Global Startup Battle: Delaware

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Delaware, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Global Startup Battle: Delaware

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 5:00 pm

The Loft at Start It Up Delaware
605 N. Market St., 2nd Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801

Buy Tickets

We're representing Delaware. In the World's. Largest. Startup competition.

What is Global Startup Battle?

Global Startup Battle aims to build a strong, global community through the largest startup competition in the world. During the weekend prior to and following Global Entrepreneurship Week, hundreds of Startup Weekend and other UP Global programs are hosted around the world. Winning teams from each event move forward to compete with one another via a global video competition. Global Startup Battle enriches the global entrepreneurial community. It's creating a sense of inclusion between startup teams around the world, and at least in Delaware, we've see it spark more dialogue between organizing teams and startup teams at events in nearby cities, states and regions. We look forward to working with old friends and making new ones, all over the world. 

How does Global Startup Battle work?

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 weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. There is a formal judging process and then winners are announced. This is Delaware's 2nd time participating in Global Startup Battle, and we look forward to meeting new people, hearing your ideas, and seeing how much we can accomplish. Together.

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 21st

5:00 pm
Doors open, dinner & networking
Arrive at 605 N. Market St., 2nd Fl., check in, grab a beer & a bite to eat and get to know one another.

6:15 pm
Welcoming remarks, weekend overview, and guest speaker

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

8:45 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

11:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive at 605 N. Market St., 2nd Fl., simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm
Lunch served at 605 N. Market St., 2nd Fl., Wilmington, DE 19801

12:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

7:00 pm
Dinner served at 605 N. Market St., 2nd Fl., Wilmington, DE 19081

9:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

11:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 23rd

8:30 am
Breakfast (1313 N. Market St.)
Note change of venue to 1313 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801

10:00 am
Morning Check-in
Morning status reports, call for help

11:30 am
Note lunch is at 1313 N. Market St., Wilmington DE 19801

1:30 pm
After Lunch Check-in
After lunch status reports, call for help

3:00 pm
Dinner will arrive early at 1313 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801. Be sure to eat something!

3:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Final Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Doors open
Friends & family arrive

6:00 pm
Opening remarks
Welcome and opening

6:15 pm
Final Presentations
Each team has 5 minutes to demo followed by 3 min. for Q&A with Judges

7:45 pm
Judges Deliberate

8:15 pm
Winners Announced

9:00 pm

9:30 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Sharon Kelly Hake
President & CEO, Great Dames, Inc.

Sharon Hake is the President & CEO of Great Dames, Inc. – a social enterprise that provides services and opportunities for women and men to enhance their personal and professional leadership abilities while creating a legacy.  The Great Dames® “Inspired Leadership” process helps strong and accomplished individuals activate their strengths through a pragmatic and integrated approach incorporating personal leadership branding, co-mentoring and board participation and public service.  
Sharon launched Great Dames as a way of connecting and mobilizing kindred spirits with purpose. She has enjoyed a lifetime of inspiration from remarkable men and women, including her father who taught 
her the value of creating a legacy and provided the inspiration for her company.  

Prior to launching the company with her daughter, Heather Cassey, Sharon had a very successful career as a global marketing and strategy leader at DuPont, during which she learned from her global colleagues, travelled extensively and lived abroad.  Sharon had a chance to spread her wings in 
corporate life, holding positions in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, finance, marketing, corporate social responsibility and public affairs during her career.  

Sharon led global teams that focused on defining the competitive landscape, market needs, and offering gaps around areas of focus for several different businesses.  Her growth recommendations integrated market insights into customer needs, channels, brands, technology and strategic relationships. She also explored opportunistic market opportunities by developing and launching new offerings that create value for customers while responding to their needs for improving business performance while reducing risks.  

She holds an MBA in finance and marketing from the Fox School of Business at Temple University and a BS degree from Penn State.  Sharon is married to Glenn Hake and is inspired every day by her two daughters, Heather and Deirdre.

Michael R. Nestor, Esq.
Partner, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP

Mike's practice emphasizes the restructuring of business organizations ranging in size from large publicly held companies to mid-market closely held companies. Since 2006, clients and colleagues interviewed by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business have ranked Mike as a leading Bankruptcy/Restructuring attorney, noting that he is a "terrific strategist," a "bright lawyer and an excellent negotiator," and a leader with "integrity, good people skills, and utilizing a common sense approach". In addition, Mike has been consistently recognized by The Best Lawyers in America ®, The Deal ®, Delaware Super Lawyers ®, Corporate Counsel ® and Who’s Who Legal (Insolvency & Restructuring) as one of the top bankruptcy lawyers in Delaware and the country. 

Having authored dozens of articles, maintained primary responsibility for the firm’s Corporate Restructuring Trend Watches and Case Alerts, and lectured on a variety of topics regarding corporate restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy related issues, Mike has kept his finger on the pulse of restructuring precedent/strategy and ensured that his clients, co-counsel and restructuring contacts are educated and up-to-speed on the state of the law.

Significant debtor and trustee engagements led by Mike include: lead counsel to OCZ Technologies; lead counsel to Solar Trust of America; lead counsel to Pemco Holdings; lead counsel to Lang Holdings; lead counsel to Indalex Holdings; lead counsel to WomenFirst Healthcare; lead counsel to Medifacts Holdings; lead counsel to the Chapter 11 Trustee of Global Vision Products; lead counsel to Basin Water; lead counsel to American Fibres & Yarns; lead counsel to Chapter 11 Trustee of Institute for Cancer Prevention; co-counsel to Eddie Bauer; co-counsel to Freedom Communications; co-counsel to Tuscany International Drilling; co-counsel to Green Field Energy Services; co-counsel to Accuride Corp; co-counsel to Diamond Glass; co-counsel to Riverstone Networks; co-counsel to Regent Communications; and co-counsel to National Envelope Corp. 

Significant non-debtor engagements led by Mike include: lead counsel to Landry’s Restaurants in connection with acquisition of Claim Jumper restaurants and as stalking horse bidder for Bugaboo Creek restaurants; co-counsel to the Yucaipa Companies in the Allied Systems Chapter 11 case; co-counsel to Tennenbaum Capital and certain affiliates in the Trico Marine Chapter 11 cases; lead counsel to Callidus Capital (Chapter 15 of Xchange Technology); and lead counsel to Canadian receiver in the Earthrenew Chapter 15 proceedings.

Jon Brilliant
Co-Founder, Start It Up Delaware, Inc., Board of Directors

Jon is a recovering lawyer and accountant who is a founding board member and former CFO of one of the leading mHealth/healthcare IT companies (, a co-founder of a startup digital health company (, a co-founder of Start It Up Delaware, Inc., (, and a co-founder of an early stage venture capital fund that invested in luxury goods (Atelier).  Jon has served on over 15 boards of companies ranging from startup to over $500M in revenue.  Jon currently provides human capital to early stage and emerging growth companies by serving as a board/advisory board member and strategic advisor to both companies and venture funds.

Dan Freeman
Director, Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, University of Delaware

Dan Freeman (Ph.D., University of Arizona) is Director of the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Delaware. Since his appointment as Director in 2011, Dan has transformed the Horn Program into the Mid-Atlantic’s preeminent entrepreneurial education provider, helped to raise almost $4MM and co-founded Start It Up Delaware.

Dan is currently responsible for all of the University’s entrepreneurship-related academic programs (undergraduate, graduate, & executive), which emphasize marketing and the important role of “raising customers” for any new venture. He also oversees signature components of the Horn Program including the: Startup eXperience, Hen Hatch (startup funding competition), Venture Development Center (a student business hatchery and incubator), Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs, and Entrepreneurial Resource Exchange & Support Network.
Dan has taught a wide variety of marketing courses at the graduate (G) and undergraduate (U) level, including Information Technology Applications in Marketing (U/G), Marketing Strategy (U), Introduction to Marketing (U), Being Persuasive in Business Situations (G), and Market Research and Profile Analysis for New Ventures (G). He currently teaches courses related to entrepreneurship.

Dan's research has been published in several top-tier journals, including: Addiction, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. His research centers on moral behaviors, substance abuse prevention, social marketing, consumer socialization, and symbolic aspects of consumption behaviors. 
Since joining the University’s faculty in 2000, Dan’s research and service have been recognized with several awards; he has also received several award nominations for his teaching.

Dan possesses extensive consulting experience and more than a decade of nonprofit board experience, including roles as board president and chair of several different committees.

Brian Selander
Executive Vice President, The Whistle

Brian Selander is the Executive Vice President of The Whistle Sports Network, which is the 
first pro sports-entertainment network specifically designed for the next generation of fans and athletes. It scaled within months of launch to over 8.6 million subscribers and has over 1.2 billion views across a library of 30,000 videos.

Before joining Whistle Sports, Brian spent four years as the Chief Strategy Officer for Governor Jack Markell. Brian's also been a reporter, talk radio host, legislative staffer, presidential campaign aide, the Communications Director for a US Senator in Washington, DC, the Managing Director of a firm he helped grow to over 120 people and the National Director of a practice for a multibillion dollar consulting firm.

Brian graduated with highest honors from Rutgers College, completed the Senior Executive Fellows program at Harvard, and has a Masters from the Univ. of Pennsylvania where he co-taught a graduate seminar on the press and public policy for several years.

Coaches and Mentors

David Koston
Frontend Javascript Performance Engineer, CloudFlare

Dave has been working at startups for his entire professional career and has enjoyed the opportunity to help build companies that have made tremendous impacts on the web. He was one of the earliest employees at cPanel and led the company’s growth from 12 to 75 employees (and double digit MM revenue) as VP of Operations. cPanel’s hosting software is used by over 100 million websites today. He helped Attracta scale to supplying over 3 million websites with tools for online visibility as both a contractor and CTO. In between, he consulted for many industry-leading companies like GlobalSign, Comcast and Monotype Imaging. Recently, he joined CloudFlare, a web performance and security company, to help build a better web.

Mac Nagaswami
Founder & CEO, Carvertise

Frank DeSantis
Program Manager, Emerging Enterprise Center

Frank J. DeSantis is the Program Manager of the Emerging Enterprise Center, a small business incubator, located at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce. The EEC offers companies in their early stages a comprehensive program of assistance, providing support, access & advice. 

Prior to joining the EEC, Frank was Executive Vice President with SCORE Delaware, the nation’s largest volunteer business counseling organization. Frank joined SCORE in 2009, after a 36 year career with Sears Holdings Corporation, Inc.

Frank also is an Adjunct Faculty member at Delaware Technical and Community College, where he teaches a variety of business courses in strategy, accounting and funding for entrepreneurs. He also serves on the Advisory Board for DTCC’s Business Technologies Department. 

At Sears Holdings Corporation, Inc., Frank worked in the Stores, as a merchant, operations manager, store manager, district manager and regional human resource manager, where he developed the customer focused, operationally driven, P&L accountability skills to get things done, profitably. At the Home Office, Strategy and Business Development, Marketing and Customer Relationship Management roles, along with the stores background helped develop a practical, collaborative approach to solving problems. It is these experiences which Frank now shares with his students, and small business owners looking to succeed. 

After graduating from Newark High School, Frank attended the University of Delaware graduating with a degree in Business Administration – Marketing. He resides in Newark, and is a member of St. Anthony of Padua parish where he volunteers every year at St. Anthony’s Italian Festival. Frank also is active with the Delaware Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

Sarah Zero
Founder & CEO, Jackalope Heart

Sarah collaborates with creative entrepreneurs who are ready to take their image to the next level. Together, they define the value they bring to their audience. Then they use branding and design to help define and showcase that value. Before launching Jackalope Heart, Sarah spent 10 years alternating between freelance, agency, and in-house design. Outside of the studio, She is an adjunct professor of visual communications at the Delaware College of Art and Design.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Global Startup Battle: Delaware 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.




Organizing Team

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

  • Mona
  • Adam
  • Stefanie
  • Gaby
  • Keith
  • Michael
  • Ryan
  • Megan
  • Thomas
  • Rory
  • Amanda


Luz Bratcher

Luz is the senior designer UP Global where she tends to all things UX. Originally hailing from Phoenix, she fled the blistering heat of the desert for to work with startups in Seattle. On the side, she's probably showing you pictures of her cats.

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!