Triangle Startup Weekend - Women

    Friday, October 10 - 12, 2014

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

Friday, October 10 - 12, 2014

Friday, October 10 - 12, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

HQ Raleigh
310 S. Harrington Street
Raleigh, NC 27603

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Passionate Educators, Students, Entrepreneurs, Developers, and Designers on a Mission to Level the Playing Field in the Startup Environment

Upcoming Events: You Don't Want To Miss!!

  • Code Bootcamp with Google Developer Luke Dary: Monday, October 6th, Google Hangout

  • Kids can innovate too!!! Participants receive free passes to Marbles Kids Museum for your kids and the adult watching them during the TSW weekend! Your kids will have a great time and you don't have to worry about their schedule Saturday and Sunday.  Sign up here for the tickets (select the "Marbles Kids Museum" passes of your choice).

About The Weekend

Did you know that only 7% of startup executives are female? And did you know that most Startup Weekends attract only 20% female attendance? We’re seeking to change that with the first-ever Triangle Startup Weekend: Women!

TSW: Women is a 54-hour experience where participants (female and male!) pitch ideas, collaborate with others who have complementary skill sets, get coaching and produce startups that help even the playing field in entrepreneurship.
We’ve seen the events work in other cities, and it’s time to bring one here. 

Entrepreneurship is all about innovation and the more diversity we can bring to the table the more we will be able to drive innovation in the Triangle.  Through collaboration, entrepreneurial thinking, and community building, we can make the startup ecosystem more accessible to everyone. Come be a part of the drive towards more collaboration and leveling the playing field.

What Do Tickets Include?

Tickets include the opportunity to try your hand at taking an idea and tranforming it into a produce or service in 54 hours! In addition, you get great mentorship and coaching from entrepreneurs and experts in the area. Tickets include dinner Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday, coffee and snacks. The food is from delicious area chefs and entrepreneurs! Tickets also include free passes to Marbles Kids Museum!

Zero Waste
We are proud to be hosting a zero waste event. We will use compostable products for all meals. Do your part and bring your own coffee mug and water bottles!

Getting to the Event

Street parking after 5pm Friday is free but below are other parking options in the area and bus stops near HQ Raleigh. Remember ,the R Line is free!

Bus Stops near HQ:
CAT service:
13 and r-line – Davie @ Harrington St
21 – W Cabarrus St @ Helen Wright Ctr
7, 11, 19, 21 – McDowell St @ Davie St
Triangle Transit:
301, 303, 305 – Dawson St @ Cabarrus St

Related Events

Setup for Success Before/After Startup Weekend


Friday October 10th

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 & Keynote Speaker
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders. Laura Fenn will be our Keynote speaker. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director at The Walking Classroom Institute.

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 11:00pm.

Saturday October 11th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Enjoy lunch together,check-in, status reports, call for help

1:00 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

11:00 pm
Finished for the day.

Sunday October 12th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:30 am
Coach Meetings
Pitch Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

12:00 pm

1:30 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
Sunday Kickoff/Final Presentations

3:10 pm
Kidznotes Performance
Girls from Kidznotes will perform before the presentations. Kidznotes is a program based on the El Sistema model of youth orchestras, which started in Venezuela and has now spread worldwide. They provide 10 hours of music instruction a week free of charge to all participants, who are currently in grades k-7th.

5:00 pm
Tatiana Birgisson Speaks
Tatiana is the founder and CEO of Mati Inc. She has an interesting entrepreneurial story to tell!

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

6:30 pm
Happy Hour and Wrap Up

8:00 pm
Go Home!


Tatiana Birgisson
Founder & CEO at Mati Inc.

Tatiana Birgisson is the founder and CEO of Mati Energy, the first no-compromise energy drink. She began brewing small batches of tea in her dorm room pasta pot at Duke University. She soon realized other students needed a healthy energy drink and bought an 8 gallon kettle. Fast forward 2 years and she's now brewing 600+ gallon batches in a brewery. Tatiana majored in economics and received a certificate in markets & management. Most recently she completed the Bull City Forward fellowship and was invited to join Soar Triangle, a Google for Entrepreneurs sponsored program for women entrepreneurs in the Triangle. Mati can be found across the southeast at Whole Foods, offices, gyms, and cafes. Learn more at

Laura Fenn
Founder and Executive Director at The Walking Classroom Institute

Laura Fenn, Executive Director/Creator, earned an MS Ed. from Hunter College in New York City and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University.  She is a former 5th grade teacher with over 15 years of classroom experience.  Prior to teaching, she worked as a U.S. equities institutional sales trader and a sales representative. Laura developed The Walking Classroom with her former 5th grade students as a way to add exercise into their school day without sacrificing instructional time.   The Walking Classroom is in 45 states and has thousands and thousands of kids using the program.

Event Judges

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.  

Brooks Bell
Founder and CEO at Brooks Bell

Brooks Bell is the founder and CEO of Brooks Bell Inc., the premier firm focused exclusively on enterprise-level testing, personalization, and optimization services. She launched the company in 2003 by combining her study of psychology with a passion for digital design. In doing so, Brooks became a pioneer in bringing the scientific disciplines of A/B testing and optimization to the traditionally subjective field of marketing. A passionate entrepreneur, Brooks co-founded HQ Raleigh and ThinkHouse Raleigh— two communities that help empower, foster, and cultivate companies that produce long-term job growth and positive social impact.

Malaika Mose
Product Manager, Enterprise Technologist, Digital Strategist

Malaika Paquiot-Mose is a Senior Product Manager of Information Integration at IBM. She has over 11 years experience in data management, starting off as a developer, then moving to management.  Her functional experience includes product management and LEAN product development. She has domain expertise in information integration, data warehousing, Big Data, enterprise database, middleware, SOA, media and entertainment specifically online video and new media. She has been known to participate in the occasional hackathon and her favourite baked goods include Britts donuts, in case you were wondering.

Coaches and Mentors

Blake Callens
CEO PencilBlue

Blake Callens is co-founder and CEO of online publishing startup, PencilBlue. He's also co-founder of the Raleigh Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab (REAL), a non-profit startup accelerator with the mission of bringing entrepreneurism to underserved demographics. Blake is a Webby and DEMOgod award winner and has developed websites and engagements for multiple internationally recognized brands.

John Austin
Director @ Groundwork Labs

John is the Director of Groundwork Labs, an NC IDEA supported program to help selected entrepreneurs test their idea and get expert guidance to reach their next goal.  Prior to Groundwork, John headed up Joystick Labs, an accelerator for video game studios, was CEO of Numerical Design Ltd., a software company acquired by Emergent Game Technologies, and COO of Division, Inc., a virtual reality startup that was acquired by HP.

Dragana Mendel
Management Consultant for Early Stage Technology Companies

Dragana Mendel, a management consultant and a founder of ANAGARD, LLC, works with startups to develop their technology commercialization pathway, and with small business owners to develop their growth strategy.
She has over eighteen years of experience in launching new high-tech products to the market with a specialization in software, IT, clean tech and telecom sectors. She works with executive management to identify the best market segment for a startup to enter the market, grow, or pivot, and then she develops a comprehensive business plan and strategy.Prior to founding ANAGARD, LLC, Dragana has been in charge of corporate and business development for a number of emerging growth high tech startups (renewable fuels, renewable chemicals, LED lighting, digital signal processing, small wind turbines).Previously, she has been working for 15 years as a product manager and software engineer for IBM and Alcatel-Lucent. She honed her new product development skills with these multinational corporations where she was instrumental in successfully launching dozen of new software, IT and telecom solutions to the market.

Rebecca Horton
CoFounder and CEO of Trestles

Rebecca Horton is the CEO of Trestles, a design management firm with a focus on innovation in non-digital environments. At Trestles she has created a unique model for delivering design thinking work that incorporates change management and innovation capacity building to turn great ideas into profitable outcomes. In the past year, Rebecca has led a year-long experience design program with ThinkHouse (a Raleigh-based business incubator), design thinking workshops on topics such as "the future workplace" with clients like Red Hat, and customer journey mapping initiatives at organizations like MIT Sloan School of Management.

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.

Carol Vercellino
CEO and Co-founder at Oak City Labs

Carol Vercellino is co-founder and CEO of Oak City Labs, a custom software development company focused on helping entrepreneurs and companies take ideas from conception to reality. Oak City Labs provides a full range of software and systems development services, including Android, iOS, Node.js, Python and Amazon Web Services. Carol was previously Director of Engineering at Stepleader Digital, a mobile application platform for publishers and has spent over ten years building technology and teams at local software companies.

Tati Brezina
Senior Innovation Strategist at D2D Fund

Tati is a Senior Innovation Strategist at D2D Fund, a Boston-based organization that designs, tests, and scales new financial products for low- to moderate-income consumers. At D2D, Tati runs the FinCapDev Competition, which provides financial and technical support to entrepreneurs who are building financial mobile apps for underserved Americans. Tati's other projects at D2D have involved finding new ways to help Americans save at tax time, through crowdfunding platforms, and in U.S. savings bonds.
Before working at D2D, Tati worked on asset-building at a community development corporation in Boston. Prior to that, she ran a kayaking summer camp in North Carolina.  In her free time Tati loves to eat, travel, and spend time outside.

Cheryl Mills
Former Head of Entrepreneurial Development at the US Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C.

Cheryl has recently relocated to Raleigh and brings a strong background in assisting entrepreneurs and small business.  Cheryl is the former head of Entrepreneurial Development at the US Small   Business Administration in Washington, D.C.  Under her programs   there were 14,000 consultants nationally assisting 1.6 million   entrepreneurs.  Cheryl oversaw a $120m budget at the SBA and grew her programs during budget cuts by expanding online services.  She led a team to also develop a system that would capture jobs created and economic data. Cheryl worked on Wall Street in Business Development and has served on private, public, and start up boards. She served as a Trustee on New Jersey’s $81 billion Pension Fund for 10   years. Cheryl is delighted to be in Raleigh where there is so much support for entrepreneurs and small business.  

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Triangle Startup Weekend - Women 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

CT, a Wolters Kluwer business, is a leading provider of legal and compliance services for businesses of all sizes. In addition to over 75% of the Fortune 1000, more than 300,000 small businesses rely on CT’s expertise for everything from business formations and business licensing to ongoing compliance responsibilities.

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Organizing Team

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

  • Archana
  • Magdalyn
  • Amy
  • Allyson
  • Liz
  • Erin
  • Sheryl
  • meredith
  • Ellie
  • Lizzy
  • Kathy
  • Sarah
  • Heather
  • Jennifer
  • Witold
  • Arik
  • Frank


Melissa Kennedy

Event Blog

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