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Welcome to the San Francisco Startup Weekend EDU event! Our event is similar to the traditional StartupWeekend 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 San Francisco StartupWeekend 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? Well,

  • 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 some ideas as well.

This isn’t a mere hackathon. Hackthons 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. Startup Weekenders are education rockstars, marketing maestros, design gurus, business development wizards, legal geniuses, and the specialists of startups, the jack-of-all-trades coming together as one, creating a harmony that can only be envied by the corporate world. 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. The ideas that people like–and want to work with–then get created over the remainder of the weekend (and often beyond). You and your self-selected team will have approximately 48 hours to deliver a product and plan that can stand up to the harsh light of day. Mentors will be on hand throughout the time to help you fine tune the idea from a fledgling concept into a working company with huge potential in less than two days. Saturday and Sunday are work days – you and your team work the process of understanding the problem at heart, gaining empathy and customer validation, and eventually prototyping your team’s solution. Sunday night is where the jury panel comes in. Seasoned professionals who have been through the startup mill many times over will scrutinize and find the holes in the plan to evaluate your chances of real world succession. 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.



Mar 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


Mar 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


Mar 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!

Susie Wise

K12 Lab Director, Stanford d.School   |  

Susie has had multiple incarnations at the – teaching EX-Tools back in the trailer days, launching the K12 Lab in 2007 with the Nueva School Innovation Lab project, and jumpstarting Media Ops and Hootenanny design for the inauguration of Building 550 in 2008-2010. Back again in 2012 she is leading our efforts to support the movement bringing design thinking into K12 teaching and learning. Susie stumbled upon design thinking when she took a course with David Kelley in 2003 and the experience helped her make sense of the universe. Susie is motivated by the simple belief that humans are by nature designers. Recently a design strategist and innovation coach at Intuit, her practice centers on inspiring teams to use empathy to get to innovative outcomes. Susie has a PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford’s School of Education and is a co-founder of Urban Montessori Charter School in Oakland.

Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

Michael Staton

Partner at Learn Capital   |  

Michael Staton is a Partner at Learn Capital. He is the founder and former CEO of Inigral, the pioneer of Social Enrollment Management technology in Higher Education and the first Lifecycle Engagement Platform. For Inigral, Michael secured the first ever venture investment from the Gates Foundation into a private company. Because of his years as a public school teacher and his intuitive understanding of K12 education, Michael served as a Venture Partner and still serves as a Community Advisor to NewSchools Venture Fund’s EdTech Portfolio. Michael was declared a top one hundred innovator by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and he is on the advisory board of SxSW EDU, the ASU Education Innovation Summit, and the Higher Education Working Group of the American Enterprise Institute and the New America Foundation.

James Sanders

Innovation Manager, KIPP Bay Area Schools   |  

James is the Innovation Manager for KIPP Bay Area Schools. He was one of the first educators to bring Chromebooks into his classroom. Through Google Apps, YouTube and other cloud-based tools, James has created a dynamic blended-learning environment for his students that demands collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.

James is also the creator and co-founder of ClassBadges, a teacher empowerment tool designed to reward students for learning experiences both in and out of the classroom.

Previously, James served as a project manger for YouTube on EDU initiatives. His work included YouTube Teachers, the YouTube Teachers’ Studio, and YouTube for Schools.

Matt Pasternack

VP of Business Development, Clever   |  

With experience in ed tech, policy, and in the classroom, Matt leads business development for Clever. Previously Matt helped found a K-12 learning analytics company and worked on the prototype for School of One in New York. He attended Stanford Law School before leaving to start his first startup. Matt taught middle school English in Harlem for three years with Teach for America. Matt holds a BA in History from Yale and currently lives outside of San Francisco.

Jennifer Carolan

Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund   |  

Jennifer Carolan leads the NewSchools Seed Fund, which was created to make investments in early-stage education technology companies with potential for big impact in K-12 education.

Jennifer began her career as a teacher in traditional district schools where she became interested in differentiated learning. After studying differentiation at Stanford School of Education, she published her research in Education Leadership and has since been on a pursuit of finding tools to help teachers differentiate more effectively. Jennifer works with the following ventures: BetterLesson, Education Elements, Engrade, Educreations and Mytonomy. Jennifer is also on the Boards of Equal Opportunity Schools and BetterLesson. She still teaches sometimes, most recently Innovations in Teaching 338 at Stanford’s School of Education/ Jennifer has three children who attend a charter school in Los Altos California.

Alan Louie

Founder, Imagine K12   |  

Alan has a deep interest in the future of education and learning. Prior to Imagine K12 he worked at Google managing special projects such as strategic deal development and negotiation, internal cross-functional troubleshooting and managing tricky partners. He helped guide during its formation and made its initial set of grants. Prior to Google he played early roles in sales and business development at start-ups (at the time) Netscape, Infoseek, Shutterfly and Network Computing Devices, all of which went public, and Kontiki, which was acquired by VeriSign. In prior lives he was a science researcher and software engineer working on high speed parallel computing, radio astronomy and high energy physics at NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab and the California Institute of Technology


Sam Strasser

Engineer   |  

Sam was the head of engineering at Junyo and a full stack software engineer at Goalpost before that. Now he helps out a few early stage ed tech companies, focusing on making software that's useful to teachers and students. Before moving to ed tech, Sam worked as a software developer at Microsoft, and he received a B.S. in Computer Science from Yale University.

Randy Weiner

Entrepreneur   |  

Randy is a co-founder at InnerTube Games, co-founder and Chairman of the Board at Urban Montessori Charter School in Oakland, CA (the nation's first public Montessori, Arts Integration and Design Thinking Skills school) and a consultant to education and technology companies. He has coached at two previous SWEDUs in Santa Clara, CA and Reston, VA. Randy has worked in start-ups for the last ~15 years and has served as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Learn Capital, with an emphasis on education and gaming. Randy is expert in agile development, with interests in Lean, Kanban and Queuing Theory practices. A Teach For America alumnus, he has five years of teaching experience gained in Oakland, CA and Antananarivo, Madagascar. Randy holds B.A.s in Philosophy and Spanish from Middlebury College and an MA in Education from Stanford University.

Katie Beck

Director of People and Idea Development   |  

Katie Beck joins the 4.0 Schools team after working in public education in New Orleans for the past four years. Ms. Beck taught 5th and 6th grade English at Schaumburg Elementary. After teaching, Ms. Beck joined the Teach For America-Greater New Orleans staff, most recently working as Director of Strategy and Innovation. In this role, she led multiple innovation initiatives. This included a recruiting initiative that tripled the number of African American corps members, a new program for second year corps members to explore their long term career and leadership interests, and an entrepreneurship pilot that included 25 corps members and alumni. Katie graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Social Studies.

Jonathan Skolnick

Director of Learning Innovation   |  

Jonathan Skolnick was formerly the Director of Learning Innovation at Junyo. Prior to that, he was the Director of Innovation Design for the NYC Department of Education. He previously worked as director of field operations for School of One, a groundbreaking new school model that personalizes student learning through the use of an innovative scheduling algorithm that optimizes new schedules each day based on student performance data. Prior to that, he was a project manager in the Office of School Leadership at the NYCDOE, working to create human capital software tools for principals. Jonathan began his work in education as a high school history teacher at Washington Irving High School in Manhattan. He received a BA from Brown University and a masters degree in education

Jon Deane

CIO, Summit Schools   |  

Jon Deane is the Chief Information Officer for Summit Public Schools. In Jon's eight years with the Summit organization he served in a variety of roles prior to becoming the CIO- as a math teacher, as the CFO of Summit Prep, and as the founding Executive Director of Everest Public High School. Jon is deeply committed to developing Summit Public Schools' ability to create optimized learning environments for all students, and to creating information systems that allow all of our stakeholders to better access information about our students and our schools. Jon received his BA in Economics from Stanford University, and also received a Master's in Education from the Stanford Teacher Education Program. Prior to joining Summit Public Schools, Jon spent seven years as a CPA in the private sector.

Melissa Wagasky

Education Consultant   |  

Mandela Schumacher-Hodge

Co-Founder, Tioki   |  

Mandela is the COO of Tioki, the online professional network exclusively for the education community. Tioki (formerly named DemoLesson) won first place at the inaugural SWEDU event in San Francisco back in 2011, was accepted into Imagine K12 the year after, and most recently was dubbed "The Linked In for the Education Community" by the Huffington Post. As COO and product evangelist, Mandela is responsible for driving strategic partnerships, sales, and overall marketing strategy. Prior to Tioki, Mandela was a Ph.D. candidate at the UCLA Graduate School of Education. She was also a Teach for America corps member and has three years of in-classroom experience teaching in both district and charter schools. She has a Masters Degree in Education Administration & Policy for Loyola Marymount University, and a B.A. in Intercultural Communication from Pepperdine University.

Eli Luberoff

Founder, Desmos   |  

Eli began his programming life on his TI-83 graphing calculator in elementary school, culminating with a working version of Monopoly which was destroyed when he removed the backup battery by accident. He began working on the software that would become during a year-long hiatus from Yale University in 2007, returning to graduate summa cum laude with degrees in Math and Physics in 2009. Eli was also selected by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the top 25 entrepreneurs under 25 in 2011.

Nihal ElRayess

Senior Managing Director, Student Achievement and Program - IT Solutions, Teach For America   |  

Nihal works on Teach For America's Technology Solutions team. Her career has ranged from teaching 1st grade to medical illustration to heading up product at a TechCrunch50 Finalist startup. She resides in the Bay Area with her aviation-obsessed 2+ year-old daughter, Leila, and husband, Brian.

Brian Martinez

Co-Founder, Tioki   |  

Brian Martinez and his teammates were the first team to ever win SWEDU at its inaugural event in San Francisco in June 2011. Brian was also one of the few leaders to turn his idea at SWEDU into a full-fledged company. Now called Tioki, Brian focuses on overall strategy, product strategy, design, financing, and business development. Prior to co-founding Tioki, Brian studied Business Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Accounting at UC Santa Barbara, where he co-founded the medical device startup. After graduating from UCSB, Brian completed the Riordan Fellows Program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and served as the alumni representative on the Board of Directors of South Central Scholars.

Ellen Deutscher

Teacher and Education Designer   |  

Ellen has been a classroom public school teacher for almost 20 years. Her most recent position (since 2000) has been teaching 5th Language Arts and Social Studies in a 5th-8th grade middle school in the San Carlos School District. In that time, she also developed and taught a Shakespeare elective and summer camp for 4th-8th graders, Shakin’ it up with Shakespeare. For the last year and a half, Ellen has been immersing herself in Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, the, and Design Thinking

Kim Jacobson

Entrepreneur   |  

Kim is a startup veteran and seasoned business executive specializing in strategy, business partnerships, product development and marketing. She is passionate about re-imagining our education system to inspire the globally-connected, creative, compassionate leaders of tomorrow. She recently co-founded a learning analytics company and has been on the founding team of 5 startups. She also helps established companies enter new markets through product innovation. Kim was an early Teach for America corps member and taught in Compton and Redwood City, Ca. She is the Education Grant Director for Full Circle Fund, investing in Bay Area change-makers. Kim has an MA in Education from Stanford University, an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kevin Adler

CEO, inthis   |  

Kevin F. Adler is a sociologist entrepreneur and actor who loves everyone. He works to empower people, businesses, and governments to find strength through vulnerability. He is the co-founder and CEO of inthis, a contextual invite app for building relationships around shared experiences. His first book, Catalyst: How A Disaster Can Bring Us Together or Tear Us Apart, will be published by UPA this summer. Previously, Kevin was the co-founder of and BetterGrads. Kevin studied social capital as a graduate student at the University of Cambridge and at Occidental College, where he received the Culley Award as the top graduating senior.

Greg Chin

Partner, Jones Day   |  

Greg Chin represents public and private companies in clean technology, life sciences, and other emerging growth industries. He also regularly represents venture capital firms, private equity firms, and investment banks that support emerging growth companies.

Prior to attending law school, Greg worked for two years in business development and marketing for an emerging growth company in Japan. From 1996 to 2001, he wrote a biweekly column in Japanese about Silicon Valley news for a widely circulated Japanese technology industry newsletter.

Cambria Martinelli

Director of Community, 4.0 Schools   |  

As Director of Community, Cambria oversees 4.0 Schools' earliest stage of investment in people and ideas through management of the Essentials program and community cultivation. She also coordinates 4.0's rural pilot in the MS Delta . Prior to joining the 4.0 Schools team in 2011, Cambria was the AmeriCorps Program Manager and Logistics Manager for Rebuilding Together New Orleans. In this capacity she trained, recruited and managed over 100 AmeriCorps members and additionally managed volunteer and construction logistics for ongoing projects. Cambria graduated from Gordon College with a B.A. in Theology.

Jean Harvey

Marketing Strategy,   |  

Jean currently shapes marketing strategy and programs for, an online cash management app for small businesses. In her last startup role, Jean revamped online video discovery by shaping the consumer experience of a new VideoSurf mobile app that identified television programming using video signals. Comfortable with startups, Jean also has led teams at larger, public companies. She helped TiVo translate web services, like Pandora, to a TV UX and early in her career, Jean was responsible for email, IM and news content for companies like Tribune Interactive, AOL, Earthlink and Excite@Home. Jean has melded her two great passions (media and technology) to guide product marketers towards impactful innovation and relevant consumer messaging.

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