Triangle Startup Weekend Social Impact

    Friday, February 5 - 7, 2016

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

Friday, February 5 - 7, 2016

Friday, February 5 - 7, 2016
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Frontier at RTP
800 Park Offices Dr
Research Triangle Park, NC 27609

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This Startup Weekend is about #socialimpact and innovation. Catalyze change with action!

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Triangle Startup Weekend-Social Impact is for social entrepreneurs that want to change the world with next business or nonprofit.

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.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday February 5th

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 February 6th

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 February 7th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

10:30 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

12:00 pm

1:00 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

4:30 pm
Judging & Awards

5:30 pm

6:00 pm
After Party
Join us for an after party at Bull City Burger and Brewery


Kevin Trapani
President & CEO

Kevin A. Trapani has been President and CEO of The Redwoods Group since its inception in 1997. Prior to the formation of The Redwoods Group, Kevin was Executive Vice President of Burlington Insurance Group; Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer of Coregis Insurance Group; held senior leadership positions at Great American Insurance Companies and the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies; and started the first statewide HMO in New Jersey. A 1979 Duke University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Kevin is a regular speaker at Duke University’s Hart Center for Ethical Leadership. Kevin has been named one of the 50 most influential leaders in the state of North Carolina for his deep involvement in multiple philanthropic interests and his leadership of what is broadly recognized as one of the most innovative socially conscious for profit companies in the nation.

Event Judges

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.

Steve Monti
Managing Director

Steve is an active angel impact investor and Managing Director of Solidarity Capital Group, an impact investment firm that finances economically sustainable social enterprises.His background includes a 20 year IBM management career including key roles launching, leading, or accelerating four internal startup ventures.  He has global experience in two dozen countries, is an alumnus of the Venture Capital Institute and of Stanford University and Duke University, and a member of the Investors’ Circle national impact investors’ network.He is a founding member of the Investors’ Circle NC local network; board chair for the Duke Catholic Center;  board observer for an early stage venture;  and serves the real estate committee of Passage Home, Inc.  Steve is married with two daughters and one son, and lives and works in the Research Triangle region of NC.

Kelly Phoenix
Executive Director

Kelly is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Economics and Dramatic Arts. Kelly joined Nourish from Urban Ministries of Wake County where she served as the Manager of Development and Communications for nearly two years. While at Urban Ministries, Kelly worked to fight local poverty to raise awareness and funds through major campaigns for over 24,000 people in need each year. Kelly holds board positions with Passage Home and the UNC Young Alumni Leadership Council. Kelly was recently recognized as one of the Top 40 Leaders under 40 Years Old by the Triangle Business Journal. Kelly is a community volunteer with Band Together, Dress for Success Triangle and many other non-profit organizations. Kelly has traveled to Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. She currently resides in Durham, North Carolina and enjoys theater, live comedy, music, reading, and travel.  

Liz Tracy
Community Director at HQ Raleigh

Liz brings international experience in community development and public outreach to her role as Community Manager. She ran a nationally-recognized jewelry business and arts-based learning camps for kids. Liz manages HQ Raleigh membership services, programming, and anything else that gets thrown her way!

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Lizzy Hazeltine
Program Director, Minor in Entrepreneurship

Higher education and multi-media transplant to early-stage investing. Introduced an entrepreneurial mindset to UNC Chapel Hill undergraduates in the liberal arts and sciences. Managed experiential education, outreach, and operations for the Minor in Entrepreneurship. Supported student-led ventures at UNC Chapel Hill with seed grants and connections. Produced MOOC on entrepreneurial thinking. Piloted the Innovation Scholars Program at Carolina. Co-founder and MC of Waltz Night. Assistant Director of the ReCYCLEry. Morehead-Cain Alumna. The Startup Factory’s first Venture Associate.

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.

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.

Richard Bobholz
Senior Managing Attorney

Focusing on the individualized needs of his clients, Richard provides peace of mind to small business owners by ensuring that they're protected from unforeseen liabilities while still producing legal products that are easy to read and comfortable to work with. A strong advocate for plain English contracts and easy-to-use services, he is a great choice for business owners when looking for a legal partner to help them protect and grow their businesses. Richard continues to find ways to help low-income individuals, nonprofit corporations, and those with disabilities where he can, and he continues to do this work pro bono.

Outside the legal realm, Richard enjoys running, programming websites and applications, exploring the Triangle Area in North Carolina and spending time with his friends and family. Richard focuses his time and energy helping those in the small business world through his skills as general outside counsel.

Maria Kingery
Co-Founder and CEO

Maria is an entrepreneur who is passionate about seeking solutions to big challenges. She is co-founder and CEO of Southern Energy Management and ecoSelect Certifications, and employs more than sixty energy efficiency and renewable technologies professionals who share her passion for transforming the way people make and use energy.In her spare time, she works with several non-profit organizations that are supporting the evolution of the green economy in NC. She serves as President of the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, President-elect of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization, and board member for the NC Sustainable Energy Association.A graduate of NC State University, Maria lives in Raleigh with her husband and business partner, Bob, and their 13-year-old son, Zach, who never misses an episode of Freakonomics and wants to be a gaming economist when he grows up.

Lauren Hanford

Lauren Hanford is Head of Design at VIF International Education, working across teams in marketing, product and strategy. She honed her design skills and passion for work worth doing while leading non-profits' design efforts, in-house art directing at public universities, and doing front-end development work in the e-learning software industry. Lauren has a BGD in Graphic Design and a B.Sc. in Computer Science. When not designing, she can be found traveling, hiking in the woods or at many, many concerts.

Sean Maroni
Founder, CEO

Sean is a mechanical engineer and systems thinker passionate about learning-by-doing. He founded Betabox.

Betabox helps your organization unlock creativity. We offer on-demand, guided prototyping experiences where your team members will collaborate to solve problems together and innovate on new products, ideas, and systems in a hands-on way. The outcome is a greater collective efficacy, or the shared belief that you can solve the challenges you are faced with.Betabox labs are specifically designed for community building events – Whether festivals, conferences, schools, or corporate innovation, Betabox provides the on-demand, customized lab necessary to spark creative insights and innovation anywhere.

Kyle Cyree
Startup Strategist & Independent Consultant

I've spent most of my career in startups, leading both people and innovation. My main expertise is in resource allocation and strategic decision-making, and I've focused the last year on consulting small and midsize businesses on marketing strategy, client service, and growth management. My passion is working with new business ventures, the entrepreneurs who begin them, and the employees who help keep them afloat.

Ramon Llamas

Ramon P. Llamas, MPH, CHES Ramon currently serves as founder and writer for his blog and consulting practice, Switch/Health.  His mission is to change how society currently views health, with a particular interest in empowering individuals to be proactive about their health.  He strongly believes that, as a country, we cannot continue to depend on the providers of health care to fix our problems.  Therefore, he envisions health care as a collaboration between patient and provider to maintain, rather than repair, an individual's health and wellness.  As public health professionals, our promotional efforts must focus on a holistic level of health and well-being that prioritizes health as a resource for living.   Ramon received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine and received his Master of Public Health degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.  He has almost 10 years of experience working in a variety of settings including the non-profit, academic and federal government.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Triangle Startup Weekend Social Impact 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

  • Adam
  • Anuja
  • Christina
  • Travis
  • Yasmeen
  • Alexis
  • Carter
  • Jason


Michael Norton
Entrepreneur In Residence

Michael has led over 60 Techstars Startup Weekend events throughout the US, Canada, and Australia. He teaches workshops, designs programs, and speaks on a variety of topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Michael has worked professionally in marketing technology startups, with big data, non-profit fundraising, customer support systems design, technical project management, educational program development, event production and decor, iOS app design, video games, user testing, prototyping, and in the coffee industry.

His own past and present business ventures include several SaaS web app platforms, photography, woodworking, printing, audio engineering, video production, musical composition/recording/performance, publishing, art curation, operating an Amazon Pro Merchant storefront, and a funnel cake stand.

Michael guides innovative communities to build and nurture regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He guides corporations through internal innovation and intrapreneurship. 

He frequently works as a freelance business development consultant, crowdfunding guru, technical project manager, and as a marketer — focused on branding, messaging, storytelling, social media, and email marketing.

Michael loves hiking in Yosemite, bicycling around San Diego, eating authentic Baja California Mexican food, and drinking amazing coffee in Seattle.

Jen Riedel
Program Manager, Techstars Boston

Jen is the Program Manager for the Techstars Boston accelerator. Previously, a Regional Manager at Techstars, overseeing and supporting community leaders as they bring Startup Weekend, Week, and Digest to cities across the Eastern U.S. and Canada. 

Prior to Techstars, Jen was the Director of Operations for Trestles, a service design consulting firm. She was integral to the acquisition process of Unified Imaging, a four-person health tech startup, where she served as Director of Operations. She has been at the forefront of building communities for the last 5 years including Global Shapers, Global Service Jam, LWD-Raleigh, Baller Dinner, Starting Bloc, Hive GLP, Creative Mornings RDU, and more. Jen is from North Carolina, and attended her first Startup Weekend at UNC in 2013. She has an appetite for creating experiences worth having, contributing positively to the circular economy, giving back to the communities that have given so much to her, singing, and has the goal to visit 30 countries before turning 30! 

Event Staff

Sarah Miller

Nancy Hawk

Kathryn Seavey

Jeffrey Luber

Kate Vanvorst

Mimi Shankin

Preston Smith

Cathy Dobbins

Jamie McGurk

Kamona Herring

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