Nov 22
  • 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


Nov 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Teams work!
  • 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


Nov 24
  • 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!
Platinum Sponsors

Kevin O'Connor

CEO & Founder of   |  

Kevin co-founded his first company, ICC, in 1983 while at the University of Michigan. After ICC sold to DCA, O'Connor went on to help start Internet Security Systems (sold to IBM in 2008) in 1995. Also in 1995, Kevin was CEO & Founder of DoubleClick which went public and eventually sold to Google in 2008. Kevin is currently CEO & Founder at in Santa Barbara.

Christopher Buckstein

Director of the Entrepreneurship Village at Chapman University   |   LinkedIn

Christopher Buckstein is a serial entrepreneur with broad expertise in angel investing, venture capital, investment banking and private equity transactions within the tech, energy, construction, hospitality, retail, wholesale, recycling, manufacturing, real-estate and financial industries.

Currently Christopher is serving as Director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics', Entrepreneurship Village (eVillage) and serves as adjunct faculty at the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University in Orange County, CA. The mission of the Entrepreneurship Village is to foster job creation and help students, alumni, and the Southern Californian community launch new business ventures as well as educate on the entrepreneurial mindset, how businesses operate, and provide the tools needed to compete in a corporate environment. In his role as the Director of the Entrepreneurship Village, Christopher educates, advises and mentors students, alumni, and the community on the entrepreneurial process through hands on programming. Each semester Christopher teaches multiple courses.

In addition to his role as an educator, Christopher is an active Tech Coast Angels investor and President of Dynamic Investments through which he invests in start-up companies in order to help them reach their full potential. He looks for an enthusiastic team and a solid idea that fills a void or satisfies an unrealized need in the consumer market. One of his most recent start-ups is Dynamic Construction Services, is headquartered in Seal Beach, CA.

Christopher received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University, and Master of Business Administration from The George L. Arygros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University. He also holds a Black Belt in Six Sigma Lean from the University of California, Irvine. In addition, Christopher sits on the board of several start-up companies in and around the Orange County area.

Gold Sponsors

Dr. Richard Sudek

Chairman of TCA & Director of Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship

Richard Sudek is Chairman of Tech Coast Angels and Director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship at George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University.

Amir Banifatemi

Founder of K5 Ventures   |   LinkedIn

Amir Banifatemi's career spans more than 28 years in Europe and the US in the development and growth of high technology ventures. He has held senior executive positions with numerous large companies including Matra Space, AP-HP, and the European Commission Information Society. Amir is founder of Bayspring Group, an innovation think tank that specializes in defining market opportunities and the launch of new products and services to meet market needs.

Ash Kumra

Author & Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Ash Kumra is an award winning entrepreneur, author and public speaker recently recognized by the White House as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs making an impact for America. Ash is currently co-founder of


Ray Chan

An active investor with 27 years of successful track record, working in full partnership with founders to create the appropriate structures, systems and teams required. Ray is a member and board member of Tech Coast Angels, an active investor and COO of TCA portfolio companies MasherMedia and Vokle. A co-founder and investor of, he helped to secure over $12,000,000 in funding and led the company through the internet bubble, orchestrated and steered the company from an advertising supported startup to a profitable subscription business. Prior to, he was Vice President of International at NetManage, a provider of ebusiness and application integration solutions.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown is the Co-Founder & CEO of ModBargains – a market leader in the aftermarket automotive industry (car customization). He founded the company in 2004 at the age of 19 while he was a full time student at Chapman University in the Entrepreneurship program. Mike completed his degree in 2006 at Chapman. He is a competitive, driven, strategic entrepreneur with experience in sales, e-commerce, search engine optimization, and management. In 2006 Mike was named the Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year.

David Cheng

David Cheng was recently the CEO of Accenx, a healthcare SaaS company that is now a part of IBM. David founded Accenx back in 1997 and took the company through its organic growth stage as well as raising multiple rounds of funding to support its SaaS product development. In October 2009, Accenx was acquired by Initiate Systems and together were then immediately acquired by IBM. So, David has the rare experience of working thru two acquisitions back-to-back. David is currently retained by IBM to continue supporting IBM's initiatives for "Smarter Healthcare".

Karen Jaffe

Karen Jaffe has 25+ years experience in the implementation of technology in the enterprise and telecommunications environment. With an undergraduate degree from Georgia Institute of Technology, a master's degree from Cornell in electrical engineering and MBA from NYU, she has worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories for 10 years implementing leading-edge technologies in high-speed data networks as well as developing a customer training program for high-speed data network implementation. She has led development teams for product definition and deployment of mobile applications for enterprise CRM management and has served as Director of Product Strategy for Oracle's pharmacovigilance risk management and analytics products. She has implemented drug safety systems for the likes of Amgen and Bayer Schering and has two patents pending in the area of signal detection.

Dick Dadamo

Dick Dadamo has served in all phases of corporate management. Dadamo formed his consulting firm, RJD Associates, Inc. for mentoring presidents. Dadamo presently is a founding Director of three companies and served as a Director of several public companies. He was a member of the Tech Coast Angels for 10 years. Dadamo with his partner, Phil Harding offers their class The Laws of Management Physics and numerous seminar topics to in-house classes at local companies. Dadamo is the author of seven books on Management, directed to hands-on-management.

Nicholas Yoca

Owen Gonzales

Owen is the CEO and founder of Ones We Love, Incorporated (OWL). Having spent 12+ years as a financial and information technology auditor with Ernst & Young and 20+ years developing marketing and promotions strategies, Owen created an organization that leverages the best qualities of both disciplines. In addition to forming OWL, he was a minority partner (20%) of the 5-Star French Restaurant Chanteclair, located in Irvine, California. Ones We Love is a marketing firm that substantially increases the popularity of ideas, services, products and events through creative marketing strategies. Combined with the ability to assist clients increase revenue during off-hours or slow economic cycles, Ones We Love creates unique business opportunities resulting in thousands of new sales and sales leads. Owen enjoys spending time with his family and helping others. Owen contributes to local charities including Second Harvest Food Bank, Red Cross and Surfrider Foundation. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), Orange County chapter and is responsible for marketing concerts for CFF. Owen is currently on the Board of Advisors for the National Childhood Obesity Foundation (NCOF) and has held the position of corporate development and major fundraising for the foundation.

Gene Alexander

Gene Alexander, PhD, is VP & GM for Motion Analysis Corporation, an entertainment technology company. Motion Analysis is the acquirer of Gene's previous startup, MaMoCa. As CEO, Gene led MaMoCa from an idea through external funding and on to acquisition. Prior to MaMoCa, Gene was a Lecturer and Senior Research Engineer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Gene co-founded Imaging Therapeutics with IP developed at and licensed back from Stanford. Imaging Therapeutics was subsequently acquired by Conformis and has multiple FDA approved products on the market. Prior to Stanford, Gene was splitting time as a Research Engineer at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, as Engineering Director for Computerized Functional Testing Corporation, and pursuing his BS, MS, and PhD in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Illinois Chicago. Gene, as were his father and grandfather, is a veteran of the US Army, and holds several issued US and international patents.

Kimberly Kovacs


Kimberly Kovacs is the founder of OptionEase, the leading network connector for complex equity compliance applications which was purchased by Solium Capital (SUM.TXU) in 2012. OptionEase was honored by INC Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Orange County Business Journal also honored OptionEase as one of its Fastest Growing Companies in Orange County. Ms. Kovacs was a member of the board of director’s for Alpha Project. Alpha Project secured over $50M in funding from HUD to preserve low income housing. As CFO and board member of ORXYE Energy, she testified in Congress in concert with the EPA on clean energy regulations. Ms. Kovacs is currently on the board serving as treasurer of the All American Boys Choir

Steve Block

Stephen A. Block is a member of the Tech Coast Angels, serving on the Executive Committee of the Westlake/Santa Barbara Network, and a Managing Director of Venture Farm, LLC, which provides early stage venture capital to entrepreneurs. He is also, a speaker on angel and VC investing at universities and business conferences. Mr. Block is a member of the Board of Directors of two public companies: Senomyx, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNMX), a biotech based in San Diego, and Chromadex Corporation (OTC: CDXC.OB), a reference standards and ingredient supply company in Irvine, where he serves as Lead Independent Director. He is also a director of Allylix, Inc. a TCA-funded company, and other privately held companies. Mr. Block has 40 years of broad legal, management and executive experience, holding a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA cum laude from Yale University.

Margot Shapiro

Margot Shapiro started her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, followed by several years at a private equity firm in New York with a portfolio of 30 companies and $6 billion in revenues. She was a founding member of Kaplan Interactive, the start-up book, software and internet publishing division of Kaplan Inc., owned by The Washington Post Company. She has also helped to raise money for private wealth teams in the Midwest office of Goldman Sachs. Margot served as a Board Member/Advisor to the Wolverine Venture Fund for 6 years at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Currently she is a Partner at LMN Ventures, a seed venture fund. She has invested in and served on the boards of a wide range of companies in industries including medical devices, consumer goods, education, manufacturing, and hospitality.
Margot holds a B.S. in Applied Earth Science and an M.S. in Petroleum Geology from Stanford University.

Cynthia Kirkeby

Cynthia Kirkeby is a serial entrepreneur, who started her first business while still in college. Her love of design and technology have been the unifying elements in her successful involvement with diverse industries. With degrees in English (writing) and Graphic Design, as well as the completion of specialized programs in Technology Entrepreneurship, Cynthia brings a unique set of skills to assist companies in finding their niches and exploiting them. She has had companies in graphic design, furniture manufacturing, pet products manufacturing, and web-based education and edutainment. Currently part of a start up team that is launching a new iPad accessory, and another company that is pivoting within the construction and DIY decking industry.

Everette Philips

Everette Phillips is President & CEO of the Global Manufacturing Network, a company that he helped cofound almost a decade ago. GMN is a contract manufacturing firm and international sourcing organization with production and resources in the US, Greater China, SE Asia and India. Global Manufacturing Network supplies custom Bill of Material parts to its US customers who assemble them into products. In addition to involvement in several startups, Everette's career and experience includes leadership in the robotics and machine vision industries, advanced manufacturing technologies and the evolution of software and hi-tech products. He and his companies have been featured in books and articles over the years including CNN/Money, Entrepreneurship, Forbes, Businessweek and Fortune. Everette is active in various hi-tech, entrepreneurial and manufacturing oriented communities in Southern California. He mentors recent graduates and promotes the use of social media to enhance the networking experience. Everette also writes a blog, called Global View, for the Frost & Sullivan site: www.manufacturing-exectuive,com He holds a BS in Bioengineering from Cornell University, where he also serves on the board for entrepreneurship@Cornell and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Business.

Media Sponsors
Nicole Provansal
Casey Armstrong


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