Past event…

Event Ended

Mercy Corps - Global Headquarters


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What is Tech4Change you ask?

Mercy Corps and Startup Weekend have partnered to create a first-of-its kind event focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems through technology and entrepreneurship, measured by solutions formulated from the boldest of ideas.

Tech4Change will serve as a platform to encourage new ways to think about entrepreneurship in challenging environments around the globe. The 54-hour marathon event will be focused on developing tech tools for the greater good and creating viable social enterprises that can scale to address global needs.

We need smart business development and marketing experts with ideas for social change!
We need developers of all kinds!
We need UI/UX experts with an eye for all things beautiful!

Here’s an opportunity for you to gain experience working with social impact entrepreneurs and nonprofit program officers! Put your skills to the test at Tech4Change and develop a minimum viable product with a shot for deployment with Mercy Corps!

Tech4Change will take place at Mercy Corps Portland Headquarters and will start with participants pitching their ideas for social change. You’ll also get to hear pitches from Mercy Corps personnel who’ve been in the field. From there, the crowd will choose the best ideas that will be developed during the weekend. The top prize winning team will have a chance at deploying their application with Mercy Corps in the field!

Mercy Corps is a non-profit disaster relief and development organization with operations in over 40 countries. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Mercy Corps strives to catalyze community-led and market-driven solutions to global poverty issues. Increasingly, Mercy Corps is employing technologies which have the potential to give millions of people new access to financial services and information, enabling them to grow businesses and improve their livelihoods, health and communities. Mercy Corps is also increasingly using startup technologies to streamline operations and meet compliance needs, freeing up human and financial resources to benefit those in need.

Recognizing their common geographies and mission-related goals, SW and MC officially joined forces in May 2012 to develop events globally. To date the organizations have co-hosted events in Iraq, Palestinian Territories, and Haiti, with future events planned for Egypt, Libya and China.



Jun 7
  • 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


Jun 8
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • 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


Jun 9
  • 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

Adam Stelle

COO, Startup Weekend - UP Global

COO of UP Global, and a passionate supporter of international development through entrepreneurship. As a driving force behind the Startup Weekend - Mercy Corps partnership, Adam's had the privilege of seeing first-hand the incredible impact made possible by putting a few simple but powerful ideas in the hands of motivated individuals in regions ripe for change.

Craig Redmond

Craig Redmond directs Mercy Corps’ Program Operations, Program Development, Social Innovations and Financial Services, and previously served as Mercy Corps’ regional program director for South and SE Asia. Before joining Mercy Corps in 2000, he held positions at the UNDP and the UNHCR, working on refugee issues and microfinance in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa.

Emcee - David Dyer

As Managing Partner and Chief Strategist of Manifesto, a brand declaration agency, David translates brand beliefs intro authentic brand behavior through the power of channel agnostic storytelling, engagement, and cultural disruption. After working with dozens of Fortune 500 brands and inspired by other social entrepreneurs during Summit at Sea, he co-founded Manifesto, coined as an “agency with a conscience” working at the intersection of cause, commerce, and innovation. David wields a deep passion for discovering ways to create social impact through the power of brand experiences.

Before founding Manifesto David was an 9 year veteran of the agency scene working as Director of Strategy for Satori Engine and as National Account Director for IDL Worldwide, a leading retail strategy and design agency.

David has worked on national and global product launches, sponsorships, and campaigns for clients including Apple, Gap, The Arby’s Foundation, Sprint, Habitat for Humanity, Google, and Adobe.

Gold Sponsors

Tom Keffer

Mercy Corps Social Innovations Advisor & Entrepreneur

Tom co-founded Rogue Wave Software, Inc, in 1989 in Corvallis, Oregon, becoming its Chairman, President, and CEO. In 1996 the company did an Initial Public Offering on the NASDAQ exchange (sticker RWAV), followed in 1997 by a secondary offering. When he left in 1998, the company had grown to nearly 300 employees and revenues of over $44M. Since then, he has been an active angel investor and board member of both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Tom currently works as an advisor on Mercy Corps' Social Innovations Team.

Mike Maerz

Mercy Corps Board Member & Entrepreneur

Mike Maerz, Portland, Oregon, has served in key roles at a number of leading Oregon technology companies, most notably as Vice President and General Manager of Internet Products Division and Network Products Division at Intel Corporation. He is also a co-founder of etrieve, Inc., and former President and CEO of The Palace, Inc.

Jenn Lynch

General Partner, Upstart Labs

Jenn has ten years of software product management, product marketing and user experience design experience. Most recently, she was a director of professional services at StepChange Group, now Dachis Group, developing social media marketing initiatives for large enterprises. Prior to Dachis Group, Jenn was a product manager and product marketing manager in the enterprise talent management space at Unicru (now Kronos), Yahoo! HotJobs and BrassRing (now Kenexa). She is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Angela Jackson

Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund

Angela brings a decade’s experience placing 30+ angel investments (multiple sectors) and a serial entrepreneur family history to Portland Seed Fund. She has advised hundreds of entrepreneurs and seed‐stage companies across a broad spectrum of industries at AB Jackson Group, and also oversees the Portland State University Business Accelerator, with 25+ resident bio-tech, technology and clean-tech companies. She is current President of the Portland chapter of Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel network in the world, and was Chair of the state’s premier angel investment event, Angel Oregon, in 2010.

Prior, she served as a principal at Emergent, an incubator/investment fund for emerging technology and consumer products. Earlier in her career, she started and operated several small companies and drove key partner relationships and sales channels at Auctionpay (acquired by Global Payments: GPN) during a period of explosive growth. Very early, she trained for a career in ballet and spent three years sailing globally as a professional tall ships sailor. She holds a B.A. in English and History (Boston University) and a M.A. in Environmental Studies (University of Oregon).

Kazi Huque

CEO, Grameen Intel Social Business, Ltd.

Kazi Huque is the CEO of Grameen Intel Social Business Ltd. He has more than 12 years of experience with Intel Corporation as a Finance Controller based in the US with worldwide financial and investment responsibilities. Prior to Intel, he worked as a technology consultant at EDS. In 2009 he was tasked to lead the startup and Intel's investment in the Grameen Intel venture.

Kazi Huque has a bachelors in applied mathematics, computer science and an MBA from the University of Rochester.

Silver Sponsors

Scott Grout

Technology Executive and Investor

Scott is an experienced leader of technology companies across a range of stages of development. Most recently (from 2002-2011) he was President and CEO of RadiSys (nasdaq: RSYS) where revenues were increased from $200M to $400M through significant strategic change and globalization. Prior to RadiSys Scott joined Chorum Technologies as its seventh employee and its President and CEO. Chorum was an early-stage, venture-backed telecom startup where revenues grew from zero to over $100M. Scott began his career at AT&T/Lucent where he spent 15 years leading a number of businesses including as VP/GM of Lucent’s multibillion dollar Optical Networking Group. Scott has a BS in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Business.

Shashi Jain

Founder, DongleKong   |  

Shashi Jain is a seasoned technology professional and entrepreneur, with over 14 years in Technical Marketing and Product Management and Software Development. He has bootstrapped several small businesses, the latest of which, DongleKong, builds custom kits that connect MacBooks or UltraBooks to projectors. Shashi serves as lead organizer for Portland Startup Weekend City Hub and has helped spread the entrepreneurial experience throughout Oregon.

Huston Hedinger

Co-founder and CEO of GraphAlchemist   |  

Before founding GraphAlchemist (formely Wikisway), Huston worked for an early stage fund in the Middle East ( and completed a Master's Degree in International Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He is an Angel investor ( with a background in Private Equity Finance and Commercial Real Estate. He is a self taught hacker and enjoys prototyping new technologies for use in data science, natural language processing, and data visualization. He is a speaker of Arabic, an Ultra-marathoner (well, he did one, that was enough), and a Crossfit certified trainer.

Grace Andrews

Co-founder and communications lead at GraphAlchemist   |  

Grace has a BA in Sociology/Anthropology & Politics, an MPA in business and emerging markets. Grace has worked for early stage investors and start ups in South America, and growing businesses in the US.

Michael Gray

CTO, Globe Sherpa

Michael co-founded GlobeSherpa in 2010 and oversees the technical development and implementation of GlobeSherpa’s mobile ticketing platform. He works closely with customer IT teams and GlobeSherpa’s technical partners. Prior to GlobeSherpa Michael worked as a Software Consultant for Huron Consulting, providing custom applications for the healthcare sector, as well as for NPower, where he integrated several complex back-end management systems for Fortune 500 clients. Michael also worked as an engineer for Bank of Americaand as a consultant for Accenture, where he led the design and coding of Michael holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems from Winthrop University and a Masters Degree in International Management from Portland State University. When not deep in code, Michael enjoys running and exploring Oregon’s great outdoors.

Jacen Greene

Fellow, PSU Impact Entrepreneurs

Jacen Greene is Ames Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship at Portland State University, where he helps manage the Impact Entrepreneurs initiative. He has previously worked with social entrepreneurs in the U.S., India, Cambodia, Honduras and Nicaragua, and co-designed the business model for Central City Coffee. Jacen graduated Beta Gamma Sigma with an MBA in sustainability from Portland State University and holds a B.A. in China studies from Willamette University.

Melea Seward

Melea Seward is a communications strategy consultant, business advisor, and public speaker. Her specialties include web content strategy, storytelling, creative facilitation. She works with nonprofits, start-ups, foundations, television networks, old-school magazines, and new-school digital publishers. She has guest lectured at Fordham University, Sarah Lawrence College, King's College, The Levin Institute, NYU, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the American Association of Writers and Journalists.

Before her tenure as a content-strategist, Melea was in traditional book publishing and business development. She was an Editor at W. W. Norton, where she acquired and developed the Sociology list. She also was the Director of Business Development for Performance of a Lifetime, (POAL) a global consulting firm that uses tools of the theater within organizations. POAL was recently featured in Dan Pink's recent best-seller To Sell is Human.

Melea is currently a Fellow at The Attic Institute's Atheneum program in Portland, Oregon, where she is writing a book.

Patrick Maloney

Occam Advisors

Patrick has been working at the intersection of impact, entrepreneurship and finance for 20 years. He currently advises investors, foundations and entrepreneurs building new investment structures and ventures that combine entrepreneurship and social change. He was previously Head of Strategy at Imprint Capital Advisors, a leading impact investment advisor to foundations, families and financial institutions, where he worked with clients focused on energy & the environment and base of the pyramid ventures. Before that, he was Program Director at The Lemelson Foundation, focused on invention as a tool for solving social and environmental challenges. He headed the Foundation’s international investments in for-profit and non-profit organizations developing and distributing energy, water, agricultural and health technologies, primarily in the developing world. Before returning to Oregon, he worked with mission-driven investors in emerging technologies, including Omidyar Network and Patrick has also worked at Rosum, a location technology start-up where he focused on strategic and investment partnerships, and Barclays Global Investors, where he helped develop the world’s first exchange traded fund risk-optimized to social, environmental and governance factors. He began his career with Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Patrick holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is on the boards of SELCO Foundation and Karuna Foundation.

Tom Sperry

Managing Director, Rogue Venture Partners

Tom Sperry is the Managing Director of Rogue Venture Partners, a Portland based Private Equity firm. He is also the CEO of Exit Games Inc. Exit Games is a venture capital backed technology company with a focus on the video game industry. It has offices in Portland and Hamburg Germany. Prior to Exit Games he was the CEO of Blade3D headquartered in Shanghai, China, with an office in Seattle, WA. Prior to his role at Blade3D, held senior management positions with HNC Software (Executive Director) and Looking Glass Studios (Director). Tom began his career at Microsoft Corporation, where he was an International Program Manager in the Games Division. Tom holds an M.B.A. from The Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, International Executive M.B.A. Program located in Hong Kong, 2002-2004.

Greg Rau

Founder/CEO and Managing Director, Upstart Labs

Greg brings a decade of technology sales and marketing experience to the Upstart team. Greg co-founded StepChange Group in 2007, later sold to Dachis Group. Prior to StepChange, Greg served as a vice president of sales and business development at Unicru, a web-based enterprise talent management solution later acquired by Kronos, Inc. At Unicru, he managed a national sales team responsible for more than $10MM in new business in the retail, food service and healthcare sectors. Greg holds a BBA from San Francisco State University.

Community Sponsors
Allison Deverman Vietor
Andy Dwonch
Scott Onder
Mahmood Khan
Loren Guerriero
Anita Ramachandran
Jenny Keating
Kyla Springer
Katie Hurst - SW Facilitator
Jim Berry
Ariane Holzhauer
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