Startup Weekend Pensacola

    Friday, October 16 - 18, 2015

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

Friday, October 16 - 18, 2015

Friday, October 16 - 18, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

University of West Florida - College of Business
11000 University Pkwy
Pensacola, FL 32514

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Join us at the UWF College of Business Oct 16-18, 2015!

Startup Weekend Pensacola is your chance to be a part of the next great idea.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

Why attend a Startup Weekend?

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.

Actually 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.

Build your Network
This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.

Get face time with thought leaders
Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.

Save money & get stuff
Startup Weekends typically cost between $75 and $150 (less for students).  Your ticket covers seven meals, snack, access to exclusive resources from our sponsors, and of course, all the coffee you can drink.

Co-Founder dating
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 launch a startup with.

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.


Friday October 16th

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

6:50 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:10 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 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. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday October 17th

9:00 am
Doors Open
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee. Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend.

12:00 pm

12:00 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

Sunday October 18th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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
After Party
Location TBD

Event Judges

Mona Amodeo, Ph.D.
Founder & President, idgroup & Branding from the Core

As founder and president of idgroup, and creator of Branding from the Core®, her intense passion for helping businesses succeed has translated into a personal mission to shape and transform business-as-is to business-as-it-should-be. Recognized as an expert in the areas of organization development, brand identity and change, Mona’s compass consistently points all she meets toward a bearing of success.

Mark Anderson
Greater Pensacola Entrepreneur Fund

Mike Hicks
PRES-CEO at Hixardt Technologies, INC and Owner, Hixardt Technologies, INC

Corporate Executive specializing in enterprise IT solutions and Cloud Managed Services.

Vernon Niven
CEO / founder of NeedTagger

Tech entrepreneur, marketing technologist, business builder and growth hacker. Currently helping enterprises and software developers leverage social data to connect with new sales prospects, unhappy customers and new audiences.

Bo Megginson
Gulf Coast Angel Network

Coaches and Mentors

Bryan Clark
CEO at Silver Bullet Technology

Although Bryan is often called a genius and renaissance man, he is really just a curious fellow with too much time on his hands.  A few of his interests include: applied physics, rapid software development for mission critical systems, bootstrap funding, gorilla marketing, artificial intelligence, electronic circuit design, rebreather scuba diving, economic development, side-scan sonar mapping, 3D printing, playing poker, and entrepreneurism as a lifestyle choice.

Trevor Gehman
Co-Founder, Lead Developer

Trevor took up graphic design and web development at an early age, where his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and detail-oriented nature proved useful. With a passion for simple design and intuitive user interaction, he spends the majority of his time at Clearstream coding and listening to music. Trevor is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Computer Engineering. Before joining Clearstream, he ran a successful web development company called Graphite. When not working, he spends time writing, watching movies with his wife and working on his house.

Jared Granger
Creative Services Director / Lead Designer & Art Director

Today, you'll find me crafting and shaping visual brands, whether it be iconic logo marks, business papers, collateral materials, websites or clever advertising campaigns. I'm eager to explore, observe and improve. Overall, I'm very fortunate. I make a living without having to work, because I do what I love.

Michael Lepinay
Co-founder, Clearstream

Patrick Rooney
Patrick G. Rooney, CGMA

Senior Financial and Operations Executive working with start-ups and mid-stage firms in defense, electronics, software development/systems integration, education, manufacturing, multimedia distribution, information security and health-care. Proven track record in building and leading high performance teams.

Kyle Schmitz
Product Designer at Accountingfly

Originally trained as a print designer at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Kyle has been working professionally as a web, product and user experience designer for 5 years. He describes his work as “existing at the intersection of business goals and a pleasurable user experience.” His first startup, HippySocial, launched in 2012 at the Hangout Music Festival as the official communications app for the event. Kyle is now Product Designer at Accountingfly, an award winning applicant tracking system and job board for the accounting industry. Twice he has placed 2nd at Startup Weekend Pensacola and was lead organizer for the city’s third event this past October which hosted 100 participants.

Veronique Zayas

Veronique Zayas is the founder and Creative Director of HatchMark Studio. A Texas native, she graduated Baylor University with a degree in Graphic Design and built her career in the Dallas area. She has worked on brand accounts for national clients including LinkedIn, Wal-Mart, and Kraft – as well as non-profits such as American Red Cross, Be the Match and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Her experience spans everything from branding to publishing to shopper marketing to digital and social campaigns.   She now calls Pensacola home and has brought her focus to branding and brand development – working with a range of clients from start-ups to established organizations. No matter the structure or the age of the business, her strength comes in helping them define who they are and translate that to both their employees and their end consumer to create a cohesive, authentic brand voice. She strongly believes that an honest and well-executed brand is integral in helping a business communicate their value and build trust with their customers.   Veronique along with her husband, Phil, have an 8-year-old son and enjoy getting outdoors and enjoying all that Pensacola has to offer. She’s usually working on a side passion project and enjoys mentoring local design students and building the design community through collaboration, conversation and coffee.  

Jerry Pratt
Senior Research Scientist

Jerry Pratt (Ph.D., M.Eng., and B.S. degrees from M.I.T. in Computer Science and B.S. degree from M.I.T. in Mechanical Engineering) leads a research group at IHMC that concentrates around the understanding and modeling of human gait and the applications of that understanding in the fields of robotics, human assistive devices, and man-machine interfaces. Current projects include Humanoid Avatar Robots for Co-Exploration of Hazardous Environments, FastRunner Robot, and Exoskeletons for Restoration of Gait in Paralyzed Individuals. Jerry currently leads Team IHMC in the DARPA Robotics Challenge project. In 2013 Team IHMC achieved first place in the Virtual Robotics Challenge and second place in DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. Before coming to IHMC, Jerry was the President of Yobotics, Inc., a small company that he cofounded in 2000. At Yobotics, Jerry helped develop the RoboKnee, a powered exoskeleton that allowed one to carry large loads while hiking over rough terrain with little effort. Prior to founding Yobotics, Jerry worked at the M.I.T. Leg Laboratory, where he designed, built, and controlled several bipedal robots. His approach of maximizing speed, agility, and biological similarity through the understanding of biological counterparts, is helping to remove the stereotype of robots as being clunky, jerky-moving machines. Jerry’s hobbies include sailing, playing board games, football, basketball, and paintball.

Rus Howard

Josh Turner

Brian Baggett

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Pensacola 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.

Signature Sponsors

UWF College of Business, UWF Center for Research and Economic Opportunity, UWF College of Education and Professional Studies, and UWF College of Science and Engineering, UWF College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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Organizing Team

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

  • Joe
  • Kyle
  • Kelly
  • Frank
  • Michael
  • Veronique


Ethan Bagley
Innovation Manager

Expert Generalist

Event Blog

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