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Event Ended

Elon University: Lakeside Hall

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Check out our blog for prizes & tips for our upcoming Startup Weekend!

For an idea of what Startup Weekend will be like, check this video out:



Nov 22
  • 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


Nov 23
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Coaches arrive to work with teams one-on-one
  • Lunch
  • Coaches & virtual mentors 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 the venue will allow


Nov 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Virtual mentors & coaches are available to reach out to!
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrap-up: Photos & after-hours networking
  • Dinner
  • Go home!
Tier 1 Sponsors
Tier 2 Sponsors
Tier 3 Sponsors

Gary Tomlinson

President at Tomlinson & Associates   |   LinkedIn

In November of 1999 I started Tomlinson & Associates, a business consulting firm working with senior level executives. In 2007 I co-founded Women's Edge Magazine which was a publication for professional women in the greater Raleigh-Durham area.

For over 25 years I've been a regular lecturer at NC State University in the College of Management, specifically in the Entrepreneurship Education Initiative. In 2008 I began lecturing regularly at Elon University in their Business College. In 2012 I began lecturing at NC Central University, UNC (Chapel Hill) and Duke University. Sharing business education with college students has been a passion and I feel honored to have had the privilege of doing so for all these years.

Today, I'm a motivational speaker and business consultant specializing in business execution. I work with CEOs to help them establish execution management as an organizational competency. An organization that knows how to plan and execute can overcome any obstacle and reach greatness. Unfortunately, very few do!


Troy Knauss

Founder & Partner at Gaurdant Partners

Troy Knauss is a founder and managing partner with Guardant Partners, an administrative company that organizes and manages private angel investor funds, and a member and former fund executive for the Piedmont Angel Network (“PAN”), a series of committed capital angel funds with over $15 million under management located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Troy has over 18 years of experience in family and start-up businesses.

Andy Dreyfuss

Fund Executive, with Piedmont Angel Network

Monica Doss

President, Business of Science LLC   |   LinkedIn

Monica consults with research and higher education institutions, economic development organizations and communities to develop and implement entrepreneurship and innovation strategies that are both transformative and organic. . From 2008-2010, she served as Director of Entrepreneurship and Advancing Innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. Prior to that she spent 20 years in North Carolina’s Research Triangle as the first President of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), catalyzing that region’s transformation into one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurial innovation economies.

Barth Strempek

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship

Prior to his academic career, Dr. Strempek spent nearly 15 years in business as a civil engineer, consultant, and business executive in the transportation and information systems industries. In the mid-1980s while at CSX Corp, Dr. Strempek was director of Corporate Planning for the $10 billion transportation congomerate with major operations in railroad, inland barge, ocean shipping, real estate development, resorts, information systems, and fiber optics communications.

In academia, Strempek received his strategic management from Virginia Tech. He taught at Radford University and Virginia Tech before joining the faculty at Elon University in 1994. While at Elon Dr. Strempek developed the initial leadership courses in support of the Love School of Business' Responsible Business Leadership mission. Dr. Strempek began the entrepreneurship program at Elon with a grant from the Coleman Foundation. That program founded Elon ImproVibes, one of the few student-run music recording labels in the country. From 2002-2004, with the support of a large FIPSE grant (US Dept. of Education) Strempek designed and implemented one of the most comprehensive integrated business programs in the county. These programs became the foundation for the ongoing entrepreneurship program at Elon where students at various times built operational enterprises in music production, publishing, major events production, marketing consulting, graphic design, and vibration-dampening device manufacturing.

Dr. Strempek also holds an SB degree in Civil Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Allison Gaynor

IBM Cloud Portfolio Manager

Allison Gaynor (formerly Allison Kingberg) is the IBM Cloud Portfolio Manager with worldwide, cross-brand management of the IBM portfolio of Cloud offerings.

She joined IBM in February of 2002, and has over 11 years with experiences in Product Management, Offering Team Leadership, PDT Leadership, Project Management, SOA Strategy and Customer reference programs. Allison has over 28 years experience in the areas of custom application development and deployment, software product development, and service management with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration.


Vu Donie


Assistant Business Counselor at sbtdc

Sam Funchess


Promoter and supporter of worthy entrepreneurs and the community.

Specialties:Startups, Entrepreneurship, financing, M&A, restructuring, management, technology and vision

Mital Patel


Mital M. Patel focuses his boutique law practice on serving entrepreneurs, business owners / executives, and technology startup companies.

His services span the business life cycle, ranging from early stage start-up and incorporation, contract drafting / review, intellectual property protection and counseling, employment and business growth, to mergers, acquisitions and wind down.

His background as an entrepreneur, computer programmer and web designer allow him to speak his clients' "language" and provide clear legal counsel that makes business sense.

Bryan Toney


Bryan Toney currently serves as Director of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Since he joined UNCG in 2011, he has driven the development of several new co-curricular and outreach programs including Growing Entrepreneurs by Mentoring Students (GEMS), the 2 Minutes to Win It business idea competition, UNCG Entrepreneur Day, and the Entrepreneurial Journeys monthly speaker series. He is also actively involved in numerous local, regional and statewide planning efforts that support entrepreneurship locally and globally.

Roger Cubicciotti

President/CEO & Science Advisor, NanoMedica, Inc.

Dr. Cubicciotti has over 25 years’ experience in corporate R&D, project management, venture development, biopharmaceutical business development and technology commercialization. He has served in management roles for a number of mid-sized biomedical companies and early stage biotechnology ventures and as a technology, business and financial consultant to the biotechnology industry. He has been involved in the formative stage of several dozen startup companies and has co-founded over ten privately held companies, nonprofit foundations and educational ventures. He received his BA in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine with additional training in Human Physiology at the University of California, Davis, and in Biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine. He did postdoctoral research in Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Allison Gaynor

IBM Cloud Portfolio Manager

Allison Gaynor (formerly Allison Kingberg) is the IBM Cloud Portfolio Manager with worldwide, cross-brand management of the IBM portfolio of Cloud offerings.

She joined IBM in February of 2002, and has over 11 years with experiences in Product Management, Offering Team Leadership, PDT Leadership, Project Management, SOA Strategy and Customer reference programs. Allison has over 28 years experience in the areas of custom application development and deployment, software product development, and service management with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration.

Wayne Ackerman

Senior VP Finance and CFO

Wayne received a BA in Mathematics and Economics from Rutgers University, a MBA in Accounting from Rutgers Graduate School of Management in 1987 and is a C.P.A with an extensive general management background. Wayne worked in public accounting as an auditor for Deloitte and Touche as well as regional firms for approximately 10 years. Wayne started with ATC in 1999 and in 2002 left ATC to return to his prior employer, a $250MM international distributor of petro-chemical products in order to run the business and prepare it for sale. After the sale in the summer of 2006, Wayne returned to ATC in his current capacity to support and drive the growth of the ATC business units with his operational acumen and ability to finance new deals.

Sean McMahon

Assistant Professor at Elon University

Sean R. McMahon is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Love School of Business at Elon University. Sean has founded two startups. The first, Jaywalk Inc., was a virtual investment research clearinghouse acquired by The Bank of New York in 2002 and active in providing a market solution to the Global Research Analyst Settlement, the largest settlement in the history of Wall Street at the time.

Coleman Rich

Department Chair, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Senior Lecturer Operations and Supply Chain Management   |   LinkedIn

Jon Leonardo

Founder, Triangle Entrepreneurship Week

Jon has made entrepreneurship and helping entrepreneurs succeed his life. Starting his first venture at age 8, Leo’s Lemonade Stand, he became addicted and since has co-founded and launched 4 North Carolina based companies. Jon attended Elon University where he graduated with a BSBA in Entrepreneurship. After experiencing certain disconnects within the entrepreneurship community in DC, he and two partners were inspired to create DC Entrepreneurship Week to bring interested capital and resources in front of entrepreneurs. Past Entrepreneurship Weeks have successfully funded half of the presenting companies. Jon has reproduced the event model for over 2,000 attendees in DC and the Triangle and continuing to grow into cities across the globe.

Jon currently serves on the board for Elon University’s Doherty Center for Entrepreneurship, HUB Raleigh and interim director for the Charity Lacrosse Foundation. As a philanthropist, he helps raise money and support for local charities in North Carolina and volunteers with villages in Guatemala, Jamaica and Costa Rica. From Boston, Jon now lives in Raleigh and enjoys playing guitar, practicing yoga, and feeding his addiction to gummy bears.

Michael Bak

CEO & Co-Founder of Hello World Mobile   |   LinkedIn

Michael Bak is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hello World Mobile, an international mobile infrastructure technology company which offers new opportunities for differentiation and product innovation in the telecom market. Michael is former CEO of Venture Cup, the biggest business plan competition in Northern Europe, and has worked as advisor and mentor for several startups for many years. He has a Masters in Strategic Communication and has leadership experience from telecom-, medico-, web-, events- and rare metal industries.

*Virtual Mentor
Available: 12-3 PM

Mohammad Asfour

Chair at World Green Building Council, MENA Network   |   LinkedIn

Born, brought up and educated in Amman, the capital city of Jordan. Mohammad Asfour is now part of Asfour Investment & Management. In October 2008 he left the USAID funded SABEQ program where he is covering water, energy and environment. In addition, he was working on enhancing the productivity of Jordan's Architecture and Engineering Sector. Prior to that, he served as an Advisor to the Board of Trustees at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT) and a Director for the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship. During that period he worked on conceptualizing and developing El Hassan Science City.

*Virtual Mentor

Joe Battle

Business Counselor at SBTDC   |   LinkedIn

Executive with 20+ years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, account management and IT. Leadership experience in multiple industries: technology, consumer packaged goods, market research and business services. A Durham native, with both an undergraduate degree and a MBA from Duke University. Currently at the NC Small Business Technology Development Center(SBTDC) providing one-on-one counseling to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

David Higham

Higham Ventures, LLC   |   LinkedIn

David is the owner of Higham Ventures, LLC. He has an Accounting degree and MBA from Elon University. He became an entrepreneur during his Junior year of college when he opened his first retail store. He currently owns three retail establishments, a photography company as well as numerous internet stores.

Drew Whiting

Entrepreneur, Connector, Partner/Attorney at AXIA LAW, LLC   |   LinkedIn

Drew Whiting is an attorney who represents emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking a knowledgeable counselor who shares their entrepreneurial spirit. Drew provides strategic counsel for legal issues including, but not limited to, formation, capital raising, and contract negotiation. While his primary focus lies in providing clients with legal solutions, Drew is committed to assisting clients with all aspects of their venture and developing mutually beneficial, lasting relationships.

Available: 10AM-12PM Saturday

Charlie Nichols

Mobile Mentor-Kenya   |   LinkedIn

Charlie Nichols has a background in Mechanical Engineering and Economics. SunCulture is the fourth company he has founded, the previous three all being financial successes. He was drawn from New York City to Kenya by the market opportunity for clean energy solutions due to high cost of grid electricity.

SunCulture designs and sells solar-powered irrigation systems and agricultural extension services that make it cheaper and easier for farmers in Kenya to grow high-value horticultural produce. SunCulture's AgroSolar Irrigation Kit combines the cost-effectiveness of solar-powered water pumping with the efficiency of low-pressure drip irrigation to distribute water. The payback to the farmer is less than one 3-month growing season — based on fuel, fertilizer, and labor savings and crop yield increases.

Skype: Charlesdnichols
Google Chat:
Available: Saturday 10AM-12PM

Katie Pietrowski and Brent Gilmore

Mobile Mentors-Boston

Brent and Katie are the co-founders of HighFive, a mobile ad-tech startup allowing brands to reach users of health & fitness apps right at the moment of achievement. They recently graduated from the Nike+ Accelerator powered by TechStars where they spent 3 months working with Nike on ideas to incorporate their software into the Fuel Band world. They are based in Boston, MA.

Skype: katie.pietrowski
Available 1:00-3:00 PM Saturday

Lewdmila Pavlova

Co-founder of Timepad, Russia   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Mobile Mentor*

I am responsible for communication with the outside world TimePad. If you need assistance in the preparation and conduct of your event - please!

My strongest areas are b2b, cloud services, finance, bootstrapping, investor relations, marketing, e-commerce and Eastern Europe&Russia.

Skype: lewdmila
Available: 1-5 PM Sunday

Amy Schumacher

Virtual Mentor   |   LinkedIn

Amy Schumacher is a communication expert with over a decade of experience in competitive speaking. Currently, she serves as head of Schumacher Consulting, a communication firm specializing in presentation skills, strategic messaging, and media training for everyone from startup founders to seasoned politicians. She also teaches public speaking at The George Washington University and George Mason University, and both teaches communication and coaches competitive speech and debate at Northern Virginia Community College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from Miami University and a master’s in communication studies from Marshall University.

Available: 10AM-12PM Saturday & Sunday

Danielle Kingberg
Atticus Grinder
Lee Hopcraft
Elizabeth Greenberg
Sam Ackerman
Scott Kelly
Kevin O'Mara
Eric Henry
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