Startup Weekend Gainesville 2017

    Friday, February 10 - 12, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Gainesville 2017

Friday, February 10 - 12, 2017

Friday, February 10 - 12, 2017
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Innovation Hub (Friday 6pm), CIED (work weekend), HighDive (finale & after-party 6pm Sunday)

Gainesville, FL

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There's Innovation Afoot in Gainesville, FL!

Mark your calendars for the weekend of February 10-12, 2017, because Startup Weekend Gainesville is on! 

Join Gainesville's brightest for three days of innovation, collaboration, and networking as we bring this community's best ideas to life.

This exciting 3-Day event features programmers, designers, marketers, and entrepreneurial minds of every sort, coming together to develop new and innovative business projects from the ground up.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday February 10th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue (Innovation Hub) 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

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. Move to CIED - the work venue for the weekend.

Saturday February 11th

9:00 am
Arrive at CIED, 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

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday February 12th

9:00 am
Arrive at CIED, 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

4:00 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
Set up for presentations at SharpSpring
Set-up at venue - HIGH DIVE

6:00 pm
Final Presentations & Dinner
Finale event & presentations at High Dive, with food & drink.

8:00 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Finale Celebration!
After-Party at High Dive!

Event Judges

William Pangas
Associate at Arsenal Venture Partners

William is an Associate at Arsenal Venture Partners. He is responsible for sourcing, qualifying, and executing deals, in addition to portfolio management throughout an array of industries. He has been involved in more than 35 venture transactions in excess of $600M in aggregate financing. Previously, William spent time in the telecom and financial services markets with Ntera Holdings and American General Financial Services, respectively. William graduated from Florida International University with a BA degree in Philosophy and earned an MBA degree from the University of Central Florida. 

Lee May
Executive Director at Gainesville Area Innovation Network

I am an advocate and mentor for entrepreneurs who want to change the world. My passion is propelling our culture from No to Yes, from reactive to proactive, to a strong service orientation, and to breaking down silos to form collaborative teams that impact success.

As a dynamic visionary in the startup community with extensive experience creating events to showcase local technologies, I have implemented the GAIN FastPitch, GAIN ShootOut, GAIN UnPlugged, Innovation Florida-Crash Course, the Kauffman Foundation 1 Million Cups and countless workshops covering funding along with real world guidance in starting a company. In 2015 I was one of the originators of GEM (Gainesville Entrepreneur Month) showcasing over 20 events in October collaboratively with other like-minded organizations including incubators and was recognized in proclamations by both Alachua County Commission and the City of Gainesville.

Dan Rua
CEO Admiral

Partner with passionate, visionary entrepreneurs to help them change the world. I've participated in funding and building 40+ companies, and managed three venture funds totaling over $150 million with top-decile IRR. I'm an active investor who will take executive roles where I see unusual opportunity and can add unique operations value to the team.
For what it's worth, I've been ranked as the #4 Most Loved and #17 Most Respected VC in the US by BusinessInsider and #1 in both categories in the Southeast. More importantly, founders I've built companies with are lifelong friends. Specialties: Early-stage,Technology, Social Media, Ad Operations, IP, Viral, Wireless, MedTech, People-backer.

Duncan Kabinu
Founder - Gainesville Dev Academy

Duncan Kabinu helped co-found Starter Space, a business incubator in Gainesville, FL. He studied Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. He spent 17 years working for the State of Florida developing and managing enterprise database applications designed to manage various state programs to protect Florida Agriculture. 

Duncan has been an avid entrepreneur since a young age starting his first business in college operating a construction cleaning business. Duncan was involved in a patented EEG invention of a product for EncephaloDynamics. Worked as a Project/Program Manager for IngagePatient (formerly known as RegisterPatient) helping this company become one the top 100 companies to attain Meaningful Use Certification, CTO of a local software company - Lucravalde, served as Vice President of Technology for a software health company. 

Duncan serves on the board of Gainesville Technology Council and Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN).

He has helped organize and participate in events such as StartupWeekend, served as a mentor at StartupQuest, is currently on Gainesville Area Chamber Technology Council Board of Directors.

John Montague
Associate at Lowndes Law

John Montague focuses his legal practice on advising startups and mid-size firms on corporate, commercial and securities issues, including entity formation, sales and marketing disclosures, private placements and disclosure requirements. John also negotiates and drafts various contracts and agreements, including end user license agreements (EULAs), joint ventures, licensing agreements and employee agreements. The majority of his work has involved working with businesses that have resulted from both private and public university-generated researchWhen he is not practicing law, John serves as a mentor for the University of Florida Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability and is also involved with the Hacker House, an organization that welcomes young entrepreneurs to eat, sleep and breath innovation.John splits his time between the firm's Orlando office and a Gainesville office working in the technology sector.

Coaches and Mentors

Marc Lefton
Creative Director and Marketing Strategist

CEO of MGC Solutions and founder of Adholes, Marc Lefton is a growth hacker, full stack marketer with 22 years of experience innovating for major brands at top ad agencies as an award-winning creative director

Andrew Crites

Professional software developer since 2008 working in web technologies

Stephanie George

Stephanie has a deep technology background and direct management experience in operational and fundraising roles within companies. Stephanie George has reviewed thousands of executive summaries, investor pitches and business plans across a wide assortment of innovation industries as the Fund Administrator for Emergent Growth Fund and the Fund Manager for the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research. Stephanie has also provided research on startup companies for angel groups and individual investors including reviewing company pro forma financials and business models. Her direct experience building investor-ready pro formas and business models for startups has helped dozens of young companies present successful pitches to investors.

Dennis Hansen

Hi, I'm Dennis Hansen, co-founder and Chief of Product of Knack. I've learned a lot about starting a consumer-focused tech company, and would be happy to share those lessons. My specialties are product design, front end development, and growth.

William Richardson

Founder and Lead Front End Engineer at Admiral. Former Lead Front End Engineer at Grooveshark.

Shirley Rodriguez

Shirley has been working as a leader in sales and customer service since 2006. She has had diverse experiences in her career from logistical and loss prevention training for hundreds of people in Gainesville, re-branding proposals for international clients, and now building out networks of studios with a focus on corporate wellness. Shirley is also very involved within her community through organizing, mentoring, professional pet sitting and art.

Bryan Tobin

Technical lead for the Product Management team at SharpSpring. Technology evangelist, Spider-Man enthusiast. 

Brett Tobin

As Director of Onboarding at SharpSpring, I work with a team of specialists to deliver a comprehensive and flexible training program for new partners.

Bjorn Stange
Systems Engineer at Mobiquity.

Systems team intern at Grooveshark. Systems Engineer at Mobiquity. 

Holly Marie
Sr. web designer & developer @UFHealth

Sr. web designer & developer @UFHealth. Curious & logical. Affinity for ampersands & dogs on #teamlongandlow. Human, feminist, grammar nerd. UX obsesser.

Trevor Abbott
Biz Dev at Admiral

Biz Dev at Admiral, Co-Founder of SpinChill

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Gainesville 2017 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 Gainesville is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Bill
  • Grasshopper
  • Jennifer
  • Aidan
  • Kelsey
  • Opeola
  • Startup


Michael Norton
Entrepreneur In Residence

Michael has led over 60 Techstars Startup Weekend events throughout the US, Canada, and Australia. He teaches workshops, designs programs, and speaks on a variety of topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Michael has worked professionally in marketing technology startups, with big data, non-profit fundraising, customer support systems design, technical project management, educational program development, event production and decor, iOS app design, video games, user testing, prototyping, and in the coffee industry.

His own past and present business ventures include several SaaS web app platforms, photography, woodworking, printing, audio engineering, video production, musical composition/recording/performance, publishing, art curation, operating an Amazon Pro Merchant storefront, and a funnel cake stand.

Michael guides innovative communities to build and nurture regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He guides corporations through internal innovation and intrapreneurship. 

He frequently works as a freelance business development consultant, crowdfunding guru, technical project manager, and as a marketer — focused on branding, messaging, storytelling, social media, and email marketing.

Michael loves hiking in Yosemite, bicycling around San Diego, eating authentic Baja California Mexican food, and drinking amazing coffee in Seattle.

Rachelle Oribio
Corporate Development Program Director

Rachelle Oribio is the Corporate Development Program Director running post-accelerator BD programming. Rachelle has a degree in Business Information Technology Operations Management from Virginia Tech and was a systems engineer and IT consultant. During her MBA at IESE Business School she was exposed to startups, CSR, and microfinance before going into management consulting. However, craving more social impact, she moved to a recovering narcotraffic region of the Amazon jungle to grow businesses along the value chains of cocoa and coffee as part of a TechnoServe & USAID accelerator program. Later, with Defy Ventures in NYC, she worked with the formerly incarcerated, using entrepreneurship as a life-changing tool. Rachelle works with other entrepreneurship programs, volunteers, serves on boards, and previously ran an MBA program for the University of Minnesota.

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