Startup Weekend EDU and Hardware Hackathon Charlottesville

    Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend EDU and Hardware Hackathon Charlottesville

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014

Friday, November 14 - 16, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Learning Commons @ Monticello High School
1400 Independence Way
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

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Calling all students, teachers, educators, makers, hackers, designers, engineers, and innovators!

Startup Weekend EDU and Hardware Hackathon needs YOU!  Find the right people with complementary skills & the passion to actualize ideas in one weekend.  Design for learning, prototype, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced education designers & industry professionals that will help take your idea to the next level! Or just join a team with an idea you believe in!

What's it all about?

SWEDU Charlottesville seeks to bring youth voices, educator experiences, and entrepreneurial thinking together.  Our event transcends the traditional Startup Weekend style; we will focus on bridging the entrepreneurial startup spirit with youth and educator informed issues. Through design thinking, innovative business strategies, relentless hacking and designing, this weekend will help actualize ideas that are poised to create high caliber outcomes for students and schools.

Groups will work together over 54 hours to actualize ideas that can range from a mobile app for students, a gaming console app, to a variety of online learning tools, a school model, educational hardware, or whatever you can dream up!  We believe that a wide range of diverse perspectives, backgrounds, passion, talents, technical knowledge and skills are needed to create ventures that have the highest potential for lasting impact.
  • Friday night: 60-second pitches that result in the formation of small teams around the best, most viable education concepts. Educators validate ideas, then all attendees vote. We hope you’ll pitch, but definitely not required! Teams may also elect to move forward with their ideas even if it wasn't selected.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Work days! Teams focus on user research, customer development, validating their ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced coaches from the education and entrepreneurial world. 
  • Sunday evening: Teams demo their education products and receive valuable feedback from a panel of expert judges. Teams take home a grab bag of great tools to help launch their company! 
We are looking for:

Young Innovators: K12 and college students interested in hacking, making, entrepreneurship, UX/UI design, social impact, and collaborating on an unique solution to a challenge they’re facing -- transportation available to UVA students!

: Instructional leaders in the classroom working in schools—this category is essential to a successful SWEDU!

: Community Organizers, District Administrators, Education Non-Profit Leaders and Professionals, working in the school wrap-around services space
 or homeschooling

Champions: Individuals who will keep student voice and perspective on the top of their and the group’s mind- this could be a parent/relative, youth development professional or others who work closely with youth and are interested in collaborating with and supporting students on a team

: Mobile App Developers (IOS, IOS SDK, Android) Programmers (JAVA, Objective C, CSS3, etc.) Web developers (front end and back end)
Designers: UX/UI designers (Adobe Suite Applications, Axure, iRise, Omnigraffle, etc.)

: Individuals with hardware design, development, and prototyping expertise

Entrepreneurs: Innovators, Thinkers, Business Strategists, Marketers, Finance Gurus, Project Managers, Philanthropists

Here are some of the things you get from attending:
  • Delicious & healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole weekend. See here!
  • A Startup Weekend Charlottesville T-Shirt
  • A free .co domain name
  • Google Cloud Platform is offering all Startup Weekend participants $500 in credit to build their web or mobile app!
  • $100 of AWS credit for hosting
  • Awesome coaching by education startup industry leaders
  • Fun swag from Google, .Co and more!
  • A network of new developer, designer & entrepreneur friends that are also excited about improving education
Whether you are a new or long-time educator, administrator, or an entrepreneur, developer or designer with an interest in education, we welcome you to join us at SWEDU-HH Charlottesville!  

Why Attend SWEDU Charlottesville?
SWEDU Charlottesville is 54 hours of DOING: pitching ideas Friday night, forming rockstar teams, building a revenue model, coding, designing, making, conducting market research and polishing that final presentation! This weekend provides a unique experiential learning opportunity for participants to collaborate and iterate their ideas with passionate individuals who have a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. Movers and shakers working in this unique intersection of education, innovation and business will be on-hand to coach and meet one-on-one with SWEDU teams and participants as well! Because SWEDU attracts smart, dedicated and creative dreamers and do-ers who are committed to innovation in education, participants will establish meaningful relationships and perhaps meet their future co-founder or end the weekend with a job offer!

What about Hardware?
To also promote and invite innovation that is geared toward those who are excited and passionate about designing and building, and to support hands-on and inquiry-based learning for students, the Charlottesville SWEDU team will provide micro controllers, prototyping materials, and 3D printers to support makers, engineers, and educational entrepreneurs considering the hardware space. Some examples of successful edtech hardware ventures are Circuit Stickers, Makey Makey, littleBits (and many more!) Master teachers will be on hand to help you determine how a hardware idea can be used in the classrom!

The 54th hour
What happens when you create a space for technology innovations and community based wisdom to come together for the purpose of solving the pressing issues that exist in schools? The possibilities are endless!  At SWEDU Charlottesville’s 54th hour, teams will pitch their idea that addresses a concern either in a school or in a student’s community. Teams will pitch in front of experienced professionals, with vested interests and proven results in their community and field. Ventures can range from a mobile app, a gaming console app, to online learning tools! Again, with startup weekenders, the ideas and possibilities are infinite!  

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the successes?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs, with events in over 100 countries and 580 cities around the world.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend Organizers and Facilitators can be found on every corner of the globe. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

So what are you waiting for? Register now!!

Accommodations Special:  
Cavalier Inn at The University of Virginia:
Call directly to book: 1.866.332.3590
Use code: Startup Weekend EDU

Code of Conduct

We are dedicated to providing an inclusive and harassment-free experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, or socioeconomic status. We welcome participation and do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any venue, including talks. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the group at the discretion of the organizers. Our anti-harassment policy can be found at


Friday November 14th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:45 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
In the forum

8:30 pm
Vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

9:00 pm
Venue Closes

Saturday November 15th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

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

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

8:30 pm
Plan final touches for Sunday and start wrapping up the day. Venue will close at 9.

Sunday November 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

Event Judges

Bart Epstein, J.D.
Founding CEO, Jefferson Education Accelerator

Bart Epstein is the Founding CEO of the Jefferson Education Accelerator – a unique public-private venture powered in part by the University of Virginia Curry School of Education that helps the most promising education companies grow faster by facilitating supervised beta testing as well as academic research intended to investigate the efficacy and pedagogy of their most promising products and services.  Bart also serves as the Managing Director of the Accelerator’s venture fund. Previous to launching the Accelerator, Bart spent ten years building and selling the world’s largest online tutoring company, serving along the way as’s SVP of Corporate Development, Chief Strategy Officer, and General Manager of the Department of Defense’s online tutoring program.  Prior to that he was a venture & technology attorney at Latham & Watkins, where he helped companies negotiate and structure complex commercial joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and licensing arrangements.

Bart serves on the board, or advises the CEO, of multiple growth-stage education and technology companies; has coached startups and founders through the Grubstakes Breakfast; has guest lectured at the Georgetown University MBA program; has participated multiple times in Startup Weekend EDU programs; and co-owns a successful online marketplace outside of the education space.  In his free time, Bart serves as President and Chairman of 
Gifts for the Homeless in Washington, and as a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight.

Bart received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Pam Moran, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Albemarle County Public Schools

Pamela Moran has served as the Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools since January 2006. She oversees a division with a total budget of $225 million that includes more than 1,100 teachers educating 13,000 students in 26 schools. During her tenure, Albemarle County Public Schools has become one of the top performing school divisions in the state with an on-time graduation rate of 93 percent. Albemarle County students have the second highest SAT scores among 133 school divisions in the Commonwealth for critical reading and the third highest SAT scores for writing and math.

Pam is a leading advocate of an educational model that prepares students for “success in their century, not mine.” She emphasizes student-led research, project-based learning and contemporary learning spaces that promote collaboration, creativity, analytical problem-solving, critical thinking, and communications competencies among all students.

She sits on the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Commonwealth's coordinating body for higher education and is a past member of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education.  Pam also has served as President of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. She holds leadership positions with the regional Chamber of Commerce, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Education Fund, and the University of Virginia-Public Schools Educational Partnership. She recently served as president of the Women Educational Leaders of Virginia and is a past president of the Virginia Association of Science Supervisors. Earlier this year, she appeared on the cover of Education Week’s Digital Directions magazine as a “National Mover and Shaker” in the integration of technology in the classroom.

Pam’s career in public education includes serving as a high school science teacher, central office science coordinator and staff developer, elementary school principal, director of instruction, assistant superintendent for instruction, and adjunct instructor in educational leadership for the University of Virginia’s Curry School and the School of Continuing Education. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Furman University and holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia. She is also is an alumnus of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Executive Educators Leadership Institute.

Andy Rotherham
Co-Founder and Partner, Bellwether Education

Andrew J. Rotherham is a co-founder and partner at Bellwether Education, a national non-profit organization working to support educational innovation and improve educational outcomes for low-income students.  Rotherham leads Bellwether’s thought leadership and policy analysis work.  He is also the executive editor of Real Clear Education, part of the Real Clear Politics family of news and analysis websites, writes the blog, and is the co-publisher of “Education Insider” a federal policy analysis tool produced by Whiteboard Advisors. Rotherham previously served at The White House as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy during the Clinton administration and is a former member of the Virginia Board of Education. He was education columnist for TIME, a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report, and, in addition to Bellwether, founded or co-founded two other education reform organizations and served on the boards of several other successful education start-ups.

Rotherham is the author or co-author of more than 250 published articles, book chapters, papers, and op-eds about education policy and politics and is the author or editor of four books on educational policy. He serves on advisory boards and committees for a variety of organizations including Education Pioneers, The Broad Foundation, the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) and the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. Rotherham is Vice Chair of the Curry School of Education Foundation at the University of Virginia, and serves on the Visiting Committee for the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Debra McMahon, Ph.D.
CEO and President

Debra K. McMahon is the President and CEO of Scitent, Inc., based in Charlottesville, VA. Scitent provides eLearning services for the healthcare and consumer markets with online training tools that are innovative, interactive and effective. Deb received a BS in Biology, PhD in Pathology, and completed postdoctoral training in Hemostasis and Thrombosis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon completion of her postdoc, Deb left academic research and focused on medical writing, editing, and instructional design. Deb started with Scitent in 1997 and has been the CEO since 2005. Along with her work at Scitent, Deb is active in the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP) where she currently serves as the Membership Committee Chair.

Deb has also served as a member of the ACEHP’s Professional Development Committee, Task Force for Product Development and Evaluation, and the Advisory Board for Strategic Collaboration. She is active in the entrepreneurial community as well and has served as Chair for the Charlottesville Venture Group, as a Board Member and Secretary for the Central Virginia Better Business Bureau, and as a Board Member for the former Business Growth Network.  Deb has served as a judge for the University of Virginia Business Concept Competition and a mentor for Startup Weekend Charlottesville. Deb is also involved in the local community, serving as a past Chair and current Board Member for the Paramount Theater in downtown Charlottesville and the Advisory Council for the Legal Aid Justice Center.

Letitia Green, MBA, M.Ed.
Founder, Virginia Active Angel Network

Letitia Green is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of the Virginia Active Angel Network, LLC (VAAN) and Virginia Investment Capital Group, Inc. Since its October 2005 launch, VAAN has invested in 13 companies totaling $2.75M with investments in Washington, DC, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and PA, and co-investments with several other ACA-member angel groups. Letitia began her private equity experience in New York and has experience across the financial spectrum holding positions at Oppenheimer & Co., Mocatta & Goldsmid, The Blackstone Group and Roxbury Capital Management (now CBIC-Oppenheimer).

She is an instructor at the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering & Applied Sciences teaching Entrepreneurship & Financing for Tech Ventures to engineers in the Business Minor program, 
certified Lean Launchpad Educator, a Kauffman Foundation “Fasttrac” TechVenture and GrowthVenture Programs educator.  She has co-organized four Charlottesville Startup Weekends including the first Charlottesville StartupWeekend.EDU in 2013.

She has a BA from the University of Virginia and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from the Curry School of Education, as well as an MBA in finance from Pepperdine University

Gus Osimitz
High School Student and Entrepreneur

Gus Osimitz is a Senior at Albemarle High School in the Math Engineering and Science Academy (MESA) and a successful entrepreneur. His first startup, launched while still in middle school, focused on buying and selling iPods. Gus expanded his entrepreneurial pursuits once he entered high school, including a successful drop-shopping venture; another buying used textbooks and technologies to resell. His current focus is on scaling up the textbook and technology enterprise prior to entering college. Gus’ project Robotic Arms for the Visually Impaired earned him first place honors in 2014 Virginia Piedmont Science Fair. He enjoys backing Kickstarter projects and watching the process from exception to deliver, citing the smartwatch “Pebble” as his favorites. 

Coaches and Mentors

Jon Becker, J.D., Ph.D.
Director of Learning Innovation and Online Academic Programs at VCU

After graduating cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in Public Policy Studies in 1994, Jonathan Becker received a law degree and a masters degree in curriculum and instruction from Boston College Law School and the Boston College Graduate School of Education in 1997. Additionally, in May of 2003. Jonathan earned a Ph.D. in the Politics of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Prior to beginning his professorial career, Jonathan served as Research Director at Interactive, Inc., an educational research and consulting company. In his capacity at Interactive, Inc., Jonathan directed and was involved in a number of research projects focused mostly on the achievement and equity effects of educational technology. Framed largely as mixed-methods evaluation research, these studies ranged from small-scale studies of school-based programs to federally funded statewide evaluations. As a principal investigator in a federally-funded study, Jonathan pioneered the use of novel data collection techniques including the use of desktop monitoring software to gauge file activity on classroom-based computers.

From September 2002 to August 2007, Jonathan was an assistant professor in the Department of Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education and Allied Human Services at Hofstra University. In September 2007, Jonathan became an assistant professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, Jonathan where he taught courses in school law, the politics of education, educational technology and school leadership, and educational research methods.

At Virginia Commonwealth University, Jonathan served as the evaluator of a multi-million dollar, multi-year grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. That program involved the development and implementation of an innovative school leadership certification program in partnership with the Richmond (VA) Public Schools, including the design and testing of an interactive, computer-based educational leadership simulation. Jonathan also served as a co-investigator of an NSF-funded grant targeted at research and development of science curriculum modules for students in underserved areas. In partnership with the City College of New York (CCNY) and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), Jonathan coordinated the field testing of the curriculum by approximately 60 teachers in nearly 30 New York City high schools.Currently, in addition to being an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Jonathan is the Director of Learning Innovation and Online Academic Programs in the Academic Learning Transformation Lab (ALT Lab) at VCU.

Rick Kulow, MBA
Senior Entrepreneur in Residence, i.Lab, University of Virginia

Rick Kulow is an award winning entrepreneur with experience in:business start-ups in an incubator environment in the U.S.andCanada; small/medium business strategic planning and growth; sales planning and management; commercialization of research; building organizations, including establishing and meeting goals and creating empowering cultures; all aspects of the value chain, from obtaining raw materials through retail; trouble-shooting; turn-arounds. Rick has conducted business in more than twenty-five countries.

Professional Highlights: Ernst and Young Award for Entrepreneur of theYear for Agriculture and Food, Canadian Prarie Region; Canadian National Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Citation for Innovative Product Development; Provincial Award for Outstanding New Venture; Provincial Award for Business of theYear; Harvard Business School case on Bioriginal written and used in classes at HBS; Judge for UVa Entrepreneurial competitions, including first UVA-wide competition; Mentor to more than a score of entrepreneurs from a middle school student with $30K+ in revenue through 60+ year old seasoned executives.

Education: Harvard Business School, MBA; Duke University, BA, Political Science; Doctoral Candidate at Boston University’s School of Managment until business travel made continuing no longer feasable.

Meredith Lee, Ph.D.

Meredith M. Lee is a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  As part of the Science and Technology Directorate’s Data Science and Innovation team, she guides strategic research in data analytics, machine learning, data visualization, and distributed computing to provide transformative technologies for homeland security applications.   

In addition to her work on the DHS Big Data Initiative, Dr. Lee serves on the interagency team for the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative, and is the lead for the Ideation Community of Practice, a network Federal innovators from more than 25 agencies.  She is the Founding Co-Chair of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows Big Data Affinity Group, and was a ‘Maker Maestro’ (co-producer) of the first-ever DC Mini Maker Faire.

Dr. Lee completed her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, focusing on opto-electronics and “Lab on a Chip” medical diagnostics.  As a postdoctoral researcher, she developed miniature sensors for real-time, continuous monitoring of blood with the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection and Stanford Hospital.  Dr. Lee previously worked on satellite communication systems at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, microprocessors at Intel, materials science at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, and lasers at Agilent Laboratories.   

She has taught Design and Innovation Methodology for Stanford’s Civil and Environmental Engineering, Center for Health Policy, and Engineers for a Sustainable World programs.  Dr. Lee leads interagency and public/private sector workshops on topics such as Open Data, Social Media, Predictive Analytics, User-Centered Design and Crowdsourcing Ideation in Government.  She recently organized a Civic Hardware Hackathon co-hosted by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), The Feast, Intel, and IDEO.  She is an alumna of the Stanford (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) and tweets @mmlee.

Nikki Hastings, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and VP, Hemoshear

Nikki Hastings oversees HemoShear’s processes, internal execution and growth. She obtained her Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, where she worked with the co-founders Drs. Blackman and Wamhoff to develop HemoShear’s vascular system. Dr. Hastings is an active member of VirginiaBio, the statewide biotechnology trade organization, through which she supports local STEM initiatives. She is first author on two peer-reviewed publications, is co-author on five additional high-impact publications, and has presented at various international meetings. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D. at UVa, Dr. Hastings obtained a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Dorothy Jones-Davis, Ph.D.

Dorothy Jones-Davis is the co-founder of the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships’ Maker/MOOCs/Mobile Applications and Disruptive TECHnologies in Education (MaDTECHEd) Policy Affinity Group, co-host of the inaugural DC Mini-Maker Faire. Most recently, she was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Division of Engineering Education and Centers within the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Engineering, where her primary area of interest was in understanding the ways in which perceived educational “disruptions” such as Maker culture, educational technologies, learning games/serious games, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and inverted classrooms could be leveraged to improve access to pathways in engineering education and careers for traditionally underrepresented populations. A neuroscientist by training, Dr. Jones-Davis currently serves as a Scientific Project Manager for Neuroscience at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). In her spare time, she enjoys building and making (headbands, dollhouses, circuits, and just about everything else) with her five-year-old daughter. Dr. Jones-Davis is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she majored in Psychobiology, and she received her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in Neuroscience.

Michael Britt-Crane
Mechanical Engineer and STEM Outreach, Naval Surface Warfare Center

Michael Britt-Crane is a mechatronics engineer and with NSWC's Carderock Division.  He is the creator of SeaGlide, an autonomous underwater robotics platform for high school students. Students learn about circuits, Arduino programming, Additive Manufacturing, and buoyancy-driven propulsion. SeaGlide is open-source and costs less than $100. Michael's educational outreach work has been profiled in the Washington Post and he has led STEM education projects from MIT to Alaska.

Michael is experienced in prototyping mechatronics systems: embedded software, electrical systems, mechanical design, and manufacturing, including traditional manufacturing and direct digital manufacturing (3D printing, laser cutting, water jet, etc.).  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia's School of Engineering.

Chad Ratliff, MBA, M.Ed.
Director of Instructional Programs, Albemarle County Public Schools

Chad S. Ratliff is Director of Instructional Programs for Albemarle County Public Schools and leads the division’s work on STEM and its maker curriculum, part of the district’s emphasis on inquiry and project-based learning for all students. He chairs the district’s cross-functional Innovation Team and heads up strategic partnerships, including collaborations with MIT, Smithsonian, Battelle, University of Virginia, and the Maker Education Initiative. Ratliff also served as an administrator, teacher, and coach for Martinsville City Public Schools in Southern Virginia where he was a 3x Most Influential Educator honoree and 7x Wrestling Coach of the Year award-winner.

Also active in the entrepreneurial community, Ratliff has been profiled as one of the top leaders under the age of 40 in both the Blue Ridge Business Journal and C-ville Weekly; served as Startup Weekend coach and organizer, and was a facilitator for the High School of the Future Startup event at the Governor’s 2013 STEM Summit. He also developed and teaches courses in entrepreneurship at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville.

He is a Virginia Board of Education appointee to the State Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education; is Vice President of the Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association and Board Chair of the Virginia Career Education Foundation, a nonprofit established by then-Governor Mark Warner.

Chad earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Virginia Tech.  He is also an alumnus of the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business Executive Educators Leadership Insitute.

Gaines Johnson, MBA, M.Ed.
Former KIPPster; MBA / M.Ed. in Innovation and Reform, Darden School of Business; Consultant, The Parthenon Group

Originating from the North American South, Gaines has a BA in Political Science from Samford University. He has worked in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel under the George W. Bush Administration where he focused on strategic personnel planning for cabinet agencies. Following his time at the White House, he served as the Operations Coordinator at the United States Department of the Treasury during the Global Financial Crisis. In this role, Gaines primarily worked to plan the G7 and G20 global summits. Following his time at the Treasury, Gaines joined Teach For America where he taught middle school history, reading, and writing. Additionally, he has worked in various leadership roles at the original KIPP Academy in Houston, Texas. He is currently pursuing an M.ED in Innovation and Reform from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Darden School of Business. In the summer of 2013, Gaines worked as a Principal at The Parthenon Group, a strategy consulting firm based in Boston; his primary focus was building a long-term strategic growth plan for a large EdTech company. Gaines is happily married to his wonderful wife, Mary Katherine.

Michael Craddock, M.Ed.
Lead Instructional Coach

Michael Craddock is a Lead Instructional Coach for Albemarle County Public Schools responsible for Virtual Learning, Career and Technical Education, and Health & Physical Education.  Previously Michael taught Computer Science, Web Design, and Information Systems courses at Monticello High School in addition to being an Adjunct Professor at Piedmont Virginia Community College teaching Information Technology courses.  In 2011 Michael was awarded the Red Apple by the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council for his innovative, inclusive approach to Computer Science education.  Additionally, Michael was named the Oustanding Secondary Teacher of the Year by the University of Virginia's Phi Delta Kappa chapter in 2011.

Michael earned his Master of Arts in Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Instructional Technology from Virginia Tech and is currently a student in James Madison University's Educational Leadership program.

Keaton Wadzinski
Student and Entrepreneur, University of Virginia

Keaton fights to promote student-led and passion-based education innovation at Student Voice. In the spring of 2014, Keaton led a team of students to the final round of interviews for the Future of School Challenge, where the team designed an alternative education model to reinvent learning as a radically student-centered, holistic, real-world relevant process. Keaton's work was profiled by the Cavalier Daily.

A second year student at the University of Virginia, Keaton is pursuing a broad range of interests, from design thinking to entrepreneurship to literature and more. He savors life most when he looks out at the stars from his family's small cabin, his personal Walden, in rural Tennessee.

Tyler Rogers
Middle Schooler & Entrepreneur

Tyler Rogers is a student at Sutherland Middle School and the Founder of Tree Top Designs. He enjoys 3D design and is well-versed in using Blender to create 3D images and renders. Tyler is always seeking opportunities to expand his knowledge and experience in 3D design and digital tools. His company and work was featured at the 2014 Charlottesville Mini Maker Faire.

Vincent Scheivert
Chief Information Officer, Albemarle County Public Schools

Vince Scheivert is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Albemarle County Public Schools.  He is responsible for administering an annual budget of $7 million, serving the technology and technology infrastructure needs of 13,400 students and 2,500 employees over a 700-square mile area.  

Scheivert has led the division’s commitment to eliminate the digital divide in the county at a time when technology resources and access have become increasingly important to student learning.  In one of the first programs of its kind in the country, he directed a school division program to install fiber optic cable connecting school and local government facilities and eventually families to high speed Internet service in historically underserved geographic areas of the county.   Scheivert also shepherded the successful rollout of the division’s one-to-one technology initiative through a comprehensive training program for teachers and students focused on the utility of individual student computers as learning instruments.  

Three years ago Albemarle County Public Schools was one of the first school divisions in the nation to offer a computer coding programs known as Codedojos, pairing the school division with local businesses to offer programs that transformed students from being consumers of technology to becoming creators of technology.  Students learn computer coding, program design and robotics.  The program has expanded every year.

Since joining the school division in 2010, Scheivert has improved service response times by the Department of Accountability, Research and Technology, reduced the cost of computers to the division, instituted a new student assessment and data analysis system that reduced costs and increased ease of use and began a technology internship program for students.  

In addition to serving as the school division’s (CIO), Scheivert is a member of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, a member of the board of directors for the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council and a member of the Albemarle County task force to expand community access to high speed Internet service.  

Prior to joining Albemarle County Public Schools, Scheivert led school division technology implementation programs in Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia.  He is a graduate of Temple University and earned his master’s degree from George Washington University.

Adam Hastings, Ed.D.
Dean of Business, Mathematics, & Technologies at Piedmont Virginia Community College

Adam Hastings is the Dean of Business, Mathematics, and Technologies at PVCC.  A ten-year resident of Charlottesville, Dr. Hastings focus his professional and personal work on making a stronger Central Virginia through active workforce development, training, and education.  As former K-12 teacher and administrator and college administrator, he is interested in combining innovative projects with highest-quality instruction to drive education and training within the Commonwealth.

Dr. Hastings earned his doctorate in educational administration and supervision from the University of Virginia, and master’s degree in teaching from the University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree in world literature from North Carolina State University.  While at the Curry School of Education, Dr. Hastings studied leadership, policy, and implementation of online learning programs within the Commonwealth and throughout the United States.

Eric Bredder, M.Ed.
Technology/Engineering Teacher at Sutherland Middle School

Eric Bredder is currently the Engineering and Technology teacher at Sutherland Middle School in Albemarle County for grades 6-8. Eric’s focus on work in and out of schools include engineering education, mechatronics, advanced manufacturing technologies, and woodworking. Eric holds an M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in Instructional Technology with a focus in Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Education and a B.S. from The College of New Jersey in Technology Education/Pre-engineering. Eric is looking to expand creativity and comfort within schools and provide students with the opportunities to solve meaningful problems in their own lives while giving students the resources to build skills they need to utilize what exists and predict what is to come in an ever-changing society.  

Cameron Middleton

Cameron is the founder and executive director of Nomad Schools, a nonprofit education startup. Nomad is a DIY ESL empowerment program using bilingual radio and comics to deliver classes to underserved immigrant and refugee populations.  After piloting the concept with undocumented communities in New Orleans, she returned to Charlottesville to develop a more research-based approach to language acquisition by pursuing an M.Ed. through the Curry School’s Social Foundations program.   Her passion for language and meeting the needs of diverse learners was shaped by her experience working as an ESL teacher in China, Turkey and the US as well as her experiences living and working as a Human Terrain Analyst with infantry units in Afghanistan. In addition to teaching, Cameron previously worked for the Department of Defense focusing on language, culture and tribal regions of the Middle East and South Asia.  The “tribe” she ultimately learned the most about was actually the US military and the distinct culture developed by infantry small unit leadership.  Through her experience of conducting ethnographic research on the cross-cultural education dynamics of the military’s training and capacity building efforts with the Afghan security forces and local elders, she came to appreciate how effective approaches needed to bridge informal and formal notions of expertise and assets. She also started imagining how the military’s example of rapid deployment and working in tough environments could be repurposed for community-based learning programs to create opportunities where schools and infrastructure are limited.      Since graduating from UVA (College, ‘03), she has happily come full circle to focus on language education needs in her own backyard.  Cameron spends a lot of time walking her dog in the mountains and imagining what would happen if Marva Collins, Steve Jobs, Paulo Freire, Sheikha Mozah, and Ira Glass all got together to whiteboard education.  

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend EDU and Hardware Hackathon Charlottesville team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
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Organizing Team

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

  • Eric
    Bredder, M.Ed.
  • Kim
  • Kipton
  • Darah
  • Stephanie
  • Gloria
    Rockhold, M.A., M.Ed.
  • Keaton
  • Ira
  • Mae
  • Gaines
    Johnson, MBA, M.Ed.
  • Michael
    Craddock, M.Ed.
  • Chad
    Ratliff, MBA, M.Ed.


John Baldo
Product Manager

John is the program manager of Startup Weekend Education where he develops resources and programs to help anyone engage in entrepreneurship to solve problems in education. He is a software engineer by trade and recently worked on several K-12 edtech products at Amplify. He briefly worked as a Pre-Algebra and Geometry Teacher. His current side hustle is building community in hometown of Oakland.

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