• hackout: thE world's only LGBTQIA-themed Startup Weekend event


    April 11-14, 2019

    on The University of Texas at Austin Campus in Rowling Hall


    presented by

  • From Ideas to startups



    🏳️‍🌈 Startup Weekend HackOut 2019 🏳️‍🌈

    Startup Weekend HackOut is the world's only LGBTQIA-themed Startup Weekend event!


    The hardest part of starting up is starting out, and the purpose of this event is to inspire potential entrepreneurs in the LGBTQIA community to learn the ropes of validating an idea for a startup or lifestyle business and turn that idea into a business venture.

    In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. As you learn how to create a real company, you'll meet the very best mentors, investors, co-founders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started.

    Startup Weekend HackOut is presented by Twillio, which powers the future of business communications online. The weekend is also being organized in partnership with StartOut, the national nonprofit supporting LGBTQIA entrepreneurs.

    #SWHackOut is being hosted in Austin, TX at The University of Texas at Austin's Rowling Hall.

    Your community is here to help you. Regardless of your professional background — 🏳️‍🌈 SIGN UP NOW 🏳️‍🌈 for Startup Weekend HackOut presented by Twillio in Austin, TX!


    A weekend in Austin


    April 11-14, 2019

    View Map of Venues








    SUNDAY, April 14


    Support and guidance from top industry distinguished judges and expert mentors from the tech industry

    Executive Director - StartOut

    Andres is the executive director of StartOut, the largest non-profit organization supporting LGBTQ entrepreneurs.

    Mellie Price - Judge

    Executive Director - Dell Medical School

    Mellie Price is an experienced investor, technologist, executive, fund manager, public speaker, and serial software entrepreneur.

    Jill Fariss - Judge

    Head of Enterprise Support - AWS

    Jill Fariss leads Enterprise Support for AWS; helping companies worldwide reach their business goals on AWS

    Adam Altman - Judge

    Cofounder - Redoc.ly

    Founder and President of Rebilly. In 2017, he spun off Redocly, creator of ReDoc OpenAPI documentation software

    Margaret Staples - Judge

    Developer Evangelist - Twillio

    Personally responsible sentient creature. Cybae. Consistent producer of code, philosophy, and attitude. Happy to help with all things Twilio. Let's make neat stuff.

    Nellie Bowles - Mentor

    Nellie Bowles covers technology and culture for the New York Times, based in San Francisco, her hometown.

    Alex Kilkka - Mentor

    2018 SWHackout Winner &

    Chief Technology Officer -

    Commonwealth Joe

    Alex is a serial entrepreneur and life-hacker focused on the intersection of technology and business. He recently joined a smart beverage startup.

    Director of Strategic Programs - Notley Ventures

    Notley is a catalyst for social innovation unlocking opportunities with today’s impact organizations and changing communities.

    Vivian Chu - Mentor

    Vivian Chu is considered a leading innovator in robotics, applying AI and social intelligence in the development of robots

    Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer

    Rich is the CIO at VCSH, a local VC/PE investor. He is a recovering investment banker and has also spent time as a corporate development executive.

    Geoffrey Brown - Mentor

    Local Outreach Representative - GoDaddy Social

    Geoffrey has been a member of GoDaddy Social's local business outreach team since 2015 finding success with social media and online reputation management for local businesses.

    Senior VC Associate -

    Capital Factory

    Early-stage investor in technology startups, passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion initiatives, and dedicated consumer of breakfast tacos.

    Shelly Carpenter - Mentor

    Software Development Manager - Amazon

    Shelly is a reproductive justice activist and 20+ year tech industry veteran.

    Entrepreneur/Investor/Producer - StartOut

    Entrepreneur, Investor, Broadway Producer and Creator at the intersection of tech, design, storytelling and social value

    Victoria O'Dell - Mentor

    Program and Communications Manager - Capital City Innovation

    Victoria O'Dell is Program and Communications Manager at Capital City Innovation. She has a background in design and a love for art and community.

    Ian Carrico - Mentor

    Revenue Engineering Manager - VOX Media

    Ian is the manager of the revenue team at Vox Media. He has been an open source contributor and performance advocate in several open source projects.

    Lauren Welch - Mentor

    COO + Co-Founder - Xelpha Health​

    Lauren co-founded a medical software company in Kenya and is an Alumni Member of MIT’s Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

    Zohaib Imam- Mentor

    Software Engineer - Capital One

    In my spare time I like to hack, to make things, to break things, to take photos, listen to hip-hop, watch basketball, and explore the world. Find me everywhere @iamzoh

    Jerry Schirmer - Mentor

    Principal Machine Learning Engineer - Kungfu.AI

    A former academic who has come to data science vial software engineering, with a particular focus on Big Data and NLP.

    Shane Besong - Mentor

    Software Engineer - Capital One

    Hackathon enthusiast, developer, baller, drummer, and gamer. My dream is to combine tech with my other hobbies.

    Lynn Yeldell - Mentor

    Partner & Director, Strategy - Seventh Scout

    New Orleanian by birth. Austinite by Katrina. Sales, Marketing, and Travel for a living. Cooking and photography for a passion. Petter of Winnie.

    Stephen Straus -Mentor

    Managing Director - Kungfu.AI

    Managing Director of KUNGFU.AI, an AI consulting firm. This is Stephen's fifth startup and he is also a former venture capitalist.

    Jolyn Janis - Mentor

    Creative Director - Migomax Studios

    Creative Director, writer, filmmaker. People person, pixel person, agent for dreams and lighthouse for unity.

    Jeremy Smith - Mentor


    Startup enthusiast and hustler, previously founded SpotHero and Blockspring. Lots of experience on BD and getting initial traction.


    #SWHackOut is a partner effort


    The national nonprofit supporting LGBTQ entrepreneurs


    Helping startup founders raise startup funding and gain critical insight to help launch their businesses

    Lesbians Who Tech

    A global community of 25,000+ queer women and gender nonconforming people in tech (and our allies) in over 37 cities around the worldrw


    Startup Weekend HackOut is a volunteer effort!

    Share your email below if you would like to get involved :-)

    Director, Digital and Marketing Technology - SVB

    I ❤️ tech, human centered design & digital. Passionate about equality & mentorship ✈️ AR / XR obsessed.

    Austin Chapter Lead - StartOut

    Passionate about using technology and impeccable design to build software products that improve the businesses and lives of people.

    Community & Partnerships Manager - Walmart

    Desmond was too humble to write a blurb for himself, so we wrote one for him: he's the most focused events and partnerships expert you'll meet.

    President & Chief Scientist, New Knowledge

    Computational physicist and data science entrepreneur who patented a chaos-based dynamic anomaly detection technology.

    Headshot of Taylor McCaslin

    Senior Product Manager - New Knowledge

    Taylor McCaslin is a multi-disciplinary technologist and Product Manager living in Austin, Texas. He's an advocate and defender of privacy, consent, and inclusion.

    Software Engineer - HomeAway

    Developer who loves working closely with designers to make harmonious front end experiences. Currently leads the HomeAway Pride affinity group.

    Areej Rabie

    Senior Venture Associate - Capital Factory

    Passionate about helping empower entrepreneurs to actualize their dreams. Regular supporter of diversity and inclusion efforts across Texas.

    Senior Product Manager - The Home Depot

    Unabashed nerd, especially interested in sports, education and the sharing economy. Passionate advocate for equal rights and opportunities for all.

    Erika Isett

    Partnerships - Capital Factory

    Erika works full time at Capital Factory, the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas, where she manages sponsorships for Austin Startup Week.

    User Experience Designer - M&T Bank

    UX designer, researcher, and videographer focused on meeting people where they are. Occasionally plays the ukulele. Always up for a card game.

    Development Director - StartOut

    Tony serves as the Director of Development at StartOut and is a LatinX Advocate

    Brandon Monsees

    Marketing / Graphic Design

    Brandon designs stickers, websites, and t-shirts for companies.

    Mobile Engineering Lead - KKCO

    Kelly is a mobile engineer/woodworking enthusiast laser-focused on writing great code, code review culture, and empowering women and LGBTQ in tech through community involvement.

  • 2019 Hospitality DONORS

    Thank you for supporting
    #LGBTQIA entrepreneurship!

    Via 313 Pizza


    Lick Honest Ice Creams


    Austin Eastciders


    Imperfect Produce


    Good Pop


    Tiff's Treats


    Imperfect Produce


    Imperfect Produce


    Heyday Cold Brew


    Shade Tree




    Union POS


  • #SWHackOut in the News


    The Austin Chronicle

    Since the inaugural weekend in 2014, HackOut has risen to an international scale

    Spectrum News

    Leaders in the Austin tech scene are doing their part to further LGBTQ inclusion in the industry.

    Austin Business Journal

    Social-business lessons are valuable and a way to connect with new people and new ways of thinking.


    Startup Weekend HackOut aims to teach potential LGBTQIA entrepreneurs how to launch their ideas.

    KHOU 11 - khou.com

    This weekend, members of the LGBTQ community in tech are learning how to grow their startups.

    LinkedIn Pulse

    "We wanted to keep the cost low and the diversity and inclusion high."

    Austin Inno

    Safenight connects well-vetted hosts who can offer a safe place to stay for queer youth in need.

    Built In Austin

    "I explained how I’m bisexual, how I’m trans ... and [my father] didn’t want me living in the house."

    Dig South

    LGBTQ entrepreneurs in Austin, Texas can tap into a growing support system thanks to StartOut.

  • travel Scholarship

    Your community is here to help you.
    Regardless of your professional or
    academic background, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to become an entrepreneur!


    We were thrilled to over over 20 scholarships to LGBTQ individuals from over 12 nations to attend HackOut 2019