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McKinstry Innovation Center


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Startup Weekend Spokane is a competition for entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and collaborate with developers and designers to create a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) within a 54-hour period. This event supplies entrepreneurs with the experience, resources and contacts to start a business. The weekend is centered on action, innovation and education. Friday night, attendees have 60 seconds to pitch their ideas. Teams form around these ideas, and proceed to work all weekend to develop a business model and a basic prototype. Sunday night, teams present to a panel of potential investors and local entrepreneurs.

Previous winners have gone on to start businesses after pitching at Startup Weekend Spokane. Brooke Martin, 14 years old, subsequently started her company ICpooch, which produces an interactive dog treat dispenser, and raised $250,000. Pete Taylor has been running a successful spice selling ecommerce site, SavorX, for nearly two years since Startup Weekend Spokane. Connor Simpson is preparing to launch a post-beta version of Barters Closet, a clothing-trading site, after raising $180,000 and devoting two years to research and development.

Startup Weekend Spokane winners are provided with all the materials needed to start their businesses after the weekend. These resources include consultation by local entrepreneurs from a variety of fields, from marketing to IP. The top three teams will have free access to Share Space Spokane for three months, and the winner of Startup Weekend Spokane will be invited to present to the Spokane Angel Alliance.



Apr 11
  • 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


Apr 12
  • 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


Apr 13
  • 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!
Major Sponsors

Dennis Magner

Magner Sanborn, Crowdswell

Dennis has 24 years of experience as an agency creative director, brand planner, and entrepreneur He’s the founding partner of Magner Sanborn, a Spokane-based full-service advertising agency and brand consultancy whose clients range from Netflix to Yahoo and many others. He started the agency working on folding tables and upside down garbage cans and has built it into AdAge's 2012 Small Agency of the Year for the western US. His work includes directing national brand launches for AT&T Wireless, Qwikster and Flo TV, as well as three national Super Bowl commercials. Dennis is also the cofounder of Crowdswell, Inc.

Kevin Parker

Washington State Representative

Kevin is a survivor of the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School. He has traveled throughout the United States, as well as to New Zealand, to share his lessons of leadership learned in the tragedy.

Kevin studied political science at Whitworth University, earned his MBA at George Fox University, and later studied leadership at Harvard.

Kevin is married to his college sweetheart, Kerry. They live in Spokane with their three children, Emelia, Eve and Ross.

Owner of a coffee shop chain
Leadership instructor at Fairchild Air Force Base
Adjunct instructor in Whitworth University’s business school. His curriculum includes economics, leadership, strategic management, and entrepreneurship.

Honorary Commander for Fairchild Air Force Base in 2011
Rodel Fellowship Scholar (one of only 22 elected leaders from across the United States selected to participate in the two-year Rodel Fellowship)
More than ten awards for his work in business and education in the Legislature

Kevin was elected to serve as State Representative for Spokane’s 6th Legislative District in 2008, and has held a leadership position in the House Republican Caucus since he was a freshman.

The International Trade Alliance Board Member
Red Cross Board Member
YMCA Board Member
Young Life Board Member
Young Life Corporate Chair for Juvenile Diabetes

Bill Kinzel


Bill is a Spokane native and serves as our go-to guy for all things numbers-related. He leads the accounting team as well as provides strategic input on both financial and operational business initiatives and decisions. Prior to etailz, Bill served in a variety of roles ranging from Tax Examiner to accountant and controller. In his free time, Bill likes to do mostly un-accounting things like hiking, projects around the house, cycling and anything that allows him to be outdoors and have the chance to get his hands dirty.

Bill graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Finance from Eastern Washington University and is a CPA.

Nick Smoot

Here On Biz

Nick Smoot is a driven entrepreneur who has impacted both the non-profit world and big business.

After spending 8 years in the non profit world where he was leading state wide initiatives, global leadership development trips, and educational tours in the middle east, South America, and Africa he redirected his focus to providing answers to complex problems in the business world for both small and large operations.

The entry into the business world was focused on providing solutions to drive loyalty and engagement of current customers. Wisely seeing the mobile revolution coming, Nick began helping companies understand how to implement mobile solutions with ease. After helping found an online psychology education company, which lead them to become the leader in their space, he took on his first mobile startup. With this company, he and his partner went from concept to acquisition in 8 months for an 11x return and were known as the leaders in the industry within 5 months. This landed them in the seat of helping major franchise organizations think through mobile, social, and app strategy.

Now with the another mobile startup, Here On Biz, he is back to the disruptive social technology grind stone. In less than a year the new company has earned the title of being listed one of the 100 most brilliant companies of 2013 by Entrepreneur Magazine, has been featured by Apple in the App Store and is transforming how business professionals collaborate while traveling for business.

Nick has been selected by the Milken Institute to join their Young Leaders Circle as well as being selected to join the Young Entrepreneur Council. He has been interviewed for or contributed to Bloomberg, Forbes, USA Today, Fast Company, Mashable, LinkedIn, and Huffington Post.


Rhett Barney

Lee & Hayes, PLLC   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Rhett is an intellectual property attorney at Lee & Hayes, PLLC based in Spokane, WA, where he primarily advises clients on trademark and copyright matters. His experience includes counseling on IP development, enforcement, acquisition, and licensing. He has experience across multiple industries including, medical, high-tech, consumer goods, and sports and entertainment. He is heavily involved in brand protection counseling and strategic advising, and helps companies develop in-house intellectual property policies and procedures. Rhett has experience litigating trademark and copyright matters in district court and representing clients before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and CBP.

Eric Bandholz

Beardbrand   |   LinkedIn

Eric Bandholz is the founder of Beardbrand, located in Spokane, WA. Beardbrand is an online retail business that offers beard grooming products for urban beardsmen. He founded Beardbrand with two other business partners who originally worked together at a Startup Weekend event in 2012. Eric graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Marketing and Management. He resides on the South Hill with his wife Anne, daughter Eleanor, and dog Aiken.

Steven Tabacek


Steve Tabacek is the CEO and co-founder of CXOWARE, a cybersecurity risk analytics software company. CXOWARE has established itself as the leader in quantitative cybersecurity risk assessment and analysis providing C-level executives with a dollars & cents perspective of loss exposure. Steven is the founder and former CEO of IT-Lifeline and under his leadership grew the company from a single service outsourced data backup service provider to one of the largest full-service business recovery centers in the Northwest. IT-Lifeline was sold to Rentsys Recovery Systems. Steve is a member of the Gonzaga New Venture Lab Advisory Board and enjoys participating in the Startup Weekend events. Steve’s education includes Crypto Security at U.S. Air Force Technical University as well as a BA Business Administration from Eastern Washington University.

Ryan Arnold

Sightline Energy   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Ryan Arnold is a writer, advocate, and business leader working in the confluence of sustainability, business, and technology. He is currently the Founder/Owner of Sightline Energy, a company focused on helping architects, engineers, and building owners take the guesswork out of designing energy efficient buildings.

Ryan holds an MBA in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute and is based out of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. You can reach him at or on Twitter @RyanSArnold.

Chip Overstreet


Chip Overstreet has over 25 years of high tech experience focused on sales, marketing and executive management. He is current SVP of Marketing & Business Development at MyBuys, Inc. Most recently, Chip was the CEO of Encover, a market leader in helping high-tech manufacturers to market and sell services more effectively through their channel partners. Prior, Chip served as worldwide Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at Blue Martini Software, a NASDAQ-listed provider of e-commerce solutions. Chip received a BA in Economics from Stanford University.

Brandon Tanner


Brandon Tanner is a successful entrepreneur and corporate executive with a technology background in highly regulated industries that spans software, hardware, and service solutions for financial institutions and government. He co-founded APerfectWeb which focused on the development of a series of content management and e-commerce software built on the platform they trademarked as InSuite™. Under Brandon’s leadership, APerfectWeb was successfully acquired in 2004 by artificial intelligence software company Next IT. At Next IT, Mr. Tanner played a critical role in new product development for the financial industry to ensure compliance was maintained. After his time at Next IT he joined the senior management team at SprayCool, a technology leader in implementing liquid cooling systems for electronics. During his time at SprayCool Mr. Tanner identified and established the critical relationships and implemented go-to-market strategies primarily with hi-tech bay area technology firms. Mr. Tanner is a Board Director for Associated Industries and participates on the Technology Advisory Group for Mobius Science Center. Mr. Tanner continues to be an active member in the community supporting multiple charities and organizations.

Andrew Patsalides

Alchemy Metal Specialists

Originally from the London, Andrew is the managing partner and founder of Alchemy Metal Specialists, a prestigious, industry-leading metals recycler. Andrew is a true, international leader with experience starting businesses in China, the United Kingdom and the United States. His strong understanding of business strategy, commodity markets and marketing has driven his success in multiple industries. He is experienced at developing new businesses in emerging markets, as well as working with businesses ranging from start-ups to large, publically traded corporations.

Luke Hutyler


Lucas is the lead software developer at Weckey. Lucas has been developing mobile software applications for both Android and iOS since he graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2011 with a degree in Computer Science. He enjoys working on all sorts of projects and has attended two Startup Weekends. He loves helping others and can't wait to see the amazing ideas that are going to come to life this time at Startup Weekend!

Richard Denenny 


Richard is the VP of Product & New Market Development at Telect, a 350 person Spokane-based company that is a leading provider of network equipment solutions. At Telect, Richard is responsible for the Product, Marketing, and New Market Sales Teams. Prior to Telect, Richard was COO at Next IT Corporation, the world's largest provider of intelligent virtual assistants. Richard is active in the Spokane startup community. He is also a recovering lawyer.

Kahlan Salina

Born and raised in Colville, WA, Kahlan attained his undergraduate degree from the University of Portland and his J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Kahlan returned to his Inland Northwest roots, working at The Law Office of Paul B. Mack since 2012.

Linda Hemingway

Hemingway Marketing Group

Linda is the founder and principal of Hemingway Marketing Group (HMG). A dynamic leader with over 30 years of market development experience, her track record, passion and strategic vision for Marketing’s role in an organization’s success have led to an accomplished career in building, launching, and growing innovative companies. Prior to forming HMG in 2012, Linda was a Business Consultant and Market Development & Communications Director at Sirti/Innovate Washington where she directly launched or repositioned 60+ technology companies and provided business development advisory services and strategic guidance to 100’s of entrepreneurs. She has also held pivotal leadership roles in sales, sales management, communications, marketing and strategic planning for financial , energy general hardware and software companies and has served as point and assisted with multi-million dollar angel and VC raises.

Jayme Marie De Boer

Dawn Of The Donut

Jayy De Boer
Mother of a 6 year old red head beauty - Jayson.
Born in Kileen, TX - relocated to Moses Lake in 92 - finally to settle in Spokane April 2013.
Ran two businesses before the age of 21 - opened and ran an Irish Pub in ML -
finally to settle in Spokane to open Dawn Of The Donut.
Have associates in business from UOP - online college.

Michael Cannon

Elements Massage

Michael Cannon currently manages a national team of Account Managers, overseeing government accounts at Bank of America Merchant Services. Additionally, until recently, he was a partner in Elements Massage, overseeing 25 employees and franchise Operations. Michael led the formation of the City's Community, Housing, and Human Services Board and is a current member of the Board. He is also on the GSI Small Business Council, which advocates for small businesses in the area.

Chris Wood


Christopher is currently the president of Hanson Worldwide, a large turn-key heavy machinery design/build manufacturing company located in Spokane, WA that serves the oil field, aerospace, agriculture, construction, heavy industry and mining industries. Over the last ten years he has worked with private equity and startup companies in renewable energy. He is a partner in a large eastern Washington wheat, cattle & forestry company and serves on the board of Sparling Instruments, a flow meter company. With his background in engineering and manufacturing, he has provided consulting services to executives in a wide range of industries for the past 15 years. Past clients include Alcoa, Boeing, BF Goodrich, Biosense-Webster (medical device mfg.), Washington Trust Bank, Purcell Systems, Ecolite, Mackay Manufacturing, Cyrus O’Leary Pies and Iomega. Christopher has worked with a broad variety of aerospace, Japanese and north American automotive firms and electronics manufacturers and has implemented lean manufacturing techniques in product lines as diverse as aircraft interiors, aircraft body structures, electronic sensors, computer keyboards and disk drives, and automotive trim components. Christopher conducted a benchmark study of a well-known electronics manufacturer’s global product development and production processes, using the results to conduct education sessions for the firm’s international management team. He has also held a variety of engineering and manufacturing positions with Hughes Electronics, Allied Signal, The Boeing Company, and Donnelly Corporation. He continues to devote a great deal of attention to new product launch processes and has helped numerous organizations incorporate lean thinking into their new product development systems.

Aaron Rollins

Business Texter

A Spokane native with a BA in Marketing from EWU and MBA from Gonzaga, Aaron currently heads up the locally grown software company Business Texter. BT builds and markets smart-phone applications that allow any organization to engage their audience through the world's most widely used communication tool, text messaging. With over a dozen employees and contractors across 4 states and 6 countries, they embody the modern virtual company.

Aaron previously worked with IT service provide Interlink (now Intrinium) and Comcast Spotlight, as well as helping found two other start up companies, EmbracingMedia and ZPerfectGift.

Eva Roberts

Just American Desserts

Kevin Weir

ActionCOACH Business Coaching

Connor Simpson
Philip Glenn
Rebecca Writz
Alexa Lohmeyer
June Swatzell
Michael Williams
Clay Cerna
Steve Trabun
Tom Simpson
Tim Aton
Malachi Riedl
Max Delsid
Mitch Williams
Dan Gayle
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