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Event Ended

University of California Irvine

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

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 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

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!



Jan 24
  • 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 25
  • 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 26
  • 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
  • FINAL Pitches
  • Judging and Awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go Home!
Tier 1 Sponsors
Tier 2 Sponsors
Tier 3 Sponsors

Wing Lam

Co-Founder/Partner of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos

As the eldest of the three founding brothers, Wing co-founded Wahoo’s Fish Taco in 1988 and has more than 37 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Wing actively supports many national and local community-based events and non-profit organizations including Share Our Strength, Orangewood Children’s Foundation, Laurel’s House, Festival of Children, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association and Surfrider Foundation. Wing holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and a Minor in Spanish from San Diego State University. He is also a part-time Adjunct Professor for Concordia and Chapman Universities' MBA programs.

Matthew Jenusaitis

President and CEO of OCTANe   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Matthew Jenusaitis joined as the president and CEO of OCTANe in June 2009. Prior to OCTANe, Matthew spent 15 years at Boston Scientific, where he served in numerous executive marketing and general management positions. Matthew was also an executive in residence for the private equity firm Warburg Pincus and President of ev3 Neurovascular, one of Warburg’s portfolio companies.

Matthew sits on the boards of Creagh Medical in Galway, Ireland


David M. Ochi

Executive Director, UC Irvine Antrepreneur Center

Mr. Ochi has over 20 years experience in early-stage companies having started his first enterprise – a tutoring company called A’s Unlimited - at the age of 13. Mr. Ochi ran this company for 11 years while attending high school, college and graduate school. Mr. Ochi utilized this experience to become an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Irvine in 1999.

Mr. Ochi entered the world of technology in 2000 with the co-founding of Strevda LLC, a technology incubator. Mr. Ochi campaigned successfully for two rounds of investment funding for the nine projects. In 2004, Mr. Ochi co-founded Websonic LLC, a small business technology consulting firm focused on assisting small businesses utilize technology in a strategic manner. In 2006, Websonic LLC was sold so that Mr. Ochi could co-found Alpha Sprouts, an early-stage consulting company. The charter client was the master licensee of Disney Consumer Products for Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam. Mr. Ochi lived in Viet Nam for nearly two years while consulting for Disney Consumer Products and other companies in a variety of industries including mining, energy, education, and mobile technology. In 2010, Mr. Ochi co-founded what is now Sunnox Corporation, an innovator of sustainable energy solutions for private and municipal street lighting. Mr. Ochi is the recipient of the 2011 Green For All Business Academy Entrepreneurial Concept Award. Mr. Ochi is the Executive Director of the Entrepreneur Center at the University of California, Irvine and is operating the Blackstone Launchpad program.

Mr. Ochi currently sits on the Board of Directors of a half-dozen companies and is actively involved in the growth of 7 early-stage companies. Mr. Ochi is also very actively involved on the Board of 4 alumni organizations at UC Irvine, the UC Irvine Chancellor’s Club Board of Directors, Alumni Advisor for UC Ideas program at the Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Paul Merage School of Business as well as the membership director of Tech Coast Venture Network (TCVN) in Orange County. Mr. Ochi also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Mobile Excellence Awards in Hollywood, CA.

Mr. Ochi holds a B.A. in Political Science, a B.S. in Biological Sciences, and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Irvine. Additionally, Mr. Ochi graduated from the Keller Graduate School of Management with a Masters in Project Management. In his spare time, Mr. Ochi enjoys reading, participating in triathlons and traveling as much as possible.

Amir Banifatemi

Angel Investor and Founding Member of K5 Launch

Entrepreneur and innovation promoter, Amir Banifatemi has a passion for entrepreneurship, education, and active mentorship. Amir’s career spans more than 28 years in Europe and the United States in the development and growth of high technology ventures. He is an active angel investor, President of the Tech Coast Angels Orange County Network, and the founding member of K5Launch, one of the first startup accelerators in SoCal. With a constant focus on identifying and developing future and emerging technologies that can impact society, he got inspired by TED conferences where he found that the intersection of ideas, inspiration, and community that TED and the TEDx program offer to be a compelling experience and a driver to further actions and engagement.

Michael Sawitz

CEO and Founder of Fast Start Studio

Michael Sawitz is the Founder and CEO of, a business incubator in Irvine, CA. Additionally, Mr. Sawitz has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amailcenter Franchise Corporation, the franchisor of AIM Mail Centers, since its inception in 1985. He sold the brand in August of 2011. Since July 1979, he has also served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Michael Sawitz, Inc. which operates a sign center division and an equipment and fixtures division. He has been a featured guest on radio talk shows such as Professional Insights, National Public Radio and California Grand Opening. He has been a frequent speaker at various minority business development centers sponsored by the SBA, numerous Franchise Business Network events and twice as featured presentation at the Technology in Franchising National Conferences, and has been the keynote speaker at the PC Synergy Conference. Mr. Sawitz has been featured in nationwide publications such as Franchise Update and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Additionally, he is Entrepreneur in Residence at California State University Fullerton Mihaylo School of Business and Economics. Michael Sawitz has also cofounded and served as the President of the National Alliance of Ship Centers, a non-profit industry association.

Atul Patel

Digital Media Entrepreneur and Advisor

Atul Patel has over 14 years of experience working in cloud software for digital advertising. Currently, he is exploring new markets in digital media and digital commerce while advising companies. Atul is a strategic thinker, product architect, operations hacker, and team leader.

Most recently, Atul was the CEO and Founder of OneScreen, an online video platform for publishing and advertising. OneScreen was ranked Inc 321, Deloitte Technology Fast 105, OC Best Places to Work, and Stevie Awards Bronze Winner for Best New Product or Service for a Business-to-Business Products in Media. OneScreen was very actively involved in the community, hosting hands on developer training sessions and mixers for local college students.

Atul was a co-founder of Optimal Inc, a leading social advertising platform, which was recently acquired by Brand Networks Inc. He is the co-founder of LeadiD, a lead generation trust platform, which is backed by Genacast Ventures. Previously, Atul co-founded LeadROI, a lead management system for financial services companies, now a part of Matomy Media Group. . Atul is a frequent author, speaker, and panel participant for IAB, Cynopsis, Digiday, iMedia Connections, Interactive TV Today, AdExchanger, Niche Digital, and OMMA Global. He is the inventor of 5 pending patents. Atul graduated from UCLA in Economics specializing in Computing.

Charles Baecker

Administrative Director at The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Charles Baecker is a 35 year veteran of the southern California electronics and software industries, with 20 years in executive management roles. He has worked for industry leaders Beckman Instruments, JD Edwards, Wonderware Corporation, Delphi Communications Corp, Prime Computer and for a number of smaller companies, in management roles including founder, President, COO, International Sales & Marketing and R&D. As a manager in the Los Angeles management consulting practice of Ernst & Young, Mr. Baecker provided consulting services in the areas of manufacturing operations and IT for both mid-cap companies and Fortune 500 divisions across the Western US.

A serial entrepreneur, he has been instrumental in the creation of five start-ups including Assembly Technologies Corporation, of which he served as President and has served on various boards as a member and an observer. In 1993 Mr. Baecker was part of the team that took Wonderware Corp. public, creating a capitalization over $300 million. Currently, he serves as a Lecturer in both strategy and entrepreneurship and as Administrative Director of the Don Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at The Paul Merage School of Business.


Goran Matijasevic

Executive Director, Chief Executive Roundtable at UC Irvine

Ray Chan

Co-Founder Managing Partner K5 Venture Partners

Amir Goren

Technology Marketing and Innovation Leader

Mohammed Elayen

Associate at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

Rena Zuabi

K5 Associate

James Chew

K5 Associate

Carlos Pena

Founder of Impact Media Publishing Inc.,

Travis Corrigan

Partner at Frequency Group

Bruce Hallet

Managing Director at Miramar Venture Partners

Candace Wu
Ryan Lee
James Louie
Mandy Tom
Kenny Smith
Neychelle Fernandes
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