Startup Weekend Sumter

    Friday, May 3 - 5, 2019

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

Friday, May 3 - 5, 2019

Friday, May 3 - 5, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Advanced Manufacturing Technology Training Center
853 Broad Street
Sumter, SC 29150

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:

  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

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Friday May 3rd

6:00 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 May 4th

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 May 5th

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!


Sandra Metzdorf
Founder and CEO

Sandra's story is both amazing and inspirational! Born and raised in the mountains of Colombia, South America, Sandra moved to the US to pursue her education and subsequently took life by the horns!
The second-generation immigrant served four years in the US Army as Combat Engineer. Her academic degrees are in speech communication (BA), criminology (BS), and a master's degree in industrial and labor relations.  She has an array of certifications which include Lean Six Sigma enterprise. She has five years of corporate experience as a Human Resources team member for a Fortune 500 company and five years as a government-contracted Transition Trainer while her husband was active duty military, helping retiring military members and their spouses to move on to the next season of their lives.
For several years, Sandra's passion for good, healthy, delicious food blossomed and she looked for every opportunity to learn and grow in her quest to offer nature's bounty to our community. She trained with world-renowned chefs in Germany and Paris before landing in Sumter and now she serves the local community on a mobile mission of goodness through her business, With These Hands Natural Gourmet Foods.
She has singlehandedly promoted her business throughout the Sumter/Shaw Air Force Base community and has developed partnerships with several of its largest businesses and industries, including Shaw, to provide delicious and nutritious meals to long lines of eager customers, all of this while raising three amazing children.
Although her food is fabulous, her passion is in service to others. She has adopted a policy of community service and is now building the next stage of her business focused on personal and business coaching.
Sandra's story has been shared in several publications and media outlets and she motivates everyone who comes into contact with her to do more, care more, and give more.

Event Judges

Laura Corder
Director of Innovation

Laura has experience with Startup Weekend and works diligently at the state level to promote innovation in all sectors.

Earl Wilson

Earl Wilson is President of Orr Co., which operates six KFCs and five Arby's restaurants in Florence and Sumter, SC. He graduated from South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and attended the SC Economic Developers School. He is active in the community, including the Palmetto Sumter Rotary Club, Sumter County Economic Development Board, Sumter United Way, Santee-Lynches Council of Governments board, Sumter Chamber of Commerce, and Duke Energy State Board.

Jim McCain
County Council Chair

James T. McCain, Jr., a native of Sumter and son of educator and civil rights leader James T. “Nooker” McCain, Sr., educator Ida Mae Chennault McCain, integrated the Sumter school system in 1965 by attending McLaurin Junior High School.  He graduated from Edmunds High School in 1969 and furthered his education at the historic Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia.  Upon graduation in 1973, he began a 35-year career in management with UPS in Atlanta. Jim is also the proud father of three, and has three granddaughters and one grandson.
Upon retirement, Jim returned to Sumter in 2009, and has re-integrated himself into the community, which he calls home. 
He currently serves as Chairman of Sumter County Council.
Jim also serves the community by serving on boards and commissions in Sumter including:
·        Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Westend Community Church ·        President of the Westside Neighborhood Association  ·        Vice President of the Board of Sumter United Ministries ·        Member of the Board of Santee Lynches Regional COG ·        Member of the Board of the YMCA ·        Member of the Shaw/Sumter Community Council ·        Member of the Executive Committee of the Main Street Society ·        Graduate of the 2016 class of Leadership Sumter ·        Graduate of Tuomey Fellows Class XVll ·        Chairman of Santee Lynches Regional Council On Governments CEO Committee ·        Vice Chairman of the Pinewood Development Authority ·        Ex-Officio Member of the Sumter Economic Development Board ·        Graduate of the South Carolina Association of Counties Institute Classes, Levels I and II ·        Member of the South Carolina Association of Counties Legislative Committee ·        Member of the South Carolina Association of Counties Judicial Steering Committee

Coaches and Mentors

Matthew Morse

Matthew Morse is a graphic designer with a big agency background living in Sumter, SC. Matthew specializes in book covers and hand lettering, but also has a strong background in identity design and photography. Matthew blogs about pens, inks, papers and EDC (every day carry) items at  

Nancy Zimpleman

Nancy Lee Garner is CEO of Sword Lily Marketing, dedicated to helping small businesses, non-profit and religious organizations with marketing strategy, branding, social media managementweb development and event management. She brings over 20 years of communication experience to help businesses grow through these avenues, while you work in your business, not on it. Zimpleman has lived in Sumter, SC for almost 17 years and is proud to be a new business owner here.  She looks forward to helping to better our community through great communications and collaborations.

Kasie Whitener

Dr. Kasie Whitener is a writer, researcher, analyst, educator, and promoter of all things Gen X. She has more than 15 years of experience in business process documentation, re-engineering, and analysis. Kasie specializes in adult learning with experience in onboarding, corporate acquisitions, and software training. ​ As President of Clemson Road Consulting, Kasie conducts organizational research, coaches process redesign, and conducts strategic planning and learning initiatives. She earned an undergraduate degree at Clemson University, a master’s at Winthrop University, and her doctorate in Organizational Management at Capella University where she specialized in global leadership. She is also co-founder of the Women's Business Center at Columbia College.

Mitchell Williams
Financial Advisor

Mitch Williams is active in the Sumter community.

Hennie Hennie Van Bulck
retired CPA

Hennie Van Bulck is a CPA

Douglas Wilson
Certified World Class Speaking Coach

Douglas Wilson is an internationally known speaker, distinguished Toastmaster, and former Air Force fighter pilot. He is now a corporate and executive trainer dba Top Flight Training Coaching and Speaking

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Brenda
  • Jenna
  • Chris
  • Erika
  • Staci
  • Lefford


david silva
Señor Developer | Facilitator Latinx in Tech Philadelphia

David is a Software developer at a medical company, that is working to address the lack of easy access to medical care. Very passionate about startups, and helping others be a part of the startup world.

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