Techstars Startup Weekend Winston-Salem

    Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Winston-Salem

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Flywheel Coworking
450 Design Ave
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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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 November 8th

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 & 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 November 9th

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 November 10th

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!

Event Judges

Wilson Lester
Executive Director

Wilson Lester is a partnership and program management professional.  His career is focused on advancing economic opportunity through strategic partnerships and education.  His role as Executive Director of the Greensboro Community Development Fund works diligently to create relationships with businesses in urban and rural communities through micro lending in support of operational expansion and new business development for underrepresented entrepreneurs.   Wilson is pursuing his Masters in Management, Strategy and Leadership at Michigan State University, and earned his bachelors in Business Administration from Greensboro College.

Coaches and Mentors

Alyson Francisco
Director of the Center for Women in Business

Alyson Francisco is the Mary Ardrey Stough Kimbrough Chair in Business and Economics at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  As a full time faculty member, she teaches finance, entrepreneurship and business planning. She also serves as the Director of the College’s Center for Women in Business where she focuses on linking Salem to the external professional community through providing relevant business programming, creating networking forums, and helping students secure mentoring opportunities, internships and job placements.  Prior to higher education, she spent more than twenty-five years in the consumer packaged goods industry holding executive level positions in finance and customer operations with Sara Lee Corporation and Hanes Brands, Inc.   She is a graduate of NC State University and holds an MBA from Duke University.  She is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Winston-Salem where she now serves as an Action Learning Coach.  She also is involved in the community through her work with the Center for Women in Business, as a board member of the Center for Creative Economy, a member of the Winston-Salem Small Business Advisory Board, and member of the Entrepreneur Ecosystem of Forsyth County.  

Notis Pagiavlas
Professor of Marketing and Founding Director of CFE

Notis Pagiavlas (Ph.D., University of Texas, Arlington) is Professor of Marketing at Winston-Salem State University and Founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Dr. Pagiavlas is an expert of entrepreneurial marketing, social innovation, and new venture creation. He has published and shared his work in marketing journals, conferences, workshops, and an edited book. He especially enjoys the application of the modern marketing concept in corporate, non-profits, and social enterprises. He founded the Center for Entrepreneurship as an effective platform to connect students with the broader community to conduct research and applied projects dealing with entrepreneurship and creative marketing approaches. Besides the typical academic duties, Dr. Pagiavlas has consulted with numerous organizations (Delta Airlines, Industries for the Blind, Harley-Davidson, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, NASA, and others). He has earned a number of awards, most meaningfully the 7th Annual NC Association of County Directors of Social Services Best Practices Award - Achieving Excellence in Turbulent Times, Innovations in Services to Customers: TEAM-UP (Teens Engaged in Aspiring Mentorships: an Uplifting Partnership). He also received the Kauffman Foundation Platinum Award for WSSU Center for Entrepreneurship. He support and mentors budding entrepreneurs in the community and at the Enterprise Center in W-S, housing over 40 small business organizations with varying needs and strategic directions.

Keith Vest
President of The Variable

Problem-solver. Designer. Shepherd. Keith wears many hats, but his most important role is being the steady hand that steers the forward-hurdling vessel that is The Variable. After starting and running a design firm for twelve years, Keith founded The Variable in 2011 along with Joe Parrish. Their agency has recently been recognized as Southeast Small Agency of the Year by Advertising Ageand recognized as one of the Triad’s Fast 50 by The Business Journal, a result of really hard work focused on helping the agency’s clients overcome their fiercest, most unrelenting competitor – consumer indifference. Keith has made a career out of helping major brands grow and evolve, including Krispy Kreme, Lowes Foods, Wells Fargo, Hanesbrands and Planters Lifesavers. Using the core principles of design thinking, Keith is always looking for ways to inject divergent thinking and convergent innovation into the agency culture and client relationships. Using these guiding principles, he co-founded Sunshine Beverages and helped launch Buck O’Hairen’s Legendary Sunshine in 2013.

Carol Reeve
Chief Strategist and Creative Director, Girl on the Roof

Carol Reeve, Founder, Chief Marketing Strategist, and Creative Director at Girl on the Roof, approaches marketing with uncommon insight gleaned from more than 20 years of experience. Her résumé includes brand management roles at Liberty Mutual and Kao Brands, where she served as the Technical Brand Manager for the launch of the Bioré skin care brand. Carol has created award-winning identity and advertising campaigns for small businesses up to Fortune 100 companies. Working for Scripps Networks (HGTV, DIY, and GAC), Carol spearheaded brand integration strategies for Procter & Gamble, GE Capital, Samsung, Ace Hardware, Georgia-Pacific, and others. Carol now applies her skills to socially responsible businesses and nonprofit organizations, where good marketing can change lives. Her work has won awards for corporate identity/logo, network image (TV), print advertising, and direct mail.   Carol has served on multiple nonprofit boards and has taught marketing and PR at Johnson University. She was named to Knoxville’s 40 Under 40 Business and Community Leaders for 2012 and is part of Leadership Winston-Salem’s 2019 class.

Elliot Strunk
Ringleader at Fifth Letter

Elliot Strunk is the Ringleader of Fifth Letter, a full-service design firm in Winston-Salem. For the last ten years, he and his team have produced award-winning work for small and large clients alike. He enjoys working with start-ups due to their energy, passion and creative thinking and looks forward to bringing some of his own to the groups he mentors.

Barrett Pack
Entrepreneur, Business Advisor, Investor

Barrett loves helping companies succeed, driving innovation, thinking differently, and avoiding the status quo. From startups to Fortune 50 companies, he has 20 years of experience advising companies on Business Development, Brand Positioning, Business Strategy, Advertising, Marketing, Design, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Software Development.

He has helped launch new and innovative products, ranging from a vitamin drink for Virgin Drinks to online gaming through Xbox Live. He has been part of teams that have launched industry firsts from helping to create a website made from a clickable YouTube video to blowing up a restaurant to garner PR for Ruby Tuesday, both resulting in some nice industry hardware. Now he focuses his attention on helping companies develop software solutions either build, drive, or improve their businesses. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Winston-Salem 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

Title Sponsor

Visit Website

Startup Weekend Event Sponsor

Organizing Team

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

  • Peter
  • Adrian
  • Andrea
  • Notis
  • Alyson
  • Alan
  • Justin


Matthew Veryser
Head of Product at SafeChain


Event Staff

Peter Marsh
Serial Entrepreneur

Peter is a serial entrepreneur in the design and construction industry.  He is a founding member of Flywheel Coworking, a coworking innovation space for entrepreneurs and startups.  Flywheel's first location is the downtown Winston Salem, North Carolina in the heart of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.  Peter also administers the New Ventures Fund, Challenge, and accelerator which is the Triad's only investor/mentor inception stage Investment Fund. 

Andrea Howell
Community Manager

Community Manager
Flywheel Coworking

Adrian Smith
Program Director

Adrian is Flywheel Coworking's Program Director.

Keyla Ferretiz
Marketing Coordinator

Keyla joined the Flywheel team in June 2019

Event Blog

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