Triangle Startup Weekend EDU

    Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015

  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 EDU

Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, February 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Hunt Library @ NCSU's Centennial Campus
1070 Partners Way
Raleigh, NC 27606

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Triangle Startup Weekend Education

Have you ever had an idea for improving education? Here's your opportunity to  transform your education ideas into action in 54 hours. Find the right people with complimentary skills & the passion & dedication to build a startup quick & smart. Test your idea with real potential customers, receive coaching from experienced education entrepreneurs & industry professionals, and win prizes that will help you take your startup idea to the next level of execution!

We're looking for passionate educators, parents, students, entrepreneurs, developers, and designers who want to make to make a difference in education now. Come learn the basics of founding & launching a successful education startup while solving real problems in education.

Design sprints with Betabox
BetaBox will be on site Saturday, February 21st to help teams launch their ideas and get started with the design process. Throughout the day, Betaversity Facilitators will help teams go through the process of empathy, customer research, ideation, prototyping, testing, and iteration, to develop a high quality idea, presentation, and pitch for the Demo event the next day. BetaBox will also give attendees the technology they need to prototype their ideas using 3D printers, laser cutters, 3D scanners, the Adobe Suite, and more.


Friday February 20th

5:30 pm
Registration and check-in begins at 5:30 PM. We'll see you at Hunt Library. (Parking is free after 5 PM). Dont forget to grab a Name tag and T-Shirt.

5:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Enjoy pizza and salad from Brain Food Sponsor Donatos Pizza, enjoy drinks from Party Sponsors Brothers Vilgalys and Lone Rider Brewing, share ideas, practice 60-second idea pitches, get to know fellow participants.

6:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Why we're all participating, and what Startup Weekend is all about. Review the full weekend agenda. Thank volunteers, coaches, judges, organizers, sponsors. Introduce opening speaker: Pete Rau, CTO of ThinkingMaps.

6:45 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Vote for top 10 ideas
Attendees will use design-thinking processes to determine the top 10 most viable (and exciting!) ideas.

8:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas, determining their roles, and planning their weekend.

9:00 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

10:45 pm
Building Closes—Everyone OUT!
Drive home safely! We'll see you for breakfast in the morning!

Saturday February 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:00 am
AM Coaching (9 AM - 12 PM)
Coaches help teams one-on-one. Sign up at Coaches Corner! They are here to help!

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

12:00 pm
Catered by Durham Catering Company.

12:00 pm
PM Coaching (12 PM - 6 PM)
Coaches help teams one-on-one. Sign up at Coaches Corner! They are here to help!

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

3:00 pm
Snack Break!
Enjoy delicious snacks and check in with other teams. Or, sneak away with a coach to get help on a specific obstacle.

6:00 pm
Catering will be provided by Dumphokingtruck. Mmmm, delicious. If you see owner,Sophia Woo, make sure you give her phoking thumbs up!

6:05 pm
Evening Coaching (6 PM - 9 PM)
Coaches help teams one-on-one. Sign up at Coaches Corner! They are here to help!

6:30 pm
Team Check-In: Needs?
After-dinner check-in, teams give status reports, ask for help where needed.

10:30 pm
Wrap-Up Your Work!
Finished for the day. Venue closes at 10:45.

Sunday February 22nd

9:30 am
Arrive, meet your team, and grab breakfast. Kick off the day!

10:00 am
Team Check-In
This is your final opportunity to ask questions and get help!

10:05 am
Sunday AM Coaching (10 AM - 2 PM)
Coaches help teams one-on-one. Sign up at Coaches Corner! They are here to help!

12:00 pm
Moe's Southwest Grill be providing a delicious Taco Bar.

2:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:00 pm
Final Presentations Begin
It's DEMO DAY! Hear a welcome from Raleigh City Councilor Bonner Gaylord, meet our TSW:edu judging panel, and demo your MVP!

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards
Who's the "People's Choice?" Who wins top honors from the judges? Top 3 teams will be entered into a pool for selection into the Codeworthy accelerator program.

6:00 pm
Join us to share appetizers, refreshments and battle stories from the weekend at Sammy's Tap and Grill. It is located down the road at Mission Valley Shopping Center, 2235 Avent Ferry Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606


Bonner Gaylord

Bonner Gaylord oversees day-to-day operations at North Hills and directs members of Kane’s property management team on marketing, events, sponsorships, public safety, custodial, maintenance, and tenant relationships. He is also involved in the planning of North Hills’ expansion, which when complete will make the project one of the country’s largest mixed-use developments. He is a NC licensed general contractor, a NC licensed real estate broker, a LEED accredited professional through the US Green Building Council, and a Friday Fellow through the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations. Bonner was elected as a Raleigh City Councilor in 2009, was reelected without opposition in 2011 and 2013, and is currently serving as the inaugural chair of the Technology and Communications Committee, Comprehensive Planning Committee member, and as council liaison to six local boards and commissions.

Pete Rau
Director of Technology

Pete Rau is the director of technology at Thinking Maps, a company that provides educational materials for learning communities. Rau is also a co-founder and former president of BrainFlips, Inc., an educational software company. 

Event Judges

Keith Sawyer
Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations

Dr. Keith Sawyer is the Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is one of the world’s leading scientific experts on creativity, collaboration, and learning. After receiving his computer science degree from MIT in 1982, Dr. Sawyer began his career with a two-year stint designing videogames for Atari. He then worked for 6 years as a management consultant in Boston and New York, advising large corporations on the strategic use of information technology. His fourteen books include Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration (2007) and Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity (2013).

Holly Fulp

Holly Fulp is a Director in William Blair’s San Francisco office and Technology Group with expertise across education technology and services. She has transaction experience advising clients on sell and buy-side mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, debt financing, fairness opinions, and private placements. Holly previously served as a Vice President in the Global Services Group at Credit Suisse Securities LLC, as a strategy and corporate development Executive Director at Kaplan, and as a management consultant for Fortune 500 clients.

Alisa Herr
Chief Technical Officer

Alisa Herr is the Chief Technical Officer of EducationNC. As a programmer she loves the magic of weaving together websites with nothing but a string of characters. She has been coding since 1996 and pushing WordPress beyond its limits since 2009. Alisa is a judge for the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, and she regularly speaks at WordPress conferences across the state. She is committed to increasing diversity in our technical world.

Elaine Franklin
Director, Kenan Fellows Program – Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology, and Science; North Carolina State University

Dr. Elaine Franklin directs NC State University’s Kenan Fellows Program. This statewide program provides relevant professional learning and leadership development for exceptional K-12 teachers through innovative partnerships with industry, higher education, and government. In this role, Dr. Franklin guides the long-term vision and strategic planning for program effectiveness and sustainability. She is a career educator with years of experience as a teacher, researcher, and educational leader. Prior to joining the Kenan Fellows Program, she served as Executive Director of the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching. She is also the former Director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMSE) at Western Carolina University, and Director of Education at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, a non-profit research and education facility in Southwest Colorado. Dr. Franklin has dedicated her career to developing and empowering effective teachers and has worked with teachers from across the United States, all disciplines and grade levels. She has served as principal investigator co-principal investigator, or collaborator on a number of federal and state grants including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. She is a former president of the North Carolina Science Leadership Association. Dr. Franklin earned a Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Coaches and Mentors

Brendan Andrade
Project Manager

Brendan Andrade spent the last year running his own STEM education business teaching middle school students about electronics, software engineering, and design. He currently is a member of the Sageworks Innovation Lab working on the next generation of business solutions. He is looking forward to helping teams with gathering customer feedback, business model generation, pitch design, and any question about the education space. He also has a mechanical, electrical, and robotics engineering background and can assist teams working on physical products.

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.

Mital Patel
Startup Attorney

Mital’s practice focuses on technology and corporate transactions, including venture capital financings, mergers & acquisitions, intellectual property protection and licensing, and general corporate matters. He has experience in a broad range of industries, including software and e-commerce, hospitality, media, education, professional services, food and beverage, and real estate.

Mital received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science, cum laude, from North Carolina State University. He earned his law degree from Elon University School of Law as a member of its charter class.

Prior to attending law school Mital was the first employee at a tech startup on NC State University’s Centennial Campus.

Lucas Blair
Educational Game Designer

Lucas Blair is the founder of Little Bird Games, a serious game development company, that specializes in educational and therapeutic games. He received a M.S. in Instructional Technology from Bloomsburg University and a PhD in Modeling and Simulation from the University of Central Florida. His doctoral research explored the use of video game achievements to enhance player performance, self-efficacy, and motivation. He is looking forward to helping teams make learning fun.

Morgan Camu
Education Consultant

Morgan Camu is an education consultant working with organizations and teams across the county in a variety of capacities from implementing personalized learning to strategic planning. She recently graduated from the Doctorate in Education Leadership (Ed.L.D) program at Harvard University where she developed and launched a digital badging platform that was anchored in mastery-based progression and learner choice. Prior to that she served as the Director of Strategic Planning for Knox County Schools and worked on human capital strategy for D.C. Public Schools. She started her career as a high school science teacher in Franklin County, NC.

She is looking forward to helping teams with leveraging design-thinking to develop a testable prototype, providing support on business model development, (enthusiastically!) listening to pitches and providing feedback, and providing any helpful context about the education sector at large.  

Greg Garner
Instructional Lead Facilitator

Greg is a change catalyst. Always improving and taking people with him, he defines success as empowering others to be successful themselves. He puts power and control into the hands of others, allowing them to experience self-guided learning processes under his facilitation. He currently serves the teachers and students of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools as an Instructional Technology Facilitator.

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.

Brian Marks
CTO / Co-Founder

Brian is CTO and co-founder of Trinket, a tool that allows teachers and students to write and share code in any web browser, and former CTO of WebAssign, a Raleigh-based online homework service used primarily in STEM disciplines at the University and High School levels. He has been in the EdTech space for over 15 years, with experience building scalable SaaS applications for students and teachers using agile methodologies and is familiar with integrating solutions into existing tools such as Course Management Systems. Brian is passionate about using technology to help students learn more effectively. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from NC State University.

Frank McKay
Education Innovation Specialist

Frank McKay serves as an Education Innovation Specialist and Director for School Services at North Carolina New Schools. He looks forward to helping teams develop innovations that help learners reach beyond classroom walls to better engage with their community and experts across the globe to make learning relevant and real. 

Joshua 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.

Jason Ramsden
CTO @ Ravenscroft

Beginning a career in independent schools in 1991, Jason brings 24 years of experience to his role as Chief Technology Officer for Ravenscroft School. For the last 18 years he has dedicated his career to improving technology in independent schools both on the instructional and infrastructure levels. A co-author of "Communicating and Connecting with Social Media" from Solution Tree, Mr. Ramsden is presently a member of NAIS' 21st Century Curriculum/Technology Task Force and founder of, a personal news aggregator for educators.

Jason holds a Master of Science in Education, Administration and Supervision from Fordham University and a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland.

Janice Smith
Teacher, Instructional Coach and Founder

Janice Smith is a former educator, instructional coach and now Founder and CEO of Mission 100%. She is looking forward to helping teams with thinking about the largest problems in education and developing potential solutions to help teachers, schools, students and parents address them.  

Jessica Mitsch
Campus Director at The Iron Yard

Jessica Mitsch is the Campus Director at The Iron Yard powered by Smashing Boxes in Durham. The Iron Yard is the largest coding school in the country, with a mission is to train high-quality developers and tech startups. The boot-camp program trains adult learners to be ready for software development jobs through a 12-week intensive program. Jessica is involved in all aspects of The Iron Yard’s local business, part of which is a focus on supporting job placement for graduates with Triangle companies. She started her own career on the “people team” at Red Hat, Inc. after graduating from the College of Charleston with BA in Religious Studies. She has a unique perspective on higher education having applied a liberal arts degree into a career in the tech industry. She is still very involved with the College of Charleston as she serves as President of the local alumni chapter. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Triangle Startup Weekend EDU 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.

Host Sponsor


Teacher Leadership Sponsor

Brain Food Sponsorship

Community Sponsorship

Organizing Team

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

  • Jason
  • Archana
  • Allyson
  • Mital
  • Jason
  • Datt
  • Yasmeen
  • Karl
  • Greg
  • Aaron
  • Christina


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