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Lowcountry Tech Academy - 1002 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

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Startup Weekend Charleston will be hosted September 12-14th, 2014 at the Lowcountry Tech Academy in the heart of downtown Charleston. 1002 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Startup Weekend – the 54 hour event where designers, developers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups.

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable.  On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.





Sep 12
  • 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


Sep 13
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • 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 the venue will allow


Sep 14
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Tier 1 Sponsors

Steve Swanson

Founder of Automated Trading Desk (ATD)

Mr. Swanson founded Automated Trading Desk (ATD), a pioneering electronic trading firm based in South Carolina. As President and CEO, Mr. Swanson grew the business from pure proprietary trading to creating a fully automated market maker servicing the broker-dealer community.


Gray Somerville

CEO Telogical Systems

My greatest talents are in the areas of new business ideation, strategic planning, leadership, management, sales, and marketing. The most obvious fit in the economy for a person like me has been in the role of entrepreneur. In August of 2000, I co-founded Telogical Systems which has become the leading provider of applied competitive intelligence solutions to the U.S. telecom/cable industry. Prior to that I was an "intrepreneur", creating a very successful syndicated information services business unit within a pre-existing research firm.

Eric Bowman

Co-Founder / CEO SPARC

As CEO & Founder of SPARC, Eric has laid the foundation of innovation within a culture of entrepreneurialism which has allowed SPARC to grow exponentially and be recognized by the Inc. 500 as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. As CEO, Eric provides leadership and develops strategic plans to advance the company’s mission and to promote revenue, profitability, and growth as an organization.

Michael Knox

Managing Partner at Silicon Harbor Capital Management LLC

Investment professional with over 20 years of experience focused on convertible and high yield debt. Overall investment philosophy is value oriented, fundamentally driven, bottom up. Also have founded several businesses including Xtract Research and Ultimate Boat Clubs. Active in financing small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Rich Yessian

Owner, Blue Ion, LLC

After moving to Charleston in 1998 from the DC Metro area, Rich began developing websites for local businesses using his lifelong background in programming and a desire to pick up new skills in web technologies. It was when Rich met a seasoned Designer/Art Director and a Marketing Strategist, both with Ad Agency backgrounds, to create Blue Ion and began providing a more complete Interactive & Digital Marketing experience. In the 10 years of Blue Ion being in business, they have become a full service agency with a focus on Interactive Design. Clients have included: Charleston Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Maverick Southern Kitchens, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Force Protection, W Residences, and Orient Express. Rich oversees all the technology and overall business administration, in addition to his passion for player/managing BIFC

Lee Deas


As the Grand Imaginator for OM, Lee works with the team on the marketing strategy and integrated solutions for the agency’s clients. She believes in exploration, imagination and collaboration. Her personal tagline was “Lee Can Change Your Image,” until she realized that Lee Jeans had trademarked it.

Prag (Pragnesh) Shah

SVP at Zubie, Inc.

Prag (Pragnesh) Shah is SVP Customer Experience at Zubie based here in Charleston. He is helping drive Zubie's strategy, customer experience, and scaling operations as Zubie helps define the growing "connected car" industry. Prag has previously held senior executive GM roles in E-commerce, sales, marketing, and operations in consumer digital businesses globally and in the U.S. for Rosetta Stone, Network Solutions, and Sprint wireless. He has also served on advisory boards of early stage digital companies.

Gavin McCulley

Angel Capital Group - Charleston

President of The Angel Capital Group - Charleston and Managing Partner of Twin Rivers Holdings, a private early stage investment partnership located in Charleston SC. His investments include Consumer Tech, Digital Media, Film & TV, Bio Tech, Green Tech, Hotels, Restaurants, Manufacturing, Health Care, and Education.


Tom Wilson

Jack Russell Software a division of CareKinesis, Inc.

Passionate about Software Development and improving Healthcare Technology

At Jack Russell Software, we create software that makes a difference! We focus on Healthcare applications that provide a enjoyable user experience. We are passionate about providing solutions that allow clinicians to focus on providing care. Check out and for more details.

Charles Wyke-Smith

Chief Product Officer at Bublish

A creative media professional focused on creating online applications that provide excellent user experience and quantifiable ROI.

I have consulted and developed online applications, web sites and multimedia for Palm, Wells Fargo, ESPN VideoGames, UCSF, and Benefitfocus, and have held VP and other senior positions for online companies.

I'm currently helping to run Bublish, which is focused on solving the problem of book discovery in a disrupted marketplace.

Victor Boudolf

Partner, Computer Directions, LLC

Software Application Development, Consulting

Specialties:Fixed Asset Tracking Systems, Barcode Tracking Systems, Barcode Scanners, Software Development

Joseph Belton

Moore & Van Allen Law Firm, Attorneys

Joseph Belton’s practice focuses on business litigation and counseling. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal court and has successfully tried cases to verdict. He has litigation experience in cases involving commercial contracts, banking and foreclosure, copyright and trademark infringement, privacy, personal injury, construction, and medical malpractice. In addition, Joseph provides outside general counsel for businesses to assist with business entity formation, governance, restructuring, and contract and licensing review and negotiation.

Sam Staley

Business Development & Technology Consultant

My experience ranges from public speaking and training to Institutional Asset Management to, most importantly, Executive Management of three highly technical data infrastructure and application development firms. In my most recent position I remain involved in all aspects of project management, from hands on development to directing large team production environments. I am very fortunate to have acquired a very unique and valuable skill set over the past 10 years.

Sally Kingston

Campus Director at The Iron Yard

Sally grew up in Davidson, NC, but fled the south as soon as she could. She studied Math at Swarthmore College in not-so-sunny Pennsylvania, then fled the snow back to the south as soon as she could return, spending a few years in Chapel Hill studying Information Science at UNC and finally landing in Charleston, SC. She has spent most of the past seven years hanging out with developers in various capacities and has even picked up a little code herself. She spends her free time chasing her twin boys, pursuing the perfect gluten free cookie, and playing roller derby as her alter ego, Whippopotamus.

Steve Lesniak

Owner/Founder at Celadon

Steve Lesniak arrived in Charleston from England in 1992. In 1994 Celadon was born out of Steve’s vision to bring something fresh and non-traditional with a global point of view to Charleston’s home furnishings & accessories market. Since founding Celadon, Steve has traveled to India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, China, and throughout Europe in search of unique, functional, high-quality furniture. Celadon’s selection is a reflection of Steve himself: free-spirited, adventurous, and worldly.

Navin Ganeshan

VP, Products at Zubie

Senior product executive with a track record of innovation and results - over a 20+ year career in bringing consumer and business internet products to market.
- Well-rounded expertise across product strategy, technology and business management
- Creative leader and visionary adept at synthesizing market trends to identify opportunities.
- Entrepreneurial approach to deliver results in any context from early-stage to mature.

Frederick Buhr

VP Digital Marketing at Zubie inc.

Multilingual executive with 15+ years of hands-on technical experience leading large scale digital marketing and eCommerce strategies for both multinationals and startups. Agency experience across multiple industries: travel, transport, retail, health and energy.

Scott Sanders

Ops at GitHub

Scott works on site reliability engineering at GitHub. When he’s not hacking on network operations and scalable infrastructure, you’ll probably find him on the beach. He appreciates a good beer and is a strong advocate for open-source software. Previous adventures with startups in the wireless internet, digital advertising, ground transportation and mobile application industries have taught Scott how to cultivate successful technical infrastructure and processes.

Chad Cravens

President & CEO - Open Source Systems, LLC

I am a highly motivated senior software engineer looking for challenging projects that allow me to serve my clients and continue to grow my knowledge and expertise in software development and cyber security. I have a passion for my field, I love developing secure solutions that exceed the expectations of my customers.

John Osborne
Joe Dwyer
Joel Goobich
Chad Hobbs
Brian Tice
Megan Reilly
Amanda (Noyes) Hodges
Vietson Nguyen
Laura Knotts
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