotic, fast paced and incredibly rewarding. See you there!



Jan 17
  • 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


Jan 18
  • 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


Jan 19
  • 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!
Platinum Sponsors

Ed Stevens

CEO and Founder of Shopatron   |   LinkedIn

Shopatron is the world's leading provider of cloud-based, eCommerce order management.

Shopatron is the world's only eCommerce solution that increases sales online, while also increasing sales through online stores. Shopatron's eCommerce and order management solution provides an innovative and flexible approach to online sales that matches the unique needs of branded manufacturers, multi-channel retailers, and online marketplaces. Founded in 2001, Shopatron works with more than 1,000 branded manufacturers and 20,000 retail partners across more than 40 industries.

Specialties: In-store pickup, Retail-integrated fulfillment, eCommerce, Ship-to-Store, Ship-from-Store, Drop ship from Vendor to home, Drop ship from Vendor to store, Ship-to-Home, Inventory lookup, Local Product Search

Gold Sponsors

Lorraine Donegan

Professor at Cal Poly State University   |   LinkedIn

Lorraine Donegan is an Associate Professor in the Graphic Communication Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. She is the coordinator for the Design Reproduction Technology concentration within the Graphic Communication department. One specific goal of Ms. Donegan's teaching is to link design with technology, preparing students to understand the language and role of the graphic designer, the print provider and the final product. Her teaching and research specialties include typography and design technology of books and magazines. She also teaches web design and production, you can visit the student sites here. Lorraine has worked in the field of graphic design and production since 1990, when she owned her first Macintosh Classic. She has spoken at conferences in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and New York City on the issues of design and production. In 2006 she was honored with the Electronic Document Systems Foundation (EDSF) Educator of the Year award for her contributions to educational efforts in the advancement of printing, document management and communications. She was honored at Print '05 in Chicago with the Silver Award for Digital Books and Manuals in the Printing Innovation with Xerox Imaging Awards on behalf of her students for their work in designing and producing 4-forty Magazine: A Compilation of Student Work. When Lorraine is not teaching, she enjoys her spending time with her husband and two daughters. She loves to shop, entertain and cook. She also has a passion for classic type, beautiful books and letterpress printing.

Tim Bennett

Former President of Harpo Productions

Bennett was the President of Harpo Productions and best know as the broadcast executive who helped take Oprah Winfrey's local Chicago-based show in 1986 into the national syndication arena. It then grew into 130 international markets as "The Oprah Winfrey Show" where it was the #1 program in daytime for 25 consecutive years. For almost two decades, Bennett helped manage Oprah's businesses which evolved from broadcast television to publishing, films to online, and finally a cable network of her "own."

In 2002, due to the incredible growth of Oprah's branded media empire, Bennett helped develop a partnership with distributor, King World, and producer, Paramount Productions to launch the "Dr. Phil Show" into national syndication where it remains one of the top afternoon programs today. Following on that success, in 2006, "The Rachael Ray Show" was launched and three years later "Dr. Oz" premiered on the national stage where it remains the most watched health show in syndication. Oprah and her show were literally the launch-pad for all of these successful TV based businesses that still thrive today. He also helped grow Oprah's empire with two women-oriented cable networks that Ms. Winfrey helped launch---Oxygen and OWN. The latter is where Oprah devotes most of her attention and on-air work today.

Bennett's first two decades were spent in local television management & production covering everything from promotion manager in Colorado Springs (KRDO-TV-AM-FM) & Milwaukee (WITI-TV) to program director in Chicago (WLS-TV) and president & general manager in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (WTVD-TV). The last two decades, Bennett partnered with Ms. Winfrey to build Harpo Productions into the global multimedia entertainment company it is today.

Mary Anne Masterson

Co-Founder at Mix & Stir - A Startup Studio   |   LinkedIn

Mary Anne focuses on the intersection of marketing strategy, design innovation and new product development. As the co-founder of Mix & Stir Studio, a startup accelerator partnered with the California College of the Arts, Mary Anne not only helps entrepreneurs reach their potential, but also leads innovation driven events for partners such as TED and the City of San Francisco’s Office of Innovation. Outside of Mix & Stir Studio, Mary Anne serves as a strategic advisor to companies of all sizes, from startups to larger corporations. She refined her expertise in brand and product strategy during her tenure as the Director of Brand Innovation at the global innovation leader, Frog Design. She also spent several years in product and brand strategy at Microsoft, where she led product development, brand and user experience initiatives for Xbox, Windows, and Microsoft’s Corporate Marketing Strategy group.

Mary Anne serves as a mentor and advisor for the Incuba UC program, a startup program that brings top Latin American startups to the Bay Area, and has served as an advisor/judge for the Design MBA Venture Program at the California College of the Arts and for Hack City San Francisco.

A recent addition to the Santa Barbara community, Mary Anne received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and her undergraduate degree from Colorado College. 

Simon Arkell

CEO/Co-founder at Predixion Software and Olympian   |  

Simon Arkell graduated from Cal Poly in 1994 with an MBA and is now the founding CEO of Predixion Software in Orange County, CA. Predixion is a predictive analytics software company formed in 2009 which has now raised 3 rounds of funding totaling $33 million from major VC firms and strategic investors including Accenture, GE and EMC. The company’s software platform powers predictive insights for companies in healthcare, defense, life sciences, industrial and other sectors.

Before co-founding Predixion, Simon was an operating partner with Triton Pacific Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm working with Triton’s software portfolio companies. Prior to Triton Pacific he served as President of a 600-employee, 10-country software consulting firm based in the UK which developed Oracle solutions. Earlier Simon was a Principal with Gramercy Venture Advisors, an international boutique investment banking firm where he assisted technology companies with fundraising, M&A, and US market-entry strategies.

In 1998 Simon co-founded Versifi Technologies, Inc. in Newport Beach, California, a venture backed enterprise content management software company which sold to Reef SA (Belgium) in 2000. While at Versifi, Simon led the acquisition of AdaptiveInfo, a predictive analytics software vendor in Southern California which developed predictive mobile content delivery solutions for publishers.

Before getting his MBA at Cal Poly he received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of New Mexico, and he was a two-time Olympian for Australia in the pole vault. Simon is also program chairman for Megan’s Wings – a charity that provides assistance to families with children fighting cancer.

Silver Sponsors

Monica Alderette

VP of Sales and Marketing at Abraxas Energy Consulting   |   LinkedIn

Oversee the sales and marketing at Abraxas Energy Consulting. Focused on national sales, client management and marketing efforts that served over 10,000 clients in the energy management industry with over $3+ million in revenue. Developing the strategy for bringing the benefits of Abraxas software and service product offerings to our clients as attractive solutions that help clients see more, save more and sustain more.

John Townsend

President/CEO of Coaliance

John specializes in leading start up and early stage restaurant technology companies and working within corporate IT organizations with the development and successful deployment of market leading information technology and process improvement. He has launched his own company assisting clients with bring new products, services, and enterprises to market in the consumer, products, technology, and hospitality industries. He is serving as the President and CEO of Coaliance, an early stage restaurant technology company. He is currently the Executive In Residence (EIR) at UCSD’s Rady School of Management for the MBA program’s Lab To Market course series. He serves as an advisory board member for Restaurant Revolution Technologies, a start up technology and service provider revolutionizing the restaurant industry takeout market.

John, a Cal Poly SLO graduate, has over 30 years experience in the information technology field with over 15 years experience leading restaurant technology teams as the Vice President of Information Technology at Chart House Enterprises, Islands Restaurants, Paradise Bakery, El Torito, Acapulco, and Chevys and in a consulting capacity doing the same for numerous other fast casual and casual segment leading restaurant brands.

Dan Weeks

Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Brightscope, Inc

Dan is the Founder and of BrightScope, a financial analytics startup with 50 employees. He is a 25-year HP veteran holding 5 engineering patents. His experience includes managing development of embedded software, Mac Software, Windows Software and Software Quality organizations to test the solutions before they are shipped to millions of customers around the world.

Paul Jurasin

Director of Enterprise Systems at Cal Poly

Paul Jurasin is the Director of Enterprise Systems at Cal Poly where he works to optimize legacy technology while looking for the next innovation to provide a technological edge for the future. Paul has experienced the trials and tribulations of startups while working at several early stage companies including DigitalGlobe, Outlaw Technologies and several others. He is a graduate of the Kaufman Foundation's FasTrac Program in Boulder, Colorado where his startup won the Best Business Plan award. Paul believes that building high performance teams and understanding the needs of the customer are the keys to business success.

Mark Bieraugel

Cal Poly Business Librarian

Mark Bieraugel is a business researcher and librarian with expertise in supporting early stage companies, competitor intelligence, and secondary market research. In the past twelve years he focused on finding critical data and research for companies to help them make decisions, target new customers, and to better compete in the market. He worked at a number of startup firms including Daptiv and Telicor, and at established enterprises

Michael Haungs

Associate Professor, Computer Science

Michael Haungs is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at California Polytechnic State University. He received his B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.S. degree in Computer Science from Clemson University, and his Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of California, Davis.

Kyle Ashby

Founder, Kaldera Marketing   |   LinkedIn

As the founder of Kaldera Marketing, Kyle focuses on marketing strategy, online marketing and branding for startup companies, software companies, small businesses and non-profits. He is also the founder of Travel in Central America, a travel tour company focusing on specialized travel experiences to unique locations in Central America.

Kyle has background in strategy, design, marketing, online product development and project management having worked with a number startups tech companies, manufacturing companies and software companies during the last 15 years.

Kyle leads the 650+ member StartupSB meetup group, is a Startup America and Startup California regional Champion, and serves on the Board of Directors for the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Central Coast. He also teaches at UC Santa Barbara in the Technology Management Program.

Kyle has a MBA from Babson College, undergraduate degrees in Film Studies and Geography from UC Santa Barbara, and is a certified Project Manager and Scrum Master.

Jeff Zimmerlin

Founder and CEO of RundownCreator   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Jeff is the founder of Rundown Creator, a software-as-a-service web application for TV, radio, and internet broadcasters who need an easy way to plan their shows. A former broadcast TV production geek himself, Jeff built the first version of the product during his junior year at San Diego State University. After graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Television, Film, and New Media Production, Jeff bootstrapped the business while working a full-time job, and was eventually able to quit his day job to work on Rundown Creator full-time. Now in its third major version, Rundown Creator is used by hundreds of companies worldwide, including, The New York Times, Yahoo! Studios, and CNN Latino

Ian Alexander

CEO at RepairTech, Inc.

Entrepreneur in San Luis Obispo, CA. I'm passionate about making products that work the way they should. I firmly believe that if something is designed well it shouldn't need a manual. My strongest assets are coming up with innovative ideas, and creating an environment where those ideas can become a reality.

Specialties: Skills: Coming up with ideas, project management, programming, people, leadership, web design, resource management, team building

Michael Balzer

Founder at slo 3D creators   |   LinkedIn

The 3D Printing Guru and Donor

With over thirty years in designing, implementing, analyzing needs and using technology, I relish the opportunity to utilize my skills and experience to enhance, streamline and find cost effective solutions to current and future technology opportunities.

Jose Huitron

Hub 81 // Crowdismo // Vista Hispano // Latino Startup Alliance

ose is the founder of Hub 81, a cross-cultural integrated marketing agency helping brands activate awesome. He is also the founder of Vista Hispano, a blog providing insights into the trends and changing dynamics of the U.S. Hispanic market.

Jose is a champion of entrepreneurship and the Co-Founder of Crowdismo, a rewards-based crowdfunding platform fueling innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship within the Latino community. As an organizer of Startup Weekend events, building bridges of possibility and startup proximity are a passion of his. Jose is also the Central Coast Chapter Director of the Latino Startup Alliance developed to encourage the inspiration and cultivation of U.S. Latino led technology startup ventures by providing a strong support network of fellow entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, & mentors.

Huitron holds a Master's in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, a Bachelor's in Communication from the University of Phoenix Online, an Associate's in Business Administration and an Associate's in Management Technology from Idaho State University.

Mary O'Brien

Partner, VP Sales & Marketing at Simple Pastimes, Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Mary O'Brien has over 25 years of experience as a marketing, sales, customer service and organizational development executive.
She is currently Partner and VP Marketing at SimplePastimes, Inc., one of the largest online jigsaw puzzle retailers in the USA, which relocated to San Luis Obispo in 2012. SimplePastimes, Inc. specializes in Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults at, and just recently launched a Kids Jigsaw Puzzles website at Prior to SimplePastimes, Inc. She consulted for Yahoo, Microsoft and Toyota, and was previously Senior Director at Yahoo Search Marketing where she ran the Sales and Organizational Development teams.

Ed Horton

President at Urban Produce   |   LinkedIn

Today we must think differently about crop production, due to climate change, depleted natural resources, population growth and availability of land. The Urban Produce High Density Vertical Growing System (HDVGS) has been developed as a sustainable alternative to traditional agriculture, utilizing advanced hydroponic technologies in a controlled environment. Our patented technology takes the best of hydroponics and increases the yield by stacking produce vertically, in a closed automated environment. Our produce rotates in the greenhouse giving all our product equal light and air distribution. This automated system delivers the proper amount of water, and nutrition exactly when needed. The process greatly increases growing efficiency and significantly reduces costs.

Our objective is to build Urban Farms worldwide, bringing fresh produce back to the cities where consumers can buy and eat locally grown product, all while creating jobs in the community and simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint. We will build 100 Urban Farms over the next 3-5 years.

Jim Dunning

Industry Outreach, Applied Research & Technology Transfer   |   LinkedIn

Demonstrated leadership and management experience in business development and project administration for research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) programs and technology transfer with industry and the public sector. Specific focus in team formation and consensus building, contracts and project management, business development, proposals, business negotiations, and sales and marketing. Full cradle-to-grave research and intellectual property project experience including identification of client research/financial needs, forming strategic partnerships, proposal leadership, contract negotiation, project management, and project close-out procedures for teaming proposals totaling $200M, and approximately $40M in funded RD&D programs.

Ken Orvick

Co-founder of StrengthPortal

Ken is the co-founder of StrengthPortal where he focuses on internet marketing and UI/UX design. He has worked in three different startup companies over the past five years. His experience includes website development, internet marketing/SEO, web-based analytics, and graphic design.

Matt McGunagle

Co-founder of StrengthPortal

A recent Cal Poly grad, Matt co-founded StrengthPortal with two fellow Mustangs. StrengthPortal is a fitness management software for personal trainers. The software allows trainers to efficiently track clients progress and increase the revenue of their business. StrengthPortal is currently in the Boost Accelerator in San Mateo, CA and just excited released the software to the public.
Matt was formally the President of the Cal Poly Entrepreneurs and a participant in the Hothouse with the Cal Poly startup Genicell.

Media Sponsors
Timothy Sweeney
Jared Hirata
Luke Bayard

SWSLO is a wrap!

by kristinkenney

81 participants converged last Friday to form 13 teams, and last night we saw the fruition of their efforts over […]

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