Past event…

Event Ended

Gainesville Sun Center

For more info on upcoming
events & programs
visit your community's
new home on

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement that unites creative and intelligent minds together for an unforgettable weekend of ideation and new venture creation. This October, Gainesville invites you to become a part of the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs. With over 400 past events in nearly 100 countries around the world, Startup Weekend Gainesville is the perfect place to start your first business venture, or grow the business concept you have already established.

Whether this is your first Startup Weekend, or you are a frequent participant, Startup Weekend Gainesville aims to be an experience like no other. The first evening we invite all guests to pitch their startup idea to their peers and organizers to receive feedback. After opening pitches and critiques, all participants will organically form teams around the evening’s top ideas (as determined by popular vote). Immediately after, you will be thrust into a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation until final pitches. Participants and Attendees of Startup Weekend Gainesville will close out their weekend with presentations in front of local business leaders, and celebrity guest entrepreneurs.

Explore behind the scene of the city’s coolest startup spaces, enjoy exclusive deals, and mingle with the most successful people that are at the forefront of the future of Gainesville. Be sure to register as a participant of Startup Weekend Gainesville to ensure that you have access to enjoy all the events and features happening over the course of the 3 days.

Featuring judges from Silicon Valley, along with surprise speakers, Startup Weekend Gainesville is a great way to network, start a new venture, or just take a break away from your courses and your usual 9-5. Register now and take the first steps in turning your business enterprise into more than just a concept.



Sep 28
  • Registration Starts (Sun Center Lobby)
  • Dinner & Networking (Hackerspace, in Sun Center Basement)
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Elevators Pitches Start
  • Participants vote for the top ideas
  • Teams form, make plans
  • After-party at Simons Night Club


Sep 29
  • Breakfast & Coffee
  • Work!
  • Lunch
  • Dedicated mentoring sessions until 4pm
  • Dinner
  • Halfway check-ins
  • After-party at Sharab Lounge


Sep 30
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Mentors present to help
  • Brunch
  • Gut check, presentation coaching
  • Appetizers and Networking (Hippodrome Cinema)
  • Judging, Awards, Final Remarks
  • After-party Trendy/Register Patient Pig Roast (Hackerspace)
IPO Sponsor $2,500

John Spence

One of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America   |   LinkedIn

"Making the very complex...awesomely simple” is no mere catch phrase, it is truly John Spence’s mission in life. At the age of just 26, John was named CEO of an international Rockefeller foundation, overseeing projects in 20 countries and reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board, Winthrop P. Rockefeller III. Three years later Inc. Magazine’s “Zinc Online” recognized him as one of America’s up and coming young business leaders. John has twice been named one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America and was selected as a leading small business influencer in America along with Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin and Apple. Since John established his firm in 1994, he has presented workshops, speeches and executive coaching to more than 300 organizations worldwide.

VC Sponsor $1,000

Toni Gemayel

CEO, Co-Founder at Banyan   |   LinkedIn

Growth Hacker. Former VC Analyst. Entrepreneur. Biz Dev. 22 years old. Working on @GetBanyan & @AlbumJacket. Winner of @thegigcity competition judged by IBM, Alcatel Lucent, Mozilla and more. I also run a software consultancy called Two Giraffes where I have built some of the largest Wordpress sites on the web for 150+ clients worldwide. I am a mentor at the Founders Institute.

Sam Tarantino

Founder & CEO, (Escape Media Group)   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Founded EMG with business partner and CTO Josh Greenberg. Created, developed and periodically revised Business Plan, Financial Projections, and Executive Summary. Compiled management team, industry advisors and board of directors

John Spence

One of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America   |   LinkedIn

Full bio above. John is an acclaimed author, prolific reader, and former CEO, recognized as an expert in the areas of business leadership, executive, and customer satisfaction.

Rahul Vohra

CEO of Rapportive. Computer Scientist, Gamer, Entrepreneur   |   LinkedInGoogle+

When we founded Rapportive, we had one simple belief: we would build software that you don't have to remember to use. Our software would be an intrinsic part of the tools you use every day. It would be there when you want it, and out of the way when you don't.

Angela Pate

President and CEO of Focused Management Solutions   |   LinkedIn

The local area served by FloridaWorks contributes workforce development efforts to a community that enjoyed one of the lowest job loss of any MSA in the state of Florida during the recession. Angela’s efforts have brought over $24 million dollars of training and supplemental salaries for work experience to the community since 2005. Prior to joining FMS in 2001, Ms. Pate founded a technology company, MicronGreen, Inc., specializing in 3D structural analysis, CAD, simulation systems and services to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industries and the military. Formed in 1983, they developed real-time simulation software called Virtual Environment NaviGator™ and served a global market. She published the first PC based architectural rendering in Computer Graphics World in 1989. Ms. Pate holds a Bachelors from the College of Architecture and Fine Arts and a Masters in Entrepreneurship from the college of Business Administration at the University of Florida.

Marvin Scaff

Managing Director/Lead Investor at Gazelle Labs

CTO / software entrepreneur with 30 years experience. Shipped innovative 1.0 products for Apple, Disney, Kinetoscope and others. Developed knowledge management software for Regis McKenna and Gary Hamel’s Strategos. Managing Director and lead investor in Gazelle Lab, the first seed stage investment fund in the Southeast.

Angel Sponsor $500

Kristen Hadeed

Founder, Student Maid   |   LinkedIn

It all started with a pair of jeans.

I was an undergrad at the University of Florida and didn't have a job. I found myself wanting a pair of very expensive blue jeans, and asked my parents for permission to use that taken-for-granted credit card. They told me the three words college kids dread most, "Get a job!"

I didn't want a job. Being a finance major, my courses were tough and I needed something flexible that would work around my demanding schedule. I decided to put an ad on Craigslist to clean houses and that's how it all started. I cleaned houses after class, hired some friends to help, and things slowly grew.

Upon my college graduation in May 2010 I turned down a dream job to continue working on my company, Student Maid. Most people had trouble understanding why I chose cleaning over finance, but I knew I had to follow my true passion.

In 2011, Student Maid employed over 300 students. We have completely changed the cleaning industry in Gainesville and we plan to open locations all over the country. I am in love with our team, our vision, and our 'can-do' mentality.

More than anything, I am passionate about motivating others to think BIG. Don't just think BIG today and tomorrow, think BIG every day. Encourage your friends and everyone around you to think BIG. Believe that you can accomplish anything, and you will. Believe that you can change the world, and you will.

Watch my TedxUF talk:

Matt Hintze

Founder of TutoringZone

Since founding TutoringZone, Matt has taught over 100,000 University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida and University of Georgia graduate and undergraduate students. TutoringZone currently employs 18 full-time and 75 part-time employees and was honored as the 2005 Gainesville Business of the Year by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Currently, Matt is serving on the Governor’s Task Force for the establishment of an online University in the State of Florida.

Abhi Lokesh

CEO at Fracture   |   LinkedIn

Having co-founded a nonprofit and worked at a neuroscience startup while in school, my love is for learning, entrepreneurship, and all things new. Recently graduated from the University of Florida, my current obsession is working to make Fracture, a new venture, the next step in printed wall decor. There are few things older than putting your favorite artwork, images, and memories on the wall to proudly display. We at Fracture feel like its time to change the way people see wall decor.

Jason Stoll

Operational Scalability

Jason joined Joseph Warren at Brainstorm Weekly LLC in 2008, with primary responsibilities for strategic and operational planning, project management, and financial analysis.

A certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Practitioner, his disciplined and analytical approach help bring structure and organization to the startup environment, while also being flexible and willing to tackle whatever tasks need to get done. He was instrumental in creating the business plan, pitch, and financial projections for the CoCreativ project.

From 2006-2008, Jason worked at Tech Data Corporation in Clearwater, FL. Serving as a Lean Sigma Manager, he developed training programs for over 700 people, including a Lean simulation game enjoyed by all. He was responsible for leading numerous projects with successful results, including a $2 million improvement in working capital and 45% improvment on new item setup lead times.

From 1996-2006, Jason worked at Ideal-Tomkins PLC in St. Augustine, FL. During his tenure he performed various roles in Quality, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing, and has led several Kaizen Blitzes.

Among Jason’s achievements were: (1) Improved productivity by 75% in a work cell, (2) $170,000 cost avoidance in manufacturing, (3) Reduced changeover time by 66% in assembly, (4) $42,000 cost saving in tooling, (5) 75% reduction in shipping errors.

Jason holds an MBA from the University of Florida, and a Physics degree from SUNY Fredonia.

Joseph Warren

Florida's #1 Startup Coach

At age 19, Joseph opened a professional fundraising company that specialized in raising funds for non-profit organizations such as The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Within the first 12 months, he grew his startup into a 50-person firm with $2M+ in revenue. Over the next 24 months, he scaled the business into multiple locations (Chicago / Los Angeles / San Diego) and tripled its revenue. Currently, he is President & CEO of Brainstorm Weekly LLC, an entrepreneurial training firm in Tampa.

Joseph Warren (along with renowned speaker and author Dr. Alexander Osterwalder and 470 other practicioners) co-created the groundbreaking and best-selling book, "Business Model Generation - A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers". Business Model Generation has become a practical innovation handbook used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including IBM, Ericsson, 3M, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others.

Billed as Florida's #1 Startup Coach, Joseph Warren is a frequent guest lecturer for entrepreneurial groups and professional business groups throughout Tampa Bay such as The Pinellas County Business Development Center (BDC), where he shared best practices for launching, sustaining and growing a successful business.

He served on the Board of Advisors for Creative Tampa Bay, was a volunteer speaker for Hillsborough County Schools, is a startup mentor for Gazelle Lab, served on the expert panel at Tech Venture Conference 2009, was keynote presenter at Pinellas County's TechVenture and TECTalk, hosted by Microsoft®, sponsored by Synovus Bank and coordinated by STAR Technology Enterprise Center.

Joseph Warren is also a guest lecturer for collegiate entrepreneurial programs such as USF St. Pete's New Venture Creation Program. He was a speaker and judge at Startup Weekend Tampa's inaugural event. He co-emceed the 2012 Southeast Entrepreneurship Conference (SEEC) at the University of Tampa and will be a speaker at the upcoming 2012 CEO National Conference in Chicago.

He is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and evangelist for entrepreneurship.

David K. Williams

Senior Advisor, Founder   |   LinkedIn

An avid student of computers, computer systems and programming, David began to think about the dynamic role computers can play in "Healthcare Informatics" even before he pursued his nursing degree.Rather than continue in programming, he turned his attention to system design and websites. That led to David's creating "relational databases" and websites for several medical offices, commercial businesses and a pharmaceutical company in North Florida. In addition to serving as the client liaison and IT Project Manager on each allocation, David collaborated directly with the programmers and other support professionals involved, turning his original system designs into operating realities for the medical-related computer applications that formed

Dan Rua

Managing Partner, Inflexion Partners,   |   LinkedIn

Partner with passionate, visionary entrepreneurs to help them change the world.

Early-stage, Technology, Social Media, Ad Operations, IP, Viral, Wireless, MedTech, People-backer

Todd Chase

COO at Digi-Net Technologies and Disctrict 2 City Commissioner at City of Gainesville   |   LinkedIn

Todd Chase was elected to Gainesville’s City Commission representing District 2 in April of 2011. A native of Savannah, Georgia. Todd attended Jacksonville University on a Navy ROTC scholarship and graduated with a degree in Mathematics in 1988. He was commissioned an Ensign upon graduation and served 8 years of active duty flying the P-3C Orion where he was named the 1992 P-3 Naval Aviator of the Year. Continuing his military service as a pilot in the Naval Reserves, Todd has logged more than 3,000 flight hours, many of those as Pilot in Command, Mission Commander and Instructor Pilot and he continues to serve as a member of the Inactive Reserves currently in his 24th year of service holding the rank of Commander.

Upon leaving active duty, Todd attended Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA in 1997. His first job in the “real world” was as a project manager for Regency Centers in Jacksonville, one of the largest shopping center REITS in the country. Since then he has served in a number of roles in technology businesses ranging from Founder, President, and Advisor, currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Digi-Net Technologies. He came to Gainesville 10 years ago to help lead the private sector’s efforts to commercialize research at the University of Florida. He has extensive experience in all aspects of early-stage technology company growth, and is a valued member of Gainesville’s growing innovation community serving as mentor and advisor to many of our brightest young entrepreneurs.

Todd has spent a great deal of his free time coaching youth football and baseball where he takes on the responsibility of helping mentor and build these young men seriously. He and his wife Mary have 3 children who attend Westwood Middle School and live in Northwest Gainesville.

Augi Lye

CEO at Trendy Entertainment   |   LinkedIn

Augi Lye is a serial entrepreneur located in Gainesville, FL. He’s dabbled in a bit of everything: from playing violin & cello in a rock band to being lead engineer in a camera-based vision processing system. He currently acts as CEO of Trendy Entertainment.

Mike Garrett

Fracture, Dascin Solutions, LLC   |   LinkedIn

Mike is currently the Brand Evangelist at Fracture. Previously, he worked at Grooveshark as the Director of Advertising Operations and Nonprofit Development, and at O2BKids as theSenior IT Director. He studied Religion at UF and Santa Fe College, and served as a Fellow with the Interfaith Youth Core, UF Representative at the Clinton Global Initiative University, as a Florida Cicerone, and as a Mentor for the Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership and Sustainability. Mike is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville's Class #38, and serves on the Chamber of Commerce's Business Advisory Council, the Alachua County Wild Spaces and Public Places Citizen Oversight Committee, and the Gainesville/Alachua County Cultural Affairs Board.

Carlos Perez

VP of International Sales at Grooveshark

Carlos has been interested in making things on the internet since 2005. He currently works at Grooveshark where he has worn different hats, ranging from front-end code to business.

He is a mentor at (now part of 500 Startups) and serves on the Community Impact Team at United Way of North Central Florida.

Carlos is originally from Mexico, where he earned a degree in International Business from Tec de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara.


Serial Social Entrepreneur

Grasshopper, an astrobiologist and chemist by training, leaped away from the traditional path of academe and tried his hand at economic development. Spending a year in East Africa he and Kathryn Ranhorn started the non-profit Investours Tanzania which blended cultural tourism and micro-finance to provide micro-loans at 0% interest to needy entrepreneurs. Investours is now rated the “#1 Thing to Do in Dar es Salaam” on and is now featured in the Lonely Planet Tanzania travel guide. After returning to the States, he and five astrobiology colleagues (Dr. Sanjoy Som, Dr. Betul Kacar, Julia De Marines, Dr. Sara Imari Walker and Zach Adam) with the blessing of the Carl Sagan Foundation and the NASA Astrobiology Institute co-founded, an eMentoring social network promoting mentoring in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

Tilton Taylor

Strategic Partner Development Manager at Grooveshark

After graduating from UF (Finance/Psychology..minor in Theatre) and working in banking for a couple of summers, I decided corporate was not for me. I took my biz dev skills to Grooveshark and now I'm handling ad ops network/exchange partnerships after a brief stint in recruiting/HR.

Anjali Kundra
Julian Miller
Nikhil 'Nik' Kundra
Valerie Sheehan
Bill Dorman
Erwin Felicilda
Stephanie G Travis
Aidan Augustin

The Hipp Rocks!!

by swgainesville

We’d like to thank the Hipp tonight for sponsoring the venue for Startup Weekend Gainesville’s final pitches! About the Hippodrome […]

Upcoming Events

© Copyright 2017, Startup Weekend. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy