Startup Weekend Tampa

    Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

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

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016

Friday, November 11 - 13, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Cuban Club
2010 N AVENIDA Republica De Cuba
Ybor, FL 33605

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Learn, Network, Startup

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, and presentation by Sunday evening. 

This time, we'll be hosting our event in Ybor City, a hotbed for new Tampa startups, in the historic Cuban Club. You'll have access to a ton of potential customers on the streets as well as all the resources you will need within the venue to be ready to pitch to our esteemed panel of judges on the gorgeous theatre stage Sunday night. Break a leg!  

Sunday at 4:45pm the Cuban Club doors will open up to anyone who wants to hear our final pitches and attend our Demo Day and After Party. Tickets are available here.

This year's afterparty is brought to you by He(Art) and will showcase music and art from talented locals. He(Art) is a moving art house dedicated to providing local artists with an avenue to showcase their work to a wide, diverse audience and show the people of the city what their community has to offer. Learn more about He(Art) at

This weekend is particularly special, as it's Global Startup Weekend! (GSW)
Global Startup Weekend brings together more than 15,000 entrepreneurs  for over 200 events November 11-13 & 18-20! Attendees and winners will have access to exclusive resources from the global community to help you launch your startups! 

Be on the lookout for more Judges, Mentors, and Schedule details coming soon! 


Friday November 11th

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, Overview, Ice Breaker
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders.

8:00 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
What is Customer Validation?
A brief talk on the most important step in starting a company. Identifying the problem, the opportunity, and your customers. Plus tips on working effectively with your new team.

10:30 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. Lay out your plan for customer validation. You may stay and work as late as you want.

Saturday November 12th

8:30 am
Arrive, find your workspace, and have some simple breakfast & coffee.

9:15 am
Customer Validation Game Plan
The organizers make sure the teams are ready for customer validation, teams make their plan of attack, and go validate their ideas!

12:30 pm

12:45 pm
How to perform Market Research
Optional 7 minute workshop - What resources can you use for market research? Presented by Hillsborough County Libraries

1:00 pm
Mentors Arrive
Mentors are in from 1pm-6pm. They will work with teams on their ideas, validation results, potential pivots, and business model canvas.

4:00 pm
Building an MVP
Optional 7 minute workshop - What is a Minimum Viable Product? How can you build one this weekend? Presented by FullShore Solutions

6:00 pm

6:30 pm
Establishing Your Brand
Optional 7 minute workshop - How to design your Brand Identity. Presented by Rivets & Ink

9:00 pm
Pitch Practice
What does a winning pitch look like? Presented by Danny McDonald

11:55 pm
Work Until You Drop
The venue will remain open as late as you need. You have the freedom to leave or stay all night long.

Sunday November 13th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Organizers check in on your progress.

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
Official Pitch Practice
Required 1pm - 4pm. Each team signs up for a 15 minute time slot. Continue working until it's your turn for Pitch Practice on the Theater stage. Have a draft of your presentation and pitch ready by your designated time. You'll get feedback from our pitch coaches.

4:45 pm
Doors Open to Public
Spectators arrive.

5:00 pm
Final Presentations
On the Theater Stage.

7:30 pm
Dinner and Judge Deliberation

8:00 pm
Judging & Awards
On the Theater Stage.

8:15 pm

8:30 pm
After Party Brought to you by He(Art)
Cuban Club Bar and Lobby. Live local music, art, and vendors. Cash Bar and Food Trucks.

10:30 pm
Go Home!
Thanks for coming!

Event Judges

Alex Sink
Founder - Florida Next Foundation & Former Elected CFO of the state of Florida

Prior to elected office, Ms. Sink had a 26 year career with Bank of America. She retired as President of Florida operations in 2000, managing the state’s largest bank with $40 billion in deposits, leading 9000 employees in over 800 branches. 

Ms. Sink has been a statewide business leader, serving as Chair of Leadership Florida, Chair of Take Stock in Children, Chair of The Nature Conservancy Florida Chapter, Chair of the Hillsborough Education Foundation, Vice-Chair of Florida Taxwatch, Vice-Chair of the board at Wake Forest University, and a member of the Florida Council of 100. 

Ms. Sink has been honored as an inductee into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame. She is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award, Associated Industries of Florida Champion of Business Award, Florida Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year, and Wake Forest Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Tony DiBenedetto
CEO - Tribridge

Tony DiBenedetto is the Chairman and CEO of Tribridge, a technology company specializing in cloud solutions. He has 30 years of experience in the technology services industry, with a focus on executive management, business innovation and high-impact growth.

The recipient of numerous leadership awards, including the Ernst & Young Florida Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in Technology and induction into the Florida State University College of Business Hall of Fame, Tony has dedicated his entire career to the areas of corporate culture, customer advocacy and servant leadership. Tony co-founded Tribridge in 1998 and has led the firm through the successful acquisition and integration of several companies, resulting in a compounded annual growth rate of over 40 percent each year. Under his guidance, Tribridge has grown from a start-up company to one of the leading technology services providers in the United States.

A lifetime entrepreneur, Tony earned partnership at Arthur Andersen before founding Tribridge. He also owned and operated several business ventures in retail, business services and healthcare. Tony mentors numerous entrepreneurs and serves on the board of directors of two service-based start-up companies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems from Florida State University.

Greg Ross Munro
CEO - Sourcetoad

Greg Ross-Munro is an serial entrepreneur and the CEO of two technology companies. He sold his first tech company at 24, and has not been able to stop.
Greg currently runs Sourcetoad, a hybrid-software engineering firm with offices in the USA and Australia. Sourcetoad's team of developers have built applications and games for of clients like Viking Cruises, Jackson Hewitt, Procter and Gamble, Luxottica, the US Special Forces, and dozens of startups.
He is also the founder of Teburu, a TechStars seeded company that provides online ordering systems to small and medium sized restaurants.
Greg is a third generation programer, something that is pretty rare. He has three degrees in Business and Entrepreneurship from USF.

Greg grew up in Africa, and has lived and worked in Japan. He delights in good Scotch whisky and suffers from a dark sense of humor, and an incomprehensible patience with beautiful but temperamental British sports cars.

Reuben Pressman

Reuben has been building software and hardware tech since he was 10. He's been the founder of multiple companies and non-profits and is currently the CEO of Check I'm Here, the EdTech software platform powering universities and colleges to get students more engaged and retain more effectively. Reuben grew up in Tampa Bay, has been an participator, mentor, and organizer of Startup Weekend Tampa Bay, and loves the opportunity he sees in the community. Follow him on twitter @reubenpressman and bring him tacos.

Coaches and Mentors

Mark Carpenter
Co-founder - FullShore Solutions

Mark has a Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship & Applied Technologies from the University of South Florida, and has spent the last four years as a staff member of the Tampa Bay WaVE, a non-profit that helps tech startups build, launch, and grow breakout ventures in Tampa Bay. While there, he helped manage the WaVE's coworking space and Accelerator program, providing assistance to over 150+ entrepreneurs. He is now one of two Founders of FullShore Solutions, which matches companies with highly qualified remote developers and remote teams.

Chris McElveen
Co-founder - FullShore Solutions

I am a tech nerd through and through: from hardware to software, front-end to design I do and love it all. Programming for me started in 2004 with my first HTML/CSS class in high school, from there I learned Adobe Flash, Dreamweaver and Photoshop as well as HTML, CSS, and Actionscript. Although I took time off from programming in college to focus on my major (Business and Urban-Environmental-Studies) I learned valuable non-programming skills, which I employ to this day. After college I, dove headfirst into the technology startup scene in my hometown of Tampa, Florida. The first company I co-founded (Indino) is still alive under the direction of one of my former co-founders. After I left there I co-founded the entrepreneurial learning group, EcoSpark Group, with two friends and fellow entrepreneurs. I currently run a web development and brokerage shop out of my office in Tampa, Florida.

Justin Smith
Managing Director - Ark Applications

With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Justin has significant capabilities in promoting products and services. His entrepreneurial spirit has enabled him to manage projects and bring ideas to life through careful planning and implementation. During his professional career he has spearheaded new areas of business including app development, video content generation, user interface design, and creative marketing efforts. As a creative problem solver, he strives to find simple solutions to complex problems. Justin Smith received is BA in Multimedia Design and Development from the American University in Washington, DC. He also recently attained his MBA from The University of Tampa’s Sykes Business School with a focus in Entrepreneurship.

Daniel McDonald
Accelerator Manager - Tampa Bay WaVe

Daniel is an MBA student at the University of Tampa and evangelist for Tampa Bay’s entrepreneurial scene. He’s also a coach and assistant with the University of Tampa John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center. Need to prepare for your pitch? He’s consulted with over 35 startups for pitches at competitions and investment rounds.

Daniel Greco
Managing Director - Ark Applications

Daniel D. Greco II is a shareholder in Ark Applications, LLC, bringing more than 20 years’ broad-based general management experience. Prior to joining Ark Applications in 2015, Dan served as Chief Operating Officer & General Manager of Garden Light LED, an architectural and landscape lighting company based in Tampa, FL. Other experiences include working in high-profile operational assignments for world-class organizations such as BASF Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and The Walt Disney Company.   Dan’s responsibility is to help utilize his deep knowledge in both operations and process excellence to optimize the infrastructure of our partner companies. Driven by a sense of urgency and strong work ethic, he enjoys and thrives on organizational change. Resourceful and innovative, Dan always searches out new ways to improve operations and elevate best-practices. Beyond solving problems, Dan conceives company solutions that safeguard the company, leaving the organization and its people firmly grounded for sustainable growth well into the future.   Dan earned his BS in Consumer Studies from Syracuse University and a MBA in Supply Chain & Innovation Management from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management.   Dan and his wife reside in Tampa, FL with their two children.

Corey Gilmore
Graphic Designer - Rivets & Ink

Corey is a graphic design and marketing specialist with over a decade of experience working with companies and startups of all sizes. When it comes to Startup Weekend, he’s twice led teams that earned first place. If you need brand direction or an outreach strategy, Corey can help.

Ronny Herrera
Founder - Reef House Media

Founder of Reef House Media, an online video production company based out of St. Petersburg, FL. My passion lies in extracting compelling stories out of brands and presenting them to the right audience in the right way. I enjoy fishing, short walks to the brewery, and late night learning binges on Udemy/Lynda. Things to ask me about: video production, marketing, branding, and audience targeting/segmenting. Bonus: Ask me to pick apart your idea, I have a knack for cutting out weaknesses and finding strengths in unexpected places.

Ashley Hemingway
Director of User Experience - AppNexus

With over a decade of professional design experience, Ashley believes that “happiness is making the things that you wish existed”. She is currently the Director of User Experience at AppNexus, one of New York’s fastest growing companies. Previously, she has designed tablet apps for the pharmaceutical industry, websites and applications for large retail, banking and information technology brands, and packaging for consumer and beauty care products. She has also consulted for several startups, where she loves turning early concepts into established and trusted brands while advocating for customer-centric design principles. Ashley is a graduate of DAAP at the University of Cincinnati. She enjoys sharing her passion for design and business with others, and has served as a mentor for several organizations such as the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Girls Who Code. During the few minutes a day she is not online, she can be found indulging in too much television, curiosity and cheese.

Luke Filloramo
Director of Operations and Business Development - RIDG: Royal Innovation Design Group

Luke has been active in the design thinking, innovation, start-up and technology community of the Tampa Bay Region for over 5 years. A native of New York, he moved to Florida to attend the University of Tampa and shortly after graduating he began working for the Royal Innovation Design Group whose mission is to “Build Better Innovators”. RIDG merges innovation processes, visualization and change management equipping business with the skills necessary to thrive, compete and lead.

Working side-by-side with RIDG’s founder Michelle Royal he helped grow business revenues by 400% while adding 5 new members to the team in less than 3 years. RIDG has worked with many of the emerging tech companies in Tampa Bay as well as Fortune 500 and 100 organization. His skills include: Dynamic Group Facilitation, Peak Performance Strategies, the Business Model Canvas, Service Design, Rapid Prototyping, and Business Operations and Strategy.

He is also well-versed in social media and internet marketing, specifically: direct response, Facebook advertising, email marketing automation, online sales funnel creation, lead generation and conversion optimization.

Brent Britton
IP Lawyer - de le Pena & Holiday LLP

Brent C.J. Britton is a technology lawyer, teacher, and author in San Francisco, California, and Tampa, Florida. A former computer scientist and software engineer, Britton was the first graduate of the MIT Media Laboratory to become a lawyer and recently wrote a book about Intellectual Property Law titled "Ownabiliy." Described by 83 Degrees magazine as “arguably the most sought after one-man think tank for entrepreneurs across Central Florida,” Britton has been advising technology companies for more than 20 years in Boston, Silicon Valley, New York, and Florida.

Steve Gianfilippo
Founder – Gianco Companies, Partner – Gries Investment Funds

Mr. Gianfilippo is founder of Gianco Companies (, a multi-faceted Investment and Development Lifestyle Brand with its main investments in boutique hotels, residential developments, mixed-use assets, tech, finance, and energy.  Gianco Companies focuses on employing creative sales and marketing strategies, forward-thinking design and brand creation, and unique market re-positioning to add value to its portfolio. Gianco Companies is also a seed investor in Boulder-based where it has held a board seat since inception 3 years ago.  Gianco Companies has offices in Tampa with its partner Gries Investment Funds, and maintains its headquarters in St. Petersburg at its newest 30,000 square foot multi-cultural development of office, co-work/shared-offices, and retail building called Station House. ( Prior to founding Gianco Companies 13 years ago, Mr. Gianfilippo, was V.P. of Finance for Citigroup for 7 years both domestically and abroad.  Mr. Gianfilippo spent 3.5 years in Tokyo in a Strategic Management role where he successfully established two fully operational service companies to support a $1 Billion Investment Bank and a $300 million Distressed Asset business. Mr. Gianfilippo’s primary skillset is Acquisitions, Development, Operations, Sales and Marketing, Design and Brand Culture, Complex Deal Structuring, and Capital Advisory.  He is also an investor in Crius Energy, and several other Gries transactions.  

Chris Krimitsos
Chief Creative Officer

In 2008, Chris Krimitsos founded The Tampa Bay Business Owners, The Premiere Business Mastermind in Tampa Bay. At the time, he had been highly active in the local television and real estate markets. He was the Executive Producer of two shows, The Bleepin Truth and The Millionaire Mindset. The former was political in nature and the latter was economical and business focused. Between these two genres, Chris knew a plethora of people in the area and eagerly began connecting people, and He was very good at it. As his tenure at the TV station came to an end, Chris’ desire to connect and help people solidified into the mastermind organization… He later went back to his production roots and founded CK Productions to produce independent documentaries. To support other creatives Chris started Podfest Multi Media Expo an international conference for creatives. Individual podcasters travel all over the country/world to attend this amazing gathering of content creators.

Valerie Sheehan

Valerie Sheehan has a diverse professional background in business which spans over 16 years. She is currently the International Sales and Business Development Manager for Armadillo Enterprises, a manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments based in Tampa, FL. In her current role, she is concentrating on the development of new business and sales in Mexico, Central and South America, the Pacific Rim, Australia, and Eastern Europe; a key contributor to the development of the overall international sales strategy and achieving over $4 million in sales annually.   Prior to joining Armadillo, Valerie was President and CEO of ToneRite Inc., a Gainesville-based manufacturing startup with several patented products. She was hired to revitalize Tone Rite. Her passion for working with people within the music industry, enthusiasm, and drive for success is infectious. The company achieved a mind-blowing increase in sales, over 1000%, while she grew their dealer/distributor network by over 500%. All while managing manufacturing operations both overseas and domestically. She is a self-motivated high energy business executive with a passion for excellence and a team-first mentality.   Valerie has mentored numerous startup companies through her relationships with The HackerHouse, The Florida Innovation Hub at UF and The Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC). Valerie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from The University of Florida. Now residing in Tampa, in her spare time, she can be found training and competing in triathlons throughout the local community.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Tampa 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.

Premier Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Trey
  • Daniel
  • Andrey
  • Allison
  • Chelsea
  • Gracie
  • Zachary
  • Raymond


Kyle Taylor
Senior Drupal Developer

Senior Drupal Developer at LevelTen Interactive, Global Startup Weekend facilitator, and President of TechMill Denton.

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