Aspiring Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders to Gather at LMU’s Annual Startup Weekend

Teams of aspiring entrepreneurs will create startup companies and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges during a frenzied 54-hour competition Friday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 20, at Loyola Marymount University.

In its third year, Startup Weekend Los Angeles is expected to draw nearly 200 participants to LMU – the largest number yet – including developers, designers, marketers, product managers, coaches, mentors and more. Over the course of three days, contestants will form teams around top-rated startup ideas, create and refine their business plans and present them to judges tasked with selecting winners.

Past winning concepts from LMU teams include a tool for sanitizing dishwashing sponges and an online web configurator for aftermarket auto parts.

Startup Weekend is co-sponsored by the College of Business Administration’s Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, and the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering. It offers an opportunity for true collaboration among students from these three schools and participants from local businesses, said David Choi, director of the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship.

“For LMU students, this is experiential education off the charts for learning about the startup process,” Choi said. “For members of the community who are participating and joining, this is a rare opportunity to work with top students from entrepreneurship, engineering and science, and design disciplines.”

Digital LA’s Kevin Winston, founder of the L.A.-based networking group of professionals in digital entertainment, will be a speaker. The judges, who are part of the angel investor group Tech Coast Angels, are: Make in LA co-founder Shaun Arora, whose company supports hardware startups; Michael Miller, angel investor and co-founder of the international investment accelerator Wild Horse Labs; and Sonya Sepahban, who serves on the board of directors at Cooper Standard, a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry. LMU professors, entrepreneurs and investment experts make up the diverse panel of team mentors and coaches.

The event kicks off Friday in the Hilton Center for Business and wraps up Sunday night in the Life Sciences Building auditorium. For more, visit