Startup Weekend Blacksburg

    Friday, October 3 - 5, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Blacksburg

Friday, October 3 - 5, 2014

Friday, October 3 - 5, 2014
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Kent Square
216 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060

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Announcing Startup Weekend Blacksburg, Oct 3-5!

Nestled amid the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Blacksburg is best known as the home of Virginia Tech. Surrounding the Hokie Stone empire, however, you’ll also find a thriving and growing technology and start-up community. Hundreds of avant-garde companies chose to make Blacksburg and the New River Valley home thanks to its energetic and authentically supportive culture that encourages and breeds innovation.

Startup Weekend Blacksburg is a unique learning experience, an opportunity to network and build relationships, and a chance to challenge yourself. It’s open to anyone — no startup experience, prior ideas, or specific backgrounds are necessary. All you need is a passion to start something and an interest in experiencing the process of forming a business around an idea.

If you already have an idea, that’s great! You’ll have the opportunity to pitch it to the group. Teams will form around the best ideas, and you’ll begin a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. You’ll have access to Blacksburg’s famous Gigabit internet so you can work 100 times faster than on an average internet connection. At the end of the weekend, your team will present your work in front of local entrepreneurial leaders. The best ideas and teams have been known to continue on beyond the weekend.

Startup Weekend is a time for Blacksburg and the rest of the New River Valley to showcase its entrepreneurial spirit. Leaders from local companies and organizations have united to sponsor the weekend and mentor the next wave of startups. Join us and become a part of the expansion of Blacksburg’s diverse community of thinkers, innovators, and doers.

Startup Weekend Blacksburg tickets can be purchased online for $100 which includes a t-shirt and other swag as well as meals and snacks throughout the weekend. Students can purchase tickets at the discounted rate of $50 by entering the promotional code STUDENT when registering online. Individuals registering as a student will be required to show a valid Student ID at the door.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter (#swbva14)

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday October 3rd

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants (Dinner provided)

6:35 pm
Bob Summers - Co-organizer, Startup Weekend Blacksburg Krisha Chachra - Vice Mayor, Town of Blacksburg

6:45 pm
Keynote Speaker
Fred Cook, CEO & Co-founder of Moveline

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Begin Work
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

Saturday October 4th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee (provided)

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm
Lunch provided

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm
Dinner provided

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday October 5th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee (Breakfast provided)

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm
Lunch provided

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

2:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:00 pm
Judging & Awards


Fred Cook
CEO & Co-Founder of Moveline

Fred is the Co-founder & CEO of Moveline (, a venture-backed technology company in the moving industry. Moveline lets people take a video of their stuff, and gets them guaranteed quotes for a range of options for their move. Moveline is currently 50+ employees based in Downtown Las Vegas, and has partnered with hundreds of moving companies to serve thousands of customers across the country and internationally. Moveline is Fred's second startup, and prior to that he completed a BS/MS in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech in 08/09.

Krisha Chachra
Vice Mayor, Town of Blacksburg

Krisha is currently the Vice Mayor for the Town of Blacksburg. Krisha leads and organizes creative professional events in town. She is a Founding Member and President of Downtown Events Inc., a non-profit that produces and organizes the largest monthly mixer in the area called “Up on the Roof.” Krisha is also very active in the Blacksburg startup scene.

Event Judges

Zach Williams
Founder and Creative Director, Venveo

Zach is the Founder and Creative Director of Venveo. Venveo provides an array of services based around the idea that Digital Marketing and Advertising can best be utilized through thoughtful collaboration with its clients. In 2009, Zach started in his spare bedroom while attending Virginia Tech. The company is now located at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg.

Doug Juanarena
VP and Head of Blacksburg Operations, Rackspace Hosting

Doug is currently the VP and Head of Blacksburg Operations for Rackspace Hosting. He is a serial entrepreneur responsible for developing and commercializing a variety of technologies and companies over his career.

Jeff Mitchell
Founder and Attorney, Mitchell Law Firm

Prior to founding his own firm, the Mitchel Law Firm, Jeff was a shareholder at LeClairRyan. Jeff served as general counsel of a Blacksburg-area technology company in 2000 and 2001. He has served as lead counsel on numerous venture capital financings, private equity raises, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances and complex limited liability operating agreements. He has counseled multiplied clients from formation through growth to successful exit.

Jennifer O'Daniel
Senior Investment Associate, CIT Gap Funds

Jennifer O’Daniel joined CIT GAP Funds in 2003, and is responsible for sourcing, diligencing and closing of seed and early stage investments. As part of the investment team, O'Daniel has been part of transactions in over 60 seed and early-stage companies via CIT GAP Funds, which has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine's Annual VC100 list since 2006.

Jason Gabriel
Managing Director, Third Security, LLC

Mr. Gabriel joined Third Security - a venture capital firm in Radford, VA - in January 2008 and works with portfolio companies of Third Security's managed investment funds, focusing on the areas of financial budgeting and decision analysis, and previously served on the Board of Directors of Keraderm Corporation from October 2009 until December 2011. Prior to joining Third Security, Mr. Gabriel spent almost three years in Corporate Development, Business Development and Strategic Development positions.

Coaches and Mentors

David Payne
Android Developer at Atomic Axis

David is currently an Android Developer at Atomic Axis' office in Blacksburg. Atomic Axis is a mobile development startup based in Austin, TX. In 2011, David co-founded MoGo Mobile, the first commercial startup to spin out of GAMeS Lab at Radford University. The startup release FreshAiR, an augmented reality application.

Art Lucia
Co-Founder of InfernoRed

Art Lucia is a proven technologist focused on delivering high value software solutions to clients using Agile methodologies and a Co-Founder of InfernoRed. Art has been a speaker at different technology groups for topics such as Scrum, SQL Azure Federations, and Building Games for the Windows Phone using the XNA Framework.

Daniel Burgess
Lead Software Engineer at Fitnet

Daniel is the Lead Software Engineer at Fitnet, a Blacksburg-based startup connecting people with personal trainers to help them meet their fitness goals. Before joining Fitnet, Daniel co-founded MoGo Mobile, the first startup to spin out of Radford University. MoGo Mobile was chosen as one of the top 22 startups out of 100 companies at Distilled Intelligence 1.0. Daniel has a broad programming background in a variety of languages, frameworks, and environments.

Bill Rascher
Director of Software Engineering at Atomic Axis

Bill is currently Director of Software Engineering at Atomic Axis' Blacksburg Office. Atomic Axis is a mobile development startup based in Austin, TX. Bill also has experience working for several Blacksburg-based startups, including Modea and Harmonia.

Marc Junkunc
Assistant Professor, Pamplin College of Business - Virginia Tech

Marc Junkunc is an Assistant Professor of Management and teaches courses in the areas of entrepreneurship and strategic management at Virginia Tech.

Steve Grant
Chief Strategy Officer, Modea

Steve is Chief Strategy Officer for Blacksburg-based Modea. Prior to joining Modea, Grant also worked at Droga5, Euro RSCG, TDI and TBWAChiatDay, Los Angeles. He has played a key part in advertising programs for such major brands as Bosch, Smileworks, Barclays, Nissan, Infiniti, Fatburger, the UNICEF Tap Project, and -- most recently -- the re-launch of the Prudential brand.

Derick Maggard
Director at Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech

Derick is currently the Director at Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech. Before joining the Center, Derick was the Executive Director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council where he coached and mentors numerous startups throughout the region.

Somiah Lattimore
Founder and Creative Director for Straight Up Creative and faculty member at Virginia Tech

Somiah Lattimore is a faculty member at Virginia Tech and the Founder and Creative Director for Straight Up Creative, a collaborative design house with partners along the east coast. Lattimore is an award-winning designer and creative director that has worked with clients such as Nascar, Roush Racing, and BecomeAlum. She is the co-founder and consultant for several gaming, academic advising, tourism, and commerce driven start-ups.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Blacksburg team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.




Media Sponsorship

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Blacksburg is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Charlie
  • Bob
  • Lauren
  • Josh
  • Alexander


John Sechrest
Founder, Seattle Angel Conference, Global Facilitator Startup Weekends

John Sechrest is Founder of the Seattle Angel Conference, Co-Organizer of the Lean Startup Seattle & Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend.

As an entrepreneurial collaborator, he focuses on entrepreneurial and innovation efforts as a way to develop new projects and companies. His efforts are focused building the tools , skills and processes that enable people to make a positive impact on the world.

All of the changes we are seeing in the world will find lasting and sustainable solutions by entrepreneurs and innovators creating new pathways to solving complex issues. By connecting resources, people and projects together and building feedback mechanisms into the conversation, he makes significant impacts on the groups that he works with.

He is currently working on the Seattle Angel Conference - and the Lean Startup Seattle - and of course regularly volunteers to facilitate Startup weekends such as Kirkland Maker's Edition 2014.

Event Blog

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