Startup Weekend Miami - FIU

    Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

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

Event Alerts and Updates

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

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Miami - FIU

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Tech Station at Florida International University (Main Campus)
Parking Garage 6, Room 100W
11200 8th St SE
Miami, FL 33199

Buy Tickets

No Talk. All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 Hours!

Startup Weekend Miami is a 54-hour event for developers, designers and entrepreneurs to hack on your latest idea. You will be able to present your own concept and form a team around it or join forces with someone else.

Over the weekend, you will be putting the foundations of a business case, designing and building a product prototype, testing your assumptions with a potential customers, and, on Sunday night, pitch the results of your weekend's work to a panel of amazing judges. What's more, over the weekend, you will have access to startup experts, investors, coaches and mentors there to help you bring your big-ideas to life.

Startup Weekend Miami has a "communication" focus. So your pitch and big idea could include: websites, apps, communication tools, wearables, journalism, PR, big data --essentially any that informs and engages people or groups and provides them information.

Build your entrepreneur skills and mojo and connect with the South Florida tech & startup community.

If you are interested in sponsoring Startup Weekend in Miami, you can find more information on our sponsorship page or email

What's Included:

  • Catered food - 7 meals total
  • Unlimited coffee and refreshments
  • Awesome Startup Weekend Miami T-shirt 
  • Fantastic working space at FIU's New Tech Station
  • Discounts for some of the best startup tools - AWS, Sendgrid, Microsoft Azure, etc
  • Inclusion in the Global Startup Battle to compete for awesome prizes
  • One-on-one direct access to the best startup mentors and coaches in South Florida

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday November 20th

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

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 November 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, 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 November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, 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

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

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Dr Mark B. Rosenberg
President - Florida International University

Mark B. Rosenberg is president of Florida International University. A public institution of higher education, FIU is the face of the country’s future in higher education demographics: it is a majority-minority institution that leads the country in the production of minority degrees in the sciences and engineering.

Dr. Rosenberg has served as the fifth president of FIU since August 2009. A political scientist specializing in Latin America, Dr. Rosenberg is the first FIU faculty member to ascend to the university’s presidency.

Under his leadership as president, FIU has increased enrollment to almost 54,000 students, improved graduation rates by nearly 10% and hired over 500 new faculty. As President, Dr. Rosenberg has provided leadership to grow the institution’s budget, improve student graduation and retention rates, expand internships for enrolled students, and coordinate FIU’s emergence as a leading producer of graduates in priority national and state areas focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The university has been named as a Carnegie Engaged institution, and has developed path-breaking partnerships with the Miami Dade County Public Schools, JP Morgan Chase, Florida Power & Light and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Research expenditures have grown by nearly 30% to nearly $125 million, and over sixty new student advisers and counselors have been hired for a restructured and expanded student graduation initiative.

Adam Boalt
LiveAnswer CEO

Adam Boalt is currently the Founder and CEO of LiveAnswer, Inc. based out of Pipeline Brickell.  Launched in March of 2014, LiveAnswer technology is revolutionizing the call center model and has provided over 3 million minutes of on-demand phone support to over 1000 businesses including: Uber, the Game Show Network, Dome 9 and the Hearst Corporation. 

Prior to LiveAnswer, Adam founded which was voted #1 by the Wall Street Journal and became one of the largest 24 hour passport expeditors in the world.  He successfully exited the business in 2012 to a private equity group.

Over the course of his career, Adam has raised multiple rounds of financing for other startups he co-founded and is a regular speaker in various topics ranging from Government 2.0 to Entrepreneurship.  He was invited to speak at the World Bank with Tim O’Reilly after winning 1st prize in a government innovation contest coordinated by President Obama's former CIO, Vivek Kundra.  He has also been featured in several publications including Entrepreneur, Forbes, INC and ZDNet for his accomplishments.

Event Judges

Dr. Raul Reis
Dean and Professor | School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Dr. Raul Reis  is the Dean and a Professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) at Florida International University (FIU).

With more than 2,000 students, the SJMC offers five undergraduate degree programs (Advertising, Journalism, Public Relations, Broadcasting, and Digital Media) and three Master's programs (Spanish-language Journalism, Global Strategic Communications-Public Relations, Global Strategic Communication-Advertising). We started in August 2014 a new online Master's in Global Strategic Communications.

As dean, Dr. Reis oversees all strategic and operational activities for the SJMC, including fund-raising, budgeting, scheduling, hiring, evaluation of faculty and staff, tenure and promotion decisions, program development, curricular changes, accreditation, and event planning, among others.

Matt Haggman
Miami Program Director | Knight Foundation

Matt Haggman is the Miami Program Director at Knight Foundation. Under his leadership, Knight launched a new initiative aimed at connecting and propelling Miami’s emerging entrepreneurs and startups as a way of building community. The effort, which was launched in 2012, has been cited by numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, BBC, USA Today, Le Monde and Washington Post. Highlights include launching Endeavor Miami, which is the first Endeavor affiliate to be launched in the US and the subject of a Harvard Business School case study.

Previously, Matt was an award-winning reporter for nearly a decade. He worked at The Miami Herald for more than seven years, after starting his journalism career at the Daily Business Review in Miami. Honors include winning the Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in business journalism. Matt has degrees from Tulane University and Vermont Law School.

Matt currently sits on the boards of Endeavor Miami, Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Florida Philanthropic Network and The LAB Miami. Matt also sits on New Leaders Council Miami advisory board, is a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami and is founding member of TEDxMiami, which has presented programs to sold-out audiences each of the last four years.

Nico Berardi
Managing Director | AGP Miami

Nico Berardi is Mthe anaging Director at Accelerated Growth Partners; an angel investor network based out of Miami, FL. He has been commissioned by Knight Foundation to bridge the funding gap that Miami entrepreneurs face. The goal of the Knight Foundation grant is to ensure an efficient angel network to then pursue the structuring of a local Series A venture capital fund. In the first year, AGP has grown to 80+ Members, made 12 investments totaling U$2.2M. Nico is curently completing his Kauffman Fellowship.

Previously, Nico was Chief Executive Officer – U.S. at TECHO until December 2013. Nico’s involvement with TECHO began as a volunteer in 2007 in Buenos Aires when the organization had just begun operations. After four years of consolidating the Argentina team, Nico joined the fundraising team in the US as Director of Development. His focus was to develop continental alliances with companies based out of Miami and New York. He was also in charge of further expanding networking opportunities to high net worth individuals with an interest in Latin America. After one year, he began leading the team as CEO. Under his leadership fundraising doubled and team tripled while assuming new challenges. These challenges were to leverage communicational opportunities, generating strategic partnerships with Universities & other non-profits, and fostering massive and thoughtful volunteer engagement in the U.S.

Felecia Hatcher
Author & Chief Popsicle of Feverish Miami | Co-Founder of Code Fever Miami & Black Tech Week

Felecia is an author, social entrepreneur and the Chief Popsicle of Feverish Ice Cream & Gourmet Pops. For the past decade Felecia has dedicated her life to inspiring a new generation of leaders through her conversational talks on Entrepreneurship, Tech Innovation, College Funding and Personal Branding.

A globally sought after speaker, Hatcher has been honored at the White House as one of the Empact Top 100 Entrepreneurs under 30 in 2011, and in honored as a  2014 White House Champion of Change for STEM Access and Diversity, Featured on the NBC Today Show-Grio’s 100 African American’s Making History, a TEDxMiami and TedxJamaica Presenter and featured on the Cooking Channel, Inc Magazine, Wall Street Journal Japan, Forbes Travel, Entrepreneur, Essence Magazine and Black Enterprise.

Christopher Sopher
Founder & CEO |

Coaches and Mentors

Saif Ishoof
Vice President of Engagement | FIU

Saif has unique insight into effective organizational leadership and management.  He's a ninja at building strong teams, communicating with stakeholders, encouraging innovation, fostering mentoring relationships, establishing strong accountability structures, and leveraging message to drive mission.

Brian Breslin
Founder | Refresh Miami

A long time serial web entrepreneur, Brian is a key Leader in South Florida's tech scene. Brian brings key web software and social media development experience to Startup Weekend

Mariana Santos
Director of Interactive | Fusion Media

Mariana is a visual storyteller, who has groundbreaking work as a member of the interactive team at The Guardian in London. She's a trained animator, pioneering the newsroom’s use of motion graphics to make data stories more compelling.

Sally Outlaw
Co-Founder & CEO |

As an innovator in venture finance, Sally connects ideas to capital. She is author of “Cash from the Crowd” and is a writer and speaker for Entrepreneur Magazine. She is addicted to helping business owners navigate the new capital opportunities provided by the updated securities regulations in the Jobs Act.

Bill Bathurst
Brand Strategist | Bathurst Group

Bill Bathurst brings more than 25 years of broad-based leadership experience at both executive and entrepreneurial levels with key responsibilities in consumer marketing and brand strategy.

Scott Dresden, MD, PhD, FACOG
Accredited Angel Investor | Dresden Capital

Scott is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, accredited angel investor and board certified OB/GYN, having delivered over 7,000 babies during his career.  He is the holder of 11 patents and was the winner of two Ingram Research Awards.

Ilan Berkener
IT Problem Solver and Sr. Manager | Centric

Ilan brings twenty years of experience in planning, directing and executing innovative software solutions and projects in B2C and B2B markets across diverse industries.

Matt Trask
Maker and Engineer

An engineer to the core, Matt is an entrepreneur with technical experience in embedded systems, virtual machine technology and remote/control/remote desktop technologies. He brings special expertise in the turn-around and completion of "difficult" projects.

Alexandra Brown
Marketing Consultant | Kaufman Lynn

Alexandra has a strong — and well deserved — reputation for providing market research, strategy, branding and identity consulting to startups and enterprises.

Gabriel Goldstein
Chief Engineer | Anidea Engineering

Gabriel is a product development specialist who comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. He's the chief engineer and CEO of a product development company with a focus on computer and electrical based devices. 

Tim Thompson
Business Development | Paragon Foundation of Florida

Tim has twenty-five years experience in small business lending, commercial lending, commercial real estate finance, entrepreneurial and non-bank financing and residential mortgage lending. A SCORE volunteer he provides a broad range of skills for Startup Weekend teams

David Barkoe
Partner | Carve Communications

David is co-founder of Carve Communications, a full-service communications firm based in Miami, FL that helps startups and established brands develop a narrative that can be leveraged to generate awareness, drive engagement and foster activation. Prior to Carve, David served as an account director at Max Borges Agency where he focused on driving new business and managing two of the agency’s largest clients -  Mindtree and

Christina Freire
Senior Instructional Designer at Florida International University

Christina "Christy"​ Freireis is a Senior Instructional Designer at Florida International University (FIU). Her experience in e-learning, consulting and supporting subject matter experts in online and blended learning environments will be immensely helpful to the Startup Weekend Miami teams

Charles Irizarry
Managing Director of Rokk3r Cobuild

Charles Irizarry is Managing Director of Rokk3r Cobuild, and a founding partner of Rokk3r Labs. He co-leads a team of over 65 product designers, engineers and business strategists working with partner entrepreneurs to develop digital products and launch companies. Charles manages sophisticated, multi-disciplinary engineering projects that lead to the launch of industry-transforming ideas.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Miami - FIU 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.

Florida International University Sponsors



Ecosystem Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Jeff
  • Alex
    de Carvalho
  • Steve
  • Caryn


Sergio Escobar
Montreal Managing Director @ Founder Institute

Sergio directs the Founder Institute's Montreal operations. As such, Sergio contributes to mentor startups in Sharing Economy, Artificial Intelligence, NeuroTech, SportsTech, EdTech, Real Estate Tech, Manufacturing Tech, B2B Enterprise, eCommerce, FinTech. Sergio is a tech entrepreneur himself. He is also involved in Startup Chile, Startup Peru, Startup Bootcamp FinTech London, Msb Tunisia, Kuwait National Fund, Techstars Boston, Techstars Chicago, Flat6Labs in Middle East, and World Bank "Tech Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean"

Event Staff

Luis Duco
Market Intelligence Expert | Citrix

Luis's background in sustainable business design, lean process development, and sales and marketing strategy making him a natural coach for Startup Weekend Miami.

Deb Griffith
Director of Marketing

Executive-level marketing professional with 20+ years of strategic and tactical expertise in the creation, promotion and sales of B2B and consumer products and services.

Event Blog

See Full Blog