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Nokia San Diego


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Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable.  On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

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Jun 21
  • 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


Jun 22
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • 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


Jun 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Premiere Sponsor
Gold Sponsors

Clifford Boro

Managing Partner at Team Ventures, LLC   |   LinkedIn

Cliff was cofounder and former CEO of KidZui (now, a child-oriented Internet browser and search engine. He lead the sites growth to 2.3 million visitors per month until it's acquisition in 2012. Prior to Zui, he founded Internet Financial Network (later Infogate). AOL Time Warner bought Infogate in March 2003.

He is currently cofounder and managing partner of The Team Group a technology startup/accelerator investment group.

Navrina Singh

Director Business Development at Qualcomm Labs   |   LinkedIn

Navrina Singh is Director Business development in Qualcomm labs, leading ImpaQt – Qualcomm’s global innovation program. In this role, Singh is responsible for creating, managing and operationalizing the corporate-wide innovation program with a mission to serve as a catalyst for creating global connections for innovative ideas to flourish and a channel for all employees to bring new ideas forward to impact future technology, product roadmaps and patent portfolio. Singh partners with technology leaders within and outside Qualcomm to ensure the corporation is focused on the right forward-looking challenges and their intersections with emerging technologies to create compelling solutions.

Singh joined Qualcomm in 2004 as a hardware engineer in the Corporate Research and Development. In that role spanning seven years, she was involved in the design, development and verification of cell site modems, small cells, ultra wide band technology chipsets and emerging wireless technologies for use in healthcare and automotive.

Singh is also the founder of QWISE (Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering), an organization focused on professional and personal development of women in technology at Qualcomm and in the community. Singh was the founding president and under her leadership QWISE has grown to over 600 members worldwide in over six years.

Singh is also an avid supporter and advisor of startup incubators, volunteering in business plan competitions and educational workshops.

Singh holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Masters in Business Administration from Marshall School of Business at USC (University of Southern California).

Dave Karlman

Chairman and CEO of Otologic Pharmaceutics, Managing Director-DePrima, LLC.   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Dave Karlman has 20 years of successful investment and exits in the technology and healthcare space. He’s taken startups through M&A with billion dollar market cap companies. Currently, Dave’s fund is invested in seven companies in San Diego and Dallas. He is a frequent speaker and panelist on topics ranging from leveraging resources that accelerate business models to navigating co-founder conflict.

He’s also committed to growing the San Diego start up ecosystem. He is one of the founders of Start UP San Diego, which is San Diego’s newest accelerator, an advisor to several San Diego companies and serves as a mentor at Start Up Leadership Program an internationally based program that Mentors startup CEOs.

Paul Drohan

Executive Design Director at Digitaria   |   LinkedInGoogle+

After more than a decade proving his creative vision and leadership ability to a wide variety of clients, Paul has risen to Executive Design Director, overseeing and shepherding Digitaria’s visual design team. With a knack for brand campaign development for clients including Rolex, Lincoln, UnderArmour, NBC/Universal, NFL and many more

Silver Sponsors

David Allison

Chief Technology Officer at Nulu   |   LinkedIn

David is a software platform architect with management, design, and development experience in multiple languages, technology platforms, design paradigms, and team sizes.

David is particularly interested in solving business needs through technology integration, and has extensive implementation and design experience with Python, Ruby, modern Javascript/CoffeeScript, Java, C, and Objective-C. Additionally, David has broad and extensive experience with web applications and web services design, large-scale system administration, database administration, and cloud technologies.

David's technical background is in machine learning and natural language processing, with a focus on document classification and tagging of unstructured content.

Chris Waldron

Co-founder of TakeLessons   |   LinkedIn

Chris is co-founder of, the nations largest provider of music and voice instructors, making it easy for customers to find their perfect match. He is an internet entrepreneur with a focus in e-commerce and physical product sales online.

Sean Callahan

Co-Founder and CEO of SlimSurveys   |  

Experienced tech startup CEO, product manager, marketer, entrepreneur, moviegoer, music lover, photographer, runner, technology enthusiast, and world traveler.

Kevin Ball

Cofounder and CTO at Fashioning Change   |   LinkedIn

I spent the first three years of my professional career . I left that position to spend some time doing volunteer work and figuring out what I want to do.

After spending a few years doing performance and development work in high performance computing, Kevin then spent the next 2+ years trying to change the world at In 2010 Kevin co-founded

Bryan Hall

CTO and Co-Founder of Embarke   |   LinkedIn

Bryan Hall is the CTO and Co-Founder of Embarke and a recent graduate of the Microsoft + TechStars accelerator in Seattle. Embarke uses big data to personalize messages and increase open, click and conversion rates for marketers. Bryan loves building scalable and reliable systems and gets out running (barefoot) as often as he can.

Bryan has written code for mobile phones & hard drives that has shipped in over 100-million devices world-wide. He built the first certified Bluetooth stack for Windows and mobile in 2002, which was later acquired by Broadcom in 2004. Bryan is currently focused on big data, cloud computing, scalable systems and lean startups and spends his days immersed in C#, Azure, RedShift and Hadoop.

Nicola (Nikki) Zahl

Vice President, Board of Directors, SoCal EED   |   LinkedIn

Nicola Zahl is a global business builder experienced in both the marketing and operational aspects of life sciences companies. Deeply understanding market needs, she has developed, launched, and marketed products that succeeded far above expectations, and led global businesses to productivity and revenue growth.

Nicola has held positions with leading companies Life Technologies, Invitrogen, and Becton, Dickson and Company (Biosciences Division). While with Invitrogen Corporation, she held P&L responsibility for three global business units generating up to $300 million annually and launched a new business that produced millions in sales its first year. Most recently at Life Technologies, she delivered strong annual growth every year for four years as head of marketing for a $1.6 billion business.

T.(Soma) Somasundaram

Associate Professor of Marketing at University of San Diego School of Business Administration   |   Google+

Dr. Somasundaram (Soma) is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of San Diego School of Business Administration where he also directs the Business of Healthcare Initiative. Prior to joining USD in 1988, he earned a Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, an MBA from Panjab University and a B.A. (Honours) in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Delhi in India.

Dr. Somasundaram’s early research interests focused on the cognitive processes that accompanied consumers’ satisfaction judgments. Currently, Dr. Somasundaram is investigating how firms in the computer and biotechnology business build strong brand meanings.

Dr. Somasundaram has led numerous consulting studies on behalf of telecommunication, semiconductor capital equipment, automotive and consumer packaged goods companies such as Quaker Oats, Eli Lilly, Flextronics, Nokia, Cymer and HP. Most recently he spent an extended sabbatical with Gen-Probe Inc., a leader in molecular diagnostics where he evaluated long-term growth opportunities.

Christian Salaman

Partner, Pillsbury

Christian is a partner at the
international law firm of Pillsbury. His practice focuses on the buying, selling and financing of businesses, as well as governance issues, operational matters and strategic relationships. He acts as general corporate counsel for many of his clients, serving as their liaison for all legal needs and as a trusted business adviser.

Most of his clients are startup and emerging companies, which allows
him to participate during all stages of a company’s life cycle—from early financings through revenue-building relationships and successful exits.

Joel Drotleff

CEO, Founder

Joel co-founded a mobile app startup called Breadcrumbs at SWSD 2012, which received seed funding from Qualcomm Labs and was admitted into the EvoNexus startup incubator last October. Prior to Breadcrumbs, Joel worked as a usability researcher for Sony, and studied human computer interaction (CogSci) at UCSD.

Ryan Kuder

Director of Marketing at ecoATM   |   LinkedIn

Ryan is Director of Marketing for ecoATM, a venture backed San Diego startup that is solving the problem of global eWaste, one recycled cell phone at a time. He spent the last 12 years in product and marketing roles for Silicon Valley companies such as Yahoo and eBay. Most recently he was VP of Marketing for Bizzy, a mobile startup with grand ambitions to knock Yelp off its pedestal. He is a two time founder of startups that you've never heard of—Neighborsville and Hi.I'm. His experience is in early stage startup marketing and customer acquisition, positioning, PR and storytelling, and finding product market fit with little or no budgets. This is his third time as Startup Weekend Coach.

Rodney Rumford

Co-Founder. SlimSurveys   |  

Rodney @rumford is the co founder of SlimSurveys. He is a serial entrepreneur with a passion and vision for products and identifying problems worthy of being solved.

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