April 2012

TechRaising April 2012

Participants will gather on the evening of April 20 and have 90 seconds to pitch their idea for a product, service, or company to the group.

After the pitches, everyone will break out, discuss their ideas, and form teams to build the idea. The goal is to have something to demo or launch at the end of the weekend.

Last year’s event was a huge success. If you have an idea for a startup or be part of a startup team, this is the event for you.

Teams should consist of at least one developer (ideally two or more), one designer, and one business development marketing person, but can be as large as necessary. Feel free to talk to others about your ideas beforehand, refine them, get buy in, and please come with the intention of embracing others.

This will be a learning event and a way to interact with, promote, and nourish the community of entrepreneurs in Santa Cruz.

Mentors will interact with teams, discuss key issues that all startups encounter — legal, design, PR and promotion, getting early adopters and customers, fundraising teambuilding, and business model — and share their experience and ideas.

This is an opportunity to brainstorm with others who have done it before and iterate on your ideas and products. The Santa Cruz Tech community has been talking a lot about losing businesses and exporting talent over the hill. Let’s join together for a weekend and create things that will demonstrate that we are a thriving entrepreneurial community that is not only talking but also doing.

Schedule of Events

Friday 4/20

6:00PM — Reception / Networking
6:45–8:00PM — Pitches & Team formation
8:00PM — Design / Development / Coding Begins

Saturday 4/21

8:30AM — Breakfast
10:00AM–Noon — Workshop (limited to 40 on a first to register basis)
12:30PM — Lunch
5:30PM — Dinner

Sunday 4/22

8:30AM — Breakfast
12:30PM — Lunch
4:00PM–6:00PM — Demos & Panel

Who should attend?

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Developers
  • Engineers
  • Designers
  • UX experts
  • Business development professionals
  • Marketing professionals
  • Social media peeps
  • Anyone with an idea for a product or startups
  • Angel Investors

Join us and help raise the roof on Tech in Santa Cruz!

Define and Execute your Minimum Viable Product

Jose Caballer

Hands-on Workshop with Start-up Design Veteran Jose Caballer

Complimentary to April 2012 TechRaising Attendees (limited to 40 on a first to register basis), this 2 hour workshop will focus on how to define and execute your MVP. Starting with a case study and the “What worked” and “What could have worked better”


Director of Stategic Services, Coakley Heagerty

Over the past fifteen years, Steve has directed strategic initiatives for leading technology, consumer, and entertainment companies including AFLAC, AMD, BEA, Disney Pictures, HP, NetApp, Netflix, Sun, TiVo, TIBCO, Twentieth Century Fox, VISA, and Universal Pictures. As Director of Strategic Services for Coakley Heagerty, he’s led branding projects for Charles Schwab, Rambus, Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, and several divisions of Cisco Systems. In addition, Steve has written executive video presentations or a number of technology leaders, including Steve Ballmer, John Chambers, Mark Hurd, and Dan Warmenhoven. A Silicon Valley native, he was the 2010-2011 Web Strategy Forum Manager for the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association.

G Stearns an entrepreneur and business development executive, with more than 25 years in high-tech. An inventor with patents for developing artificial intelligence technology. Leader of global programs at Hewlett Packard for more than 10 years. His pursuit and advocacy for innovation led to opportunities where Stearns consulted on technology for Fortune 500 companies. He has consulted with industry leaders on technology, such as Bill Gates of Microsoft, and made presentations at workshops for MIT Media Labs.

Stearns & More Capital is doing Fundraising & Business Development in Silicon Valley & Hollywood.

Game Designer, GRL Games

Owner, GRL Games Graeme is a 30 year industry veteran who has worked on everything from a TRS-80 to a Xbox 360. In the early nineties he pioneered CD-ROM gaming with the breakthrough title The 7th Guest, he went on to become the lead designer on Quake III Arena and Halo Wars. Graeme started GRL Games in December 2010 to focus on bringing entertaining titles to the iPhone, iPad and Mac Desktop.

A full-stack developer with experience developing for the Internet on 3 continents. From tiny startups to Yahoo! and anywhere in between. Currently at Twitter as part of the Growth team. Hands on Ruby, PHP, JavaScript coder who is equally at home in Emacs on a remote server as a well as in a modern IDE on a shiny MacBook Pro.

David Hoffman has two professions and two passions. He is one of America’s premier documentary filmmakers and he has been a lifelong strategic communications hands-on consultant for more than a dozen Fortune 500 and more than 50 startup companies. Hoffman’s 175 reality films ( mostly sponsored by corporations) have appeared on primetime PBS including Nova and The American Experience, Turner Broadcasting, Discovery, and The History Channel. His films have won every major national and international video communications award.

Hoffman has also worked with senior executives at companies like AT&T;, United Technologies, Mobil, Aetna, Sony, Google, Amazon and Verizon Wireless on strategic and tactical communication issues such as target audience positioning and key messaging. These days, Hoffman is working with several major corporations and startups on how to take advantage of Web video and especially YouTube to reach and motivate target audiences.

Patrick Reilly, J.D. is the Founder or the Intellectual Property Society, Associate Publisher of the Personal Data Journal and a practicing intellectual property attorney. Patrick has a special commitment to encourage civic engagement with the evolution of Patent Law, personal data rights and Internet identity. His law practice encompasses patent prosecution, creative rights management, start-up formation issues, trademark prosecution, copyright protection and trade secret policy. Patrick is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Russian Language Studies, and has earned a BS in Sociology from the State University of New York, a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toledo and a JD from Concord University. He is a member of the U.S. Patent Bar and the California State Bar. Patrick’s personal interests include linguistics, open water swimming and (remedying the lack of) public service media.

Lloyd likes to make things. He has been founding CTO of many successful startups including llooker, Readyforce, Luminate, LiveOps, and Commerce Tools (acquired by Netscape). Lloyd’s expertise includes data analytics and business Intellegece (llooker, Borland and more), crowd sourcing and behavioral economics (LiveOps, Readyforce and, and programming languages (llooker, Netscape and Borland and Sophco).

Stephen Beitzel has been developing software for over 20 years. He’s worked at all stages of the product lifecycle, from startup through iterative improvement and maintenance to end-of-life support. He has
experience in large and small environments and has worked at startups and established companies. He has over ten years’ experience developing high-performance Java server applications for LinkedIn and Netflix. He is currently working in Perl for San Jose State University Research Foundation, in partnership with NASA.

Creative visionary with over twenty years of experience producing successful marketing solutions for some of the world’s most recognized brands. Expert in concept and strategy development, with a proven ability to motivate and inspire creative teams to deliver outstanding creative work.

Craig Vachon wrote his first business plan at 12 years old, sold his first company at 25 years old, and has been a relentless entrepreneur/angel investor ever-since. To date, Craig has raised $1.17B in PE/VC investment for 14 companies in seven countries. Craig is currently supporting a portfolio company as their corporate development leader. He joined AnchorFree in 2011 but has been an investor and advisor to the company since 2005. AnchorFree is the world’s most popular consumer VPN providing security, privacy and freedom to over 60M web surfers. Prior to AnchorFree, Craig was Chief Commercial Officer at Immersion [NASDAQ: IMMR] and he has held leadership positions at major mobile operators, as well as software, services, and technology licensing companies. He was CEO and president of Varatouch, an intellectual property components and software company focused on the UX for consumer electronics. Before Varatouch, he was CEO and chairman of Sirenic, Inc., a mobile information access software company, [both Varatouch and SIrenic were sold at multiples of VC investments]. Earlier in his career, Vachon was chief operating officer of Nextel Int’l; vice president of sales and marketing of Birla AT&T in India; and director of new product development at AT&T Wireless Services (formerly McCaw Cellular). He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Business Communication, both from Emerson College.

Nadine Schaeffer is a Principal at Cloudforest Design and a user experience professional with over fifteen years experience planning and building internet, mobile and desktop applications. She has aided many companies large and small launch successful software products. Her clients and employers have included Apple, Oracle, Citrix, Fiserv, Juniper Networks, the New York Post, Sun, E*Trade, Verizon and Yahoo.

In that other life that is miraculously free of work, Nadine kayaks, hikes, bikes, sketches daily and travels the world. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA with Cloudforest Design principal Jason Wehmhoener and a pack of furry creatures.

My goals: membership of advisory board for tech companies. Consulting on building a tech company and online marketing in general. Bootstrapped companies excite me.

I’m a software entrepreneur, and have been since the age of 14. I have much experience building software/tech/internet companies, designing products, acquiring customers and engineering an exit. I consider myself a do-er, someone who worries as much about tactics as strategy.


Building bootstrapped companies, designing good software, walking both sides of the developer and sales aspects of companies.

Sol Lipman is an experienced entrepreneur and mobile developer who recently joined AOL as a part of the company’s acquisition of Rally Up, maker of the popular Rally Up and FacePlant mobile applications. At AOL, Sol is focused on bringing killer mobile-first applications to market and identifying mobile opportunities for existing AOL properties.

Sol was the founder and CEO of Rally Up and also co-founded, an online video sharing platform. Prior to that, he co-founded Sticky Inc, a flash memory-based operating environment that was acquired by DeviceVM. During the swinging dotcom days, he founded thedigs network, which was acquired by idrive and is credited as being one of the first social networks.

Bob brings years of software industry management expertise to productOps. Prior to cofounding productOps, he spent two years at Krugle, where he built and managed the team that created a vertical code gathering and information management tool designed for software developers. In 2001, Bob co-founded Open Field Software, developers of the award-winning Ella for Spam Control anti-spam product.

In 1990, he co-founded Thuridion, a commercial software consulting firm. During his tenure as Thuridion’s CEO, he led the growth of the organization to over 50 people as it completed more than 500 projects for companies like Symantec, Microsoft, Adobe, Hewlett-Packard and American Express. Bob’s passions include quantitative analysis, usability, and software aesthetics.

Alex Cowan is the founder & CTO of Leonid Systems, a leader in enterprise 2.0 solutions for cloud communications. He is also the author of ‘Starting a Tech Business’ (Wiley, 2012). Alex has always had a strong interest in helping others distill, understand, and apply technology to their business. His role as a mentor and advisor to other startup’s led to his writing ‘Starting a Tech Business’ with the team at Wiley.



Premier Infrastructure Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Community Donors

Lloyd Tabb

Lise Quintana

Lauren Gogarty

Steven Blum

David Intersimone

Martha Intersimone