Past event…

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Student Union Bldg, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!



Mar 6
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • 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


Mar 7
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Lunch
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Coaches round ends.
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
  • Call for needs & skills


Mar 8
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Lunch
  • Coaches are there to guide… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Coaches Round ends
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Speakers
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!

Ed Buckley

Co-Founder and President of peerFit

Ed Buckley's greatest passion in life is helping others find their favorite ways of staying active. Ed has more than ten years experience in health and wellness and is the co-Founder and President of peerFit. Ed graduates in 2015 with his phD in Health Behavior with a concentration in Digital Health and Wellness from the University of Florida. During the past decade, Ed’s name has become known as a leader in innovative solutions to leverage technology in order to improve fitness outcomes for individuals and organizations. His successful track record of raising funds, building and developing technology start-ups, securing national partnerships, and conducting digital health behavior research at an academic institution has catapulted him to the forefront of the worksite wellness arena.


Ted Willich

Co-Founder/CEO of NLP Logix   |   LinkedIn

Ted Willich is Co-Founder/CEO of NLP Logix, an advanced analytics and predictive modeling company. The company was founded in November, 2011 and after initial funding by the founders, was able to attract a number of angel investors to support its growth through 2013/early 2014.
Previous to NLP Logix, Ted was co-founder and COO of a start-up that grew from zero to over $100 million in annual revenues over the course of 15 years.

Prior to starting a career in business, Ted served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps from 1988 until 1992. Upon separation from active duty, Ted served in various command and staff assignments and retired from the Marine Corps as a Major in 2003.

Craig Mandeville

Founder and CEO of Forcura

Innovative executive and entrepreneur with more than 19 years of sales, operations, executive leadership, and product management experience for several successful start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. Currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Forcura, a market-leading healthcare software solution provider. Prior to Forcura was Sales Leader for Intuit's enterprise software division, MRI Software, overseeing sales to the real estate and healthcare industries within Southeast US, Caribbean & Latin America. Prior to Intuit, was Co-Founder and VP of Sales for Waste Reduction Consultants, Inc. which was later acquired by Cass Information Systems.

Doug M Kravet

Principal, Heritage Capital Group

Since joining Heritage Capital Group in 1996, Douglas M. “Doug” Kravet has developed extensive expertise in advising middle market companies regarding mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) transactions. During his tenure at Heritage, Doug has executed transactions in the business services, healthcare, construction and engineering, manufacturing, and distribution sectors.

Doug focuses on assisting the owners of closely held companies who are seeking capital, and the best partner, to accelerate the growth of their businesses. Doug also focuses on providing value enhancement advice for clients. During his tenure with Heritage Capital Group, he has completed more than 200 valuations and consulting projects involving closely held companies. These firms ranged in size from start-up companies to businesses generating more than $1 billion per year in revenues.

Doug received his B.B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of North Florida. He also has Series 7 and Series 79 securities licenses and is a senior member of the American Society of Appraisers (accredited in Business Valuation).


Liz Pierce

Co-founder and CEO, MomentStrong, LLC

Liz and her talented co-founders have developed an innovative tool to help individuals have more success in their wellness efforts. MomentStrong is a patent pending mobile application that delivers “Strength When You Need It.” With MomentStrong, users specify locations or times for which they will need help and a personalized motivational message arrives when they reach that location or at the specified time. MomentStrong is added to a company’s health and wellness program “toolbox” and can help reduce medical claims and encourage health and wellness.
Most recently, Liz was the CIO at The St. Joe Company, a real estate developer and Florida’s second largest landowner. Prior to that, she spent many years in sales and marketing with AT&T, Lucent and Avaya. With experience on both sides of the table, Liz knows how to help companies find and implement impactful solutions.

Isabelle Killian

Founder, TADA Language

2nd place winner of Jacksonville Startup Weekend, Isabelle Killian knows how to deliver a killer pitch.
In the past 3 years, Isabelle has honed her public speaking skills and she will be delighted to help out teams maximize their chances to win by delivering a powerful presenation.

TADA Language is an innovative Language Tool, helping busy parents practice a new language on-the-go. Its beta version is now online.

Jon Sykes

Jon Sykes, CEO/Co-Founder of Code Green Light, LLC

Jon Sykes is a technology specialist with diverse experience in application architecture, systems integration and business intelligence. He specializes in web-based technologies and business development. In his role as Chief Executive Officer for Code Green Light, Jon brings more than 10 years of well-blended technical and business expertise to the team. Founded locally in 2013, Code Green Light is a software company that specializes in building cross-platform developer tools. Its flagship product, is a code inspection tool that "gamifies" the code review process and provides measurable metrics to help development teams improve their code.

Ovidiu Dimulescu

Cloud Engineer with Oracle

Ovidiu Dimulescu is a Cloud Engineer with Oracle. He is the founder and organizer of local Mobile User Group ( . Ovidiu is very active in the local tech community having spoken at user groups, code camps and participated at hackathon events. He and TADA team finished 2nd last year at Jacksonville Startup Weekend.

Prior to Oracle, Dimulescu held technical leadership positions at Talent Grid, a startup like group within Taleo and before that at where he helped small businesses succeed online. You can find him on Twitter @odimulescu for the occasional posts.

Karthikeyan Umapathy

Associate Professor at the School of Computing, University of North Florida   |   LinkedIn

Karthikeyan Umapathy provides freelance technology consultancy services for small businesses, startup companies, and non-profit organizations. He has expertise on mobile and web application development. He provides consulting on technology and business planning, lean development, minimum viable product development, and product testing. He is currently working as Associate Professor at the School of Computing, University of North Florida. He received his PhD in Information Sciences and Technology from the Pennsylvania State University. He uses service learning as a means to help students understand that it takes more than technical expertise to be a good professional and excel in the job. He provides real-world software development experience for students by identifying projects from non-profit and small-business organizations. His research interests center on designing and developing complex information systems, analyzing efficiency and effectiveness of web service standards, and investigating processes used for developing IT standardization.

Douglas Goodall

Vice President, UnitedLex   |   LinkedIn

Doug Goodall has over 30 years of direct experience in the high technology industry with a focus on sales, marketing, business strategy, and executive management. He has worked with companies ranging from Silicon Valley start-ups to Fortune 50 and has held positions as Vice President of Sales, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development, CEO, and Board Member in a number of public and private companies. Doug also has served as Managing Director at Redleaf Venture Capital and CEO of Innovation Works, a state of Pennsylvania funded early stage investment and executive mentoring firm.
Doug currently serves as Vice President Cyber Risk Management Solutions at UnitedLex. Prior to this assignment Doug served as Vice President and General Manager in a variety of roles at IT outsourcing industry leaders CompuCom/Getronics including North America Business Development, North America Channels and Alliances, and Global Cyber Security Services Delivery Executive for Getronics worldwide.

Robert Myers

Area Director, SBDC

Bob has been with the UNF Small Business Development Center (SBDC) since 1992. He moved here after selling his publishing business in San Francisco. Bob is responsible for management assistance efforts in seven surrounding counties through "circuit rides" as well as working in the Jacksonville office.
He has over 20 years experience in many phases of management including sales, finance, marketing, product development, disaster preparation, business continuity, intellectual property issues and computer information systems. In his business career, he was involved in startups, acquisitions, divestiture, venture funding, small business loans and many other small business matters.

Crystal Broughan


Crystal Broughan’s practice focuses primarily on intellectual property matters such as, trademark, patent and copyright infringement cases. She prepares and files trademark and copyright applications, licensing agreements, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements for a wide variety of clients. In addition, she represents clients before the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board on trademark disputes.
Ms. Broughan also manages insurance investigations and litigation on behalf of insurance companies’ special investigation units and multiple claims investigation units.
Ms. Broughan was named the 2012: Insurance Lawyer of the Year, by the Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC). She is a member of the Jacksonville Association of Defense Counsel and a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 2010 and Leadership Orlando, Class of 1984.

Laurie Lee

Business + Technology Attorney

Laurie Lee is a business and technology attorney with ELEVATE Business + Technology Law. She is AV Preeminent® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® (the highest possible rating). For the past twelve years, she has helped businesses of all sizes and she is passionate about providing her customers with knowledge and resources.

Her practice focuses on the areas of law that businesses need most. Laurie handles business contracts, negotiations, trademarks, technology development and licensing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, regulatory compliance and ownership changes. ELEVATE Business + Technology Law offers an innovative approach to providing legal services to businesses that includes project-based flat-fees, the use of technology to increase communication and a vast array of resources for business owners to increase their skill set.

David Marovich

Vice President of Business Services, 121 Financial Credit Union

An 18 year veteran of the banking industry, David has held leadership roles in the retail, operations, and small business areas of the industry. He began his banking career at Barnett Bank and also worked for both SouthTrust, and Compass Bank. In 2007, he accepted an offer from Florida Telco Credit Union, now 121 Financial Credit Union, where he currently holds the position of Vice President of Business Services. Over the course of the past seven years, David has worked to establish a business services and lending department at 121 Financial Credit Union. During that time he has met and worked with hundreds of small business owners in NE Florida and has been involved in granting $70 million in small business loans

JB Roth


JB Roth was born in France and moved to the United States to live the American Dream. After a successful career in corporate accounting, JB followed his true calling and went on to earn his law degree at Hamline University School of Law in St Paul, Minnesota.
He believes a business’s lawyer should be its staunchest ally. This takes an enduring, professional relationship. The Roth Law Firm values that relationship above all and they do their utmost to be a “one-stop shop” for their clients. They can take care of corporate formalities, contract work, any litigation or appeal, and much more beside. They help you chart your course in legal waters.

Larry Levy

Information Technology, ALM Group

Larry Levy is an expert in information technology and has over 25 years of experience in the field. He likes to tell people he connects people with devices. Meaning, he specializes in making information available from any device, from anywhere, anytime. He also specializes in desktop assistance, connectivity, security, remote access and other areas of computers, mobile devices and peripherals. He is versed in both Windows devices and Apple devices.

Larry's experience goes beyond just fixing and connecting computers. He also has over 20 years of business management experience and provides consulting in business workflow and processes.

Larry is also an author of children's books having published two books in his Harry the Hungry Frog series.

Robert Zinsser

Get in the Game, SE

Bob has proven success helping organizations succeed through developing their people. He applies his business development skills in situational analysis to identify needs and leverage skill building as a springboard to innovation, best practices, productivity, and sales skills development. By his peers, he is known for accepting challenging projects while developing a process to achieve desired results.
Bob has over 30 years of experience in several roles that include Regional Sales Executive, Key Client Management, and General Manager of a large Financial Services unit with focus on developing a client management group and sales development. He provides individual evaluation, ideas and coaching for desired results. Bob has extensive sales experience ranging from small family business to large Fortune 50 size companies. He grew up in a sales world drastically different than the world of sales today and has adapted for success, this provides his clients with a resource for aligning their approach and sales efforts for the most effective path.

Ashkan Najafi

Founder, Ashkan Najafi, P.A.

The founder of the law firm — Mr. Ashkan Najafi — is a degreed engineer and registered patent attorney licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Najafi graduated with honors from the University of Florida, College of Engineering and obtained a law degree from Stetson University, College of Law.
For the past 13+ years, Mr. Najafi has focused his law practice on patent, trademark and copyright matters. In particular, Mr. Najafi advises independent inventors and businesses how to protect and monetize their ideas and innovations with patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Jonathan Raiti

Founder and CEO of RZI International

Jonathan Raiti is the founder and CEO of RZI International, a supply chain development and consulting company, which provides sourcing, supply chain management, and related consulting services to small and medium sized companies in North America and Asia.He is also an advisory board member of iStartJax. Jon has been in the business of international trade with Asia (import/export) for more than 16 years, successfully building supply chains, distribution channels, and launching manufacturing and investment projects. His project experience ranges from product development and sourcing for start-ups for recreational and sporting good products, as well as home decoration, kitchen ware, and other consumer products.

Jon holds a MA in East Asia Study and Economic Development from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Fine Art from Middlebury College. He also completed intensive Chinese language programs at Xiamen University. He speaks, reads, and writes Mandarin Chinese. He currently resides in Neptune Beach, FL with his wife and son.

Moti Demri

IT Manager, EverBank

Moti's IT career has spanned over 30 years as a developer in QA, consultant and manager. I have experience in the following areas: financial, telephony (startup) and internet provider services.
I have been with EverBank for almost eight years in the position of QA Manager. Currently, I am tasked with building a QA Center of Excellence. Known as an innovator and visionary.
Over my career I have utilized different testing tools at their optimal level and raised the testing quality to very high levels at each company where I was employed. I have greatly enjoyed building QA teams from the ground up, establishing market level standards (ISO 9000, CMMI), processes, and testing methodologies for both manual and automated testing.
I have been a speaker at several IBM International QA Conferences and I enjoy speaking about what I do and have been able to accomplish.
I spent six years in the Israeli army in the combat Special Forces Brigade and hold a degree in computer science. Jacksonville has been my home for 29 years. I am married with two children.

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