Startup Weekend Fort Lauderdale

    Friday, May 31 - June 2, 2019

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

Friday, May 31 - June 2, 2019

Friday, May 31 - June 2, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

General Provision Fat Village
300 SW 1st Ave, #155
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

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Your idea in 54 hours

Techstars Startup Weekend brings exposure, awareness, and an experiential way to learn about tech to the community.We aim to inspire potential entrepreneurs to breathe life into their ideas and learn how to bridge the gap from ideation to prototype with customer validation.

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 internet and coffee 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!

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Friday May 31st

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

8:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 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 June 1st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm
Snack Attack
Take a break restore your energy.

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!

3:00 pm
Refresh, refuel, reboot.

6:30 pm
Share a great meal with your team or new friends.

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 June 2nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

12:00 pm
Take a break restore your energy.

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

5:00 pm
Enjoy dinner try to bribe the Judges deciding your fate with food.

6:00 pm
Final Presentations
Show us what you've been working on all weekend long.

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards
Top 3 startups will be awarded amazing prizes.

8:00 pm
One question: What are you plans for Monday?


Olivia Ramos

Olivia Ramos is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Deepblocks, an artificial intelligence company, focused on PropTech, providing tools to optimize real estate development. She is a graduate of all three Singularity University startup programs, GSP, Incubator, and Accelerator, and was the only woman to participate in the DARPA Innovation House. Olivia holds a Master's of Architecture from Columbia University, a Master's of Real Estate Development from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor's in Architecture from the University of Florida.

Event Judges

A.J. Yolofsky
Founding Partner

I love what I do. I help people, their families, and their businesses. My practice is about the positive. I help people build strong foundations and larger structures. Together, we plan for their future and the future of their loved ones.

Proud to Be a United States Marine:
I joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to give something back to my country. I didn’t want to just sit behind a desk; I wanted to challenge myself, lead an elite team of warriors, and travel the world. I was active duty from 1995–2001, then reserve from 2001–2010. But during my second deployment to the Middle East (1998–1999), I began looking ahead to the next phase of my life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I started researching higher education. Law became my focus because I saw a parallel between litigation strategy and military strategy. It seemed to be the natural extension of my career path at that point in time.

Choosing Business Law and Estate Planning:
Fast forward through my legal education and first decade of practice as a commercial litigator to the summer of 2016. As my own family grew and faced challenges, I realized how vital it is for people to be prepared for whatever life throws at them. At the same time, I decided commercial litigation was not the right practice area for me. As a result, I changed my focus to the transactional side of corporate law and added estate planning as a practice area.

I am passionate about helping people prepare for every possibility and protect their assets for the next generation.

Dr. Lascelle Sweetland

Managing Director and founder of Laspainc Consulting. Assisting companies in the United States and abroad in entering or expanding into markets throughout North America, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Offering new product, business development, market research, feasibility studies, market analysis and selection, market entry strategy, international lead generation, partner search, brand development, overseas marketing, promotion, public relations, product launch and trade show support services programs in the Continental US, Latin America and the Caribbean. Founder of The i-LAB Startup Foundation which provides support in the areas of academic outreach, venture capital engagement, workforce development, connecting business and government, and cross border collaboration focused on improving consumer experience through disruptive innovation. A program to incubate the creation of more than 100 startups a year.

Juan Meza
COO and Co-founder at BIXReal

Results-driven, international executive with multi-disciplinary management experience in consumer electronics, software industries worldwide; proven results in developing, delivering, and marketing software and business solutions with an emphasis on innovation and growth. More than eight years of experience managing development and delivering large-scale implementations on #Salesforce

Pamela Santos
Entrepreneurship Programs Director

Pamela Santos inspires, empowers, and educates business and social
entrepreneurs to develop innovative approaches to solve the world’s problems.
The impact of her work spans a broad spectrum – private sector, nonprofit,
government, communities, public health, economic development, and academia –
instilling an entrepreneurial mindset and skills to create sustainable results. 

Lillian Roberts
CEO Xendoo

I'm a professional entrepreneur with a passion for people, animals and business, and a believer in maintaining values and integrity in both my business and personal life. As an adreneline junkie and lifelong learner, it's my vision and drive for innovative strategy and aggressive execution that has led me to fund many companies over the years. My current focus is as co-founder of Xendoo, a cloud-based SAAS disruptor and an accounting industry phenomenon.  

Xendoo offers a financial scorecard, scalable monthly rates that include your tax return, planning support and unlimited access to CPAs, while simplifying your bookkeeping and accounting and delivering the financial attention you’ve been craving. Unlike a traditional CPA relationship where the focus may not be on your big picture, Xendoo takes a holistic and responsive approach to make your company operate faster and better. By using Xendoo as your business partner, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to do what you do best – build your business.Xendoo provides you with 24/7 access to cutting-edge tools and CPA’s that think out-of-the-box and go above and beyond standard CPA services, at a low, flat monthly rate. By harnessing proprietary technology, the Team at Xendoo is revolutionizing accounting and empowering business owners to achieve their best financial selves.

Tim Hasse
Co-Founder of General Provision Co-Working

Serial Technologist Timothy Hasse is the Principal of Trim Agency, a South Florida-headquartered tech firm that develops high-concept applications for web, mobile, and social experiences. Timothy has spent his entire career in design and development of interactive digital solutions.

Hasse leads an innovative team of creatives, developers, and strategists that have served brands, agencies, and startups alike to take digital ideas from concept to creation. Trim has developed enterprise solutions for mature companies, and has ideated, built, and launched scalable applications for startups in the partner capacity. As a full service agency, Trim has created digital solutions for some of the country’s most recognizable brands.

Prior to founding Trim Agency, Hasse served as Global Marketing Director for Mile Marker International, a lifestyle brand in the automotive after-market. Hasse created an award-winning, in-house marketing department through a “digital first” strategy that transformed a fledgling family-business into a publicly traded, global brand and market leader.

Most Recently, Hasse founded Fort Lauderdale’s first co-working and Tech-Incubation space, General Provision, with the goal of accelerating the creative and tech communities of South Florida. Aside from providing a collaborative space for entrepreneurs, creatives, and technologists, the space is also the home to Broward County’s first independent programming academy, aiming to feed the South Florida tech ecosystem with new developer talent.

Timothy is an emphatic supporter of agile project management and open-source technology.

Coaches and Mentors

Kartik Rallapalli
Ceo and Founder

Kartik is an entrepreneur, solutions architect and mentor.

He founded Travelastic, a SaaS solution for tour experts.
 As a solutions architect, he converts business ideas into software design.

He has over 20 years of  programming experience across multiple technologies. Worked extensively in cloud architecture, networking, security and high availability implementations. He lead and delivered multi-million dollar projects for fortune 100 companies. Also recruited and managed development teams for these companies.
 He has bachelors in Electrical and Electronics engineering. He is a technology evangelist and loves to motivate startups and guide them.

Nicholas Tomlinson

Nicholas Tomlinson is a co-founder for Miami based startup Travelastic - a marketplace for tour operators that empowers its users to boost sales and expand their network.

Previously, Tomlinson was the Director of Technology at Metropolitan International School of Miami (MET), where he developed an interactive curriculum for more than 200 elementary and middle school students. Prior to joining MET, Tomlinson was an assistant producer for various documentaries featured on national cable networks, such as WLRN, National Geographic, Smithsonian Network, and the Discovery Channel. He has a passion for technology, the environment, and the education of today’s youth and is trained in geographic information systems, computer programming, and UX design.

Tomlinson received his bachelor's degree from the University of Florida. He also took part in Harvard’s CS50X computer science course at Miami-Dade College thanks to a scholarship provided by the Knight Foundation. He is a lifelong student, mentor, and educator. Tomlinson is a team player with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit. 

When Tomlinson is out of the office, you can find him on a soccer field or at the beach with his dog, Oynx. 

Peter Cummings
Corporate Coach

Peter holds a degree in Psychology. He is a dynamic, results driven professional with a comprehensive background in sales, management, marketing, training and coaching roles.

Peter has a track record of achievement and demonstrated success in launching products & conceptual services, building sales, brand awareness, expanding markets, distribution and driving multi million dollar revenue growth in highly competitive arenas. An expertise in presentations, consultative selling, proactive listening and customer relationship management.

Over four decades as an entrepreneur in several ground breaking businesses.

 As a vocal and performance enhancement coach that has worked with executives of Fortune 100 companies and private students, he is dedicated to the passion of making you the best you can be.

Christopher Torres
Founder of Marketeq

Seasoned user experience and information architect with ability to build exceptional user experiences, expand market share, and increase usability and customer retention. Effectively utilizes advanced user research strategy to design solutions that meet consumer and business objectives. Demonstrates ability to interview multiple user personas to uncover consumer experiences, problems, and pain points as well as organize the data into scalable market demand and a value proposition with maximum growth potential. Ability to communicate important design decisions with key stakeholders and team members. Creative design skills that produce viable web and mobile solutions to that solve significant problems within various industries and user scenarios. Ability to quickly conceptualize solutions using design thinking, user research, and low/high fidelity prototyping. Growth strategy expert with ability to create high growth potential products and detailed high level growth plans as well as implement user testing and analytic metrics to measure results.

Maria Rivera
Multicultural Research Strategist

María draws on a diverse background in Data Collection, Research Design, Operations, Team Building and Inclusive Leadership. She describes herself as an adaptive leader who embraces the challenges and gains associated with diversity of thought and team collaboration.
With keen interest in Human-Centered Experience Design, María also brings broad industry knowledge: 25+ years of experience leading national research studies among the US Hispanic population – serving in various roles from Project Management Lead at Simmons Research to Digital Research Director at Experian Consumer Insights.

Passions: People, Technology and Research – in that order. Always people first.

In my case, the most edifying form of education stems from collaboration, and through authentic connections with people – from homeless to CEOs.
I am immensely grateful for knowledge shared at co-working spaces, meet-ups, and cafés. My growth is largely influenced by family, respected leaders, mentors, millennials and future leaders.
BS and MBA completed at two dual-language universities. Certified Scrum Master by top tier Agile coaches.
Design Thinking learned at Harvard – Division of Continued Education.
2019 – Currently working on a Master of Science in Health Informatics at University of Miami.

Favorite quote:
- Peter Druker

Marco Ferreira

Highly motivated for innovations.
Since child, I was always looking for creating solutions based on automation and I have started software programing very early in life until becoming System Analyst and in 1989 I started my own computer factory and we built a plant in Brazil, which was one of the first in Brazil.

In 1994 Due to one more economic country crisis, I had to close the factory and moved to USA and I began working as software and web developer when the Internet was just in its early stages in Seattle where I have helped to create a couple major websites in Seattle and I have moved to Los Angeles and worked in big projects as webmaster for a couple major website companies during the internet bubble from 1999 to 2002.

After that I started my own ISP providing Internet Access for several states in the US using the services from PacWest and created the first Cloud System and user file sharing system and copyrighted it as in 2003 with users all over the world but due to conflict with a major music record company I had to shutdown the services of sharing files in 2005 which later became Google Cloud system.

Car racing was always my passion and I started racing professionally for the next 4 years with success all over the world winning several trophies and championships.

Since 2011 I am involved again in a new business enterprise for App Solutions with aim on AI, Robotics and IoT.
I have created and copyrighted an App called Eco Business Card and labeled now as HyperCard which carries a unique mobile technology in the world by working offline P2P as an AI personal assistant for business professionals.

Julio Poppe

I am passionate about innovation, technology and business. Levering experiences as an entrepreneur in different countries to develop strategies, implement action plans and achieve results. Ability to work collaboratively, manage teams and develop talent.

Throughout my career, I’ve used a strategic approach, analytical thinking and creative ideas to drive growth for own ventures and clients’ alike. Experience working in start-ups and large corporate environments.

Currently helping small to medium businesses become more efficient and develop growth strategies. Previously spent 3 years in Peru developing a health and wellness company leveraging new business units from a franchise model- divisions ranging from a fitness facility to developing top Peruvian firms' corporate wellness programs. Prior to the venture in Peru, I co-founded a disruptive office supply company in Dominican Republic relying heavily on technology to gain market share.

Outside of work I am a fitness enthusiast with a passion for technology and its impact on our daily lives.

Michelle Y. Talbert

Over the past seven years Michelle Y. Talbert, a self-proclaimed recovering corporate attorney, has helped hundreds of women improve their lives and businesses, curating workshops and events under her Her Power Moves brand. Her connections and vast business network have created massive opportunities, from an invitation from The Obama White House to speaking on stages across the country. She’s also been featured in EBONY and Forbes. 
Michelle is an Amazon Bestselling author, who as a non-techie founder, immersed herself in the DC Tech community, and was a member of the 2014 winning team of the DC Lean Start-up Weekend competition. She has served as a “sensei,” mentoring participants in an AT&T-sponsored hack-a-thon at Howard University and through her podcasts has interviewed tech and business luminaries from Apple’s Chief Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki to Peter Shankman and Dave McClure, founders of the 500 Startups incubator. 
She’s a graduate of Cornell University and Penn Law and holds a Certificate in Business Policy and Management from Wharton, all achieved while raising her two school-aged children as a divorced, single mom. 

Luis Carbonel

Luis is one of the Co-Founders of Liquid Carrot.
He's passionate about Artificial Intelligence and profitable philanthropic ventures in highly innovative spaces and market segments (i.e. AgTech, BioTech, SpaceTech, EnTech). He has spent the last 6 years building and scaling technical or tech-enabled startups.

 He's a curious polymath, typically playing the role of a CTO/CIO/Lead Developer in early/mid-stage startup across various industries (e.g. artificial intelligence, web/mobile software, ecommerce, transportation, etc.); by study Luis is a theoretical mathematician and computer scientist. Luis has nine original works in mathematics and artificial intelligence - five of which, are published.

By the way, thanks again for inviting us to participate in startup weekend. Looking forward to seeing you guys tomorrow in Fort Lauderdale!

Jay Valinsky
Securities Attorney

Corporate and securities transactional law; Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent; FINRA arbitrator;former in-house counsel at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. 

Halle Prentice
Creativity Coach

Halle got her first real taste of non-conventional education opportunities as a Tedx Speaker at the young age of 20.

From there, her passion for connecting and communicating powerful ideas took root. She moved quickly into workshop-style education with Prototopics LLC, privately teaching school boards, executive teams, cohorts of national service volunteers, families, and more.

As the Director of Ideation & Content at Prototopics, Halle has designed & delivered scores of content-rich workshops on innovative thought systems, topics including but not limited to: Blue Ocean Strategy, Rapid Prototyping, Effective Brainstorming, Leveraging the Lean Model Canvas, and Culture Shifting.

She has most recently began teaching workshops on her own account, both public & private, free & paid, on the topics of Creativity, Personal Power, and Human Navigation Systems.

Halle aims to take more stages and teach more workshops that bring people closer to the idea that happiness, freedom, and fulfillment are all derived from CREATION.

Darren Spielman

Darren Spielman is an Attorney/Shareholder of Kain Spielman, P.A. He concentrates his practice in the field of intellectual property and computer law, with an emphasis on trademarks, trade secrets, domain name disputes, copyrights, first amendment law including slander, libel and defamation. Darren has a Masters in Mass Communications degree from the University of Florida, as part of a joint degree with the University of Florida Levin College of Law.  Darren helps businesses and entrepreneur with the creations, registration, protection and enforcement of the intellectual property needs. He also litigates these matters in state and federal courts across the country. Darren is a member of the Intellectual Property Committee, the Vice Chair of the E-discovery Committee and the Computer Law and Technology Committee of the Business Law Section of the Florida Bar.  He is also a Board Member of the Federal Bar Association Broward Chapter. Darren has been honored as AV Rated with Martindale Hubble. Darren is a frequent sought after speaker at large business conferences and webinars on these topics.

Pedro Cerrato
Executive Director

Pedro Marcial Cerrato is the Executive Director of the “Community of Entrepreneurs”, a non-for-profit associacion in Honduras that he founded with other professional friends to organizes events, offer services and develop other initiatives for the benefit of entrepreneurs and producers across the country. 

He holds a Master of International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina, thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship granted by the U.S. State Department from 1993 -1995.

He currently offers consulting support in the areas of financial controlling, organizational development and commercial representation services in Honduras. He worked for 14 years in the telecommunications equipment industry in Germany, Switzerland, Mexico and the USA, holding different financial and commercial positions.

In 2011, he became one of the founding members of the Honduras Global Foundation, a network of Honduran diaspora sharing knowledge and experience with in-country students and professionals. In 2015, he decided to return to Honduras to contribute more directly to his troubled home country’s development. 

He can be reached at

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Fort Lauderdale 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.

Initiative Sponsor



Venue Sponsor

Beer Sponsor

Community Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Marc
  • Christopher
  • Jackie


Sibi Murugesan
Program Director @ gener8tor

Sibi has been building companies and supporting entrepreneurs for years. After helping lead Co-lab, a nationally-recognized startup incubator for students, Sibi became a 
Startup Mentor for Junior Achievement, a global entrepreneurship program for students K - 12.  

In a corporate setting, he served as the youngest Senior Strategy Development Analyst within Best Buy's Strategic Growth Office, where he identified, built and launched $1B growth strategies for the Fortune 100 technology retailer. 

At his day job, he is currently the Program Director for gener8tor, a nationally-ranked startup accelerator, where his portfolio companies achieve ~9 months of growth in just 12 weeks. And on the weekends? He's a Program Facilitator for Startup Weekend, traveling the country helping talented entrepreneurs build businesses in just 54 hours!

Event Staff

JC Carrion

Juan Carlos describes his entrepreneurial journey as a chance to grow and to share his experiences and adventures with others.

Juan Carlos holds a degree in Computer Science. He is a graduate of the StartupNow Incubator Program from the InnovationHub@BrowardCollege. He is also the founder and CEO of A data-drive mortgage marketplace geared for first-time home buyers.

Eran Shay
Sr.Software Engineer

Sr.Software Engineer

Jorge Cortes

Jorge Cortes is a Daca dreamer and Colombian entrepreneur. Founder of Momentum International Accelerator, MIA Ventures For Social Innovation.

Jorge received the key to the city of Miami in 2017 followed by the key to the Miami dade county on the same year and is currently VP, board of directors of the United Nations Association in Miami as well as an innovation council member of the City of Miami, City of Coral Gables and Miami Dade Beacon Council while building the tech and innovation ecosystems of Colombia in Bogota, Medellin and Barranquilla.

Jorge worked for the Colombian American Chamber of Commerce during and after implementation of the free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States.

Emmanuel Miot

Emmanuel's a creative entrepreneur with 15+ years of business and professional experience. Since moving to the U.S from Haiti, Emmanuel has worked or done business in various industries such as banking, management, golf, and direct marketing.
Emmanuel has growing interests in tech innovation, real estate and community development. He is currently the program coordinator for Scale Up Miami, a four-month training program at that helps local entrepreneurs and small business owners create a growth plan, understand their financials, gain digital marketing skills and develop new strategies to scale their business.

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