Past event…

Event Ended

OSU Campus - Kearney Hall - 1491 SW Campus Way, Corvallis, OR


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It may seem impossible to take an idea for a company from concept to launch in just 54 hours over a weekend, but it’s not. A simple 60-second pitch to a room of entrepreneurs may make your dreams come real.  It may attract a team to help you build it and launch it at the Willamette Startup Weekend!

Come join us for an incredible experience.  Help launch a company based on an idea pitch that appeals to you.  Or if you have an idea of your own, pitch it on Friday night and perhaps a team will form around you to help you  launch it!

Go for it!  You have the entrepreneurial spark in you.  Don’t sell yourself short.  Live the dream!

Please Register now, as this event may sell out.  You can read the Bios of speakers, coaches, and judges below.  And please  join our Facebook Group  and Facebook Event so we can all stay up-to-date as this progresses and evolves.

We are looking forward to a new adventure!!!

— Team Willamette Startup Weekend



Jan 25
  • Sign in, Dinner & Networking (arrive early -- some attendee materials are limited in quantity)
  • 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 26
  • 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 27
  • 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!

Al Vermeulen

Former CTO Amazon

Al Vermeulen is the former Chief Technology Officer of, where he was involved with development of Amazon’s cloud based systems including AWS and S3. Prior to Amazon he was CTO of Rogue Wave Software.

Al lives in Corvallis, Oregon, while still working at Amazon, which is based in Seattle. To shorten his commute he figured - Why not learn to fly?

Al co-wrote the book "The Elements of Java Style". (That's the computer language, not the drink.) At one point, it afforded him some "serious geek cachet." He helped pioneer C++.

Tier 1 Sponsors
Tier 2 Sponsors

Skip Rung

President and Executive Director, ONAMI

Skip Rung is a senior high technology R&D executive with over 25 years of engineering and management experience in CMOS process technology,integrated circuit desig & packaging, MEMS, microfluidics, and inkjet printing.

Prior to establishing an innovation consulting practice in 2001 and founding ONAMI in 2003, Mr. Rung was the director of Research and Development at Hewlett-Packard’s Corvallis facility, which is both the headquarters for HP’s world-leading thermal inkjet printing technology and the company’s most advanced technology R&D and manufacturing site. Mr. Rung holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Nicholas Fowler

Entrepreneur   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Nicholas Fowler is a high technology industry veteran, serial entrepreneur, and active angel investor. Spanning 25 years with the Hewlett-Packard Company, Mr. Fowler led the creation of several major new businesses including notebook computers, personal digital assistants, printing services, and internet sales and support. He developed company strategies, created new business models, and managed large and complex global businesses. Following his HP career, Mr. Fowler established Orion Ventures, LLC, an angel investment fund providing seed stage investments that continues to make two to four investments per year.

Mr. Fowler is Chairman and CEO of Northwest Medical Isotopes, LLC, a startup assuring a domestic supply of critical medical isotopes

Tim Berry

Founder of Palo Alto Software   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Tim Berry is co-founder of Eugene Social, founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software, founder of, and a co-founder of Borland International. He is author of books and software including LivePlan and Business Plan Pro, published by Palo Alto Software, and The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press. he has a Stanford MBA degree and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. He taught starting a business at the University of Oregon for 11 years.
His website is at and his main blog is Planning Startups Stories

Dino Vendetti

Managing Director at Formative Ventures   |   LinkedIn

Dino Vendetti is an entrepreneur, mentor, and early stage investor in software, web, and mobile startups. He’s currently Managing Director Formative Ventures in Menlo Park
and founder of Bend based tech accelerator Founders Pad. He is an experienced operating executive who spent the majority of his career in Marketing, Business Development, and Engineering roles at startups including Qualcomm. Prior to joining Formative, Dino was a General Partner at Bay Partners, and at Vulcan Ventures. His current investments include Vungle, InboundWriter, Adept Cloud, Manzama, Capella, Rally Cause, and Sonivate. Dino earned his MSEE and MBA degrees from the University of Washington and a bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University.


John Sechrest

Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend

John Sechrest is a global facilitator for Startup Weekend, helping entrepreneurs to connect with the core aspects of the startup process. He is an active supporter of the Northwest Startup Ecosystem. He coordinates the Lean Startup Seattle group, is the founder of the Seattle Angel Conference (as well as the Willamette Angel Conference) and is active in expanding entrepreneurial opportunities. John has facilitated Startup Weekend events in Corvallis, Portland, Bellingham, Blacksberg, Oslo, Trondheim, Prishtina and Tirana. This will be his 27th Startup Weekend

Jerry Saveriano

Marketing Specialist

Jerry W. Saveriano is president of Sanda Communications, a marketing, advertising and public relations agency that works with many high tech and software clients. Since 1998 Sanda has helped small start-ups to global corporations like GE, Trimble and HP launch new companies and products.
For over twenty-five years, Saveriano has consulted and lectured internationally on advanced automation topics such as CAD/CAM, robotics and Artificial Intelligence. He was Industrial Editor of Robotics Age magazine, founding Chairman of the Southern California Chapter of Robotics International and wrote the Pioneers of Robotics article in the Encyclopedia of Robotics published by John Wiley & Sons in 1988.
Saveriano has published dozens of technology and business articles. He has written two technology opinion columns on Robotics and Geomatics. His “E-This” electronic column for the Software Association of Oregon in the year 2000 was an early Blog.
His current blog Innovational Musings covers stories about the history and future of innovation. It is a multimedia mix of news and humor about robotics, electric vehicles (EVs), intelligent transportation systems (ITS), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), machine intelligence (AI) and assorted other advanced technologies.

See more at the Sanda website:

Or Jerry’s blog:

Dino Vendetti

Managing Director at Formative Ventures

See Dino's bio above under Judges.

Andrea Mark

Coordinator of Graphic Design Program

Andrea Marks is an Associate Professor and coordinator of the Graphic Design program at Oregon State University. She received a BFA in graphic design from University of the Arts in Philadelphia and was awarded a Fulbright International Education Fellowship for her post-graduate work at the Basel School of Design in Basel, Switzerland.
Her research interests include design history and in particular the role of posters as a cultural marker. She is the producer and co-director of the documentary Freedom on the Fence, a 40- minute documentary about the history of Polish Postersfrom WWII through the fall of Communism. She was recently co-awarded a Center for Humanities Fellowship at OSU for research on the project Occupy: Visualizing a Grassroots Movement in the 21st Century.

Dan Whitaker

Dan Whitaker is a serial entrepreneur and has been involved in many hi-tech startups. Dan is currently working with OSU and its efforts with new business creation. Dan is also active in helping angel investment groups and being an angel investor. He is also active in mentoring several local startups and is involved in assisted living facilities, soccer parks, and many real-estate ventures.

Before working with OSU, Dan was a founder and President of HotData, Inc., an internet data company which has raised 3 rounds of Venture Capital. Dan was an initial partner and a director of Rogue Wave Software, Inc. from January 1991 to July 1997, where he was instrumental in raising two rounds of Venture Capital and helping Rogue Wave go public. Dan also help found Centralia Sawmill Company, a new $45 million sawmill in Washington. He was one of the founders of the Software Association of Oregon and served as its first Executive Director and from 1982 to 1989 he served as President of Software Support Services, Inc., a software company serving the oil industry.

Dan received his business degree from Oregon State University and was named as one of the top 100 alumni of the OSU business school. Dan was on the board of advisors for Oregon Angel Network, is currently on the board of directors for several companies, and continues to be a member of Oregon Angel Fund, Portland Angel Network and an organizer of Willamette Angel Conference.

Lainie Turner

Chief Problem Solver at Quicksilver Communications, Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Lainie Turner helps global organizations bridge the gap between marketing, sales, support, engineering, and customers. Working directly with team members at all levels from C level to coders, she uses communication principles and her understanding of technology to get at the core of challenges and make concrete recommendations to move toward successful results. Whether it’s reviewing business plans, doing website UI/UX, creating user testing, matching the right technical talent with the work, or developing strategic plans that fit an organization’s budget and schedule, Lainie’s skills and experience in marketing, business, and project management offer technical teams critical resources for success.

Lainie is the owner of Quicksilver Communications, Inc. and is a subscribing member of Madison Ave. Collective in Corvallis, Oregon.


Ravi Sinha

Executive Business Development

Mr. Sinha is President of Bluebell Advisory Group since 1990. The firm accelerates business growth via advisory, board member, interim CEO, and professional consulting engagements. Ravi has been at the forefront of new business development, entrepreneurial team and funding execution, major strategic alliance development, spin-offs, licensing IP and very successful turnaround execution. In particular he is passionate about renewable energy, assisting entrepreneurs in all phases of company development and growth. He is actively engaged as a coach, advisor and mentor for Start Up Weekend, Cleantech Open, Oregon Entrepreneur Network, SIFE (OSU Business Team of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program), and supporter of economic development activity. Ravi serves on the Board of Focus The Nation and is highly networked in the investment communities of Silicon Valley, Oregon, India, China and Singapore.

Ravi founded Choice Solar India Pvt. Ltd. in 2008, a company that sourced and distributed simple solar solutions in India and is now undergoing an exit. In 2006 Ravi co-founded Solar Ki, LLC, a Solar Electric Design and Installation business in Corvallis. Mr. Sinha advised Signet Solar, Inc., a thin films solar business, and in this capacity he was instrumental in its launch in both the US and India. Ravi spent 15 years at Hewlett Packard, in semiconductor engineering, marketing, business development, subcontract wafer fabrication management and developing strategic alliances. He has served in marketing executive and CEO roles for various technology companies. Mr. Sinha is the founding Chair of Oregon’s TiE Clean Energy Special Interest Group and is a coach to entrepreneurs seeking to start businesses and raise capital. He received an M.S.E.E. from the University of Minnesota and lives in Corvallis Oregon.

Doug Gould

Alliance Manager @Cloudability   |  

Doug is currently leading up business development for the Portland-based startup Cloudability. At Cloudability Doug spends his time finding and working with the most innovative companies in the cloud space. Before this, Doug was working for some very large and very small companies in marketing, finance, and in some cases just getting things started. And before all of that, he studied Business at the University of Oregon and at Grenoble Ecole de Management.

Eli Rubel

Co-Founder, CEO at GLIDER (formerly Superbly)   |  

Eli Rubel is the co-founder and CEO of Glider, a Portland based venture backed startup focused on enterprise contract management.

From large, publicly traded companies to small, growing businesses, Glider is helping industry leaders maintain focus on their businesses rather than babysitting contracts.

Eli is a mentor for the Nike+ TechStars program, as well as a former Startup Weekend speaker and panelist.

Thubten Comerford

Co-Founder & Publisher of Startup Weekly and Managing Director, Bay Area Entrepreneurs Workshop LLC

Thubten publishes StartupWeekly, a short-format video interview blog focusing on the entrepreneurial journey through in-depth interviews with startup entrepreneurs.

He is also the Managing Director of the Bay Area Entrepreneurs Workshop LLC, a venture-backed accelerator based in Silicon Valley.

Thubten served two years as a Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend, His passions are startups, social marketing, and conscious leadership.

Thomas Brookes

Attorney   |   LinkedIn

Thomas Brookes is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. He has been an attorney for over 20 years, and currently practices in Corvallis at Eveshevski, Elliott, Cihak and Hediger. His main focus is on business law and dispute mediation.

He served as legal counsel to Rogue Wave Software, a startup firm in Corvallis that went public in 1996.

Frank Hall
John Hadden
Dan Whitaker
JJ O'Connell
Akili King
KaLynn Alley
Gavin Gillas