Startup Weekend Fort Myers
Friday, October 6 - 8, 2017
Friday, October 6 - 8, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm
Endeavor Innovative Workspaces
8831 Business Park Drive Unit 301
Turning Innovative Ideas into Sustainable Businesses
The hardest part of starting up... is starting out!
Startup Weekend will help participants learn how to launch a business, a product, or service. It will also help participants explore their creativity, experience what it's like to create a business plan, learn how to pitch you idea and help you build an amazing network!
At Startup Weekend, you'll be immersed in an environment where startup magic, becomes startup reality. Connect with a rich and diverse group of individuals. You might meet a friend, a mentor, a co-founder, an investor or even your next boss. Discover where you are on the Entrepreneur's Journey - or if you're even on it - and leave knowing the next steps you need to take on your road to success. Learn what it really takes to start a business. No book, panel, speaker, or blog post will teach you everything you need to know! The only way to learn it is through the experience of trying it. Startup Weekend let's you try it out in a safe, fun, supportive environment. Start! It’s that simple. Startup Weekend is designed to get you going, FAST. The Startup Weekend Team will help you be successful and learn as much as possible in just 54 hours.
Connect, Discover, Learn, Start
What happens at the end of 54 hours? Some teams will decide to move forward with an idea, some won't. Some members of the team will remain on the team and build a business, and others will go back to their 9-5 job, their own startup or pursue other interests. Some people will find internship opportunities, find a job, or develop friendships that are long-lasting. No matter what, everyone will have fun, learn, share and be a part of the startup weekend community.
Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and Techstars, Startup Weekend is a global, grassroots movement of passionate entrepreneurs with a mission to inspire, educate, and empower others to launch innovative ideas. It is the largest community of entrepreneurs in the world and has hosted more than 2,000 events in more than 200 countries since 2007.
In A Nutshell:
Friday: Anyone can pitch an idea (and everyone is encouraged to pitch), everyone votes on the ideas that are pitched, teams are formed around the top ideas (5-7 teams get formed).
Saturday: Teams validate ideas, research customers, create a business plan and work to build a prototype that demonstrates the potential of their business.
Sunday: Finishing touches are put on the business plans & prototypes, pitches are developed and rehearsed and the events culminates Sunday evening in a pitch competition where teams present their businesses and demonstrate their prototype to a panel of judges.
Who is Startup Weekend For?
It doesn't matter what you do or where you come from, Startup Weekend is designed as an inclusive event and program that brings all sorts of people together including...
- aspiring & experienced entrepreneurs
- developers and other tech-related professionals
- designers of all types
- non-technical talent (i.e. business, sales, finance, legal, etc.)
- students from colleges, universities, and even high schools
- professionals looking to switch careers or build new skills
- passionate visionaries
Your ticket includes:
- and many more!
- Access to the full weekend-long event
- Opportunity to pitch your idea on Friday night @ Pitch Fire
- Mentoring by all-stars from the startup community
- Tasty meals all weekend
- Collaboration with awesome technical professionals
- All-star judges panel lead by startup leaders
- A process for taking any idea from concept to creation in a matter of days, and
- Over 75 awesome new friends!
Do I need to come with an idea?
If you have an idea for a startup, then great! We hope you pitch for the weekend. If you don't have an idea, that's quite all right! Come and spend the weekend, listen to the ideas being pitched, and see if something strikes your interest! The weekend is all about learning about the startup ideation process and from your peers.
Why Should I Register?
- Learn Something New: Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go.
- Networking: This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts the community’s best makers and do-ers. And, we all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to find someone you can actually work with.
- Mentoring: Local leaders - business people, tech experts and entrepreneurs - participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. You'll get some one-on-one and group time with local experts who can help you with your ideas.
- Learn A New Skill: Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are perfect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
- Launch a business: Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
- Join the Startup Community: Join over 45,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
Q: I already have a business, is this event for me?
A: Yes! Startup Weekend if for everyone. What you know is valuable and you'll have the chance to share your skills and experiences with others who want to learn.
Q: I don't have any ideas!
A: Technically, everyone has ideas. What you probably mean is, I'm not sure if my idea is viable. This is the perfect opportunity to explore that idea. Not every idea is viable, but Startup Weekend will help you determine if your idea has legs...and if it doesn't, that's okay, you will join another team and help take someone else's idea from prototype to pitch.
Q: Does my idea have to be an app or involve technology?
A: No, all ideas are welcome. You might want to start a chain of coffee stores (remember, Starbucks was a startup, at some point), create a wedding business, develop a new gadget, or offer a service. But, if you do have an app idea, that's okay, we love those too. The point is, you're not limited to any specific area or type of idea.
Q: Is this event for experienced people only?
A: No. We welcome all levels of experience. No matter what your background, you'll learn a lot from your team, other participants, the coaches and judges! Plus, we need experienced people to help build the teams and share lessons-learned.
Q: I've already participated in a Startup Weekend.
A: Great! You can participate in as many as you like! Just because you've participated in the past doesn't mean you shouldn't participate again. Each weekend is unique because the ideas are different and there are so many different people to meet.
Friday October 6th
Saturday October 7th
Sunday October 8th
Today, Louis is President of Bruno Air Conditioning. The company started in December 2012.It has grown from $2.5 million in revenue during their first year of business to approximate revenues of $25 million in the coming year. As President of Bruno Air, Louis leads a team of over 150 employees and continues to innovate and expand by integrating technology into every task.
In 2013 Bruno Air became the founding sponsor for the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce Golf Challenge and continued to sponsor the event in 2014 and 2015. In 2014 Bruno Air received the Trane Top Performer Award. Louis was featured on CNBC’s Blue Collar Millionaires in 2015.
Louis has been recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year from the Business Observer, 12 under 40 for News-Press, and a 40 under 40 for Gulfshore Business. He was greatly honored to also receive The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Excellence In Industry Award as “Company To Watch” (2015); The Horizon Foundation Inc. Industry Appreciation Award (2015); The City of Bonita Springs Certificate of Recognition for receiving the 2015 Industry Appreciation Emerging Business Leaders Award by Mayor Ben Nelson; and in November 2015 the GrowFL “Company To Watch” Award.
He is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Program and the Growing Associates in Naples program. Louis maintains membership in Collier Building Industry Association, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, and Above The Board Chamber in Naples and Fort Myers. Louis enjoys all sports, especially baseball. He makes his home in Naples with his wife, Rachael, and sons, LJ and Henry. Louis is also deeply involved in the local community and served as chairman of the Collier County March of Dimes.
We are so young that we were forced to never take "no" as an answer if we wanted to succeed. Many of our competitors tried to stop us from being able to sell the top brands in HVAC. Not only were we the fastest company in the USA to get these contracts, we were able to create our own system for Southwest Florida. The short-term goals are to rebrand for a total home service company. The long-term goals are to explore new industries and expand into different states.
We are currently retail from Marco Island to Tampa/Orlando. We are currently commercial statewide. Our innovation has forced our competitors to change the way they do business. For so long, they just went on the mindset that "we have always done it this way." Since opening in December of 2012, we have continued to question WHY and attempt to make the industry a place that consumers run. The answer to this question continues to involve. When I opened Bruno Air, I was not married nor did I have children. Originally, it was to change the industry. To force better quality. Today, it is a combination of that and leaving a legacy for my family for generations to come. We have created an air conditioning system solely for Southwest Florida that is protected by an unprecedented industry warranty. We have developed a customer relationship management program that tracks every customer from the second they call or go to our website until the job is complete and then follows up for future service appointments. We are also manufacturing the first ever HVAC monitoring system for household major appliances. We will be able to test just how efficient your home is and warn you of any issues on the spot. We only had $40,000 and two employees that were entirely inexperienced in HVAC. However, they were experienced in customer-facing and the total experience. Therefore, we had to provide the best possible business to our consumers. It was never about just selling. It was about changing the industry. Even with just a fraction of the start-up capital compared to others, we bootstrapped and found our way.
The mission of Bruno Air Conditioning is to provide the highest quality service for customers and to enhance their experience with home service companies. By introducing continuous innovations, we are forcing the enhancement of quality.
He has successfully delivered $100 million programs, run $300 million departments, and led teams of 1000 staff for Fortune 100 companies. Gordon is the author of the critically acclaimed book “FAST” and works with enterprises on implementing results-based leadership initiatives to rapidly accelerate the organization’s growth.
Gordon is an International Business Keynote Speaker, Coach and Consultant and is also a contributing author and columnist at Inc., Entrepreneur, Business Insider, CEOWorld, Addicted2Success and Huffington Post. He is also a visiting Professor at Staffordshire University Faculty of Business, Education and Law.
Gordon will be speaking on Saturday night and providing feedback and advice to all participants of Startup Weekend Fort Myers.
Coaches and Mentors
The Lab is a place for people to explore creative solution making as they learn the process and practices of ingenuity. Dave's framework for collective ingenuity is summed up in his book, Tribal Alchemy: Mining Your Team's Collective Ingenuity. He's currently working on a second edition to the book. Dave can bring his Lab to you or you can come to him. Either way, his passion is to help you infuse ingenuity into your everyday execution. Through keynotes, Ingenuity Lab workshops, and strategic coaching Dave can help you ignite ingenuity.
Dave earned a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems. Along with his work in The Ingenuity Labe, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona.
A native of Cape Coral, Ken graduated from North Fort Myers High School and earned an associate’s degree in public relations from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Gulf Coast University. He loves to participate in group sporting events such as mud runs and is an avid fan of the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles, the University of South Florida Bulls and the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team.
Ken is a dynamic entrepreneur who utilizes resourcefulness, creativity, leadership, and teamwork to design and execute solutions that create value for clients. He is an extremely effective communicator that utilizes numerous marketing strategies to reach a number of different client markets. He is a devoted father and enjoys traveling in his free time.
My work has been featured in CNN (on-air), Philadelphia Inquirer, Gulfshore Business, News-Press (Part of the USA Today Network), Naples Daily News, Business Observer, Naples Herald, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, NBC2 News, WINK (on-air), EagleNews, and Lee Herald.
When I’m not on the job, I spend my time training for marathons, hiking with intent to climb the 7 Summits, reading books (mainly business), and indulging my interest for seeing new places.
Reid has a B.S. Degree from Westfield State University, as well as an MBA and M.A in Educational Leadership, both from Florida Gulf Coast University. He is an Adjunct Instructor in Entrepreneurship for the Lutgert College of Business, and was nominated for the FGCU Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award in 2015. Originally from the Boston area, he has lived in Naples since 1990.
CEO CommLynx, LLC
Mr. Howard is currently the owner of CommLynx, LLC which provides multiple technology related services including technology evaluation, vendor management, IT support and project planning, budgeting, management and implementation services to multiple companies. Previously
Mr. Howard served as a Vice President at T3 Communications, Inc., a Fort Myers, FL based CLEC and managed services provider. While at T3 he led several projects including T3’s conversion to a fiber based network infrastructure, deployment of WiMax based last mile connectivity, Operational and Support System (OSS) development and opening T3’s Winter Haven data center. His focus on customer service also led to T3 reaching a 99% customer satisfaction rating. Prior to joining T3, Mr. Howard served as VP of Network Technology and Business Development at Cleartel Communications (now part of Birch Communications) where he played a major role in the acquisition and integration of three other CLECs. Prior to joining Cleartel, he served as VP of Access Revenue and Cost at Choice One Communications (now part of EarthLink) with responsibility for budgeting, revenue assurance and network planning for a $100 million network serving 29 markets. Other significant experience includes managing Talk America’s nationwide UNE-P expansion process as VP of Local Operations and serving as VP of Operations at Con Edison Communications responsible for fiber deployment (now part of Light Tower).
Mr. Howard earned a BS in Physics from Rhodes College, a MSEE from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. Mr. Howard also completed post-graduate work in Finance and Economics at Vanderbilt University. Outside of work, Mr. Howard is an active member of the Rotary Club of Fort Myers.
Mr. Patel holds a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. He is a certified Principle of Systems Engineering professional. He is fluent in Asian-Indian languages allowing him to conduct business internationally.
He believes his largest accomplishment throughout his career is building a team of experts in diverse occupations within the Engineering and Technology fields. His team combined has over 70+ years of experience in Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Product Development, and Project Management.
Sebastian, was born in Romania and raised in Austria. Since his earliest years, he has been a design and tech geek. At the age of 13, Sebastian started to teach himself design tools (Coral Draw 9, Adobe® Photoshop, and Adobe® Illustrator) to create websites, logos, digital art and t-shirts just for fun.
After his graduation from the academy of creative design in Austria and several years in advertising agencies, he decided to start his own design studio named myflecki.com. He is specialized in Branding & Identity Design, UX, and UI Design.
In 2012, he co-founded the network theWG.net to provide international clients with unique Apps, Websites, Brands and much more. Sebastian has now been a professional for over 10 years and loves to support entrepreneurs and companies to define their own success story.
Let's tell your story with pixels.
After establishing his web-based business, Brian noticed that the 3D world of technology had become much faster, produced better results, and was finally cost-effective. So, along with his business partner Brian Smith, he formed 3D Architectural Solutions (3DAS)—a 3D architectural visualization facility specializing in the production of architectural renderings and animations. A portfolio of his work can be seen at www.3das.com.
Brian later joined efforts with his business partner Jeff Mottle to develop CGschool – the only company in the world that provides Autodesk Authorized books and training dedicated to architectural visualization while simultaneously working full-time in visualization production. More information can be found at www.thecgschool.com.
Stephen is currently immersed in optimizing the profitability of the most exceptionally engineered military products in the world. His current ambitions include expanding Rudram Engineering Inc. by closing DoD and aerospace contracts surrounding aircraft and warfighter equipment.
Stephen has extensive experience in procurement of government and DoD projects and works with top level executives and military personal solving complex problems on highly classified projects.
Event Sponsors, and Partners
The Startup Weekend Fort Myers 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.
Techstars Startup Weekend Fort Myers is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here
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