Startup Weekend Mobile 2017

    Friday, March 31 - April 2, 2017

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

Friday, March 31 - April 2, 2017

Friday, March 31 - April 2, 2017
Event starts at 5:30 pm

The Steeple on St. Francis
251 St. Francis St.
Mobile, AL 36602

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Friday March 31st

5:30 pm
Check in and get to know fellow participants

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Enjoy dinner from Roosters courtesy of Payroll Vault

6:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review weekend agenda, introduce speakers and community leaders

7:00 pm
Pitch Fire
Line up to give your 60-second pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:15 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.

10:45 pm
Building closes promptly at 11pm

Saturday April 1st

8:00 am
Enjoy a hot breakfast from Thrive Catering courtesy of Fit Recruiting

8:30 am
Group Session
Business Model Canvas Presentation

9:30 am
Team Block
Teams split up to work on presentations. First wave of coaches will float around to provide support.

12:00 pm
Lunch & Learn
Enjoy Adams IP Law's Intellectual Property Lunch & Learn catered by FOY and sponsored by University of South Alabama

1:00 pm
Team Block
Teams split up to work on presentations. Second wave of coaches will float around to provide support.

6:00 pm
Enjoy delicious Filipino cuisine from Ang Bahay Kubo

6:30 pm
Team Block
Teams split up to work on presentations. Third wave of coaches will float around to provide support.

10:45 pm
Building closes promptly at 11pm

Sunday April 2nd

8:00 am
Enjoy a hot breakfast from Thrive Catering

8:00 am
Team Block
Teams split up to work on presentations. Final wave of coaches will float around to provide support.

12:00 pm
Enjoy a locally-sourced lunch from Chef Will's Farm Foods

12:30 pm
Team Block
Teams split up to finalize presentations

2:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation. Tech-check for final presentations also takes place one group at a time.

4:30 pm
Doors Open

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
Pitch competition begins

6:30 pm
Guests will enjoy Haint Blue Beer and a showcase of local food startups while the judges deliberate

7:00 pm
Winners announced

Event Judges

Clifton Inge,
Chief Executive Officer, IPC Industries, Inc. & Managing Partner, IPC Capital Partners, LLC

Clifton C. Inge, Jr. co-founded IPC Capital Partners, an investment firm that originates, structures, closes and manages private equity investments. His career-long experience and personal investments have included ventures such as: AtheroMed, a medical products company which later was sold to Phillips; Cavalier Wireless/Continuum 700, which has sold a 700 MHz A Block spectrum license to T-Mobile;  and Wish, an online service providing over 200 million people with access to trending items at 50-80% discounted prices. Most recently, Mr. Inge has focused his efforts on contributing to the revitalization of Downtown Mobile - including the renovation of tonight’s venue, The Steeple. He is also working with other entrepreneurs to create a fund that will invest in startups throughout the coastal area.

Shegun Otulana
CEO, TheraNest

As founder and CEO of TheraNest, Shegun has built the company around practice management and electronic health records software for mental and behavioral health organizations and practices. Shegun launched TheraNest in 2013 to meet technology needs he noticed in the industry while working as a software development consultant. TheraNest now serves several thousand mental and behavioral health organizations throughout the United States. Shegun has a Bachelor’s in Management and Information Systems from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Mary Beth Greene
Owner/Designer, mb greene

In January 2015, Mary Beth Greene leveraged her 10 years as a sales rep in the wholesale industry and 2 years of designing, networking and planning to launch mb greene -- her very own designer line of waxed canvas tote bags branded with signature turquoise trim inspired by her Alabama Gulf Coast home.
Mary Beth spent many late nights at the kitchen table with paper, tape and scissors, making patterns for the simple, functional bags that have since become a celebrity favorite and are now sold in Neiman Marcus and over 400 specialty stores throughout the United States and Caribbean.
Mary Beth’s success has allowed her to launch a “work of heART” in support of the M. Bagwell Foundation, which honors the memory of her beloved sister, Mandy Bagwell. Learn more about their story at

Patrick Odoyo
Staff Director, Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub at Rollins College

Patrick recently moved to Winter Park, Florida to become Staff Director of Rollins College's Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub, where he works to build a thriving ecosystem for social innovation that develops responsible leaders and global citizens.
Prior to Joining Rollins, Patrick served as the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Consultant for The Institute for Global Enterprise in Indiana and taught International Business Strategy, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Micro-Financing for the University of Evansville's Business School.
Patrick is Founder and President of Friends of Dago, Inc. as well as Program Coordinator for the Dago Dala Hera Orphanage Center in Dago, Kenya. He has also been part of Startup Weekend events throughout the Midwest including Evansville, Indianapolis, Louisville, St. Louis and Nashville.

Mallory Whitfield
Speaker, Artist & Author, Miss Malaprop & Content Analyst, FSC Interactive

Mallory Whitfield has been blogging at since 2006. Throughout her journey as a creative entrepreneur, Mallory has worn many hats, including blogger, visual artist, upcycled clothing creator, performance artist, jewelry designer, craft show vendor, creative strategist, speaker, teacher and consultant to other artists and small business owners. By day, she specializes in SEO, social media and content marketing as Content Analyst at FSC Interactive, a digital marketing agency in New Orleans. In 2016, she was honored to be included in the 19th class of Gambit’s 40 Under 40, which salutes the brightest innovators, artists and professionals in New Orleans.

Carlos J. Montalvo, PhD
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Alabama & Director of Aerial Systems & Technology Lab

Dr. Carlos Montalvo is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of South Alabama and Director of the Aerial Systems & Technology Lab. Prior to his appointment at USA, he was a research engineer at Georgia Tech working with Dr. Mark Costello, professor of Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Montalvo received his Bachelor’s (2009), Masters (2010) and PhD (2014) from Georgia Tech under the supervision of Dr. Mark Costello. His PhD research was on Flight Dynamics and Controls of Meta Aircraft.

Jimmy Benson
Technology Solutions Manager at TekLinks & Winner, Startup Weekend Mobile 2016 (Team Conference Cash)

Within the Startup Weekend community, Jimmy Benson is best known for having led the team that won our inaugural Startup Weekend Mobile competition, but he also serves as TekLinks’ Technology Solutions Manager.
Prior to his time at TekLinks, Jimmy was Product Director for Chalkable’s suite of applications and products for the K-12 education market. He was also the founding COO for a reward management tool for teachers called Learning Earnings and sold the company in 2013.

Coaches and Mentors

Andy Newton
CEO, Southern Light

Andy Newton is a founding member of Southern Light where he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since its inception in 1998.  In that capacity, he stewards the overall operations, strategic guidance and culture of the company.  Southern Light is currently the leading provider of fiber optic networks and high-capacity transport solutions along the Gulf Coast with over 6000 miles of fiber networks.  The company has been listed in "America's Fastest Growing Private Companies" by Inc. Magazine for nine consecutive years.  In 2010, Southern Light was named the “Innovator of the Year” by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.  In 2015, Fortune Magazine ranked Southern Light the “51st Best Place to Work for Women” in its Great Places to Work survey.  In the same survey in 2016, Southern Light was ranked the “52nd Best Medium-sized Workplace” in the U.S.

Andy was recently named the “2017 Outstanding Entrepreneur” by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.  He is active in the Gulf Coast community serving on such boards as the Alabama School of Math and Science Foundation Board, Downtown Mobile Alliance, University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business, and UMS-Wright Preparatory School.  
He is an Alabama native and received a degree in Economics from Birmingham Southern College.

Carlisha Hartzog, MBA
Principal, Hartzog Consulting & Owner, URBANE

Hartzog Consulting, LLC offers public relations, branding and project management services to both individuals and corporations. The company’s experience spans a variety of industries, including fashion, healthcare, education, media, banking and aerospace. For very specialized assignments, the company maintains relationships with industry experts, allowing Hartzog Consulting to be the liaison for a variety of diversified projects. Hartzog Consulting has engaged in a history of projects that encompass collaborative planning, brand development and management, diverse populations, and community-based planning. 
The company’s founder, Carlisha Hartzog, is a branding consultant with a career background in the financial, marketing and fashion industries, and is the managing member of Hartzog Consulting. Hartzog spent nine years of her career in leadership and management positions for various financial institutions in the United States, focusing on the consumer and commercial banking needs of her portfolio, managing portfolios in excess of $20 million. Hartzog graduated magna cum laude and received a bachelors of science degree from the University of Alabama with a major in Fashion Merchandising and minors in Business, Marketing and Spanish. She completed her Masters of Business Administration at the University of South Alabama in May 2012.

Keith Sherrill, MBA Candidate
Founder, Haint Blue Brewing Company

Keith is an Alabama native and US Army Veteran – a former US Army Airborne Ranger and Special Operations Helicopter Pilot. Academic achievements include: Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics, magna cum laude, Embry Riddle; Stanford Ignite, Stanford Graduate School of Business; MBA Candidate, College of William & Mary. Keith is the CEO of Haint Blue Brewing Company. Haint Blue Brewing Company is Mobile’s first microbrewery since prohibition. The company’s headquarters is currently located within the historic Crystal Ice House – at the corner of Broad and Canal. Haint Blue aims to become Mobile’s porch sipping drink of choice, and to be a contributing brewery of society. 

Scott Tindle, JD
Co-Founder, Gulf Coast Ducks

Scott is a native of Mobile, Alabama and graduated from Baker High School. After attending Auburn University and receiving a B.S. in Secondary Education, Scott earned a J.D. at the University of Alabama School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Scott entered into the private practice of law having worked at both a civil defense firm as well as in-house counsel and Chief Operating Officer for an international security firm. Scott has served as a personal aide to President George W. Bush and has appeared on the ABC reality show "Shark Tank." 

Before founding Gulf Coast Ducks Scott was the Executive Director of The Grounds. During Scott's tenure the organization was awarded Community Partner of the Year Award by the Mobile County Public School System and the Rebranding Campaign of the Year by the American Advertising Federation for its transformation of the Greater Gulf State Fair into the “cleanest most family-friendly event in America.”  
Currently Scott serves co-owner and General Manager of Gulf Coast Ducks and Activation Management as they seek to continue to grow the tourism scene in Mobile.  As a graduate of the Disney Institute Scott focuses on using the fundamentals and effort based techniques used by Disney Parks and Resorts in his businesses.

Michael Chambers
Assistant Vice President for Research Innovation, University of South Alabama

Prior to joining the University of South Alabama as Assistant Vice President, Research Innovation, Dr. Chambers founded and served as President and CEO of Swift Biotech, a company developing technologies to fight cancer.  Before Swift, Chambers helped found and served as CEO of InnoRx Pharmaceuticals, an ocular drug delivery company. He negotiated its sale to SurModics (NASDAQ: SRDX) in 2005.

Prior Chairman of ProUroCare, a public company based in Minneapolis, he has served on the boards of InQ Biosystems, Gene Capture, BioAlabama and the EDPA. He was a co-author of the Commercialization portion of the Alabama Science & Technology Roadmap commissioned by then Governor Bob Riley. 

Dr. Chambers has been recognized in Best Attorneys in the United States in Commercial Law, Arbitration and Mediation, and recognized as a Top Attorney in Health Care.  He has taught arbitration for the American Arbitration Association for over 20 years to certify new arbitrators in the US and routinely serves as an arbitrator in complex disputes.  He was previously certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has served as an examiner for those seeking certification. 

Dr. Chambers served as Chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce in 2014. He co-founded 1702, an entrepreneurship and mentoring organization and was named “Start-Up Executive of the Year” in 2014 by Alabama LaunchPad.  An active Rotarian, he served as District Governor in 2015-2016.

Dr. Chambers received B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from the University of Geneva in Switzerland where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and a Swiss Confederation Fellow. He speaks French and Spanish. 

Dr. Chambers serves as an Adjunct Professor of Oncologic Sciences at the Mitchell Cancer Institute and has served as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation.

Abe Harper
President, Harper Technologies

As an entrepreneur, technical engineer, and consultant, I believe in an emphasis on problem resolution.  While resolving problems is a definite necessity in our line of business, prevention of those problems before occurrence is preferred.  Therefore, my personal goal is to learn as much as possible from each problem we resolve as a company, and combine that field experience with research so that we can offer customers Professional Consulting and positive personal experiences as we minimize future occurrences of similar problems.  This enables our clients to focus on their needs.

As a business owner, I believe in a resource rich environment and creating a culture of excellence through customer service.  I believe that leadership is a privilege and that the pace is set by the head.  Our company purpose and desire is to serve both our customers and community while contributing our resources to the business ecosystem of the markets that we participate in.

Julian Bergstein
Co-Founder, The Thirst Amendment

Julian Bergstein graduated with honors and Summa Cum Laude from West Virginia University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Following his passion for craft beer, Julian co-founded The Thirst Amendment, a custom beer packaging company, in 2016. He gained experience launching a new business and can offer first hand advice on patent/trademark process, the benefits/downfalls of Kickstarter and crowdfunding, the nuances of manufacturing and shipping, the struggles of marketing, plus many other facets of starting and running your new business.  
When Julian is not pursuing his next big idea, he is the plant manager for Addivant, LLC and plays beach volleyball with his wife, Elaina.

Charmane May, PhD
Associate Professor of Management, Spring Hill College

Rust Felix
Co-Founder & CEO,

I love working with brilliant teams to make ugly things beautiful. Nothing makes me happier than using a process-oriented approach to solve problems that matter. I'm one of those rare engineers who deeply understands how things work, has a self-proclaimed wonderful sense of humor, and is also an effective communicator. Since my first position as a Sales Engineer, I've spent my career understanding complex problems and working with diverse groups of stakeholders to implement solutions. 
In 2015 I brought my logistics, engineering, and data modeling experience to something bigger - fixing the fractured world of clinical supply logistics by co-founding is a venture-funded, patient-centric solution that helps Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies build high enrolling study sites via ancillary supply chain automation and predictive forecasting algorithms powered by real-time trial data.

Denise Browning, MBA
Principal, Browning Mecke & O'Neal and Hunter Ventures LLC

Jeff Zeiders, PhD

Dr. Jeff Zeiders’ background is in business development, contract writing, negotiation and creative writing. is his fifth business and second business with co-founders. Zeiders is experienced and skilled in project and team management and contributes a strong business acumen to the team. His ability to network and create professional connections resulting in partnerships and stakeholders has led to many successes outside of As CEO, Zeiders’ primary responsibilities with include all BOH business management processes, customer acquisition strategies, financial management, partner management, inventory acquisition and management, and compliance with tax and legal requirements.  

Chris Yokley

Chris was born and raised in Mobile, AL before moving to a pecan farm in Bay Minette with his aesthetically pleasing wife Lisa and two sons, Noah and Isaac. He is a high school dropout with a college degree from Troy State University. Chris used to fly around with a powered paramotor strapped to his back until he crashed it. He started writing software in the 5th grade to be “cool”.  
In 2012, Chris cofounded the Delta Dash - an off-road obstacle race held in Stockton AL that has raised over $100,000 for the North Baldwin Community. In 2013, Chris became a full-time entrepreneur with the launch of Altegra Technologies, a software company specializing custom software solutions and products. More recently, Chris was a part of the first Mobile Startup Weekend which lead to him co-founding with business partner Jeff Zeiders. Chris enjoys being an entrepreneur and figuring out what works...and what doesn’t. 

Shayla Beaco, MCP
Executive Director, Build Mobile

Shayla Beaco is Mobile’s Executive Director of Build Mobile, a new City department that lays the initial foundation for the City to serve everyone who wants to do business, create jobs and grow Mobile.  As executive director of Build Mobile, she oversees planning and zoning, historical development, long-range planning, urban design, inspecting and permitting. As the co-chair of the Map for Mobile development process, and with a background in both planning and community outreach, as well as her understanding of the vision set forth by the mayor for Mobile’s future, she is working to provide continuity and further develop the City of Mobile’s implementation strategies with the new comprehensive plan.
Beaco first stepped onto Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s executive team in 2013 as the Senior Director of Community Affairs charged with public outreach and citizen engagement.  In January 2016, she was promoted to Senior Director of City Planning; and less than a year later, in October 2016, Mayor Stimpson recognized her abilities as a leader and promoted her to her current position of Executive Director of Build Mobile.
Before coming to the City in 2013, she worked in the City of Mobile's long-range planning division where she coordinated the Mobile’s Smart Growth initiative and land-use planning efforts.  From there, she was hired by the City of Prichard as the director of community and economic development, and later went on to work for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce charged with long-range strategic planning efforts for the coastal Alabama region.

Keith Manwaring
President, FFTB & Associates, Inc. & Manwaring Solutions

Keith Manwaring is a native of South Africa who originally came to Mobile from Australia to work with Integrity Media, Inc. from which company he retired as President, Integrity International Group after 15 years spent overseeing their global expansion and operations in over 160 countries.   
Educated in South Africa majoring in Financial Management, he later studied “International Contract Negotiations and Conflict Resolution” attending Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program. Upon his retirement from Integrity Media, Inc. he spent five years serving the communities of Coastal Alabama, as District Director of Life South Community Blood Centers, Inc. Currently, Keith operates a Mobile-based property investment firm, FFTB & Associates, Inc. and helps mentor entrepreneurs through Chamber of Commerce initiatives like 1702 and Innovation PortAL.   
He has a long record of service with the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, non-profit corporations and charities both internationally and domestically and currently serves as a Director on the Boards of several non-profit corporations. At various times in his career, Keith has served on corporate boards in Australia, UK, Singapore and South Africa. He and his wife Louise have made Mobile their home for the past 25 years and have a daughter Kelly who lives in Mobile and a son, Philip who lives in Atlanta, and have been blessed with five grandchildren. 

Anna McClure, Lang Hamilton & Chambliss Brister
Fit Recruiting

No matter which side of the desk you’re on, Fit has you covered. Fit is a professional recruiting firm that specializes in the areas of Accounting, Information Technology, Office Administration, Transportation, Engineering, and Executive Searches. We partner with our clients to understand their specific needs, then use our resources and experience to locate the most qualified professionals that “fit” our clients’ requirements.

Ken Forbes, MBA
President and Co-Founder, FastPassNow Inc.

Ken Forbes is a technology executive with 25+ years as CEO, CTO and VP Engineering experience in F500 public and rapid growth start-up technology companies. 
Ken’s entrepreneurial experience includes founding companies, raising venture capital and delivering a broad range of software solutions leading to exit events. 
Ken’s software contributions include routing and scheduling for Nationwide LTL Trucking companies, PeopleScheduler retail scheduling application, SaaS workforce management, hospital JCAHO metrics and performance analytics, patient self-service appointment management for physician offices and cloud-based restaurant management software. 
Ken has an MBA (Quantitative Methods/Finance) and a BS (Management Science) and holds a US Patent applied to managing time-based events. 

Alma Hoffmann, MFA
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, University of South Alabama

Alma Hoffmann came to the design field after teaching Jr. High school for almost five years. However, the words of her drawing and painting professor in college never left her. That she should be an artist. This thought prompted her to continue graduate studies in Graphic Design at Iowa State University. But there she found herself drawn to teaching again. Only this time, teaching design. 

Along with her education experience, being bilingual has helped her think in different ways about problem solving. Not a stranger to explore unconventional methods such as laying on the floor if needed to look at something from another point of view or making students look at things upside down, her curiosity drives her to explore. But her awareness of culture allows her to think empathically about solutions and approaches to design problem. 

Alma has won several design awards and has worked with clients from a diverse range of backgrounds. In addition she is a writer and edits the design section of Smashing Magazine, a web design and development magazine based in Germany, a letterer, and a photographer. 

Nik Martin
Founder, Open Frame

Nik is an industry expert in E mergency M edical S ervices , Public Safety software, cloud computing, and an experienced software developer with 15 years of experience in IT. After serving in the Navy, he worked as a firefighter and paramedic  in Mobile and then for Intergraph Public Safety in Hunstville,  where he designed and implemented software systems for some of the largest public safety organizations in the world. Nik has helped launch four technology companies in Huntsville and Mobile and he is an alumni of the Alabama Launchpad Competition , winning in 2015 with his current company and product NitroPCR, a mobile documentation system for EMS. 

Mark Weaver, PhD
Retired Ben May Chair of Entrepreneurship at University of South Alabama

Dr. K. Mark Weaver is currently serving as a Visiting Research Professor at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.  
In 2015Dr. Weaver retired from the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama as the Ben May Chair of Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of the Melton Center for Innovation and EntrepreneurshipHe formerly served as the Thomas H. Daigre Endowed Chair at Louisiana State University (2006-2011) where he founded the Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute. Earlier, Dr. Weaver served as the Rohrer Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies at Rowan University (2002-2006) and as a Professor of Management at the University of Alabama (1976-2001).  
In January 2015, he was recognized with the Max Wortman Jr. Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award, presented by United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).  In 2014, he received the Mobile, Alabama Chamber of Commerce Innovator of the Year Award for the University of South Alabama’s Coastal Innovation Hub. 
Dr. Weaver received his BS degree in Industrial Management and a PhD in Management from Louisiana State University. Dr. Weaver has also completed consulting assignments for firms in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Mexico.   

Elizabeth Garza, MA
Co-Founder, FOY Superfoods

Jeff Marcus
Serial Startup Founder, Retired

I graduated from the University Of South Alabama in 1982 with a BA in psychology. After graduating, I began my career at for Becton Dickinson and Company, one of the world’s largest medical device companies. I held numerous positions at Becton Dickinson including sales and corporate marketing. I left Becton Dickinson in 1997 and began working for Varian Medical Systems in Palo Alto, California where I held numerous positions  including, Director of Strategic Accounts, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Head of Strategic Marketing, and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Oncology Systems division, a $3B global medical device division. While at Varian, I served on the company’s Growth Board, which is the M & A function. I completed a Silicon Valley CEO education program at Stanford University. This program was sponsored by the AEA (American Electronics Association). I have founded or participated in 5 startups. I currently function on 4 Boards of Directors. I retired from industry in 2012. 

Mel Washington, MBA
Regional Manager, Alabama Small Business Development Center Network

Mel Washington returned to Mobile nearly five years ago after many years in New York City.
He is currently the Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Alabama, where he provides one on one confidential counseling to entrepreneurs and small businesses in six counties in South Alabama.  He is also the former Executive Director & CEO of Project Enterprise, a micro-lending organization supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in under-resourced communities in New York City.
Mr. Washington holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University, a Masters in Business Administration from New York University and completed the Administration Executive Education Program at Wharton School of Business. He has held executive level positions in Finance, Operations, and Strategy and Planning in the financial services and telecommunications sectors.  His career includes successful stints at top tier firms including AT&T, Salomon Brothers, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank.
Mr. Washington has been actively involved with non-profits throughout his career, and has served on the Boards of several organizations in Mobile and the New York City Area.  He is currently Chairman of the Board of Prichard Preparatory School; Vice President of the Board of Mobile Baykeeper; member of the Advisory Boards of the Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Liftfund in Austin Texas; and formerly on the Boards of the Gulf Coast Angel Network; and the History Museum of Mobile.  He was also a judge for Alabama Launchpad 2013 & 2015, a state-wide competition that offers up to $250,000 to high-growth and innovative startups across Alabama.

Todd Greer, PhD, MS
Chief Catalyst, Exchange 202

After almost two decades of on-the-ground work in a wide variety of organizationsTodd Greer, brings with him a wealth of experience in community building, ideation and innovation, capacity building, social media and organizational communications, and leadership development.  
He is a Co-Founder and the Chief Catalyst for the Exchange 202, a Coworking Community in the heart of Downtown Mobile. In his role with the Exchange, Greer leads the Business Development, Community Relations, Operations (the “BIG” picture), Community Culture, Innovation and Programming, as well as working with members as an in-house advisor.  
Todd holds a PhD from Regent University in Organizational Leadership, an M.S. in Ministerial Leadership from Amridge University, and a B.A. from Defiance College in Communication Arts. His mission in life is to grow others through the engagement of their “sweet spot” where they can thrive in teams, organizations and, especially, as people. 
Besides his work at the Exchange, Todd is an avid community volunteer, raving fan of a wide variety of sports and sports teams (especially the teams from his native SE Michigan region), and a voracious reader.

Lance Covan, MS
Founder & CEO, Bon Secour Capital Holdings

W. Lance Covan is the Founder of Bon Secour Capital Holdings, LLC., based in Mobile, Al.  Bon Secour Capital Holdings is a private investment fund founded in 2010 to acquire, operate and grow established businesses in the Southeast.  Covan currently serves as the CEO and the Chairman of the Board of Mitternight Boiler Works, Inc., and Chairman of Al-Fla Plastics.  Mitternight is a manufacturer of process equipment that focuses on desining and engineering specialty ASME Code vessels for Fortune 500 customers around the world.  These include heat exchangers, chemical reactors, distillation columns and other pressure vessels.  Al-Fla Plastics is a wholesale/retail distributor of acrylics, plastics, FRP, grating, piping and structural materials on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Prior to returning to his hometown of Mobile, Covan served as the president and chief executive officer of the New York Foundation for Leadership at The King’s College in New York City.
COvan moved to New York from Tuscaloosa, Al. where he functioned as the Director of Athletic Development for the University of Alabama’s Athletic Department.  In his role there, Covan’s primary responsibility was to work towards securing $150 million in funding for facility enhancements and seeding the Crimson Tide Foundation.
Outside the world of higher education, Covan has also worked with and consulted for various domestic and international non-profit organizations including the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and International Professional Resources for China.
Throughout his career, Covan has had a keen interest in social enterprise and entrepreneurship and has placed capital in collaboration with venture and private equity funds in industries that include renewable energy, real estate acquisition and development, banking and manufacturing.  

Willie Malone
Co-Founder, UberTechs

Willie L. Malone was born and raised in Mobile, AL, where he graduated from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School there he was a basketball standout and went on to receive a basketball scholarship to attend Tuskegee University. He is now a Graduate of Tuskegee University, with a degree in Supply Chain Management. At Tuskegee University, he was in the Alabama Club, the Enactus Club, and he was Vice-President of the Council of Supply Chain Management Roundtable. He is a 2015 and2016 Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce International Trade Leadership Class Graduate, and also, participated in the first Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Portal Start-Up Weekend, garnering an honorable mention and thencontinuing to become a 2016 Innovation Portal Incubator Graduate.

Kevin Jefferson
Co-Founder, UberTechs

Kevin E. Jefferson was born and raised in   Mobile, Al where he graduated from McGill Toolen Catholic High School in 2010. In 2013 Kevin enlisted in the United States Army to protect and serve his country. He is now an undergrad student at Troy University where he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. in 2015. Kevin also participated in the first Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Portal Start-Up Weekend in 2016 while getting a Honorable Mention with the business UberTechs, then became an Innovation Portal Incubator graduate in December 2016.

Thomas Nelson
Director, Melton Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of South Alabama

Susan Shaw
Freelance Business Advisor & Director of Sports Events & Marketing, Mobile Sports Authority

Brent McClure, CPA, CGMA
Strategic Business Advisor & CFO at Chalkable

Trevor Boehm, PE
Founder, Inventure Engineering Services & Co-Owner, Gulf Coast Containers

Lisette Normann
Owner, The Fairhope Store

Glenda Snodgrass
President & Lead Consultant, The Net Effect

Jarrett McCraw
Co-Founder & CEO, Mighty

Megan van der Woodsen
Owner/Designer, Merman

Launching in September of 2015, Mermania has consistently been on the rise as the swimwear brand to watch out for! Going to the beach and attending pool parties shouldn’t cause dread just because a woman can’t find a swimsuit that flatters her figure. My goal as a swimwear designer is to create silhouettes to flatter all types of bodies so that women can confidently enjoy bikini season. 
Mermania has showcased collections in numerous fashion weeks all over the southeast. Through hard work and strategic marketing, Mermania has been featured by several fashion blogs and magazines. Our swimsuits have also appeared in a music video by Grammy award winning artists, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J. 
Mermania’s launch has been an exciting ride with overwhelming support! We look forward to continuing our success and growing the Mermania brand year after year. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Mobile 2017 team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
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Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Mobile is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
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  • Hayley
    Lewis Van Antwerp
  • Michael
  • Elyse
  • Danette


Spencer Meriwether Ingram

Event Blog

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