Techstars Startup Weekend Davidson

    Friday, January 31 - February 2, 2020

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Davidson

Friday, January 31 - February 2, 2020

Friday, January 31 - February 2, 2020
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Hurt Hub@Davidson
210 Delburg Street
Davidson, NC 28036

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend-long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the coffee and snacks you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

See what it's all about

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Friday January 31st

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

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 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 February 1st

9:00 am
Arrive, 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

9:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday February 2nd

9:00 am
Arrive, breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:00 pm
Final Presentations

4:00 pm
Judging & Awards

Event Judges

Greg Brown
President/Owner of Cardinal Finance and Administrator of Charlotte Angel Fund

Greg Brown is President and Owner of Cardinal Finance which provides fractional CFO and other financial advisory services to small and mid-sized businesses. He is also the Administrator of Charlotte Angel Fund, one of the most active angel investor funds in North Carolina.

Greg has served as the Chief Financial Officer of multiple venture capital backed private and early stage public companies, as well as having ten years of experience in the venture capital industry. His career has been devoted to serving entrepreneurs and the companies that they create as a trusted business partner and investor.  

Katie Hotze
Founder & CEO, Grocery Shopii

Katie Hotze is an innovative leader and entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in digital marketing, business strategy, and e-commerce.  Katie is the founder and CEO of Grocery Shopii, a recipe-to-cart software solution for the grocery e-commerce space, where she leads corporate strategy and sales.

Prior to Grocery Shopii, Katie spent her career leading digital marketing teams for global firms including Mercer, the world’s largest HR consultancy.  She holds an M.B.A. in Business Analytics from William & Mary and a B.S. in Marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Katie is a 2018 Direct Marketing News 40-Under-40 Award Recipient and a frequent conference speaker on digital topics.

A resident of Charlotte, N.C., Katie is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte’s VenturePrise incubator and accelerator, and is an active participant in the city’s tech community.  

Sherese Duncan
CEO & President, Efficio, Inc.

Duncan is President and CEO of Effició, Incorporated, a strategic development firm, and has served as an advocate of entrepreneurship for over two decades providing entrepreneurial education and training for entrepreneurs, professionals, and business owners around the world. Duncan is also a professor of entrepreneurship, teaching undergraduate and non-credit courses on strategy, systems, technology, financial management, human capital, and marketing, for various entrepreneurial centers and universities. Duncan’s expertise extends to research on entrepreneurial cognition and behavior, innovative marketing, economic intelligence, and power relationships; in addition to five other business ventures. As the visionary leader of Efficio, Inc., Duncan and her companies are all about execution and results.  Simply put, her business approach works.

Coaches and Mentors

Ben Gilman
CTO at Dualboot Partners

Ben is the CTO at Dualboot Partners and has spent more than 15 years building software products.  He has started several companies and has been intimately involved at every level of the software development process. The breadth and depth of Ben's technical skills make him a leader for all things digital.

Ben Knosby
CEO & Founding Partner, Lucid Travel

Ben Knosby is the Founder & CEO of Lucid Travel - A travel software company that serves universities, businesses, and sports teams across the United States.

Bryan Dennstedt
Fractional CTO

Bryan is currently Partner at TechCXO where he is providing on demand CTO consulting services to distinguished clients in Healthcare and other industries. Bryan leads and is responsible for all information technology operations, including product management, development, dev-ops, and the customer experience. He works on creating a culture of learning and growth, through actively promoting individual and team capabilities. Bryan is passionate about servant leadership.  Bottom line, Bryan knows how to save money, add to shareholder value all while driving the team around him to success.

Corey van der Wal

Corey has worked in multiple functions within the U.S. healthcare system, an industry which he believes needs significant innovation. His experience includes investment banking (M&A advisory at Lazard), management consulting (strategy & operations at Deloitte) and biotechnology (multiple startups). Recently, he led product management and analytics functions at digital health companies (athenahealth and Syapse - Series D oncology analytics). Currently, he is launching his own startup in the aging care space and is an independent consultant for early stage digital health companies. 

Cynthia Beiler
President, Leveraged Mind Consulting

 After 27 years leading sales and marketing teams in corporate America, Cynthia Beiler opened the door of Leveraged Mind Consulting. Her firm is dedicated to helping start-ups and under-performing organizations find the power within to fuel profitable growth.


Cynthia and her team work with clients to develop and implement an overall strategy to accelerate profitable growth. This is inclusive of, but not limited to, development in the areas of culture, leadership, structure and process.


In her corporate life, Cynthia successfully rebuilt multiple teams and organizations. Through this work she has developed a knack for identifying and leveraging the potential in anyone. 


The firm's work is based on a deep belief that an integration of improved mindset, leadership, structure and process will create an engaged sales culture that stimulates profitable growth.


David Nason
Co-Founder, HireBrain

David Nason grew up in a small town north of Boston and has been in the Charlotte area for 23 years.  Prior to founding HireBrain, he spent 19 years as a Global Talent Executive at Oracle, Cisco, Infor and consulting for over 100 growth companies.  He has been a key mem-ber of executive leadership teams with responsibility for business operations in 67 countries. David is also a customer advisory member at LinkedIn, and for emerging high potential HR tech companies and future-of-work start-ups.  David lives in Davidson with his wife and 2 teenagers.

Jessica Bell van der Wal
Health Tech Start-up Advisor / Entrepreneur

Jessica Bell van der Wal has 20+ years of experience as a cross-functional executive, team leader and operator with deep expertise across all sectors of health care. She is regularly engaged to help companies and teams organize chaos as they build and evolve parts of their business. She not only specializes in building new functions and service offerings from the ground up, but also restructuring teams for operational efficiency and effectiveness and piloting innovative strategies to attack new business areas or address unmet needs. Jessica has commanded all facets of brand strategy, business operations, change management, product analytics, B2C marketing, user engagement, and multi-team leadership, to place her as one of the top, sought-after thought partners for growth-stage companies within the digital health industry.

Josh Burrill
VP , Sales and Business Development

Josh has been involved in entrepreneurship throughout his career. He started several small businesses early on, some successful and some not, but each provided a tremendous learning experience. He also spent several years developing business for a Fortune 100 company. He currently is involved as an angel investor in Charleston, SC and he is a partner in Go Interactive, a company that provides offshore tech talent staffing and software development.

Lisa Tweardy
Principal, Kemo Sabe

As Principal of Kemo Sabe, I am an entrepreneur, business innovator and venture philanthropist who is passionate about reducing preventable harm and accelerating the commercialization of new medical technologies. Clients include UNYQ 3D printed custom orthopedic and prosthetic devices and Novartis Neuroscience. Previously serving as CEO for Combat Medical, General Manager, Biomet Bracing, Vice President, Orthopaedics and General Manager, Spine at Ossur, I have been awarded 19 patents and have published research in Spine and The Journal of Neurosurgery. I earned my Bachelor’s in Fundamental Science (Bioengineering) from Lehigh University, and a Master’s in the Management of Technology from the School of Engineering and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Meg Seitz
Founder and Chief Creative Officer at toth shop

Meg Seitz is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of toth shop, a content strategy and storytelling shop. 

She is the Lead Instructor for Marketing for Lean Startups held by Flywheel at the Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

Across 2018 and 2019, she placed twice in the Top Ten internationally for her perspective and research in the Global Peter Drucker Forum’s Drucker Challenge in the Entrepreneur/Manager category. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kenyon College and an MBA from Wake Forest University School of Business as well as a variety of certificates ranging from design thinking to crisis communications from institutions including Yale University, the Department of Homeland Security, and IDEO.

Seitz also serves as the Co-Founder of Toth + Fay as well as “Bea is for Business”, the educational platform designed to teach children about entrepreneurship and business education. 

Mike Murphy
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of ProctorFree

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of ProctorFree, a technology company that uses machine learning to improve the quality of education, Mike has a passion for innovation and mission-driven businesses. Prior to starting his own business, Mike worked as marketing director for Everblue Training Institute, a startup focused on marketing environmental sustainability and green building. Earlier in his career, Mike served in the Army and as a defense contractor where he completed three tours in Iraq. Mike has also served four years as a Board Member for the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and three years as the Vice-Chairman of Communication and Technology on the Chamber Board.

Outside of the office, Mike values spending time with his family, at his children's school, coaching youth sports, reading, exercising, and helping to run a gym he owns with his spouse.

Prasanna Katragadda
Engineer, Entrepreneur and Mentor

Prasanna is an Engineer, Entrepreneur and a Mentor. He has recently left Dassault Systemes as a Vice President of R&D (ENOVIA). In his 28+ years of total experience in the Engineering Software industry, his activities ranged from Development to Testing to Product Engineering and finally  R&D Operations.  

Prasanna holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from SVNIT, India, a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (Knowledge based Engineering) from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since then he has been working with companies in the Automotive, Aerospace and Consumer Goods, Consumer Packaged Goods and Industrial Equipment by helping them adopt PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) solutions. He has a special interest in Knowledge based Engineering, AI and ML.

Ramu Pulipati
CTO/CoFounder of Botsplash

Ramu is the CTO/CoFounder of Botsplash, a saas platform to engage customers over chat. At Botsplash, Ramu focuses on building conversational solutions for better conversions #conversetoconvert.

Sam Smith
Founder & CEO of Vishion

Sam Smith is the founder & CEO of Vishion.

She started the Charlotte-based color search startup in 2017 after spending five years in a sales and customer experience role at two other startups. 

Sudhir Sharma
High-Tech | 5G | IoT | Industrial Internet | Semiconductors | Software

Sudhir Sharma is an engineer, entrepreneur, investor, and advisor.

Most recently, he was the global head of High-Tech industry strategy and marketing at ANSYS focusing on mega-trends such as 5G, IoT, predictive analytics, and digitalization. 

Prior to joining ANSYS, he held leadership positions at MathWorks, Texas Instruments, Cirrus Logic, and Compaq. Sudhir’s expertise includes product management, industry and product marketing, engineering management, and competitive strategy. He has brought many innovative hardware/software products to market,  launched startups,  and is presently an active investor and advisor to several startups. He holds 19 U.S. patents for wireless communication, computer networking, video & image processing, and semiconductor memory designs.

Sudhir earned an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and MS and BS degrees in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University and Mississippi State University, respectively.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Davidson 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.

Event Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

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