Past event…

Event Ended

The Hacker Dojo

It's been a little over half a century since people started promising the "space age" was just around the corner. "Startup Weekend: Space" is about bringing some of today's brightest hackers, hipsters and hustlers together to find ways to deliver on that promise. Judges, Speakers, and (of course) prizes to be announced. (If you saw this in a public link, you should register today - this event WILL sell out!)



May 31
  • 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 1
  • 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


Jun 2
  • 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!
Tier 1 Sponsors

Steve Jurvetson

Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson   |  

Steve Jurvetson current board responsibilities include SpaceX, Synthetic Genomics, and Tesla Motors (TSLA). He was the founding VC investor in Hotmail (MSFT), Interwoven (IWOV), Kana (KANA), and NeoPhotonics (NPTN). He also led DFJ's investments in other companies that were acquired for $12 billion in aggregate. Previously, Steve was an R&D Engineer at Hewlett-Packard, where seven of his communications chip designs were fabricated. His prior technical experience also includes programming, materials science research, and computer design at HP's PC Division, the Center for Materials Research, and Mostek. He has also worked in product marketing at Apple and NeXT Software. As a Consultant with Bain & Company, Steve developed executive marketing, sales, engineering and business strategies for a wide range of companies in the software, networking and semiconductor industries.

He was honored as "The Valley's Sharpest VC" on the cover of Business 2.0 and chosen by the SF Chronicle and SF Examiner as one of "the ten people expected to have the greatest impact on the Bay Area in the early part of the 21st Century." Steve was chosen by Forbes as one of "Tech's Best Venture Investors", by the VC Journal as one of the "Ten Most Influential VCs", and by Fortune as part of their "Brain Trust of Top Ten Minds." Steve was honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, as a Distinguished Alumnus by St. Mark's (where he was the Commencement Speaker), and as Deloitte's "Venture Capitalist of the Year" for 2012.

Tier 2 Sponsors

Jeremy Conrad

Partner, Lemnos Labs   |  

Jeremy Conrad is a founding partner at Lemnos Labs, a hardware startup incubator based in San Francisco. Lemnos invests in early stage companies ranging from Aerospace and Robotics to Consumer Electronics. Prior to founding Lemnos Jeremy spent five years as an officer in the US Air Force working on weapons grade lasers for missile defense. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from MIT.

Thomas M.Atchison

Board Chair, Director, Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation   |   LinkedIn

Thomas M. Atchison is the founder and chairman of the Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation. With over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, Thomas has pioneered new technology and ventures in the semiconductor, mobile computing, enterprise software, medical device, healthcare information technology, security, aerospace, and defense industries.

Mr. Atchison has successfully started four technology ventures, and raised over $30 mm in angel, corporate, and venture capital commitments. While at Navitel Communications as VP of Engineering and GM, he was responsible for architecting and the development and introduction of the first Windows based web screenphones and smartphone platforms, which were acquired by Microsoft in 1999, and later released as the Windows Mobile smartphone Microsoft sells today.

Thomas holds Level 1,2,3 & Experimental rocketry certifications with the TRIPOLI rocketry association, an FCC Technicians license, a USC Chapter 40 Explosives License, and California Radiations Technicians license, and holds certifications under the United States / Canadian Defense Logistics Information Services.

Scott Nolan

Founders Fund   |  

Scott Nolan is a principal at Founders Fund, where he focuses on investments in a wide range of technology-driven companies and contributes to firm strategy.

Prior to Founders Fund, Scott was an early employee at SpaceX, where he helped develop the Merlin and Draco propulsion systems used on the Falcon and Dragon vehicles. He was also a member of the original Dragon capsule team, responsible for its thermal and environmental subsystems.

After SpaceX, Scott spent time at Bain & Company where he worked with its private equity clients, evaluating investments and driving portfolio company strategy. He then co-founded Soshi, a consumer internet startup built on the Facebook Connect platform. Scott graduated with honors from Cornell University, where he received both a BS in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in less than 4 years.


Simone Syed

Founder, Blackstarr   |  

Simone Syed is an experience architect, and community builder. She spends her time designing a compelling and accessible narrative for the future by integrating space and high technology into popular culture, accelerating the development of technologies for commercial space exploration, and inspiring young minds to create the world they dream of. She is a Thiel Foundation Under 20 Mentor, spearheads the BIL Conference and LA Space Salon, and is building a ScienceCommune on Maui. Simone’s antics have been documented by Wired, Discovery Channel, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Reason Magazine, and NPR.

Alex Luebke

Aerospace and Defense Strategic Planning, Agilent Technologies

Having built and launched 10 government and commercial geostationary satellites and been heavily involved in Silicon Valley startups, Alex Luebke offers a unique blend of unbridled innovation and engineering & business rigor. Alex is a registered Professional Engineer with Masters of Science and Doctor of Engineering degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and has extensive innovation and leadership experience across the aerospace and defense industry.

Tim DeBenedictis

Founder, Southern Stars Group

Tim has been writing astronomy software since his high school days. After graduating from MIT in 1993 with a degree in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary science, he held engineering positions at several financial / tech companies throughout the dot-com boom, and returned to his "astronomical roots" after the bust. Tim was also one of the two principal designers behind Southern Stars’ award-winning SkySafari iPhone app and SkyFi wireless telescope controller. Tim and Southern Stars conducted a successful campaign to fund an educational CubeSat mission called SkyCube, due for launch in 2013.

Thomas Dittler

Technology Executive & Entrepreneur

Thomas manages his own equity investments in start ups and
turn-a-round companies. Over the course of his professional
career of the last 25 years, he held technical positions in the
aerospace industry with Boeing and Dornier, was a partner
of management consulting firm RolandBerger and VC fund
Centennium with two IPOs in 1999/2000 and went on to buy
out aerospace testing and software engineering firm IABG,
co-managed the turn-a-round and sold in 2010. He has since
invested in and is a board member of clean tech start ups and

Thomas earned master degrees in aerospace engineering and
international business in Munich, Germany and Columbia,
S.C., respectively. He is married to Andrea, Art Historian and
Auctioneer, and they got two boys in high school. He is a water
sports enthusiast and loves to go out on the ocean, swimming,
paddling or sailing.

Ian Thiel

Space Angels Network   |   LinkedIn

Ian is a global entrepreneur with experience in a highly inefficient collection of industries. Founder MyEconData (dead, USA), Founder StuffNerdsRead (dead, USA), Co-Founder EnterTheClub (Paris), Co-Founder OneKey Ventures (China, Chile). Currently Account Executive at Optimizely, and Associate at Space Angels Network.

Glenn Stearns

Founder Stearns & More Capital   |   LinkedIn

Glenn Stearns entrepreneur and venture capitalist at Stearns & More Capital focused on Sustainability, eCommerce & Social Networks. Educated in philosophy, psychology, religion and technology, he's now a board member of Joint Venture Monterey Bay, and founded the Monterey Bay SPACE & LOHAS Fund & Accelerator. Glenn is also a member of the National Space Society and is a Space Ambassador for Planetary Sustainability Earth Mars & Beyond.

Patrick Martinchek

Patrick is a space systems engineer and entrepreneur with a diverse technical library of experiences in both software and hardware projects. Patrick has held instrumental roles in research and projects in the fields of spacecraft propulsion, satellite mechanisms, CubeSat systems, and extreme environment and microgravity testing.

After graduation he worked at NASA JPL as a systems engineer for the Mars rover Spirit recovery efforts, and then transitioned into a Flight Director role on the Mars rover Opportunity. In this role, he was responsible for maintaining the health and safety of the vehicle, including overseeing spacecraft commanding, fault protection, and exploring mechanisms performance using big data technologies and predictive analytics.

Patrick's terrestrial expertise spans supply chain optimization, jet engine assembly processes, mobile app development, and complex data visualizations. Patrick is currently an MBA student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and he is now working on a big data analytics start-up in the business intelligence space.

Niket Desai

Niket previously co-founded Punchd, a mobile loyalty startup, which was acquired by Google in 2011. In another life Niket would have majored in psychology with a minor in CS, but did learn a few things between drinks while studying engineering at Berkeley. He enjoys helping founders at early stage tech companies navigate topics like user-experience, investment, M&A, and the general startup grind.

Alexei Dunayev

CEO, TranscribeMe   |  

Alexei Dunayev is Founder and CEO of venture-backed Startup 'TranscribeMe' - originally conceived at Startup Weekend Wellington in New Zealand (Surprise, they won!) Known for quick decision-making and having strong international experience, Alexei is also an adviser to emerging Space startup I Dream of Space.

Bowen Pan

Business Savvy / Tech Geek   |  

A self-confessed tech geek, Bowen is a tech start-up guy and has been living and breathing tech since the age of 11. He has grown/co-founded/launched start-ups in everything from a New Zealand legal aid non-profit to a Chinese cosmetic sampling site to a mega e-commerce group working in daily deals, auctions, payments, travel, dating and classifieds. He is the co-founder of the Startup Roundtable and a MBA student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Bowen is well versed in product management, launch strategies, marketing, business development, sales and whatever that needs to get done to get a startup off the ground. In addition to speaking English with a slight kiwi accent, he's also fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Erik Katz

Co-Founder, Asterleaf   |  

Erik is a serial upstart passionate about social enterprise and the maker movement. In 2001 he founded a successful IT consulting firm and was also a co-founder of an e-learning company for the restaurant industry. More recently, at TechShop, he has built out a new, innovative approach to corporate team-building and has helped found several startups.

Reuben Metcalfe
Dave Moskovitz
Michelle Cadieux
Paul Fuller
Sean casey
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