Past event…

Event Ended

Student Union Building

University of North Florida 1 UNF Drive 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!



Jan 25
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking - Performance by Side Track
  • 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 11.30 PM
  • Wrap up for the day


Jan 26
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Coaches Arrive and help teams one-on-one
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as 11.30 PM
  • Wrap up for the day


Jan 27
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Rehearsal
  • Dinner
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Dr. Don Capener

Dean of the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University

Dr. Don Capener, Dean of the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University, brings 27 years’ experience as an award-winning entrepreneur, executive, academician and administrator to his new post. Dean Capener is first and foremost an entrepreneur, and also spent a considerable amount of time in management roles in advertising agencies and corporate environments such as Reebok and Visa. After starting Above the Rim apparel with his brother while running a small advertising agency in San Diego in 1988, both companies grew into profitable ventures and were sold by 1993. During that part of his career in San Diego, Dean Capener was recruited to teach part-time at San Diego State Univ. (SDSU). He loved the association with SDSU students and their energy and enthusiasm. Mentoring has always been his passion, so he worked hard to become an effective teacher over that four-year period. He vowed that when he could afford it, he would devote his energy to developing talent while teaching full-time. Dean Capener waited nine years until his second start-up, Netcentives, went public via NASDAQ in 1999. While CMO at Netcentives, he help drive the marketing architecture and developed systems and technology solutions to distribute airline miles as rewards for online purchases and as employee bonuses. As part of that experience, Dr. Capener vowed to learn more about technology and business analytics by earning his Ph.D. in strategic management. In 2011, Dean Capener earned a doctor of international management from the International School of Management in Paris. He earned his master of business administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona in 1985 and his bachelor’s degree in political science and Asian studies from Brigham Young University.

Janice Williams Donaldson

Regional Director, SBDC   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Janice Williams Donaldson is regional director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida. She has served in this capacity since January 2002. Prior to becoming the director, Ms. Donaldson served in a number of capacities in the SBDC since beginning her employment there in November of 1981. The SBDC at UNF provides management training, consulting and information to business owners looking to grow their companies and to individuals thinking of starting a business in an 18-county service area. In 2011 the SBDC at UNF counseled more than 1700 individual clients and trained nearly 3500 workshop participants. Ms. Donaldson serves on the Board of Directors for the Beaver Street Enterprise Center. She is a member of the Leadership Jack-sonville Leadership Team for the Class of 2012 and is an LJ Alumnus, Class of 1993. She is an active member of the Women Business Owners of North Florida and the Jacksonville Women’s Network. Ms. Donaldson has received a number of awards and honors includ-ing: Beaver Street Enterprise Center Outstanding Advocate

Kevin Riley

Health Model Innovation Consulting

Kevin Riley is an entrepreneur, health care executive, and business model innovator. He has spent his career in the pursuit of creating consumer experiences that drive behaviors, and ultimately actions. He has applied his skills and experiences to start-ups and legacy companies alike, across the health care industry.

Kevin started Health Model Innovation Consulting in 2006 to help companies with the convergence of health care and the consumer. He founded and was CEO of a national health care retail company, played leadership roles for several national retail health start-ups, and served as the first Chief Innovation Officer of a major insurance plan. Kevin holds a Masters of Business in entrepreneurship and marketing from Rice University

Dr. Mark A. Tumeo

Dean of the college of Computing, Engineering and Constructio

Dr. Mark A. Tumeo is the Dean of the college of Computing, Engineering and Construction and a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of North Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, a J.D., degrees in civil engineering and biology and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Alaska. Dr. Tumeo came to UNF in 2011 from Cleveland State University. At CSU he served seven years as the Vice Provost of Research and Dean of the Graduate Studies before returning to Faculty in 2007, where he served as the Faculty advisor for the CSU Chapter of Engineers without Boards and as the Undergraduate Program and ABET Coordinator for the Department. Prior to his appointment at CSU, he was a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

He has over twenty-five years of experience in environmental consulting and research, and has extensive experience and publications in environmental risk assessment, policy and regulation. He has served on local, state, national and international panels in the area of environmental management and law. In 1997, Dr. Tumeo was selected as one of three individuals nationally to work under the Clinton Administration with the newly formed USDA Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis and helped develop guidelines for risk assessments required under law. In 2001, Dr. Tumeo was elected to the rank of “Fellow” in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was the Governor of Ohio's academic appointee on the State of Ohio’s Technical Advisory Committee on Sewage Treatment Systems and served six-years as an elected member of the City Council of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He is actively involved in several professional organizations and currently serves as a Corresponding Editor for the American Association of Civil Engineers' Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice.

Mayor Alvin Brown

Mayor Alvin Brown took office July 1, 2011 with a vision of “taking Jacksonville to the next level” by creating jobs, revitalizing downtown and building a world class education system.

Mayor Brown is using his diverse and extensive experience in government service as well as the private and non-profit sectors to help achieve his vision for Jacksonville. This includes a focus on education, economic development and job creation. He is currently working on a reform plan that will streamline city government, making it more effective and efficient.

Mayor Brown was recently named chair of the Exports and Ports Task Force by the U. S. Conference of Mayors. This position will help ensure JAXPORT and other ports across the country continue to grow.

Before taking office, Mayor Brown served as an Executive in Residence at Jacksonville University’s Davis School of Business. He is also the past president and CEO of the Willie Gary Classic Foundation, an organization that helps to provide scholarships for historic black colleges and universities.

Mayor Brown served as a senior member of the Clinton-Gore administration. He led the administration’s $4 billion overall community empowerment initiatives, which generated unprecedented levels of public-private partnerships resulting in more than $10 billion in private investments benefiting impoverished urban and rural communities. In addition, he was an advisor to the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and senior advisor to former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo.

Mayor Brown went on to serve as executive director of the Bush/Clinton Katrina Interfaith Fund, where he was responsible for overseeing the distribution of more than $20 million to rebuild houses of worship throughout the Gulf Coast.

As chair of the National Black MBA Association, Mayor Brown was honored with the prestigious H. Naylor Fitzhugh Award. He is also the recipient of the Frederick Douglass Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Excellence in Community Service Award from 100 Black Men of America, the distinguished Award for Government Services from the National Baptist Convention, and the Chairman’s Award from the Congressional Black Caucus.

Mayor Brown earned his Bachelor of Science and MBA at Jacksonville University. He also completed postgraduate work at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and received an honorary doctorate from Edward Waters College in Jacksonville.

He and his wife Santhea have two sons.

Gold Sponsors

Todd Smith

Todd has been writing business plans for 14 years in just about every conceivable industry, and his business plan packages have helped clients raise in excess of $175 million for their ventures. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, a Masters in International Management from the Thuderbird School of Global Business, and a Bachelors in Financial Management from Clemson University. His life's mission is to help others successfully launch or grow their businesses.

Carolyn Mathis

Carolyn Mathis is a Partner with Harbor View Advisors, an investment bank focused on serving clients in the software and services sectors. Throughout her career, she has worked with corporate clients and institutional investors, advising on mergers & acquisitions, financing and investment decisions. Prior to joining Harbor View in 2008, Carolyn spent twelve years with Goldman Sachs, where she worked in the Investment Banking and Equities divisions in New York, Los Angeles and London.

Carolyn sits on the Foundation Board of the University of North Florida, where she chairs the Investment Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Venture Forum, and she serves on the Advisory Board of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center.

Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago.

Kirk Burton

Kirk Burton, PMP, CSM is a former Special Operations officer with experience in entrepreneurship, business incubation, open innovation, program management, and technology scouting and research. Kirk’s experience in technology development efforts focused on support to the military and first responder community. He was the first PM for the USSOCOM Technology Infusion Cell, an effort to improve the speed of technology development using simplified contracting and rapid prototyping, and served as the Director of Research and Engineering for StarTec (now Tampa Bay Innovation Center), a Pinellas County small business accelerator. As Vice President of CTC Tampa Bay Inc., Kirk led a comprehensive review of technology transition efforts within DoD, and developed a tailored due diligence process for DoD’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Kirk continued to focus on improving the effectiveness of DoD acquisition through an experimental program supporting rapid technology fielding to the warfighter. Most recently Kirk has been involved in advising government on open innovation models and processes. He is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Innovation & Technology Solutions LLC and serves on the board of the Small Business Technology Council (SBTC). Kirk is active in the Tampa Bay startup and entrepreneur communities and is a mentor for upcoming Founder Institute class in Tampa.

Silver Sponsors

Garrett Johnson

Co-founder of SendHub, a venture-backed startup launched in 2011 that is working to improve the efficiency of professional communication. Served as professional staff to the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where oversight portfolio included Afghanistan, Pakistan and Haiti. Originally from (Tampa) Florida, graduated in 2005 from Florida State University and was the 2006 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Shot Put champion. Read for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, England as a Rhodes Scholar and accepted to Harvard law school

Kevin Riley

Health Model Innovation Consulting

Kevin Riley is an entrepreneur, health care executive, and business model innovator. He has spent his career in the pursuit of creating consumer experiences that drive behaviors, and ultimately actions. He has applied his skills and experiences to start-ups and legacy companies alike, across the health care industry.

Kevin started Health Model Innovation Consulting in 2006 to help companies with the convergence of health care and the consumer. He founded and was CEO of a national health care retail company, played leadership roles for several national retail health start-ups, and served as the first Chief Innovation Officer of a major insurance plan. Kevin holds a Masters of Business in entrepreneurship and marketing from Rice University

Myron Pincomb

Myron's innovative ideas along with his passion for business and education have significantly impacted teaching and learning in the United States. In 1999, Myron founded Educational Tools, Inc. Under Myron’s leadership, Educational Tools grew from a small technology start-up to a valuation of nearly $50 million in just a few short years. Driven by a passion for excellence and a desire to make a meaningful impact on future generations, Myron positioned Educational Tools to be recognized multiple times as an INC 500 FAST Company, CODiE Award Winner, and Fastest Growing Private Company. In addition, Myron was the recipient of the Ultimate CEO Award. Myron’s background includes nearly 20 years of starting, building and running highly successful companies in the fields of industrial chemistry, technology and education. Each of his companies has revolutionized and left a lasting impact on the future of its respective industry. In 2011, Myron was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the Board of Trustees at the University of North Florida. In addition, Myron is currently on the board of directors for several organizations and is a private equity investor in multiple technology-based companies.
An accomplished and engaging public speaker, Myron is quickly becoming one of the most sought after speakers in the world today. His innovative ideas and principles have impacted numerous leaders and teams . He is well known for his unique insight on business development, cultural innovation and disruptive leadership. A graduate of the University of North Florida, Myron holds degrees in Biology and Chemistry. When away from the office, he enjoys boating, golf, working out and spending time with his friends and family. Myron is married to his wonderful wife Amanda and they have three daughters and one son.

Pete Cochrane

Chief Operating Officer, Path.To

Pete has a strong passion for technology and innovation. He brings over 12 years of experience having worked for some of the largest HR companies in the world and has served as the VP of Business Development for Hashrocket. In 2010, he Co-Founded PR'UF LLC, a start-up company based in Jacksonville, Florida that focused on innovating new ways for clients to interview applicants. After selling PR'UF, Pete became the COO of Path.To and now serves as their President. Path.To is a hiring solution backed by Adecco Worldwide, the third largest employer in the world behind the Chinese postal service and the US Military. Path.To is creating new and innovate ways for employers and employees to connect along with showcasing their individual strengths. The service is currently available in 21 different markets, including Jacksonville.

Ovidiu Dimulescu

Ovidiu Dimulescu is a Principal Engineer with Oracle. He is the founder and organizer of local Mobile User Group ( and co-organizer for the local Big Data meetup. 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.

Tim Gillis

Tim Gillis is a shareholder with Akerman Senterfitt, a 500+ lawyer corporate law firm. Tim has concentrated his practice on structuring and negotiating complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, venture and growth capital investments, debt and equity financings, private placement securities offerings, and franchise offerings. He regularly represents clients with respect to all of their business matters, effectively serving as their outside general counsel. Tim has a track record of providing pragmatic, cost-effective business solutions designed to meet each client’s particular business and transactional goals.

Todd Smith

Todd has been writing business plans for 14 years in just about every conceivable industry, and his business plan packages have helped clients raise in excess of $175 million for their ventures. He holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, a Masters in International Management from the Thuderbird School of Global Business, and a Bachelors in Financial Management from Clemson University. His life's mission is to help others successfully launch or grow their businesses.

Jeremy Vaughan

Jeremy has focused his career on bringing value to business through technology. As a principal consultant at feature[23] he helps technology-dependent companies stay focused on aligning their software projects with their business goals. As such, he's led client engagements through many stages of the product development lifecycle –- market opportunities, envisioning new solutions, customer and market validation, business and revenue modeling, requirements definition, design, implementation, and support strategies.

Jeremy has also served as a business & strategy consultant to many area tech businesses bringing value to their organizations through building high-performance programs and strategies to ensure customers are successful with their technology investments.

In addition, he is a co-founder of The Factory, a different take on the Florida technology accelerator/incubator. A focused, no nonsense, and distraction-free environment to launch quality startups. Here he's working on implementing new programs to help orchestrate and accelerate each startup company's growth.

Jeremy also works with area professionals and businesses to help grow the local tech community:
Sponsor Chair - Jacksonville Developer Users Group
Jacksonville Squad Leader - StartupSquad
Regional Champion - Startup America Partnership

Kate Wornack

Kate has been the social media community manager for Florida Blue since the launch of its social platform in 2010. She's enjoyed figuring out how to entice Florida consumers to engage with an insurance company, and has seen the corporate social community exceed 25,000 followers. When she's not drafting content or responding to nasty tweets (her favorite!), she enjoys being with her husband and two kids.

Kim Deas

Business Growth Consultant

Sarah Gulati

Sarah Gulati is a member of the Florida Bar and the Federal Middle District of Florida. Ms. Gulati has helped many individuals purchase, set up or sell businesses such as restaurants, hotels, gas stations, retail stores, social media site, filming company, medical practices and medical offices in Jacksonville, Orlando, Ocala, Miami and all over Florida. During this process she has also helped business owners trademark or copyright their logos, trade names, etc.

Ms. Gulati can also assist individuals, families and business owners obtain a family or business immigration visa to live, work, and invest in Florida. Ms. Gulati has worked closely with attorneys and other professionals on the prior firm’s domestic and international business matters during her time as an attorney.
We invite you to contact her before making your decision to purchase/set-up, invest, or sell a business.
Other Licenses
Notary Public in the State of Florida
Some Examples of Cases Handled
• Obtained permits to import and distribute alcohol/wines from Europe.
• Commercial Real estate closings over one million dollars and worked with some of the Fortune 500 companies.
• Trademarked several start up business and complied with all Office Actions.
• Helped clients form and structure their businesses from inception to conclusion.

Manish Kothari

Manish Kothari, a native of Nagpur, India is an Electrical Engineer and has an MBA in Marketing along with Diploma in Export Marketing and host of other technical certifications. He came to USA in 1995 and started as a network tech at a local system integrator in Jacksonville, FL. Currently he and his wife Prachi are operating –
Prism Consulting Services (IT Network Consulting),
Prism Lighting Services (Manufacturer of patented Prism Inflatable Lighting system),
Prism Health Services (providing health technology solutions enabling people to stay in their homes safely and comfortably),
Prism Holdings (manufacturer of Prism Fiber Rescue Stretchers).
He is also VP of IS at Jax Federal Credit Union and Acting CIO at Edward Waters College.He has two talented and loving daughters (Isha and Shailee) and loves to read, swim, socialize & sleep (when he can)

Dr. Jerry Merckel

Associate Dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction

Dr. Jerry Merckel is currently a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Associate Dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction at the University of North Florida. Employment experience includes Nuclear Engineering with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Computer Engineering with the IBM PC Company, and multiple start-up company experiences. Dr. Merckel has multiple professional awards including “One of the Top Ten Contributors to the IBM PC Company”, “Engineer of the Year” by the Florida Engineering Society, “Recognition of Eight Consecutive Years of Research Funding” by UNF, and multiple patent awards including three UNF patents and one pending. He has four engineering degrees, BS Electrical Engineering, MS Nuclear Engineering, MS Engineering Physics and a PhD in Engineering Science.

Kevin Monahan

Special Programs Director

Kevin Monahan has over 20 years of professional economic development
experience. He has served in a wide range of business assistance roles in organizations
such as the University of Florida, New Jersey Department of Commerce,
Metro New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and First Energy Utilities. He specializes
in community economic development planning and small business development
having worked with over 75 municipalities to improve their local economies.
Kevin was responsible for the redesign and implementation of the New
Jersey Municipal Business Retention and Expansion Program recognized as a national
model for public/private partnership. While with First Energy, he created
innovative economic development incentive rate programs to attract new firms
and expand municipal ratables.
Kevin has also been involved in a number of large corporate relocation
and expansion projects involving preparation of market studies, site location
analysis, incentive comparisons, permit identification, ombudsmanship, and community
relations. Client companies have included AT&T, BASF, Hewlett Packard,
Toys “R” Us, Home Depot, and United Parcel Service.
Prior to joining the Small Business Development Center staff at UNF, he
served as an economic development specialist for Executive Partners, a national
management consulting firm, that provided economic development advisory services
to municipal management.
Kevin is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University with a B.S. in Business
Administration. He has taught the Economic Development Fundamentals course
through the American Economic Development Association (AEDC), is a Master
Consultant in Business Retention and Expansion (U. of Minnesota), Small Business
Entrepreneurship Trainer (Kaufman Foundation), Certified Economic Development
Marketing Professional (AEDC), SBA Certified Loan Packager (National
Development Council), Organizational Assessment Facilitator (Drucker Foundation),
Export Development Professional (World Trade Center, NYC), and has a
certification in Adult Education (Kaufman Foundation).
In Jacksonville, he has served as Strategic Planning Chair for the Jacksonville
Economic Development Company (JEDCO), and is a board member of the
Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida. He has most recently taught a series
of specialized business education courses designed for military veterans and nonprofit

Micah Cooper


Code Eater

“Do it. Better!”

With a background in the medical software field, Micah is quick to pick up a new idea and run with it. His love for creative problem solving and joy of building meaningful, usable applications makes him a natural fit.

Whether it’s interactive design, refactoring a hairy beast, or formalizing a library abstraction, he’s ready do get down and dirty. When he’s not utterly distracted by the world of Ruby (and Ruby on Rails), you’ll find him on a surfboard chasing sharks (or getting chased – we can never tell with all the splashing) or trying to break a bone with his skateboard.

Michael Jones

Mike is a seasoned executive, consultant and certified business coach with over 20 years experience helping organizations develop, grow and prosper. Having led and grown several businesses, he is now active in the Northeast Florida area as a connector, a mentor and a community builder. As the owner of CEO Focus of Jacksonville, Mike is passionate about re-energizing the local business community, helping business owners re-commit to the reasons they are in business and re-engaging the economic engine of Northeast Florida. Mike has performed extensive work in the areas of strategic planning, financial planning, business analysis, project management, business intelligence, and risk management. An example of some of the industries in which he has advised include retail, wholesale, manufacturing, information technology, utility services, health care, environmental advocacy, insurance, and entertainment.
Mike is an accomplished public speaker, in both professional and university settings, and is well known for his expertise in the areas of business model development, strategic planning, risk management, financial literacy and business analysis and has taught professional development classes in each of these areas.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio State University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Florida and is a registered Professional Engineer in Florida. Mike has a wonderful wife Jane and they have two children and two grandchildren, who he loves to spoil.

Satya Komatineni

I have been programming for about 30 years now. I am happy to report
that it is all worth it. In the last few years I have co-authored the
Pro-Android series of books for APress. I have signed up for the
Expert Android Series due in a few months with APress as well. My
focus and struggle the last couple of years has been how to carry-on
meaningful work. Most of this work has centered around individual
growth through knowledge-able platforms such as the one I use at This platform allows me to a) Learn b)
Publish c) Promote d) Research e) Be Productive through a process that
is not that dissimilar to Osmosis, albeit the source of nutrients is
the net.

Michael Privat

Michael Privat is president and chief executive officer of Majorspot, Inc., and developer of several iPhone and iPad apps, including a leading note taking app Ghostwriter Notes. He is an expert developer and technical lead for Availity, LLC, based in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Nice in France. He moved to the U.S. to develop software in artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He now lives in Jacksonville, with his wife, Kelly, and their two children

MJ Charmani
Carlton Robinson
Yash Nath
Sheena Koshy
Marice Hague
Brian Smith
Upcoming Events

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