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Event has been temporarily postponed due to scheduling restrictions with the speakers. Apologies for any inconvenience.


📅Date: January 15th




Venture Mechanics Coworking Studios Bellevue

14110 NE 21st St, Bellevue, WA 98007

If you’ve been to the Venture Mechanics building in Bellevue then you probably noticed the aviation theme throughout the building. That is no coincidence. 

With a combined 75 years in the cockpit, Ron Wiener, Ron Higgs and TJ Kneale credit their flight training for much of their later success in business. In this unique workshop they will each convey to the audience the lessons and disciplines they picked up in flight school that they believe helped them the most in their later careers.

During the afterparty, flight simulator time will also be available in the rec room on a powerful workstation with 96”-wide wrap-around display!

Meet the Speakers

Ron Wiener

A nine-time tech startup founder and the “Chief Mechanic” (CEO) at the Venture Mechanics Startup Incubator, Ron Wiener first learned to fly general aviation aircraft in 1984. His first two startups were in the aviation industry, building avionics, flight simulators and a variety of other hardware and software products used across the aviation industry. In the first two companies nearly every single employee from the shipping clerks to the accountants were aviators. And in seven other technology companies he has created since then in diverse industries, Ron will elaborate on why he has always put candidates with aviation and/or military backgrounds at the top of the resume stack.

Ron Higgs

Not just a business veteran, Ron Higgs is a veteran, engineer, business executive, and published author. He has more than 25 years of experience in leadership, operations, engineering management, and program management. He has worked in several industries and held leadership positions in startups, small companies, and large corporations. As an Executive Coach and Strategic Business Advisor, Ron draws on his experience in naval aviation as a foundation for his expertise.

TJ Kneale

T.J. is an executive with 20+ years of experience, including product management ranging from consumer software to integrated hardware/software defense systems. He launched a consumer-facing EdTech SaaS startup from scratch, raising $2M and deploying consumer-facing mobile SaaS products. In the Navy, he began as a Naval Aviator & Test Pilot before leading product management for a $6B portfolio of software, avionics, and modeling & simulation products for the $300B F-35 enterprise. As the Head of Moonshot Launch at Telefónica, he conceived and launched a multi-player video game using ML-powered assessment of collaborative problem-solving. TJ’s aviation background laid a solid foundation for his business endeavors, and he’ll pass on some of the most relevant learning from his fighter pilot experience.

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