Techstars Startup Weekend Tampa Bay

    Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Tampa Bay

Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018

Friday, November 16 - 18, 2018
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Factory 114
114 S 12th St.
Tampa, FL 33602

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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!

No talk, all action!

This event is presented by KnowBe4 in partnership with Startup Tampa Bay.

See what it's all about

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Friday November 16th

5:30 pm
Doors Open
Arrive at the venue and get checked in/registered.

6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

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

7:00 pm
Pitches Start - 60 seconds per pitch!
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Mingle & Voting
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:30 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 17th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:00 am
Market Validation Workshop

1:00 pm

1:30 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 18th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:35 am
Pitch Worksjop

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:00 pm

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Justin Davis

Justin Davis is founder of Madera Labs, a Tampa-based UX design consultancy, and is also founder of Drawer, a startup helping to change the way people discover new places while traveling. He is a 20-year technology veteran, having launched and built countless products in his career. Justin is fanatical about great design, a user-centered approach to solving problems, and startups that scale effectively.

Topher Morrison
Managing Director, Key Person of Influence

Topher Morrison is the founder of a Personal Branding Agency in Tampa, FL. He is the author of three best-selling books and has been a resident of Tampa for 18 years. For the past 25 years, he has traveled the world for business and witnessed the development of the most innovative cities. He has observed what can happen when cities stop playing politics and start playing the game of innovation.  

He volunteers his time to mentor students at the University of Tampa’s entrepreneurship center and is a member of UT’s Board of Fellows. As a founding member of the Center Circle at the Center for Women, Topher has a track record advocating for equal rights of women in the workplace. He was one of the most vocal citizens in the fight against the Public Transportation Commission for allowing ride share services like Uber and Lyft to remain in Tampa. He is a member of the Tampa Downtown Partnership and serves on the development committee for Feeding Tampa Bay.  

His extensive speaking career, spanning over the past 30 years, has earned him a global reputation as an expert in mass-communication and influence. He has spoken for top execs with American Express, Microsoft  and Google, just to name a few. Topher is shockingly honest, sometimes irreverent, and always down-to-earth. His personality and straightforward manner are perfect for the person who is tired of partisan politics and career politicians. He is not afraid to tell it like it is and speaks to the person who couldn’t care less about party affiliation and is more focused on making sure Tampa is the ultimate city to live work and play.

Event Judges

Brian Kornfeld
Brian Kornfeld, Synapse Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder

Brian is truly immersed in Florida’s entrepreneurial and innovation communities as Chief Operating
Officer and Co-founder of Synapse Florida, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit creating the nexus for entrepreneurs,
investors and businesses to connect with the resources they need to accelerate success and drive
Florida’s economic growth. Through Synapse, Brian is increasing the visibility of Florida’s innovation
communities across the entire industrial, commercial, municipal, and educational spectrum to attract
and retain talent and build thriving businesses for generations to come.
Brian, a Tampa Bay native and a rocket scientist, is the President of the USF Executive MBA Alumni
Advisory Council and supports many local missions and companies as an advisor or partner. He is a Six-
Sigma Black Belt, Lean Expert, and Certified Scrum Product Owner. Brian is a 2018 recipient of the
prestigious Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Business Up and Comers of Tampa Bay. He is also
nationally recognized in The Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars as one of the top 100 business
executives across the country who are having a positive impact relatively early in their careers on their
companies and their communities, and who could be shaping how business gets done for years to come.

Dr. Richard Munassi MD MBA
TechDiversity Cohort Director, Tampa Bay WaVE

Dr. Richard Munassi MD MBA has been a founder, mentor, consultant, and an active board member in startups in multiple verticals for close to a decade in Los Angeles, Houston, and Tampa.

He is both a Director as well as the Health Tech expert for the Tampa Bay WaVE, and sits on a range of committees for both the Operation Startup and the Tampa Bay WaVE Accelerator programs.

Dr. Munassi is also the co-chair of the Healthcare & Wellness Pavilion at the Synapse Innovation Summit and the co-founder of Blackfin Technology Partners. 

Betty Pierce
Sr. UI/UX Developer - AgileThought

A steal drumming, beer drinking, barefoot running, mama who went from professional percussionist to coding for cash. Betty Pierce is the (newly appointed) Development Practice Lead and Sr. UI/UX Developer at Agile Thought. Betty is a co-director of Women Who Code Tampa and GDI (Girl Develop It) Instructor. 
She shares her passion for coding and emerging tech by speaking at conferences and meetups. Betty most recently presented at #CCTampa, #UXDSummit, #DevFestFL, University of South Florida WICSE club (Women in Computer Science and Engineering) and career day at her kids' school. She is business savvy from working in varied industries from government to advertising and consulting. Starting from the ground up, she offers her experience in building multi-million dollar apps and ad campaigns for Valpak, Purina, Kohls, Walmart, and Bloomin Brands - Dine Rewards.
She loves to talk code and always enjoys a good developer pun.  This happy mama of five can be found cooking, cleaning and coding.

Alin Irimie
CTO - KnowBe4

Alin serves as Chief Technology Officer for KnowBe4, leading the Engineering and Product Management teams. A 20-year technology veteran with expertise in security, cloud technologies and agile software development, Alin leads all KnowBe4's major projects, patent and intellectual property initiatives and works closely with other teams to deliver maximum value to KnowBe4 customers. Alin has been with KnowBe4 from day one, helping managing the growth of the company and always looking forward at what new technology or new ways or using current technology can bring KnowBe4 to the fore-front of the security industry.

Earlier in his career, Alin helped build antispam, antivirus, sanbox technologies and other security solutions, he was responsible for building advanced and innovative offerings for threat detection and remediation.

Alin holds a BS in Computer Science and Automation from Polytechnic University Of Timisoara, Romania.

Coaches and Mentors

Taylor Cox
Interactive Designer - Raymond James, Co-Director of Girl Develop It

Taylor is a digital designer turned front-end developer, and she currently serve as an interactive designer at a major financial company with past experience as a designer and WordPress developer at agencies and startups alike.

Marcio Castilho
Chief Architect Officer - KnowBe4

As Chief Architect Officer for KnowBe4, Marcio is responsible for and oversees all of the infrastructure technology and software architecture for the organization. Having started KnowBe4 development with KnowBe4's CTO Alin Irimie back in 2010, they helped create an amazing development organization with the best talent in the area. With over 30 years of development experience and over 20 years of being an entrepreneur, Marcio has played a key role in many aspects of the software development world from both perspectives: the engineer and the executive. Marcio has had the opportunity to be involved in software development since early days of the Personal Computer and Windows, and has accumulated a vast array of experience in many different areas of software technologies.

Suzanne Ricci
Creator of Opportunities & Chief Cheerleader

Passionate about helping others reach their desired results. 

Since 2000, Suzanne has helped thousands of individuals grow their potential through customized success and career planning strategies. Her passion for helping others achieve their desired results is seen in everything she does. She is an accomplished entrepreneur, success coach, business consultant and best-selling book author.
 In 2002, Suzanne founded a Training Center to help individuals and corporations in the Tampa Bay area achieve continued success through customized training and certification programs. In 2011, under Suzanne’s continued dynamic leadership, the company was acquired by the largest private equity firm with an exclusive focus on the Knowledge Sector. 

Understanding the keys to business success and the need to fill the skills gap facing America, Suzanne has developed a second training center – Under Suzanne’s engaging management style offers training classes in several targeted occupations. In addition, Suzanne is paramount in two other businesses which seek guidance and direction from her diverse sales, marketing, operations, real estate and leadership background.
 In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Suzanne empowers other people to achieve success with her motto “you have to read if you want to lead.” She is committed to helping others through business consulting, career planning and sharing her thoughts and experiences through speaking engagements worldwide. 

As a native Floridian, Suzanne is committed to her state and community through varies volunteer and community outreach opportunities.

Tim Moore
CEO - Diamond View

Millennial Entrepreneur, Tim Moore is the founder of Diamond View, an Emmy award-winning video agency headquartered here in Tampa Bay. Since its inception in 2007, Diamond View has grown to become Tampa’s largest commercial video company and was recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as one of the “Best Places to Work in Tampa Bay”. Their clients include fortune 500 brands such as Nationwide, Gatorade, Hyatt and Purina. Today, Diamond View is creating new possibilities for the branded storytelling market and using video to inspire audiences all across the world.

Jason Fraley
VP Software Engineering - KnowBe4

25 year veteran in information and security technology, expert jenga player, part time circus acrobat, and future skeleton. Jason Fraley got his start writing accounting software on a PDP-11 and has built technology systems and software running the gamut from interactive gameshow installations, embedded industrial robotic controls to enterprise logistics systems and machine learning air and freight routing algorithms. 

JR Griggs
President, Red Wall Marketing

JR is the founder and president of Red Wall Marketing, lead organizer of Tampa Bay Startup Week, mentor for Tampa Bay Wave, and serves on the marketing committee at Tampa Bay Wave.

He has a passion for business and marketing which is what led him to start Red Wall Marketing. He firmly believes marketing should be everything in and to your business, and has worked with businesses in a variety of industries, implementing proven marketing strategies that help their business grow.

Kiki Roeder
Kiki Roeder Chief Product Officer of Punctuate + Co-Founder of Startup Sisters USA

Kiki Roeder has built and exited two companies. She is the Chief Product Officer of Punctuate, an edtech and information product marketing solution, and the Co-Founder of Startup Sisters USA. She is also the Director of Women Who Code in Tampa. 

Kiki specializes in product development, strategic storytelling, and audience engagement. She has served as a growth and communications strategist to Fortune 500s, media publications, and startups across four continents. 

Ricardo Daza, PhD
IT Risk Consultant + Information Assurance Researcher

Leveraging 27 years of solving information technology problems, Ric Daza applies his security and risk management expertise for organizations across the world. Ric has consulted to foreign and domestic government agencies, as well as Fortune 500 companies in the financial, technology, defense, healthcare, national sports franchises, and manufacturing sectors. 
Ric believes that people and processes often trump reliance on technology alone. He helps companies look beyond vendor-driven, fear mongering by advocating an evidence-based approach in both decision-making and the measurement of results. Ric has designed security operations for varied organizations and served as an interim CISO. He has produced tangible results that meet or exceed organizations’ expectations in various technical areas, including networking, risk management, security analysis, incident response, risk communication, vulnerability management, metrics and maturity programs, data science, programming, and more.
Ric is well-educated in his profession. He has several certifications and degrees. He holds a double CCIE (R&S, Security), CISSP, CRISC, CISA, ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, PMP, and RHCE. He also has a Doctorate (PhD) in Information Assurance. 
Fluent in English and Spanish, Ric has taught in and consulted to organizations across the Americas. He enjoys teaching and mentoring the next generation of security professionals, and is currently the Cybersecurity Mentor with the Tampa Bay Wave Accelerator, a Committee Member with West Florida ISACA, the Cybersecurity Track Leader for Techstars Startup Week, and a recipient of two NSA Fellowships.

Andre Hampton
Founder - StreamS Capital & Factory 114

I specialize in working with successful business owners specifically to preserve wealth and generate income primarily through structured large premium cash value life insurance and annuities as well as private real estate. 

I'm a Qualified Family Office Professional and lifelong entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in business, finance and real estate.

Donteacia Seymore
Chief Inventor - The Seymore Group

Donteacia Seymore is an American inventor and award winning strategist. As a product junkie and serial entrepreneur she is the founder of The Product Yard, a remote product development firm, where she works with aspiring inventors to build their inventions. She has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs on strategy and development, and has helped them raise more than $1M for their amazing ideas. A writer, public speaker, and innovation enthusiast, Donteacia is inspiring a new generation of inventors to be bold and disruptive...and to do it on their own terms.

Steven Waskey
CEO & Founder - Atlas

I started web development back in ’96 working for a small dial-up internet company. I had direct access to a T1, I was young and excited, which pretty much made me feel like Steve Jobs every time I rolled up to work. Regardless, it was an invaluable experience that set my pace in the industry.
I spent a period of time working with networking then moved into graphic design. I was attracted to the endless options of creativity that I had access to and could continue to learn and improve upon. 
Through graphic design, I found my real true love – programming. Going from boundless options of graphic design to the black and white world of programming was awakening. I thrived in an environment where there were no blurred lines, no grey areas; yet I still had the ability to be creative.

Steven Fiske
Chief Product Officer at Hivelocity + Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Tampa Bay Wave

Proven entrepreneur, product leader, UX expert, and designer with over 10 years of experience leadingcross-functional teams and delivering products to the masses. Highly creative and analytical, wellversed in planning, designing, and managing the development of large-scale, leading-edge products.

Matt Spaulding

Matt is an entrepreneur and technologist. He can take an idea and rapidly turn it into an enterprise ready product. A veteran of Startup Weekend, he has won first place thrice and is now the CEO of GIVVN, a donation collection platform nonprofits, which is a result of the latest Startup Weekend victory.

Ebony Grimsley-Vaz
Founder and Chief Strategist - Above Promotions

Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the Founder and Chief Strategist of Above Promotions, a digital marketing, public relations and promotions company in the Tampa, FL area. She is also the author of the book titled, “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation,” a marketing instructor for Jolt and an expert consultant for Coach the World.

For over 15 years and 80+ brands, Ebony has had the opportunity to work on campaigns for businesses such as AT&T, AAA, AOL, Cold Stone Creamery and Verizon Wireless to smaller national and international organizations and large non-profits such as the University of South Florida.

She is a diversity and tech contributing writer for and has been featured on, Food and Wine, Social Media Today, Food Fanatics, BizBash, AdWeek, PR Daily,, the Retail Customer Experience, Business 2 Community, and other publications, panels and hosted events. Invited to speak on diversity in tech, marketing strategies, crisis communication issues, leadership, and organizational techniques and professional journalism, Ebony leads colleagues across the U.S. through crisis communication topics and the creative community. She has educated those in the business and entertainment communities, and her expertise is well-respected in her field.

Organizing Team

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

  • Allison
  • Kiki
  • Kelly
  • Gracie
  • JR


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