Startup Weekend Triangle @ NCCU

    Friday, April 7 - 9, 2017

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

Friday, April 7 - 9, 2017

Friday, April 7 - 9, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Michaux School of Education (North Carolina Central Univ)
700 Cecil St
Durham, NC

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Startup Weekend - General Theme

Have an idea?  Product or Service?  Or just want to learn and participate in a great entrepreneurial experience?

Triangle Startup Weekend (TSW) is an opportunity to turn ideas into action in 54 hours.   TSW is a 54 hour event that supports early stage entrepreneurship. Anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea, or just listen in. Teams form around the top ideas and embark on a 3 day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, market validation and creation of a prototype.

Join us and...

  • learn the basics of founding & launching a successful startup
  • network with other entrepreneurs, experienced and up&coming 
  • find the right people with complimentary skills, passion and dedication 
  • test your idea (or work on someone else's) with potential customers
  • receive coaching from experienced entrepreneurs& industry professionals, and 
  • win prizes that will help you take your startup idea to the next level

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday April 7th

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 April 8th

8:15 am
Arrive, check-in, get to work! Breakfast & coffee to arrive by 9am.

9:00 am
Weekend Kick-Off!
Resources, process, and next steps for making the most of the weekend!

12:00 pm
Problem Pitches & Lunch
Get lunch and pitch your team's problems.

1:00 pm
Mentor Madness!
Mentors help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm
Dinner & MVP Pitches
Get some dinner and then pitch your solution for feedback.

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday April 9th

8:15 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

10:30 am
Pitch Practice Sessions
Get feedback from mentors on your final pitch. (by appt)

12:00 pm

2:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:00 pm
Final Presentations

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

6:00 pm
After Party!!


Doug Speight
Founder, CEO @ Cathedral Leasing

Doug Speight is Founder and CEO of Cathedral Leasing, a B2B marketplace for the equipment leasing industry that is redefines how equipment is financed for small and medium-sized companies.  Speight's career has bridged four startups, engineering and open innovation and he has managed the development of technological innovations within the Dept. of Energy, NASA and with universities.  He is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and holds a MBA from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He also serves as the Google/CODE2040 Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the American Underground tech hub in Durham.

Event Judges

Dan Moore
Product Lead @ Vaporware

A Georgia Tech grad, Dan is a computer scientist who transforms ideas into market-ready products for startups. With a focus on customer-centric and data-driven product development, he coordinates Vaporware's lean product design and development. Outside of work he enjoys road cycling, video games, and international travel.

Edward O’Donnell
Chief Data Procurement Officer @ IBM

Ed joined IBM Endicott in Endicott as a Direct buyer of hardware components in Endicott, NY in 1978.  He has held various Procurement leadership assignments in Procurement supporting IBM’s Technology Division managing electronic packaging and hardware components.  Later in his career, Ed became Americas Client Services Procurement Manager serving Client Engagements in pursuit of new business and strategic operations. He now leads IBM’s Enterprise Transformation initiatives focused on Services, Hardware and Technology Products.  Ed lives in Rye, New York with his wife Tracy and daughter Sydney where he enjoys boating and home restoration.

Jason Mudd
Manager- Strategy, Technology and Enablement @ IBM

Jason Mudd is the leader for strategy and enablement in Procurement Services at IBM based in Research Triangle Park, NC.  He has more than 10 years of comprehensive experience in directing global business and IT transformation initiatives that deliver continuous improvements in operational and IT functions. He has a wealth of knowledge in global transformation, information technology, supply chain integration, and consulting.

Kathryn James
Program Director @ Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network NC

Kathryn James is Program Director at Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. She was previously Director of Entrepreneurship at CED, and has worked in, co-founded or consulted to a range of tech startups and gazelles in Silicon Valley and North Carolina.  She began her career in the tech industry with Accenture in Chicago, London, LA, and Silicon Valley.  She moved to NC to study Sustainable Design at NCSU where she received an MLA and spent several years in sustainable land planning and design with LEED platinum certification.  Kathryn’s passion is working with game-changing startups, bridging the “structural holes” in ecosystems and creating new combinations that strengthen the region.  

Leah Kraus

Leah Kraus has over 25 years of experience in education and tech beginning as a high school teacher in Greensboro NC. After teaching Leah worked at Guilford College as Chief Information Officer (CIO). In 2007, she became the Associate Vice Chancellor for Services and Planning at the UNC Wilmington. In 2014, she was selected to serve as the CIO at NCCU. Leah is responsible for providing innovative vision, strategy, leadership for the campus in all technology related areas including technology policy and planning. Under her leadership, NCCU’s IT Services division focuses on providing strategic and collaborative services that support the needs of NCCU’s 21st Century Scholars, faculty and staff. Leah has been named one of 2015 Best CIOs by Triangle Business Journal.  She served on the Dell Higher Education Advisory Board 2013 and 2014, the 2015 GoMobile Enterprise Advisory Board, and Leah currently serves on the Advisory Council of Durham Sister Cities. She was recently featured in Sync Magazine for her transition from classroom teacher to CIO.

Coaches and Mentors

Andy Roth
Head of Customer Success @ RocketBolt

Andy Roth has two degrees from Duke Law School, including one specializing in entrepreneurship. Prior to law school he spent several years in New York City pursuing professional acting. He is currently in charge of Customer Success for RocketBolt, a Durham startup which took part in The Startup Factory's Fall 2013 program. This is his seventh Triangle Startup Weekend.

Anthony Pompliano
Managing Partner @ Full Tilt Capital

"Pomp is Pomp. He does dope ----". 

Currently he serves as Managing Partner at Full Tilt Capital (FTC), an early stage venture capital firm. FTC partners with inspiring founders to build world-class companies across different industries.  Previously, Growth lead at Snap Chat, Product Manager at Facebook and Founder/CEO of DigaForce.

Christie Evans
Founder & CEO @ Choicez

A graduate of Spelman College and the University of Southern California, Christie has served as Director of Quality and Regulatory for global medical device software companies. She recently transitioned from Corporate America to launch – Choicez – an online platform for finding event vendors and tools to simplify the event planning process, which she founded and currently serves as CEO. Christie is an alumni of Groundwork Labs and member of the American Underground. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband and their two toddlers.

Geeta Vemuri
Product Manager @ Citrix

Geeta Vemuri is a CPA, with 5 yrs of auditing experience, and she has worked in both public accounting and private.  Firms include, CliftonLarsonAllen and PwC.  She has also worked for Credit Union of Colorado as an Internal Audit Manager.  Geeta’s passion for technology lead her to build a workflow and collaboration solution for CPA firms and their clients. Her entrepreneurial journey has recently lead her to join Citrix as a product manager to help drive innovation for the accounting industry.

Jon Colgan
Founder and CEO @ CellBreaker

 Jon Colgan is founder of, an NC IDEA grant recipient (2013) and 500 Startups alum (2015). Fun fact: To talk about CellBreaker, Jon was the last scheduled interviewee with Diane Sawyer before she retired as ABC World News nightly anchor in 2014. Funner fact: Jon hasn't brushed his hair since the 7th grade. As a lifelong entrepreneur and former UNC ethics debate captain, Jon's mission is simple: give consumers confidence to veto bills they don't owe.

Kevin Carr
Data Analyst @ IBM

Kevin is a Data Scientist at IBM who helps other IBMers understand their data and leverage that data to make process improvements, automate workflows, create dynamic dashboards, and make everybody’s jobs easier. He went to the University of South Carolina, which he lovingly calls the “Harvard of the South”, and double majored in Supply Chain and Finance with a minor in Chinese. In his free time he loves reading, playing basketball, and building websites and programming. He is excited to help teams at Startup Weekend build their businesses!

La-Tasha Best-Gaddy
Business Counselor @ Small Business & Tech Dvlpt Center (SBTDC)

La-Tasha Best-Gaddy is a Business Counselor at Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) at NC Central University.  She provides services to existing business owners in Durham and Person Counties.  Prior to SBTDC, she worked in various management positions at NC Institute of Minority Economic Development (The Institute).  She was the Executive Director of Public Allies North Carolina, a program of the Institute and AmeriCorps national service network.  Through her leadership at The Institute, the organization received state and national recognition and funding on entrepreneurship, student debt, housing, and credit.  As a result of her work, research and policy has changed in the areas of credit and student debt.

Lauren McCullough
Program Manager @ NC Idea

Lauren is Program Manager for NC IDEA, a private foundation providing grants and programs to NC’s entrepreneurial community. As PM, Lauren is a central point of contact for NC IDEA’s Seed Grants program and plays a major role managing data and relationships for all NC IDEA Programs. Prior to working with NC IDEA, Lauren was a team member at ArchiveSocial, a Durham-based startup and a former NC IDEA seed grant recipient. Prior to relocating to the Triangle, Lauren worked as the Client Service Coordinator for the Ohio University Innovation Center. Lauren received her B.A. and Master’s in Public Administration from Ohio University where she also served as Graduate Assistant for TechGROWTH Ohio.

Matt Barber
Investment Associate @ IDEA Fund Partners

Matt is an Associate with IDEA Fund Partners, one of the Southeast’s most active seed and early stage venture capital firms. Since joining the firm in 2011, Matt has supported the firm’s Managing Partners across investment, finance, and operations functions. He works to source, screen, and evaluate early stage investment opportunities and support portfolio companies. Matt received his B.S in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Matt Wheeler
Product Manager @ Citrix

Matt is an entrepreneur and CPA who worked in public accounting while teaching himself how to code. He built an enterprise collaboration and workflow startup that lead him to join Citrix as a product manager. Matt is passionate about design, process, and product quality. He believes in simplifying everything in life and is active in the startup and investment community helping entrepreneurs achieve their vision.

Patrice Walker
Director of Client Services @ NCCU

Patrice J Walker obtained a B.S. in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems at Shaw University. After graduating, she received a graduate assistance-ship and earned an MBA from Fayetteville State University. She has been in the tech since 2002 and consistently grown her roles, starting as as a technician and currently serve as the Director of Client Services at NCCU in the IT Services department.
In addition to being a collaborative leader, she taught capstone and project management courses and is also a mother of 1 son, a wife,  a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Shaw University National Alumni Assoc.

Rashad Morgan
Partner (Patent Attorney) @ Brinks, Gilson, & Lione

Rashad is Shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione, where his practice focuses on securing IP protection for his clients.  Morgan maintains a broad-based IP practice that includes client counseling, opinion work, due diligence review, and patent litigation, with a particular focus on patent prosecution both in the US and abroad.  Morgan has experience serving clients in numerous technology areas including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, chemistry, cardiovascular and interventional medical devices, refractory materials, semiconductors, crop protection, ocular medications/implants, sporting goods, and consumer products.  Morgan graduated magna cum laude from Florida A&M with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and he graduated cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review.

Raymahl Sutton
Founder @ Blinded HR

Raymahl Sutton has a BS in Polymer & Color Chemistry from NC State and founder of BlindedHR. BlindedHR is a platform that allows job applicants to apply to jobs anonymously, mitigating bias in hiring and helping companies hire more diverse talent. He lives in Raleigh, NC and has been involved in a few startups in the area. As a web developer, product manager and project manager, founding a startup was the next step in his career progression.  

Talib Graves-Manns
Co-Founder @ Point AB Consulting

Talib Graves-Manns is a serial entrepreneur. He is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and embodies a self-described “Blue-Blood Hustle.”  The entrepreneurial history of his family has fueled his passion to build innovative businesses.  Talib is not just focused on developing businesses for his own gain.  He helps to build profitable and scalable businesses that serve the needs of underrepresented students and entrepreneurs.  Through mentorship and outreach, he helps the community by sharing his business acumen and increasing access to capital for innovative start-ups and traditional businesses.   Talib is the Co-Founder of three businesses: Point ABLife on Autopilot, and Black Wall Street Homecoming. Across all three organizations, he is responsible for business strategy and growth.  He is an expert in problem solving and new product introduction. From 2015-2016, Talib served as a Google for Entrepreneurs/Code2040 EIR at American Underground. He know serves as Executive Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in Raleigh.

Teiji Kimball
Fab Lab Program Manager @ NCCU

Teiji Kimball has spent his life trying to make a positive difference in the lives of others. His career spanned over thirty-five years in technology beginning with the first personal computers; software and hardware development; network design and implementation; and consulting. As an IBM employee he helped design and develop seven patentable technologies in cable modems, network load balancing and routers. He led three research facilities in the development of event driven business intelligence systems for the Global Financial Services sector. He is currently working on new technology patents in Biometric Data Security and Personalization; and Artificial Wisdom, which is the next step beyond Artificial Intelligence and the utilization of “Big Data” in holistic artificial decision making.   He recently left a mobile technology company as the Chief Technology Officer to pursue his dream and passion of preparing people to engage and change their futures with a “Pay it Forward” attitude.   He founded the Education to Excellence Foundation (E2E), whose goal is to develop Middle and High School Students thinking at a graduate level, College Students thinking at a Corporate Executive Level and Vocational Students thinking like entrepreneurs.  

Wren Lanier
Sr. Interactive Designer

Wren is a designer with a passion for creating beautiful digital products. During her 12+ years of working on the web, she’s helped a diverse array of companies build delightful user experiences—from advising startups on UX best practices to pushing pixels for Fortune 500 companies. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband & daughter, where she leads design and UX at SignalPath. 

Zachary Greenberger
Strategic Sourcing Consultant @ IBM

Zach is a Strategic Sourcing Consultant at IBM consulting on Supply Chain and Procurement initiatives to IBM clients. Over the past year, Zach has filed 55+ patent applications in various emerging tech fields with IBM which relate to Commerce, Integrated Supply Chain, Mobile and UI. In addition to his role he serves a a board member of the User Interface Patent Board @ IBM. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Nate
  • LaShon
  • Phillipe
  • Tony
  • Zachary


Roger Osorio
Entrepreneurship Program Leader @ IBM

Entrepreneurship program leader at IBM by day, math coach by night, and Startup Weekend global facilitator by weekend.  I deliver a powerful cocktail made up of education, psychology, neuroscience, leadership, and entrepreneurship.  I facilitate events to maximize the experience and learning for all participants.

Frank Pollock
President, The Pioneer Group

Frank is the President of The Pioneer Group, a consultancy that provides Marketing, Business Strategy and Innovation expertise to clients in several industries. The firm's prior clients include Thinking Maps, SportTracks, NXT Health, Lift23 and The Boston Center for the Arts.

He has a broad experience base that includes several roles in the consumer packaged goods industry, in higher education and in high growth technology ventures. Before forming The Pioneer Group he worked on sales and marketing strategy for Frito-Lay, marketing initiatives for Betty Crocker baking and called on Target’s headquarters for Colgate-Palmolive. In 2008 he was appointed Director of the MBA program at NCCU and, after leaving higher education, co-founded 2 startups.

In his spare time he is an avid college basketball fan and a passionate fitness enthusiast. Frank holds an MBA from the McCombs School of Business and a BS from UNC-CH.

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