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Madrona Venture Group

1000 2nd Ave # 3700 Seattle, WA 98104

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Ready to be part of something big?

Join us: we’re assembling 90 of the most talented entrepreneurial-minded women (and men) for a very special edition of Startup Weekend on July 13-15.

We provide the working space, brain fuel, food, mentors, new friends, and inspiring speakers and judges. You supply the energy and innovation to build something big over the weekend.

Bring an idea, a talented friend or potential co-founder, or just yourself! Startup Weekend hosts a series of events in cities around the world and offers a way to test ideas for new startups, contribute to those ideas, and even meet potential co-founders. Ideas are shared on Friday evening and the event culminates in final presentations to an all-star panel of judges on Sunday evening. This particular Startup Weekend will have a unique spin: a focus on connecting and showcasing the talents of women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.  Men who wish to attend Women’s Startup Weekend can do so…if they find a female participant to bring them along!

Ready to join us? We only have 90 spots available so we expect the event to sell out fast.  The weekend will be hosted at Madrona Venture Group, with Friday evening pitches and Sunday evening presentations hosted at Perkins Coie.

Get ready to build something exciting.  See you July 13!


Why a women-focused Startup Weekend?

The entrepreneurial talent we see from women in Seattle is inspiring, and we are excited about creating an event that will showcase it.  A big goal for the event is also to provide the opportunity for the aspiring women entrepreneurs in our community to (1) get inspired by an idea/product/team… perhaps even enough to explore starting their own venture, or (2) become more connected with other brilliant entrepreneurially-minded individuals in Seattle and thus more engaged within our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.  The original initiative behind this event came from the team at Madrona Venture Group, and they along with Perkins Coie and Square 1 Bank will be sponsoring and hosting the weekend.

Are men allowed to attend Women’s Startup Weekend?

Yes… but there’s a catch!  If you are a man who wishes to attend Women’s Startup Weekend, you can if and only if you find a woman participant to bring you along.  Since Seattle Women’s Startup Weekend is about connecting entrepreneurial women through the process of building exciting companies, we want to connect them to the best resources and people out there – that includes both men and women.

That said, to ensure that we maintain a high percentage of female participants, the number of tickets we issue to men will be limited (there will be a wait list).  If you’re a man who wants to attend, find a female participant to bring you along, and do so quickly! (Note: Each female participant can only bring one male participant.)

Will the participants be required to pitch or work on “women-focused” startup ideas?

No, participants can pitch and work on any kind of startup idea they wish.

Platinum Sponsor
Gold Sponsor

Dalia Al Said


Dalia Al Said has always been passionate about entrepreneurship, Dalia worked as a consultant for N2V, one of the leading Arab VC’s , lucky enough she has been performing all entrepreneurship related jobs and tasks acquiring various experiences in different N2V subsidiaries, , her technical background has qualified her to work as a project manager where she pioneered the start up of different projects along with her team members and peers.

During her job in N2V, Dalia and a team of young Egyptians were the ones behind the success of first Cairo Startup Weekend, the first pot revolution activity in support of entrepreneurship and innovation in Egypt , the Cairo Startup Weekend was a spark for a series of events that nourished the entrepreneurial eco system across Egypt and helped facilitate financing andfunds to many startups .

Prior to working for N2V Dalia worked as part of the information management department of the famous Multi National pharmaceutical Bristol Myers Squibb ME and carried on various technical roles during her 7years employment at BMS.

Dalia is currently handling GEP activities in Egypt facilitated by the Egyptian competitiveness program and funded by USAID, in her role as an entrepreneurship expert, Dalia helps Egyptian young and passionate entrepreneurs to grow their startups through organizing and facilitating different coaching, mentoring and pitch sessions for young ambitious Egyptian aiming at increasing the no. of Egyptian startups and the use of technology and innovation in the welfare Egypt

Dalia is a graduate of Faculty of Engineering , Cairo University , She is also a wife and a mother of a 6 year old daughter called Hana

Dawn Lepore

Former Chairman of the Board and CEO of, Inc.

Dawn Lepore was most recently Chairman of the Board and CEO of, inc., a leading online retailer of health, beauty, and wellness products. In June of 2011, Dawn led drugstore through a successful acquisition by Walgreens, Inc. In her six years at drugstore, she repositioned the company to focus on the over-the-counter, beauty, and vision businesses and led the company to record revenues, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow.

Prior to joining, Dawn held leadership positions at The Charles Schwab Company where she played a key role launching, and then building Schwab’s highly successful e-commerce business. In her 21 years with Schwab, she held a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. She served as Vice Chairman of technology, operations, administration, strategy and active trader, was the Chief Information Officer, a member of Schwab’s Executive Committee and trustee of SchwabFunds.

Currently Dawn serves on the board of eBay, Inc.,, and All Star Directories and is currently the interim CEO of a peer-to-peer lending marketplace for personal loans and investments. She previously served on the boards of The New York Times and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Dawn has been honored by Fortune Magazine four times as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business, by the National Organization for Women at their Aiming High Conference, was named one of InformationWeek’s Chiefs of the Year. Dawn graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.


Nadia Shouraboura

Technology VP of Amazon Worldwide Operations

Dr. Nadia Shouraboura joined in March of 2004 and is now the Technology Vice President of Amazon’s Worldwide Operations. She owns algorithms, software development, infrastructure, and operations for technology powering Amazon’s supply chain and fulfillment.

Nadia is passionate about delighting customers with the right packaging experience for every Amazon order. Working with manufacturers globally, her team leads the Amazon Frustration Free Packaging program – an initiative to deliver products in easy to open recyclable boxes with less packaging material.

Nadia was born in Soviet Russia and pursued her education in mathematics and science. In 1987 she began her career, after emigrating from Russia to Israel, as a software developer working on Computer Aided Design systems for industrial robotics. Her work in modeling computational systems attracted the attention of professors at Princeton University in the US, where she was offered a full scholarship for study and research.

During her PhD work, Nadia performed research at AT&T Bell Labs and co-founded Starlight Multimedia, a developer of multi-media applications. Her work at Princeton resulted in several important papers, referenced by over 200 publications. She received a PhD in Mathematics from Princeton.

In 1994 Nadia joined a technology startup Diamond Technology Partners. Then she joined a JP Morgan Venture startup, Mobilocity, as their Managing Director in charge of wireless division. As a pioneer in the emerging world of energy trading, Nadia worked for Exelon and was responsible for the energy trading algorithms and software.

Nadia lives in Seattle with her husband and fourteen year old daughter.

Michelle Goldberg

Partner at Ignition

Michelle Goldberg is a Partner at Ignition. She is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and emerging leaders in consumer internet and digital media. Michelle cultivates CEOs, entrepreneurs and engineers to foster their talents and help bring their vision to life. She currently sits on 7 for profit and not for profit boards, including Glympse, Visible Technologies, SEOmoz, and She previously sat on the board of TrackSimple, which was acquired in 2011 by BlueKai.

In addition to her work as a community mentor and VC, she is an active fundraiser and advisor in education. Prior to joining Ignition, Michelle consulted to Microsoft’s Developer Division, worked as an investment banker in mergers and acquisitions at Olympic Capital Partners, and as a management consultant with A.T. Kearney and the China External Trade Development Council (CETRA) in Taiwan.

She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal, and was a 2008 “40 under 40” Honoree.

Michelle was awarded a Masters degree from Harvard University, and holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Jonathan Sposato

Chairman of and Former CEO of Picnik

Jonathan is currently the chairman of, the region's top technology news site. He also has the distinct honor of being the first person to sell 2 companies to Google. As the CEO of Picnik, Jonathan created a category-defining (1st search result for “photo editor”) online photo editor to profitability and reached over 60M visits a month.

Prior to Picnik, Jonathan founded Phatbits which went on to become Google Gadgets. Prior to Phatbits, Jonathan was a senior manager in Microsoft’s consumer division, personally delivering the next level of thought on key Microsoft properties to chairman Bill Gates and the company’s leadership, as well as driving the development of award-winning software applications, video games, and social communications applications.

Amy Bohutinsky

Cheif Marketing Officer of Zillow

Amy joined Zillow as part of the early launch team in 2005, and has been responsible for creating and building a lasting consumer brand, as well as traffic and mobile acquisition. As CMO, Amy is responsible for all marketing and communications, including brand, public relations, social media marketing, email, and advertising. Prior to joining Zillow in 2005, Amy was Director of Corporate Communications for Hotwire, a discount travel site. She led the PR launch of Hotwire in 2000, and handled communications during and after its $675 million acquisition by IAC/InterActiveCorp in 2003. Prior to Hotwire, Amy worked for Blanc & Otus, a technology public relations firm in San Francisco. Amy started her career as a broadcast journalist, having been an anchor and field reporter for various CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates in Virginia and Florida. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Washington & Lee University.


Jenny Lam

Co-founder of Jackson Fish Market

Jenny Lam is a co-founder of Jackson Fish Market, a small software startup focused on making beautiful software experiences. They've shipped over 20 software products in the past 4 years. Their latest product is A Story Before Bed - the first (and only) service that lets parents, grandparents, and children record video of themselves reading children's books and play it back as often as they like on the Mac, PC, or iPad.
Before Jackson Fish Market, Jenny worked at Microsoft from 2001–2007 as Creative Director of the Windows User Experience team. When she isn't running her startup, she serves on the board as Experience Director of the AIGA Seattle chapter and works with national & local organizations to foster the next generation of creative design talent headed for the tech industry. She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Technology by the Puget Sound Business Journal and was awarded Seattle 2.0 Best Startup Designer in 2010.

Kim Rachmeler

Executive Chair of Vittana

Kim Rachmeler has two degrees from Stanford in Electrical Engineering. She has worked as a software developer for some of the largest names in the industry, including Hewlett-Packard and Silicon Graphics. Kim also co-founded her own start-up company before getting a job as Group Program Manager for Amazon in 1997. During her ten years at Amazon she was the CIO for International, VP of Retail Systems, VP WorldWide Customer Service, and VP Global Supply Chain, and the VP of Worldwide Discovery. Most recently she is the Executive Chair of Vittana, a non-profit dedicated to getting disadvantaged students in the developing world access to the financing they need to earn the degrees that will land them the steady jobs they need to leave poverty behind for good.

Kate Matsudaira

VP of Engineering at

Kate Matsudaira has worked as the VP Engineering/CTO at several technology startups - including her current role at Decide, and past roles at SEOmoz, and Delve Networks (acquired by Limelight). Prior to joining the startup world she spent time as a software engineer, and technical lead/manager at Amazon and Microsoft. Kate has hands-on knowledge and experience with building large scale distributed web systems, big data, cloud computing and technical leadership.

Kate has a B.S. in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College, and has completed graduate work at the University of Washington in both Business and Computer Science (M.S.). You can read more on her blog and website or by subscribing to the newsletter (which she helps curate).

Erica Sanders

Software Engineer at Facebook

Erica Sanders is an experienced software engineer, passionate about social networking and data, with a degree in Computer Science with honors from Harvard University. Before Friendster, Myspace, or Facebook took off, she joined a high profile incubation group at Microsoft to conceive of and build a first of its kind social networking product. Erica built the logic and synchronization engine, using a P2P infrastructure, for applications to listen to music and share photos with your friends, created the original Winks file format, and is credited on several patents for her work. Following this, Erica dove head first into the Seattle startup scene. She joined Bag Barrow Or Steal, a designer handbag and accessory rental startup featured in the Sex in the City movie, as one of the the original 3 members of the engineering team. She has also worked as a Technical Program Manager/Associate Director of Quantitative Analysis at, and as a Senior Software Engineer at Wishpot & Venpop, developing innovative social shopping and commerce applications. She now works at Facebook, and does a pretty mean rendition of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at karaoke.

Janis Machala

Dean of Bellevue College's Continuing Education Program

Janis Machala is the dean of Bellevue College's Continuing Education program, the largest such program in the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges system. Her unit provides professional training, certificate programs and personal enrichment classes to over 11,000 adult learners each year. Machala was most recently managing partner of Paladin Partners, a venture and start-up accelerator firm she founded that worked with emerging growth companies in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to this, she was president and CEO of Pinnacle Publishing, Inc., a provider of developer software and technical newsletters. Her experience also includes senior management positions in marketing and business development with Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and Wang Laboratories.

Additionally, Machala co-founded Seraph Capital Forum, the first women’s angel fund organization in the United States, and FWE Seattle, which supported female entrepreneurs. She has served on numerous boards – including the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, Junior Achievement of King County and the Entrepreneurship Center at Seattle University – and sat on the Lake Washington Institute of Technology Board of Trustees. Machala earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Augustana College in Illinois.

Felix Anthony

Former VP of Kindle Software & Digital Platform at

Felix Anthony was most recently Vice President, Kindle at and was responsible for Kindle Software, Kindle Product Management, Kindle User Interface and the Digital Platform for media products like mp3 and streaming video. In his 12 years at, he was Vice President for Ordering in the e-Commerce platform team and Vice President for Fulfillment Systems in the Operations and Logistics team. Prior to Amazon, he was an entrepreneur and has been a software developer in Graphics, Systems Management, Education, Finance and Developer tools at various companies on the east coast. Currently he pursues his interests in Physics, Culture travel and Art. He is also an investor, mentor and advisor to startups in the US and in India. He has a Master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

Gillian Muessig

Founding President of SEOmoz

Known as SEOmom throughout the industry, Gillian is a thought leader with her finger on the pulse of the future of the industry. She has provided keynotes and sessions for conferences in North and South America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia and the UK.

Gillian's radio program, CEO Coach has a global listenership of several thousand entrepreneurs and marketers and airs Mondays at 10AM PST on, covering entrepreneurial issues from funding and finance to staffing, marketing, pricing models, and brand development. She serves on the Board of Directors and Advisors for companies in four continents.

Bob Crimmins

Founder and CEO of MoonTango

Bob is founder and CEO of MoonTango, a personal care shopping experience dedicated to the needs of women. Bob was also co-founder of five other technology startups, including three in the healthcare sector. Before embarking on his tech startup career, Bob blended his unique business and technology acumen as a successful enterprise technology consultant in both private and public sectors. While he spends most of his time these days working, advising and mentoring on the "business side" of startups, Bob has written more than 300K lines of production code, in six different languages, for companies like Starbucks, Amazon and the California Energy Commission.

Bob is an active supporter of the Seattle startup community and serves as a Star Mentor for the TechStars Seattle program and is a formal advisor to Startup Weekend. Bob regularly advises a host of Northwest tech startup entrepreneurs and serves as a mentor to aspiring high school entrepreneurs through TiE’s youth entrepreneurship program. Bob's passion for building community within the Seattle startup ecosystem lead him to create two events to help connect startup founders, execs and investors, Startup Poker 2.0 and Geeks on a Trail.

In addition to more than 25 years of professional business and technology experience, Bob holds Bachelors degrees in philosophy and humanities from California State University and a Masters degree in Philosophy from University of Washington.

Susan Sigl

President and CEO of WTIA

Prior to WTIA, Susan was the co-founder and a General Partner of SeaPoint Ventures, a Seattle based venture capital firm investing in communications companies in the wireless, broadband and network transactional infrastructure sectors. In her role as a General Partner Susan has evaluated, invested in, directed and raised capital for many early stage technology companies. She raised institutional capital for two venture funds and managed the firm's investor relations. As part of SeaPoint's wireless start-up company launch initiatives, Susan served as the Interim Chief Financial Officer of SNAPin Software (acquired by Nuance Communications), Zumobi, Inc. and Ground Truth, Inc.

Susan began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Houston, Texas and subsequently spent 18 years in financial and operational executive positions in privately held, entrepreneurial companies in the oil & gas and commercial real estate development industries in Houston and Seattle prior to founding SeaPoint in 1997.

Jean Brittingham

Founder of SmartGirls Way

Jean Brittingham, founder of SmartGirls Way and Constellation, is driven by a passion for creating a world where smart connections and collaborations can be created and nurtured to help individuals and organizations thrive. Jean established the SmartGirls Way and began creating the tools, content and connections to help rapidly scale the women’s entrepreneurial movement
--the key to a sustainable future and the base for the next economy. Prior
to starting SmartGirls Way, Jean worked with a diverse client group that
included Fortune 100 companies, innovative start-ups, local and national
governments, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Vanessa Fox

Speaker, author and Seattle entrepreneur

She's the author of Marketing in the Age of Google: Your Online Strategy IS Your Business and founder and CEO of Nine By Blue, which provides software, training, and strategic consulting to help companies of all sizes better integrate search engine optimization (SEO) throughout their organizations– from product design and web development to audience engagement and conversion.

She's been named in the Top 40 Under 40” one of Seattle’s “Top 25 Innovators and Entrepreneurs“, and one of the “Top 100 Seattle Women in Seattle Tech“. Vanessa previously created Google’s Webmaster Central, and was also instrumental in the alliance of Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Live Search.

In-Kind Sponsor
Media Sponsors


Jul 13
  • Registration Starts @ Perkins Coie, 1201 3rd Avenue, Suite 4900
  • 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 10 pm, when the venue closes.


Jul 14
  • Arrive @ Madrona Venture Group, 1000 Second Avenue, Suite 3700, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches begin working with teams, and will be in and out throughout the afternoon.
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. The venue will be closed by 11pm, and all teams will need to leave before then.


Jul 15
  • Arrive @ Madrona Venture Group, 1000 Second Avenue, Suite 3700, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive and will be in and out throughout the day.
  • Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Teams depart venue and head to Perkins Coie for final presentations
  • Teams assemble at Perkins Coie, final technical checks for presentations
  • Judging and Awards
  • Wrap Up!
Julie Sandler
Shauna Causey
Elise Hebb
Ashley Hodgson
Sasha Pasulka
Jumana Al Hashal
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