Triad Startup Weekend

    Friday, November 6 - 8, 2015

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

Friday, November 6 - 8, 2015

Friday, November 6 - 8, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

525 Vine Street
Suite 210
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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54 Hours of collaboration, fun and high speed progress toward your next Startup!

Have you ever been to a SUW? Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.


Friday November 6th

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

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

6:45 pm
Welcome & Keynote Speaker
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce keynote speaker, 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 7th

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 8th

10:30 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

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

3:30 pm

4:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards

7:30 pm

8:00 pm
Go Home!


Doug Pierce
President of Clinical Ink

Doug Pierce has more than 20 years of experience in digital forms technology, mobile data capture, healthcare workflow solutions and web portal design. Mr. Pierce co-founded Clinical Ink in 2007 to revolutionize clinical trials by eliminating the complexities and costs associated with paper-based data capture processes. In his role as president, Mr. Pierce leads the strategic direction, development and evolution of the SureSource® platform to constantly meet changing customer needs. Working closely with customers, he is regularly involved in senior management discussions, providing more corporate oversight to ensure seamless eSource integration.Prior to Clinical Ink, Mr. Pierce co-founded Piermed, Inc., a medical documentation solutions company specializing in data capture for primary care settings. Offering an alternative to the inefficient and error-prone data capture methods traditionally used by physicians, Mr. Pierce developed a series of forms that accommodated end-user workflows to effectively streamline medical data capture and retrieval.  Under Mr. Pierce’s leadership, Piermed, Inc. grew from a small regional start-up into an established corporation with customers in 48 states.A pioneer of eSource technology for the life sciences industry, Doug is noted for giving the first eSource presentation to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008.  He earned a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Montana.

Event Judges

Andy Dreyfuss
Venn Capital

Andrew Dreyfuss has been a partner with Venn Capital since 2009 and co-manages three real estate funds focused on residential development & the hospitality industry. Venn Capital has participated in real estate transactions valued at over $50M in the last 5 years. After a four year run, he recently stepped aside as the Fund Executive for the Piedmont Angel Network (“PAN”) an early stage committed capital fund based in the Triad. PAN has invested $16M in 24 start-up companies since 2002 via three funds with approximately 150 investors.Andy was the Director of the Career Management for the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University from 2003 to 2008. Prior to joining the Babcock School, Mr. Dreyfuss was Director of Operations Planning for the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Coca Cola, he led the annual business plan process for a group with a $90 million budget and 1,200 employees. Additionally, he has held finance and planning positions with Apple and SAP America. He graduated Magna cum Laude from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and received a Master in Business Administration degree from Wake Forest University.

Galina Petrova
Attorney at Schell Bray

Galina Petrova practices as a corporate attorney at Schell Bray PLLC in Greensboro.  Galina is one of few attorneys in the Triad who have advanced legal training to handle business tax matters.  She assists clients with complex business tax planning, business sales and acquisitions, start-ups and private equity investments.  Before returning to practice law in North Carolina last year, Galina worked in the Transaction Tax (M&A) practice of Ernst & Young in New York, where she focused on structuring of acquisitions and reorganizations, including pre-acquisition tax due diligence of large and mid-size target companies. Galina obtained her law degree from Georgetown University where she also completed an advanced LL.M. degree in taxation.  She also has a bilingual LL.M. degree in International Economic Law from The Sorbonne in Paris and has presented on tax law topics internationally.  Galina has also worked in the business law groups of Swedish and Belgium law firms as well as at the European Commission in Brussels.  After graduating with a magna cum laude Business Administration degree from Greensboro College, Ms. Petrova worked in treasury and financial reporting for several years.  

Jeremy Lewallen

Jeremy founded 97 Display Software in 2010.  He managed operations and built the company until its acquisition by Jonas Software, Inc in 2014.

Jill Atherton

Graduate of Appalachian State University and Wake Forest University, Vice President of Economic Development with the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.  Involved in several groups dedicated to helping small businesses in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. 

Stan Mandel
Professor of Practice and Director, Angell Center for Entrepreneurship

Stan’s personal entrepreneurial experience includes startups of three family businesses, a financial institution, a mobile diagnostic health care provider, and several non-profit organizations. He is currently involved as an advisor or director in the start-ups of new ventures of students, faculty in the medical school, alumni and area entrepreneurs.   During his career, Stan has also served on the boards and as an officer of over 30 organizations within education, health care, finance, retail, manufacturing, e’commerce, and not-for-profits.  
 Wake Forest Angell Center for Entrepreneurship (WF-ACE) (1998-Present). Executive Professor and founding director of the Wake Forest University ACE, including it’s Family Business Initiative. 
• Affiliate Professor, Bordeaux School of Business (2001-Present) Faculty appointment to teach entrepreneurship.
• Affiliate Professor, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (2003 – Present). Faculty appointment to teach entrepreneurship
• Family Business Initiative (1995-1998). Director of University of South Dakota-School of Business state-wide program designed to improve the success of family businesses through life-long learning, research, consulting, and other out-reach activities. 
• University of South Dakota (1997-1998). Appointed to a faculty position as an assistant professor, School of Business, and USD Graduate School.
• Entrepreneur/Family Business Consultants (E-FBC) (1995-Present). Principal of E-FBC that provides interdisciplinary consulting services (strategy, family business issues, facilitation, etc.) to regional and international organizations.
• SBDC (1992-1995). As part of a research assistantship at Texas Tech I presented seminars and provided organizational counseling services.
• McGuffey’s Inc. (1990-1991). Founder and CEO of five-store retail chain dealing in discounted catalogue clothing. Business sold in 1991.
• $10 Shoppe (1986-1990). Founder and CEO of fifteen store one price clothing chain located in Texas.
• The Hollywood, Inc. (1972-1990). CEO of five-store moderate ladies apparel chain.
• Ernst & Young (1969-1972). Management consultant dealing in M&A, system design, and cost studies within health care organizations, utilities, manufacturing firms, and governments.
• Army Test and Evaluation Command (1967-1969). Transportation test officer.
• Texas Instruments (1966-1967). Control administrator for pricing and compliance.

Coaches and Mentors

Amber Koger
Associate, M&A, Private Equity, Contract & Corporate Matters, Small Businesses, PE Firms and Corporations

Amber S. Koger is an associate at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.  She focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, corporate governance and general business and corporate law. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Koger worked as an associate in the Minneapolis, Minnesota office of an international law firm, representing clients over a broad range of industries including the sports, entertainment and fashion industries. Ms. Koger assisted clients with a variety of matters, including all aspects of entity selection, formation and dissolution, negotiating commercial agreements and helping clients buy and sell businesses. She also advised boards of directors and management of organizations on governance, legal compliance and legal implications of business strategies and decisions. Ms. Koger was recognized as an “Up & Coming Attorney” in 2013 by Minnesota Lawyer, a North Star Lawyer in 2013 by the Minnesota Bar Association, a Lawyers of Color’s “Hot List” Honoree in 2013 for the Midwest Region, and a featured member of the Young Lawyers’ Group of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice.

Brad Bennett
Chief Firestarter at Wildfire

Brad co-founded Wildfire in 2002 with Mike Grice and serves as its Chief Firestarter.  Prior to starting Wildfire, Brad served in many roles over an 8-year career at Long Haymes Carr (now Mullen|Lowe WS) and prior to that worked in Not for Profit fundraising for the American Heart Association and his alma mater UNC-Chapel Hill. Wildfire has grown from two guys working from home to a team 60+ professionals who grow their client’s business while lowering their blood pressure.  Wildfire’s roster of world-class clients includes: Hanesbrands, BB&T, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Mack Truck, Carolina West Wireless, Lowe’s Foods, Wake Forest University Athletics, Nabisco, and Dixie Classic Fair. Brad is a proud Winston-Salem native, an avid fiction reader, a fitness freak and, more than anything, a husband to wife Paula, a dedicated volunteer at their childrens’ school, and Daddy to their two children, Abbi, 14, and Beau, 10.

Bryan Toney
Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Engagement at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Bryan Toney is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Engagement at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he also previously served as Director of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center. Prior to coming to Greensboro in 2011, he served as Founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Appalachian State and the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Georgia Tech. He began his career as founder and CEO of Information Management Inc., a high growth technology firm in Atlanta. He has extensive experience in entrepreneurial ecosystem development, working with local, regional and global partners to develop high value opportunities for students, faculty, businesses and community members. 

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.

Jeff MacIntosh

City Council Winston Salem 2013-present
Residential/Commercial Real Estate Broker 2008-present
Salem Group partner 1989-2005 (data center hardware brokerage. 4 employees in 1989, grew to 47)
Residential/Commercial Real Estate Broker1985-1989
Stereo Sound general manager 1980-1985
Wake Forest BA Economics 1980
Lots of boards and committees both public and private
Restored several dozen historic homes in Winston Salem 

Joel Bennett
Program Director

Product/Industrial Designer, Inventor, and Creative Graphic Designer who combines Lean Startup methods with marketing strategy and research, visual identity, branding and presentations. I use Design Thinking as a method of exploration and works as a group facilitator with scientists, engineers and business/financial professionals to define and develop new and innovative platforms that result in commercialization. I currently lead the Triad Startup Lab business accelerator for the Greensboro Partnership.

Thinking and Creating: I am happiest when I am solving a problem and achieving a goal that moves things closer toward defined objectives. Marketing strategy, research, and market analysis - I am great at the discovery, definition and design of new products, their introductions, merchandising and packaging. I am an expert at the Lean Product Development process that focuses on defining core assumptions and testing for validation. Work exceptionally well with corporate & product identity creation and standards. I eat trade shows, branding and advertising ideas for breakfast. 

Industry experience includes: Marketing, branding, graphic design, wide format printing, and industrial design of consumer products, transportation, furniture, industrial equipment, trade show displays, building products, healthcare and mortgage lending products.

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.

Michael Batalia
Co-founder @ WideEy3D

Dr. Michael Batalia is a serial entrepreneur and an expert in academic technology commercialization.He is a co-founder of WideEy3D which develops 3D printing solutions for mass manufacturing, and the CSO for Arctic, Inc. which commercializes technologies to modify the weather for agricultural applications.  Dr. Batalia has over 16 years of experience in academic technology transfer, intellectual property management, and licensing.  He served over 12 years at Wake Forest University as executive director of commercialization, and four years at North Carolina State University as associate director then director of technology transfer.  In addition, Dr. Batalia has been active regionally and internationally in support of technology transfer and biotechnology.  He has served on the Boards of the Association of University Technology Managers, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the Biotechnology Advisory Committee of Piedmont Triad, and the North Carolina Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology.  Dr. Batalia received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.A. in chemistry from the University of Chicago.  He is a Certified Licensing Professional with the Licensing Executive Society.

Nathan Powell
Managing Partner at The Montanus Group

Nathan is passionate about finding new ways to apply his love of economics across the community. He has a broad array of experiences, from investment analysis and company valuation, to risk analysis and data science. He also likes to build things (ask him about his horse boot washer!). You’ll see him around Flywheel working on his startup ideas and lending a hand to other entrepreneurs. Nathan grew up in Pfafftown and has worked around the globe since graduating from UNCW. He’s excited to be back in Winston-Salem and being a part of the entrepreneurial community.

Sam Funchess
President & CEO

Mr. Funchess is President and CEO of the Nussbaum Center. Prior to this position, he held numerous positions on the Board, including Vice Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the strategic planning committee, as well as treasurer.  Mr. Funchess brings a vast wealth of experience, as he has founded, acquired and sold several businesses. Funchess founded his first company in 2001.  Sam was also an organizer for the Gate City’s Community Bank, a division of West Town Savings Bank. Prior employment includes Financial Analyst for Geneva Associates, a private equity fund; and a Commercial Loan Officer for SouthTrust Bank, a full-service commercial bank.

A native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Mr. Funchess has lived in the Triad area since 1993.     

 Mr. Funchess holds Bachelor of Administrative Science degrees in Accounting and Management from Guilford College.
  He has been active in many civic projects in the areas of education and entrepreneurship, founded or chaired several local civic groups in entrepreneurship and is a member of the Greensboro Rotary. Mr. Funchess also served on the Board of Advisors for the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics, Greensboro College, School of Business Advisory Council, two private company boards and the Board of Advisors for BATON (a division of the NC Biotech Center). Mr. Funchess has also served on US Senator Kay Hagan’s Small Business Advisory Committee, Chairman for the Friends of Scouting Campaign. He and his wife, Barbara, reside in Guilford County, North Carolina with their three children, Chris, Zack, Sam, Jr.  His interests include family, mountain biking, scuba-diving, and music.

Taylor Ansley

Taylor is pretty good at explaining technical things to non-technical people. As VP of Product Development at Sweb Development, a small digital agency based in San Antonio, he works with designers and developers to bring mobile apps, websites, and online platforms to life for clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to non-profits and solo entrepreneurs. He doesn't really want to hear about your app idea. Taylor is a North Carolinian through-and-through who's glad to be back in the Old North State after a 5 year sojourn in Texas. Outside of work, Taylor can be found with his wife and son at the Cobblestone Farmer's Market or a Davidson basketball game.

Travis Martin

Travis Martin is an experienced litigator and advisor who represents clients in several areas. He has tried cases to verdict before juries and judges, and he also has significant experience with alternative dispute resolution. Travis partners with clients to understand their businesses and objectives so that he may deliver effective and efficient advice and service. Travis has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell.

Craig Turner

Craig Turner is an attorney and advisor who has managed a variety of business disputes from multiple perspectives.  He served as a law clerk for two judges at the North Carolina Business Court and now practices in commercial litigation.  He has experience with business formation, employee contract drafting, intellectual property protection, and other business to business claims.

Josh Moe
Founder & Ceo

Josh brings over 15 years of experience leading technology design and development teams for small, medium & large organizations. A “recovering IT professional”, Josh spent over 4 years working in Boston’s higher-ed IT space, where his passion for education technology helped him identify opportunities to improve it with user-centric design principles. Odigia is the result of his focus on improving teacher and learner outcomes, and has been awarded funding from the Dept of Labor WIRED grant as well as the Next Generation Learning Challenges, in partnership with the Gates and Hewlett Foundations, EDUCAUSE, iNACOL, and CCSSO.
In his spare time, Josh is also a partner at RootLevel Labs, where he has spent the last 4 years actively helping build and launch startups. Josh has a proven ability to build and lead high-performance teams in rapidly changing environments, as well as to design innovative ways to optimize revenue and profitability from new and existing business models. When he’s not manning the helm, you can usually find him outdoors trailblazing in his Jeep, hanging from a cliff, or hiking with the office’s best friend and security dog, Kona.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Peter
  • Jennifer
  • Justin
  • Sam
  • Alyson
  • Joel
  • Brad
  • Daniel
  • Lauren


Daniel Johnsen
Founder, The Recovery Station

Founder, The Recovery Station (winner of Startup Weekend Lexington, Kentucky 2013)
From:KY (we love bourbon), live in Louisville, Kentucky, United States; currently residing in Longreach, Queensland, Australia.
Background: Founded a few companies, currently making a vending kiosk that dispenses pre/post workout drinks like protein shakes that are customizable and blended on-demand for everyday athletes in gyms (idea was the #1 placing idea at a Startup Weekend during a global startup battle).  I'm heavily active in Louisville & KY's startup scene where I help from basic mentoring with early stage ideas, organize Startup Weekends, throw happy hours for the startup & tech scene, the go-to person for pitch feedback before our area accelerator demo days, and random other items that I often forget and just do as they show up on my calendar.  I have a passion for asking some pretty forceful questions to get early stage entrepreneurs to evaluate their market, problem and solution and arrive at some decision point sooner rather than waiting 18+ months to launch MVPs, scale or bury the idea.
SW/UP: Been part of 30+ (?) Startup Weekends as: Sunday night observer x4; team lead x2; organizer x4; facilitator x1; judge x1; only KY rep for 2014 Vegas Summit; Startup Next participant x3 (I think I hold some type of non-verifiable record for as many ideas as I've taken through); Startup Next mentor x1

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