Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa

    Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018


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

Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018



Friday, February 23 - 25, 2018
Event starts at 6:00 pm

The University of Alabama - South Engineering Research Center

Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 6 full (and delicious) meals & refreshments over the course of the weekend. 
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners.
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors.
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “tuscaloosa@startupweekend.org”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!


See what it's all about

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EVENT SCHEDULE

Friday February 23rd


6:00 pm
Registration
Arrive at the venue and get checked in


6:30 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
Voting
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 24th


9:00 am
Breakfast
Arrive, enjoy coffee and breakfast provided by Uperk.


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


11:30 am
Lunch & Learn
Grab lunch & head to SERC 1013 to listen to a talk from our Startup Weekend coaches Josh Sahib and Wes Eldridge.


12:00 pm
USPTO Information Session
Info Session with Megan Hoyt and Peter Choi from the US Patent and Trademark Office


12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!


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


6:30 pm
Dinner
Taco Mama's will be served!


7:30 pm
Check-In
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help


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

Sunday February 25th


9:00 am
Breakfast
Arrive, enjoy breakfast provided by Monarch Expresso, & coffee.


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


11:15 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS


1:00 pm
Lunch
Fuel up for your presentations with some Domino's Pizza!


3:00 pm
Mid Afternoon Food Snacks
Snack Fuel to Get You Ready for Those Presentations


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


5:00 pm
Final Presentations


7:30 pm
The Finale: Judging, Awards, & Wrap Up.


8:30 pm
Startup Weekend After Party (Optional)
Hosted by Insight Owl. Location Address: 902 Hackberry Lane, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401



Speakers


Steven Puckett
Speaker and Coach

As managing director of The Prosperity Fund at the Southern Research Institute, Steven Puckett is responsible for advancing the fund’s strategic objectives of assisting business growth, stimulating start-up activity, and spurring job creation in Walker, Fayette, Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties. Since joining Southern Research, Steven has worked to establish ties with existing businesses, colleges and universities, economic development groups, potential investors, and community leaders throughout the region to harness available resources that can benefit the initiative’s participants.   Steven has over 22 years of experience in bringing technology to the marketplace including development and implementation of creative solutions for utility companies, telecommunications firms, and technology startups. He has also deployed cloud-based solutions and provided cloud consulting for a multitude of companies in China. As an entrepreneur, Steven has launched several companies, including Network Convergence Associates, American IP, Aspira Networks, Digital Answers, and SIM Electronics.     Steven holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Auburn University and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Executive Information Engineering Management Program. He holds three patents through AT&T Labs and two additional patents with SIM Electronics.

Event Judges


Bobby Bragg

Bobby Bragg serves as the Director of Practice Growth for JamisonMoneyFarmer where he is responsible for planning, strategy and new business development for the firm. He has extensive start-up and entrepreneurial experience in three technology-driven companies and has held various ownership and executive management positions in marketing, business development, financial and accounting management, and operations. Bobby began his career in public accounting as a manager in Arthur Andersen’s Assurance and Business Advisory Practice.  In that capacity, he participated in the planning and coordination of three successful initial public offerings (IPOs).   Bobby is an Alabama and Texas CPA, holds a BBA and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, is an active member of the Birmingham Venture Club and Central Alabama Angel Network, is an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, is a Strategic Advisor to The Edge, and is West Alabama Chamber of Commerce’s Vice Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 


Tom Scroggins

Tom Scroggins practices in the areas of labor and employment with a focus on representing employers in employee litigation, labor relation issues, and policy design including local, regional, national and international businesses of all sizes from a few employees to thousands. He also represents software publishers in all phases of their business including commercial licensing, end-user licensing, and development issues. Tom assists businesses in establishing and protecting their brand identities by registering and defending trademarks, and has successfully registered dozens of trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Upon graduating from LSU, Tom attended law school at The University of Alabama, and began clerking for a local business firm. He joined Rosen Harwood in July, 2014. Tom is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Georgia; U.S. Court of Appeal, Eleventh Circuit; U.S. District Court, Northern District, Middle District, and Southern District of Alabama.


Brooke Nixon
Judge

Brooke Nixon practices in the areas of labor and employment law and general business law. With her focus on these areas, Ms. Nixon provides counsel to a wide array of companies and clients to develop preventive measures to minimize risks and avoid the expense of litigation. Ms. Nixon has represented clients in discrimination and harassment litigation, contract disputes, and retaliatory discharge claims. She also works with clients to form new businesses and helps them deal with a variety of workplace issues. Additionally, she provides management and employee training on numerous topics including anti-discrimination and harassment policies, effective discipline, FMLA, employee investigations, FLSA, and retaliation. Ms. Nixon received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Alabama and her Juris Doctorate, summa cum laude from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. She is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Florida.


Gina Simpson
Judge

Gina Simpson is a native of Alabama and a multiple graduate of The University of Alabama. She has spent her career as a serial entrepreneur founding, managing and growing several companies. Mrs. Simpson, a certified professional coach, enjoys using her entrepreneurial experience to grow and foster businesses. Currently, she is the President of Regina Holdings, LLC, a consulting and investment firm, and Soluna Strategies, a professional coaching business. In addition to business owner, consultant and coach, Mrs. Simpson is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Alabama in Entrepreneurship. Gina and her husband, Mark, began their entrepreneurial journey in the field of construction and have founded six businesses over the last 18 years. She was awarded the Rising Star Entrepreneurship Award by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and the Roots and Wings Award by the Women in Business Council. Mrs. Simpson holds a B.S. in Management with a concentration in Small Company Management and Entrepreneurship and a M.S. in Marketing. 


Chuck Maple

Chuck Maple is responsible for Planning and Solutions for Corporate IT at EBSCO Ind., where he directs the technology portfolio and provides an internal consultancy for technology selection and implementation. As a LEAN enthusiast and change agent, he is also part of a corporate wide effort to transform EBSCO Ind. into a LEAN enterprise.
Previous to joining Corporate IT in July of 2014, he served in many different technical and leadership roles in Metapress, an online white-label publishing platform for STM academic publishers, a subsidiary of EBSCO Ind. that started up in 2000.
  Chuck received his B.A. in Management Information Systems from Auburn University.


Robert Gilpin

Robert E. L. Gilpin is a managing director in Z Factor Investments, LLC, and a partner in the Alabama law firm of Gilpin Givhan, PC, a Montgomery based law firm.  Robert’s law practice has included negotiating major capital investment incentive contracts, acquiring and disposing of a significant number of businesses, assisting in the development of landfills, litigating tax cases, structuring tax incentives for exporters, completing some of the first assessment backed financings in Alabama, and forming the first captive insurance company in Alabama. Robert and a client formed Z Factor Investments, LLC as a boutique venture fund to invest in southeastern U.S. businesses, provide startup capital for new businesses, mentor young talent, and offer strategic and legal advisory services. He attended The University of Alabama as an undergraduate studying accounting and then attended The University of Alabama Law School. He also graduated from New York University with a Masters of Law in Taxation.  


Coaches and Mentors


Josh Sahib
Coach

Josh Sahib is a serial entrepreneur who has started several successful businesses. His most notable success to date is Brewery Buddy (BB), a company that makes software for breweries, which began right here at Startup Weekend and went on to receive funding from both local and state agencies. Prior to founding BB, Josh co-founded an educational video production company and lead the team through publishing two nationally distributed DVDs. Josh is constantly working on new ideas and is a driven person who believes in persistence and hard work, to learn more about Josh’s background and internal drive, watch his 2015 TEDx Tuscaloosa video, Rise and Grind: Starting a Side Hustle


Wes Eldridge

Wesley Eldridge has been a product developer for Randall-Reilly for the past several years. In 2014, he co-founded the startup company, Brewery Buddy, and he continues to serve as their technical lead. In addition to his programming background, Wes has interests in design and robotics. Wes has a Business degree from The University of Alabama, with a concentration in Applied Economics. Throughout his early and mid-twenties, Wesley has worked to create successful businesses and to advise new startups. He has participated in entrepreneur communities in both Alabama and the Czech Republic.


Joseph Dees

Joseph Dees is the owner of Dees Associates where he empowers business owners and individuals with financial advice to take control of their finances and plan for retirement. Dees Associates specializes in retirement planning with an emphasis on safe money investment solutions that maximizes their money with no risk of loss due to the stock market. Joseph graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in Business Management; Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management.


Stephen Lovell

Stephen Lovell is a Web Developer and Team Lead at the University of Alabama where he builds websites for various campus clients. He's been working in web technologies for over a decade after getting starting as a freelancer in the game dev community. In the past he's worked for several Y combinator startups in their initial rounds on a freelance basis doing design & development, performed freelance project management consulting, worked in various multimedia ventures, co-created an award winning documentary on mothers in prison, and founded a local print music magazine in undergrad. These days his focus is mostly on design, development, writing, and sequential art.


Robert Cheney

Robert Cheney received a BSEE from Auburn University in the late 70’s, received a MSEE from UAB in 1985 and became a licensed engineer with the State of Alabama in 2008. He began his career with Alabama Power Company in 1974 as a Co-Op employee and has held titles of Junior, Senior 1, and Principal Engineer and currently holds the title - Team Leader, P&D test lab. While at UAB, Robert taught Intro to Micro-processors as an adjunct instructor in the EE department. While at the APCO Training center, he taught the basic knowledge of substation’s equipment and protective relaying to the Distribution linemen. Currently, Robert is a member of the Southern Company’s Reclosers and Switches Committee and holds a Senior position with Distribution Engineering Standards Department for Alabama Power.


Sherry Lang

Sherry Lang is a Senior Graphic Designer at The University of Alabama. Her focus and current research is Computer generated artwork/graphic design, particularly in the areas of publication, web and multimedia presentation design. Mrs. Lang has special expertise in computer art, computer graphics, and book design. Her artwork and design/layout are reflected in all publications from the Center for Business and Economic Research, as well as various pieces representative of the College. Mrs. Lang is an award winning graphic designer and artist, as well as a past recipient of the Vergil Parks McKinley Employee Award (a monthly award to recognize employees who by action or idea contribute to The University of Alabama). She has a B.F.A. in Studio Art from The University of Alabama.


Ashley Pounds
Coach

Ashley Pounds is a front-end developer at Randall-Reilly. She started her career as graphic designer working for clients like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and St. Vincent’s Hospital. She eventually moved into web design and web development with a focus on front-end development and UI design. She has been building applications in PHP frameworks like Laravel and WordPress for over a decade and, more recently, Vue.js. Ashley graduated from Mississippi State University with B.F.A. in Graphic Design.


Steven Puckett
Speaker and Coach

As managing director of The Prosperity Fund at the Southern Research Institute, Steven Puckett is responsible for advancing the fund’s strategic objectives of assisting business growth, stimulating start-up activity, and spurring job creation in Walker, Fayette, Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties. Since joining Southern Research, Steven has worked to establish ties with existing businesses, colleges and universities, economic development groups, potential investors, and community leaders throughout the region to harness available resources that can benefit the initiative’s participants.   Steven has over 22 years of experience in bringing technology to the marketplace including development and implementation of creative solutions for utility companies, telecommunications firms, and technology startups. He has also deployed cloud-based solutions and provided cloud consulting for a multitude of companies in China. As an entrepreneur, Steven has launched several companies, including Network Convergence Associates, American IP, Aspira Networks, Digital Answers, and SIM Electronics.     Steven holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Auburn University and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Executive Information Engineering Management Program. He holds three patents through AT&T Labs and two additional patents with SIM Electronics.


Molly Kramer
Coach

Molly Kramer is the Founder & Creative Director of Model Content, a boutique communications firm focused on science, healthcare, tech, and policy. She received a B.S. from New College at the University of Alabama in 2003, crafting a depth study in Scientific Writing & Philosophy of Science. She earned a master's in Medical Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, focusing on epidemiology and healthcare policy. She has researched and written professionally for over a decade. Initially, she covered politics and science from Congress, the EPA, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Southern statehouses. Clients included the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Congressional Quarterly. Since transitioning from journalism to communications, she has served as Senior Staff Writer for Peoples Health, then Communications & Development Manager for the Bureau of Governmental Research. She holds a certification in Google AdWords Display Advertising. For several years, she has served as a reviewer for the American Public Health Association’s Global Public Health Film Festival.


Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa 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.


In-Kind

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Food


Organizing Team

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

  • Rob
    Morgan
  • April
    Ingram
  • Pamela
    Hill
  • Collin
    Chapleau
  • Tommie
    Syx
  • Elizabeth
    Jernigan
  • Mike
    Pope
  • Josh
    Sahib
  • Keegan
    Brower
  • Theresa
    Welbourne
  • Harry
    Gabriel
  • Ryan
    Marks

Facilitators


Brien Buckman
Facilitator

Brien works at Magic Leap where he is excited to help redefine the human experience and the definition of "real." Previously, he worked within MasterCard's Digital Labs group, for Apple's education group, founded an HR SaaS company that was acquired, and consulted for a university technology incubator working on nano-particle production. Outside of work, Brien enjoys traveling to new places, eating good food and supporting entrepreneurs. 


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