Startup Creation Workshop


Registration deadline Oct 19
Kickoff Event Oct 21
Demo Day Oct 23


Hosted by

Fundable ideas •  Expert mentors •  VC access

Pitch a technology based startup idea or join a team. The winning team will not only interact with leading experts and VCs judging the competition but will also receive follow-on mentorship that will allow them to turn their plans into reality.

Register now to be selected to this marquee event.We are looking for a diverse set of participants with business, software development and data science backgrounds.
Pitch your own idea for a technology startup. Solicit other participants to join your team.
Gain access to MVL’s and TiE Seattle’s network of mentors, advisors, and top experts from local technology companies.
The winning teams will receive further mentorship from Madrona Venture Labs and TiE Seattle to help them turn their ideas into real startups

Recommended focus areas

Participants are encouraged (though not required) to pitch a startup idea within one of the Madrona's investment themes.

Intelligent applications


Low code / no code


Future of work


Event details

The GoVertical workshop will begin with a Kickoff event on Oct 21, 2022. Participants will be encouraged to pitch a startup idea. They will then join a team formed around the best ideas selected for the event. Thereafter, the newly formed teams will work together to develop detailed business plans and application prototypes for their startup concepts. Existing teams are encouraged to apply as long as they haven't released their product to market. Demo Day will be held on Oct 23rd to judge the best developed concepts and plans.

Tickets to the entire workshop are $99. Student tickets are $25. We offer scholarships if this is a hardship. Please let us know.

Kickoff event

Date:  Oct 21, 6p–9p
Location: Create33, 999 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

This event is mandatory for workshop participants and is included in the fee for the workshop.

Demo Day

Date  Oct 23, 2p–5 pm
Location: Create33, 999 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104


Kickoff event

Oct 21, 6p-9p 

This event is mandatory for workshop participants and is included in the fee for the workshop.


• Pitch your idea for tech startup.
• Vote to select the 8 best ideas

Team Up

• Select the team you want to join
• Connect with your team members and develop a plan of action

Concept development

Oct 22, 9am - 9pm


• Explore your business opportunity in depth 
• Validate concept with customers


• Prototype your Application interface
• Get feedback from potential users


• Develop initial business plan and model 
• Meet with mentors to get feedback

Demo Day

Sunday Oct 23, 9a–5p


• Finalize your prototype and business model 
• Get final round of feedback from mentors


• Pitch your business plan and demo your application prototype to the judges 
• Defend your plan


• Winners will be selected by a judging panel of industry experts and VCs

The Ideation Workshop is a real opportunity to pitch an idea and find a team of talented individuals who are interested in building it with you. Even after the weekend is over!" — 2019 ML workshop participant

Love the energy and entrepreneur nurturing environment of Madrona Venture Labs." — Blockchain workshop participant

One of the best hackathons I have ever attended... There were a lot of interesting projects and smart people involved. Would definitely come again!" — 2018 ML workshop participant


Brianna McDonald

President, Keiretsu Forum

Brianna McDonald has been an active leader and angel investor with Keiretsu Forum since its launch in Seattle in 2005 and supporting its growth to become the largest and most active group globally.  She has proven specifically adept at screening companies for angel investment, coaching companies on presentation and investor relations, sales strategy execution, relationship management, and leading due diligence teams. Brianna has established a reputation for achievement in all phases of the Keiretsu process: risk management, market anticipation and response, regional/national business development, organizational development, angel investing, and overall enterprise management.

Jay Bartot

CEO, Zeitworks

Jay is a technologist, machine-learning enthusiast and serial entrepreneur whose startup career spans over 20 years and includes co-founding a number of venture-funded data/analytics companies which were acquired by companies such as Microsoft, Nielsen/NetRatings and Hulu. Jay enjoys playing music, collecting guitars and tinkering with his 3D printer.

Sanjay Puri

Co-Founder and General Partner, 9Mile Labs

Sanjay is a marketing and product management leader who has successfully helped commercialize a wide range of breakthrough technology offerings -- spanning roles with innovative startups and mid-sized growth companies, as well as top global enterprise / B2B organizations. As a products executive at startups (iConclude, Opsware, Edifecs) and large companies (Microsoft and HP), Sanjay has helped companies achieve successful exits and exceptional revenue growth. Sanjay holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from IIT-BHU and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

Aseem Datar

Partner, Madrona Venture Group

Aseem joined Madrona in 2021. As part of the investment team, Aseem identifies and evaluates new investment opportunities as well as working closely with existing companies on business and product strategies for hyper growth. Prior to Madrona, Aseem spent over 17 years at Microsoft, working in a wide variety of roles from a developer writing deep installer level code to building and creating business models for Office 365.

Sona Venkat

Head of Cloud, Comcast

Sona Venkat is a senior technology executive with more than 20 years of experience across corporate strategy, product marketing and management and business development at Comcast, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle. Sona has helped these industry  leaders navigate market change and embrace disruptive technologies through her work crafting new business models, establishing new and adjacent businesses and driving market-leading product innovations. Currently, as Vice President and Head of Cloud Product and Customer Success at Comcast, Sona helps drive Comcast’s broader cloud strategy and leads cloud product management, cloud financial operations and "Cloud First" migrations.


Nancy Wang

General Manager, AWS Backups

Nancy Wang is a General Manager at Amazon Web Services, where she leads P&L, product, engineering, and design for its data protection and governance businesses. Prior to Amazon, she led SaaS product development at Rubrik, the fastest-growing enterprise software unicorn and built for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Passionate about advancing more women into technical roles, Nancy is the founder & CEO of Advancing Women in Tech, a global 501(c)(3) nonprofit with 16,000+ members spanning three continents. Nancy is an angel investor in data security and compliance companies, and an LP with several seed- and growth-stage funds such as Operator Collective and IVP. She earned a degree in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Henry Huang

Partner, Madrona Venture Labs

Henry is a product and operations leader with extensive experience in enterprise software, data, and ML. For over 10 years, Henry has been building products that empower customers and leading teams responsible for shipping great software. His experience is grounded in B2B SaaS businesses focused on specific enterprise verticals, such as finance and professional services. More recently, he has been working on AI and ML applications for enterprise.

Andrew Albertson

Partner, Fenwick and West LLP

Andrew counsels public and private life sciences and technology companies. Andy’s practice focuses on providing strategic and practical counseling to high growth life sciences and technology companies, ranging from early startup teams to mature public companies, as well as many leading venture capital and private equity firms. Andy has extensive experience structuring, negotiating and executing a wide variety of corporate transactions including: seed and venture capital financings, growth equity/structured minority equity financings, debt financings, corporate reorganizations and recapitalizations, joint ventures, complex mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions.

Matthew Kirk

Chief Scientist & Founder, Modulus

Matt Kirk is a data architect, software engineer, and entrepreneur based out of Seattle. For years, he struggled to piece together his quantitative finance background with his passion for building software. Then he discovered his affinity for solving problems with data. Now, he helps multi-million dollar companies with their data projects. From diamond recommendation engines to marketing automation tools, he loves educating engineering teams about methods to start their big data projects.

Anupam Gupta

Chief Product Officer, Applied Systems

Anupam Gupta, is currently the Chief Product Officer of Applied Systems, the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Formerly CPO at 4C Insights, a sophisticated Data & Analytics SaaS provider to the AdTech/MarTech industries, which was acquired by Mediaocean, the mission-critical platform for omnichannel advertising with more than $200 billion in annualized media spend managed through its software, connecting the ecosystem of agencies, brands, media, technology, and data. As CPO of the combined companies, he spearheaded their product transformation to the cloud, adding new products fueled by data and intelligence infused in the core workflow. Previously, he’s led product organizations for several tech companies, including at Vubiquity, Mixpo, and Microsoft among others.

Puja Lakhanpal

Director, Global GTM and Partner Marketing, Microsoft

Puja is a marketplace entrepreneur and product commercialization executive. She has experience in identifying, launching, and scaling business opportunities both in start-up and corporate environments. She is a Wharton and BCG alumna. 

Aaron Khoo

Head of Engineering, AWS Backup

Aaron is an engineering leader who has worked at Microsoft, Axon (formerly Taser) and Amazon. In a career spanning 20 years, he has built and scaled teams for such diverse areas as video game platforms, police body cameras, enterprise compliance and data protection. Passionate about cloud computing, he joined AWS five years ago to create Internet scale products that impact millions of users globally.  Aaron holds a PhD in Computer Science from Northwestern University.

Arean Van Veelan

Co-Founder and CTO, Offer Up, Inc.

Arean Van Veelan is a technologist with nearly 20 years cross functional experience with the design, building and management of software products. He is currently involved in management of products and teams touching social media, cloud, crowd-sourcing, mobile app development and LBS. Prior to Offer Up, Mr. Van Veelan designed, sold, implemented enterprise and consumer products at Boeing, Philips, Marconi, Union Pacific, FirstGroup, CAT, GE and other large corporations.

Paul Zimmerman

Venture Business Development, Amazon Web Services

At AWS, Paul works with the venture capital ecosystem to help entrepreneurs, start-ups, and their venture capital backers successfully leverage AWS, and Amazon, to build and scale their businesses. Prior to joining the team at AWS, Paul was CEO of three startups over thirteen years - Aegis Mobility, Angstrom Power and Oregon Scientific. Each startup was sold in a successful exit and the innovations born in these startups continue in the market today. Prior to his CEO roles, Paul was a co-founding Managing Director of the Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF) – a $2B venture capital fund. Paul had joined SAIF from Cisco Systems Inc where he was a senior director responsible for the wireless business across the APAC region.

Kenny Daniel

Founder, Algorithmia

Kenny is a founder at Algorithmia, building a community around state-of-the-art algorithm development, where users can create, share and build on other algorithms. Algorithmia gives developers the ability to turn algorithms into scalable web services with a single click. Application developers can then integrate the algorithm into their own applications with under 10 lines of code. Algorithmia hosts the web services, makes them discoverable and enables algorithm developers to get paid for usage.

Stefan Schoenmackers

Data Scientist, Madrona Venture Labs

Stef's interest and expertise are in using Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing to make products and tools that make people's lives easier. Stef had data scientist roles at eBay and He earned a Ph.D. in Computur Science from the University of Washington.

Gowri Shankar

Serial Entrepreneur, Board Member, TiE Seattle

Gowri Shankar is a serial entrepreneur and experienced executive who has grown companies and teams. Strong business development professional, skilled in SAAS, Media and Venture Capital.. He is an advisor to Corestack, Dallas Venture Capital and Z5 Capital.

Jamie Johnson

Associate, Perkins Coie

Jamie Nicole Johnson represents emerging growth, privately-held and publicly traded companies. Jamie’s experience focuses on counseling companies from their earliest stages of growth through exit events, with an emphasis on emerging companies and venture capital. Her representation includes entity formation, fundraising and financings (friends & family, angel, venture capital, growth equity and strategic), strategic transactions, governance, mergers & acquisitions and other corporate legal issues. She also works with university spin-outs and regularly advises social entrepreneurs and social purpose entities.

Michael T. Avent

Partner, Perkins Coie

Michael Avent serves as corporate counsel to emerging growth technology and life sciences companies in the negotiation and closing of debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, commercial agreements and general corporate matters. Michael also works closely with a number of venture capitalists and high-profile corporate venture groups investing in high growth companies.Michael works with clients across a range of industries and technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning; augmented reality and virtual reality; blockchain; software-as-a-service (SaaS); fintech; aerospace and defense; retail; and biotech.


Shirish Nadkarni

Serial Entrepreneur & Author

Shirish Nadkarni is a serial entrepreneur with proven success in creating multiple consumer businesses that have scaled to tens of millions of users worldwide. Shirish was the co-founder of Livemocha, the world’s largest language learning site with 15+ million registered members from over 200 countries. Livemocha was acquired by RosettaStone in 2013. Prior to Livemocha, Shirish was the founder of TeamOn Systems, a mobile wireless e-mail pioneer that was acquired by Research in Motion in 2002. The TeamOn technology served as the core foundation for Blackberry Internet E-mail which serviced over 50 million BlackBerry users. Shirish is the author of “From Startup to Exit - An Insider’s Guide to Launching and Scaling Your Tech Business”.

GoVertical Team

Minee Verma

TiE Seattle

Accepting last chance workshop applications now – deadline Oct 19


Terms & conditions

Please visit our Terms & Conditions page if you have any questions concerning legal terms, refund policy, or other details.