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Q. What the heck is Fashion Innovations?

A. Fashion Innovations is the name we use to represent anything truly new, disruptive and high-growth in the fashion vertical.  Often this means employing new materials in new ways, finding a way to automate manual processes or establishing a new product category.  Here are some great examples of innovative fashion from the past and present:

Q. But I’m a web developer… what do I have to do with fashion?

A. Anyone can help disrupt an industry, regardless of what their skill set is.  If the product is software related, then you are integral to production of the product (think Pinterest, Polyvore, Etsy).  At a minimum, you’re helping to connect your product with those passionate about your product (your consumers).  You help shape the relationship between the brand and that die hard fan (think of how rabid Apple fans are and how a great website helps showcase the product).

Q. I’ve got a fashion idea but I have no idea where to start!

A. That’s not a question… but hey!  You’re exactly in the right place!  Startup Weekend Fashion Innovations is the perfect opportunity to pitch your idea, gather a team and see if you can take your idea and make it into a business!  We’ll give you the tools for how to get your idea produced in an incredibly short amount of time, test it with your would-be consumers and pitch the business to a panel of judges.  You could even win a prize!

Q. How do I know if my idea is a good fit?

A. Your idea can be almost anything so long as it ties back into fashion in some way.  You’ll know it’s a good fit if you’re able to organize a team on Friday.  Everyone gets to pitch for 60 seconds and if your idea is good and your pitch gets people excited, you’ll collect a team!  One important thing to keep in mind: your idea has to have a big future.  The best ideas that get teams excited are ones with big growth potential, so dream big!  But at the same time, there has to be something you have to build in just one weekend!

An example might be a pair of shoes with sensors built in to track footsteps.  You could prototype a single pair of shoes in the weekend, but pitch a SmartShoe platform that you license to other companies or allow other developers to build apps on top of (like a Pebble for shoes).

Q. What kind of prizes are we talking about?

A. Well, for starters, we’ve got Limited Edition Red BlackBerry Z10 phones for the team with the best BlackBerry app produced during Startup Weekend (up to 5 team members).

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Still hungry for more?  How about a 2-month membership at co-working space 3rdSpace, Co-Working & Club For The Creative for up to two members of your team? That’s a $500 value!  Better still, that can be applied to a 6-month membership, with which you can put on a free fashion show at 3rdspace! Here’s a video from a recent fashion show that was held at the location:

We have other prizes including subscriptions to Bplans (so you can write up a full business plan for your new startup), a Macy’s gift basket, gift certificates and your very own pop-up show at BlankSlate!

Also, all attendees get a $100 credit with Amazon Web Services, $2000 from Google App Engine and a free .CO domain!


More general info about Startup Weekend Fashion Innovations

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

If you’d like to help us put the event together either in advance of the event or day-of, please fill out our volunteer form.


This sounds like a lot of work…will it be any fun?


Dude. It’s going to be all kinds of fun and when we’re done on Sunday night, we’re heading down to the Hard Rock Hotel on this sweet, sweet limo bus for drink specials to celebrate the awesome work you’ve all accomplished over the weekend!








Still have questions? 

Contact us.



Sep 27
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top 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. Begin working!
  • Venue closes promptly at 11p, but you may continue working elsewhere.


Sep 28
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Coach sessions
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day, you may continue working elsewhere but venue closes promptly at 11p.


Sep 29
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Presentation coaches arrive and visit with each team for rapid-fire presentation fine-tuning.
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • After-party @ Hard Rock Hotel
Premiere Sponsor

Jeanie Haddox

Fashion Group International Communications Chair   |  

Jeanie Haddox is a native of Ohio and an expert in Specialty Leasing and Visual Merchandising in the Shopping Center Industry. After studying at Ohio University, she spent the first 5 years of her career in Human Resources before making the leap into Shopping Centers. Her last 10 years has been developing and managing Specialty Leasing Projects throughout the US, most recently she launched the Specialty Program at Westfield UTC. Along with winning 3 Visual Victories, she is now focused on the November 2013 grand opening of The Headquarters at Seaport District with Terramar Retail Centers. Jeanie is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Globe Guilders and of Fashion Group International.

Gold Sponsors

Derrick Oien

President, CEO and founder of ScoreStream   |   LinkedIn

Derrick is an experienced executive with experience in multiple startups as a founder or member of senior management. Derrick has raised over $20 million in venture capital from top VCs and has been involved in multiple successful exits. At ScoreStream, Derrick is responsible for building the team, driving product development and customer acquisition.
Prior to ScoreStream, Derrick was President and CEO of chumby industries. At chumby, the founding CEO and investors brought in Derrick and to pivot the business from a hardware focused business to a software business. Derrick shifted the business from the manufacture of dedicated consumer devices to becoming a software provider for tablets and set top boxes and successfully negotiated deals with Sony Electronics, Best Buy, LG and Pace.

Prior to chumby industries, Derrick served as Senior Vice President, Global Operator and OEM Sales at Good Technology. At Good, Derrick partnered with global telecommunication companies such as Vodafone, France Telecom, LG Electronics and ATT Wireless. Derrick joined Good Technology with the acquisition of Intercasting Corporation in May 2009, where he was founder, President and COO.

At Intercasting, Derrick was responsible for building the team, negotiating deals with operator partners(Verizon, ATT & Sprint), social networking partners(Myspace, Facebook & Twitter) and running the day to day operations.

Prior to founding Intercasting, Derrick was President of Vivendi Universal’s Digital Music Division and had direct responsibility for,, Getmusic and eMusic. Derrick came to Vivendi Universal with the acquisition of for $372 million where he was COO and part of the management team responsible for the acquisition.

Derrick has held various management positions at companies such as Universal Music, Computer Sciences Corporation and Sony Pictures. He has served as a director for Socialthing (acquired by AOL) and Trusonic (acquired by Fluid Media) and is an advisor to a number of startups in the media, technology and wireless sectors.

Derrick graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University, Los Angeles with a degree in Computer Information Systems.

Kailynn Bowling

Co-Founder/Co-President of ChicBlvd Inc.

Kailynn Bowling is the Co-Founder/Co-President of ChicBlvd Inc. which founded and has ownership in divisions – ChicBlvd Magazine (, ChicExecs.comPR ( and Fashion Audio LLC ( After graduating with honors from high school and attending Mt. San Antonio College, she went into finance with the largest mortgage company in the United States. From loan processor she made her way into a corporate executive position. Kailynn’s personable and compassionate nature led her to focus on working with the government and media sources, making low income housing affordable to families in need, setting up a new program which was the first of its kind in Texas. After the tragedy of September 11th, Kailynn made up her mind to pursue her passions in marketing, PR, fashion and product design while she had the chance. Her first foray into entrepreneurship was with her own chic shop where she peddled her fashions while marketing the products in various ways to set up brand awareness. Her unique marketing and PR ideas spurred future ventures and successful product launches. Kailynn became known as the go-to girl for fresh fashion must-haves.

Darlene C. Ritz

Academic Director of the Fashion Department at the Art Institute of California – San Diego

Darlene C. Ritz serves as the Academic Director of the Fashion Department at the Art Institute of California – San Diego, a campus of Argosy University, where she served as an instructor in the fashion department for 9 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising with the emphasis is design and production and a minor in theater, a Certificate in Advanced Digital Design, a Master’s of Business Administration in Marketing and is currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.

Prior to joining the Art Institutes, Ms. Ritz held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing for European Textile Collection, an international textile design company where she worked with such clients as Giaim, Target, Nordstrom, and too many others to mention. Ms. Ritz has designed women’s sportswear for companies such as Uniqlo, private label for Dillard’s, Kohl’s, Sunny Hawaii, and too many others to mention.

When not working on her studies or with her students, Darlene enjoys gardening, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Craig Lauer

Co-founder, COO & CTO of Piccee   |   LinkedIn

Craig Lauer is co-founder, COO & CTO of Piccee, Inc. and an active Angel Investor. Previously, he served as Chief Technology Officer for Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the world's leading healthcare visionary, and also served as top engineering executive at Qualcomm for many years.

Craig Lauer was Vice President of Technology in Qualcomm's Corporate Research & Development division, the group chartered with developing the next generation technologies to grow Qualcomm's leading technology position and licensing portfolio for the global wireless market. He was responsible for leading the engineering efforts to commercialize the world's most advanced Augmented Reality technology solution for mobile devices.
Lauer began work at Qualcomm in 1987 (employee #88), and has served multiple key technical and executive roles. Most recently, Lauer served as Vice President of Engineering for Qualcomm Enterprise Services (QES), the Qualcomm division chartered with delivering wireless mobile workforce and machine-to-machine solutions for the enterprise. He led an organization of over 300 employees and was responsible for software and hardware engineering, program management, network services management, user experience, and R&D.

Previously, he served as a key engineer in Qualcomm's Internet efforts, including an early member of the software team that pioneered Eudora, one of the first and most popular Internet email applications, downloaded over 100 million times. Lauer holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

Nikhil Jain

GM for Qualcomm Toq   |   LinkedIn

Nikhil led Qualcomm's smartwatch from an R&D project all the way to commercialization. This is the worlds best smartwatch. Viewable in direct sunlight using cutting-edge biomimicry technology borrowed from butterfly wings. The battery life lasts many days and has smartphone-like sophisticated touch UI.

Liz Gasser

VP, Qualcomm Technologies Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Perhaps better known among her friends and family for more fashion misses than hits, sartorial perfection remains elusive. However, as an avid mountain biker and skier, Liz knows form, function and performance matter. She’s excited to see what happens when fashion and innovation meet.

Today, Liz leads strategy development activities across the Qualcomm Technologies Inc (QTI) portfolio of emerging businesses, working with executive management to identify and pursue promising new opportunities, including via M&A. Previously she led business operations for Qualcomm Labs, the subsidiary of QTI tasked with early stage business incubation, where she was also responsible for the group’s investment initiative with EvoNexus.

Before coming to Qualcomm in 2006, Gasser over five years at Openwave Systems, at the time the world’s leading mobile browser provider, where she held a variety of roles in business strategy, product marketing and product management. Prior to Openwave, Gasser worked as a management consultant in both San Francisco and London engaging with companies on go-to-market strategy, deregulation, and market due diligence. 

Gasser holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in economics from Cambridge University, UK.

Jeanette Crutchfield

Fashion Group International Director Elect   |   LinkedIn

Getting ready to serve Fashion Group International San Diego as the Regional Director for the 2014-2015 term, Jeanette is also a make-up artist and beauty advisor.

Jeanette founded Classy on a Budget in January of 2010 after several years with two major, high-end department stores, a prominent rental car company and manager at a staffing company.

Jeanette holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Silver Sponsors

Brian P. Hawkins BA, MBA

Co-founder StyleSeek

Brian has a BA in Business Administration and International Relations from USD and an MBA with a Marketing & Advertising emphasis from The Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has lived in Italy and France and speaks 6 languages. Brian has worked in Mexico, South Africa and Europe for companies and organizations that include: AT&T, BMW, Kellogg's, Kimberly Clark, Sempra Energy, Population Services International, World Vision, and Project Concern International, among others.

A consummate entrepreneur, Brian founded his first venture, a cause- marketing and advertising agency at the age of 22. Through his agency, Catalyst, Brian designed and implemented promotional partnerships between non-profits, companies, media, and government/public entities. He developed cause-marketing partnerships for Monsanto, True Value Hardware, American Red Cross, BMW, The Fleet Science Center, The City of San Diego, Kids Korps USA and The California State Parks among others.

Lisa Ganem

Assistant Director of Career Services at The Art Institute of California-San Diego

Lisa is currently the Assistant Director of Career Services at The Art Institute of California-San Diego, previously holding the position of Industry Relations Specialist for Game Art & Design and Media Art Animation. With over 15 years of career advising experience, she has a broad range of expertise within several industries including Video Games, Animation, Web Development and Audio Engineering. Lisa is currently the mentor for all advisors specializing in Game Art & Design for The Art Institutes nationwide and has spearheaded and managed several corporate sponsored events at SIGGRAPH and Game Developers Conference featuring portfolio critiques with leading game industry professionals. Lisa additionally organized, developed and distributed the official questionnaire in conjunction with SOE which researched female students enrolled in the Game Art & Design program campus-wide thereby resulting in the development of the G.I.R.L. Scholarship for SOE. This scholarship program was established to encourage women to pursue careers in the video game industry in the areas of development and design. Additionally, she has been instrumental in developing on-going hiring partnerships with businesses such as Nickelodeon Studios, Cryptic Studios, Disney Animation Studios, Valve, Bungie, THQ, Naughty Dog, Bioware and others both locally and internationally.

Tim Homuth

Marketing Consultant   |   LinkedIn

Tim Homuth is a marketing consultant with expertise in product management, digital marketing, and growth tactics. He founded a social media agency catering to the fashion industry working with clients like Alternative Apparel, Trina Turk, and Robert Graham. Tim has been a guest speaker on branding and digital media at numerous fashion conferences including Fashion Group International and MAGIC Market Week. Today Tim works primarily with start up companies in the digital space helping to develop go to market and growth strategies.

Austin Neudecker

Co-founder of Yealthy   |   LinkedIn

Austin grew up in San Diego, but left us to get educated at MIT undergrad, then Wharton Business School. Professionally, he worked for 5 years as a management consultant and became the fastest person promoted to Project Manager. He left to join a couple venture capital firms in New York and San Fran, investing in early-stage tech startups. Since then, he has come back to the light side to start 3 companies, including a Y Combinator funded healthcare communication platform. Currently, Austin is the founder of Membright - an education tools company and works tirelessly to improve the SD tech startup ecosystem.

Gk Parish-Philp

Gk Parish-Philp has extensive expertise in building online digital media communities and brands. He spent 5 years each in product management at and DivX and was instrumental in growing them from start-ups to successful IPOs by managing their online product strategies with an eye toward developing powerful, engaged communities around their brands. He is now running his own startup, Groundswell Enterprises which focuses on providing technology consulting and services as well as developing tech products to benefit the 'little guys'. Groundswell's first product is Affabl (formerly BackMyBook), a web publishing/community/e-commerce platform that enables artists to create online communities around their content and sell directly to fans.

Jason Aplin

Founder & CEO of Tildeworks

Jason Aplin began coding in the fourth grade with Cobalt and Basic in the storage cabinet of his private elementary school. He has 20 years experience in the industry with the majority of his time spent with strategists, agency’s and brands on how to leverage technology to create social bonds through engaging content, collaboration, brand advocacy and strong communities. In his career, Jason is grateful to have worked with brands such as American Express, AOL, Coca Cola, Edelman, E.W. Scripps, WOMMA, Mashable, Microsoft, Ritz Camera and Image, The Sierra Club, Sony and others.

Hani Anani

Product Manager at OneHealth Solutions

A hands on leader and innovator across multiple disciplines in the internet space.

Started off in the dot com boom as a software engineer at, went on to co-found and start up a real time notification platform

Rex Edhlund

Owner, EmpireMediaLab / Industry Showroom   |   LinkedIn

A gifted graphic artist, designer, publisher and idea man, Rex Edhlund is a blur of entrepreneurial activity and an acknowledged creative force in urban San Diego.

His latest endeavor is Industry Showroom, a unique small business incubator space that focuses on art, fashion and design. The space makes it possible for small businesses to launch, grow and flourish in a vibrant community environment for a fraction of the normal start up costs.

Heather Haas

Creative Director for FiveLoaves TwoFish

Heather is currently the creative director for fiveloaves twofish, a fashion apparel company based in San Diego, CA. Her background is not in fashion, but rather American Colonial History. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a masters degree in American History. Heather lives in Coronado with her husband and three kids. It may seem that fashion and History are worlds apart, but they are not. Heather is fascinated by the innovators that came before us, and she firmly believes that to understand the time you are living in and to be able to forecast what is trending, you have to understand what has come before and why. Every summer she travels with her family, and she brings back lots of inspiration for the design room to work from. She is fascinated by other cultures, architecture, textiles, food, etc.. If Heather is not working or driving her kids to all their activities she has her head stuck in a book.

Gioia Marino-Fanelli

Owner of Gioia's Room Boutique   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Gioia Marino-Fanelli is the owner of Gioia's Room Boutique located at 3739 6th Ave., San Diego CA 92103. Her unique and eclectic Boutique is a perfect addition to the artistic Hillcrest neighborhood

Terje Norderhaug

Co-Founder Predictably Well   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Bringing new products to market

Adam Harriss

VP of Business Development at Localmotiv, Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Marketing, business development, and strategy manager with deep experience in new business creation, customer-focused product management, and worldwide strategy formation in technology industries including print and mobile. Responsibilities have included business plan development, customer needs assessment, market requirement definition, go-to-market strategy, business development, product messaging, and channel optimization to gain market share. Recent experience and interests include development of mobile and social media demand generation strategies for both small and enterprise businesses.

Michelle Molchanov

COO, Give the Look LLC   |   LinkedIn

Give The Look is a multi faceted e-commerce driving entity that bridges the gap between reputable brands and e-tailers in order to boost profits and to reduce overhead expenses. Our services include e-tail merchandising, brand consulting, bulk liquidations, and flash sale site sourcing. Essentially we are able to effectively manage all of your overstock without hiring a dedicated associate or dealing with the hassle of negotiating multiple deals with numerous unknown vendors.

Give The Look buyers are responsible for selecting and purchasing apparel, accessories, and other goods from manufacturers, designers, and wholesalers for retail sales. Our buyers are fierce negotiators in the off-price marketplace and specialize in flash sale sites and creating new channels to quickly liquidate branded overstock.

Fred Young

Business Improvement Specialist, Mentor Business Group   |   LinkedInGoogle+

A unique combination of Significant Technical Ability, Business Acumen, and Sales Skills.
Over 25 years of Business Management

Jeanine Jacobson

Los Angeles & San Diego Partner, Founder Institute   |   LinkedIn

Jeanine Jacobson is the San Diego Partner for the Founder Institute. Prior to the Founder Institute, She was with Athena, the premier organization for executive women in technology and life sciences, where she served as Executive Director/President for seven years. She directed all aspects of the organization including board management, fundraising, operations, member relations, and marketing.

Jeanine's background includes business development for a healthcare system and wireless technology company in San Diego developing new services, physician practices and health plan contracts.

Ms. Jacobson is a graduate of the University of San Diego, where she earned an M.B.A. and M.S.N. degrees. She is active in the Corporate Directors Forum and a number of other industry and professional societies in the San Diego area. Jeanine's strong background in the life sciences, healthcare and telecommunications, along with her success in fund raising make her an asset to the Founder Institute as the organization pursue its far-reaching goals.

Specialties:Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Venture Capital, Social Media, Online Community, Social Networking, User Generated Content, Strategic Partnerships, Business Development,

Contributing Sponsors
Ian Miller
Carol Wafer
Ashley Willett
Ashley Rodriguez
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