On January 22, 23, and 24, 2016, entrepreneurs and creative minds will be taking over Lake Washington Girls Middle School – Seattle’s first middle school for girls – for a Startup Weekend like no other: one specifically designed for fifth through ninth grade GIRLS. Organizers and volunteers of Startup Weekend GIRLS have been working to ensure that this event provides not only inspiration, but also the resources required for building and launching a viable, scalable company. Last year LWGMS organized the first ever Startup Weekend GIRLS – it felt only natural that it happen first here in Seattle, and at a school for girls that was a startup in its own right.

Startup Weekends are about learning through the act of creating. Participants don’t just listen to theory; they present their own ideas, build their own products, and put them to test while collaborating with like-minded, passionate individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and points of view. On top of that, Startup Weekenders receive invaluable one-on-one time with the movers and shakers within the community, as local tech and startup leaders take part in Startup Weekends as mentors/coaches and judges.

Startup Weekend GIRLS Edition is specially designed for the next generation’s entrepreneurs-in-the-making, fifth through tenth  grade girls. Our team of highly innovative and connected mentors and judges will create an atmosphere of exercises and experiences that will teach girls how to come up with business ideas, conduct market research, prototype, work in teams, and “pitch” their ideas to a room full of people. Our goal is to give girls the confidence to innovate and create they will need to succeed in all aspects of life.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model – massaged a little bit to fit the needs of our aspiring #GIRLpreneurs: participants pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote), and then it’s a frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Contact: Shannon Blaisdell
Phone: 206.709.3800
Email: swgirls@startupweekend.org
Twitter: @StartupWGirls (#SWGirls, #PitchLikeAGirl, #GIRLpreneurs)
Website: Techstars Startup Programs
Tickets: SOLD OUT!

Our generous sponsors


Jennifer Muhm and Malorie Catchpole are two Seattle moms who decided to take action when they could not find the things their girls love on clothing marketed to girls. They ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to build the initial capital for buddingSTEM, blowing past their initial $45,000 goal to raise more than $70,000. In May 2015, Jennifer and Malorie received GeekWire's Geek of the Year award for their work on buddingSTEM.When not sketching out a new pattern for buddingSTEM or hanging out with her husband and awesome daughter, Jennifer works in public affairs.  She graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and holds a master's degree from Seattle University.During the day, Malorie is a regulatory compliance attorney, but adores spending time with her husband, two wonderful children, and a menagerie of animals that live in her house.  Malorie is also a graduate of George Washington University and Seattle University School of Law.


From a single shop in the Madrona neighborhood, Cupcake Royale has grown to seven locations and 110 employees. Owner and EO members Jody Hall expects sales to reach $6 million this year, about double what they were in 2008. Her various locations sell at least one million cupcakes a year, along with their own brand of ice cream.


Startup Weekends are about learning through the act of creating. Participants don’t just listen to theory; they present their own ideas, build their own products, and put them to test while collaborating with like-minded, passionate individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and points of view. On top of that, Startup Weekenders receive invaluable one-on-one time with the movers and shakers within the community, as local tech and startup leaders take part in Startup Weekends as mentors, coaches, and judges. Some of the people we have lined up for this year include...

CEO and Founder of PhotoPad for Business Diane Najm; Alexis Mohr, Director of Demand Generation at Azuqua; Alex Vollmer, Director of Engineering at Summit Partners; Robert Sim , Applied Researcher at Microsoft, Spencer Dillard, Software Development Manager, Elastic Load Balancing at Amazon Web Services; Lauren Curtis, User Experience Designer at Glympse; Jeffrey Gerard, Machine Learning Researcher and Geospatial Engineer at The Climate Corporation; and Nishant Dani, Software Architect at Loudscoop Inc.

Our other experts include: Buzz Bruggeman, Co-Founder of ActiveWords , Calsee Hendrickson, Management Consultant at Boeing, Emery Desper, Consumer Care Advocate at Zillow, Catherine Kamerling, Market Research Team Leader at Microsoft, Laura Savino, iOS Developer at Khan Academy, Ashleigh Baumgardner, Sr. Software Engineer at Simply Measured, Anthony Tsim, Co-Owner, Vice President of Exsilio Solutions, Linden Wright, Software Engineer at Glowforge, Cassie Koomjian, Lead Developer at Substantial, Lisa McFerrin, Bioinformatics Project Manager at Fred Hutch, Catherine Carr, Chief Inspiration Officer at Haiku Deck and Vitamin C Creative, Bailey Nelson, Marketing & Community Manager at Glowforge, Shawna Proske, Marketing Project Manager at Exsilio Solutions, Helena Cantrall, Marketing Consultant at Helena Cantrall MC, Leadership Consultant Drea Chicas, Rebecca Samuelson, Technical Marketing Manager at Galvanize, Taylor Kieburtz, Strategy Director at WINTR, Heather Griswold, Sr Engagement Manager at Substantial, and more…!


Rebecca Lovell is the Director, Entrepreneurship and Industry, City of Seattle, working to connect startups to resources and expand opportunities in entrepreneurship. She serves as a mentor for Techstars, 9 Mile Labs, and Founder Institute, and is an instructor on venture capital in the UW Foster MBA Program. Prior roles include Program Director, Alliance of Angels, Executive Director, Northwest Entrepreneur Network, Chief Business Officer, GeekWire and interim CEO for Vittana. Having coached, screened and mentored hundreds of startups in Seattle, she was recognized as of the top 100 women in Tech from the Puget Sound Business Journal (2009), was Tech Flash's "Do Gooder of the Year" in 2010, and is a frequent public speaker including talks at Ignite and TEDx.

Bryan Lhuillier is the founder, former CEO, and now CPO of Shiftboard, Inc, a leading provider of online workforce management and mobile scheduling applications. Prior to founding Shiftboard in 2002, Bryan held an assortment of technical product development and business management positions within leading organizations such as Applied Commerce, Microsoft, Xypoint, and the Cleveland Clinic. With over 15 years of experience in technical product management, design, and development, Bryan has successfully evolved Shiftboard to support the flexible workforce management needs of nearly 2000 organizations of various size and industry.

Zachary Smith is a technology, design thinking, and innovation leader with more than 19 years of product development and client services experience, serving a wide range of industries and organizations including startups, Wall Street banks, automotive manufacturers, enterprise software platform providers, creative studios, and consulting agencies.

As a Partner with Social Venture Partners, a Seattle-based philanthropic organization, Zachary serves on the Portfolio Grant Committee and is dedicated to helping to strengthen nonprofit organizations committed to the mission of improving K-12 education and making the Puget Sound region a place where sustainable communities thrive.

Zachary speaks at conferences, teaches, and facilitates workshops on topics including Lean and Agile software development, leadership, design thinking, and innovation. Zachary is co-founder of the Seattle Design Thinking & Innovation Collective, a monthly Meetup with over 1200 active members focused on creating a network of innovators in the Seattle area and teaching design thinking through immersive and experiential activities.




What to Bring

  1. This Parent/Guardian Consent, Liability, and Media Release Form
  2. Laptop (and/or iPad)
  3. Gmail address (we will be using google drive, so this would be a good thing to set up before the event. Here's how.
  4. Water bottle
  5. Your School ID (if you have one)

Partipants' Packet

Download here!

Judgement Event

On Sunday at 4p, the groups will present their final pitches to judges and guests. Registration for the free Judgement Event is open! SOLD OUT!

Some other things to know:

  1. There will be lots of food
  2. You will not have homework
  3. Parents should come to the Friday Welcome Event, and are also invited (and most likely already have tickets for) the Sunday Judgement Event
  4. You will get a t-shirt (and some other cool nicks knacks)

GET Ready!

The animation is made to explain the concept of social entrepreneurship to the general public and raise awareness of the importance of this type of business. Created by Smart Kolektiv. If you want to learn more about social entrepreneurship and social enterprises in Serbia, please visit www.sens.rs.

Now is a great time to start thinking about your ideas! Here are some resources to get you started...

Real businesses by real Biz Kid$. Watch and learn tips on how to start your own business!

Top Tips for Social Entrepreneurs: Pitch Perfect

Social Entrepreneur Pitch Sessions at SOCAP

1. The Pitch

#GIRLpreneurs are welcome to come to Startup Weekend GIRLS with an idea for a business or not! The fun will be in the learning of it all...

On Friday night our #GIRLpreneurs will be learning the basics of  "the pitch," and on Saturday, after some morning practice, any #GIRLpreneur who wants to, will take her idea to the stage for a 60 second pitch. Five to seven of these ideas will be chosen by the entire Startup Weekend GIRLS group, and teams will form...

Here are some pitch tips:

  1. Focus on the problem you want to solve
  2. Mention how you think the problem should be solved
  3. Talk about your secret sauce
  4. Tell us what you already know 
  5. Showcase your winning personality
  6. Show up with an idea that does something meaningful

Read more here: Preparing for the Pitch

The anatomy of the initial (individual) pitch:

A pitch should be unique to you, but some structure never hurts as a place to start. 

A simple template may look like:

  1. [10 sec] Introduce and sell yourself
  2. [20 sec] Describe the problem you want to solve
  3. [20 sec] Describe your solution (e.g. explain the product)
  4. [10 sec] What do you need to be successful during the weekend? ( people, skills, tools, etc)

Read/watch more here: Pitch Examples


Startup Seattle has a great Startup Flowchart full of useful tips and resources (and adorable illustrations) available to you at every step of the startup process:

  1. Assembling your team
  2. Validating customer needs
  3. Getting your legal house in order
  4. Financial planning

3. THE FINAL PResentation

Startup Weekend Presentation 101 And other slideshares about Startup Weekend stuff!

Final presentations may include Pitch Decks. Here are some examples:


Follow us on Twitter for lots of tips and tweets about being a #GIRLpreneur! We'll be tweeting all weekend, so parents, you should follow along, too!

Startup Weekend GIRLS 2015

Our 2015 event is featured on the Startup Weekend homepage!

About Startup Weekend
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014. The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

About Lake Washington Girls Middle School
Lake Washington Girls Middle School, Seattle's first middle school for girls, is located in Central Seattle, is a place where girls explore, experiment, discover, create, and learn about themselves and the world around them. Since 1998, LWGMS has challenged its students with high standards and helped every LWGMS girl find the tools she needs to succeed. Here, girls are empowered to think critically, develop leadership, and enjoy learning through an integrated curriculum that has proven to prepare girls for success in high school honors and college preparation courses.

Our students are learning to use tools that will serve them well: hand tools, power tools, digital tools, and the tools of their own strong voices. They work with computing platforms alongside hammers and saws and sewing machines. They are taking apart computers and building their own. They are making films, which allows them to own and create media in a way that no generation before them could do. They are sewing clothes that light up and they are 3-D printing a robotic hand. More importantly, they are learning that they have the power to solve problems, to innovate, and to invent. And that is really what we are teaching them: to find solutions, to overcome obstacles. We are teaching them that struggle and failure are normal – and that effort is a crucial part of eventual success.

The creative confidence the girls get while they are at Lake Washington Girls Middle School completely translates beyond any classroom.

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