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Curt Creely

Partner with Foley & Lardner LLP

Curt Creely, partner with Foley & Lardner LLP, is a member of the firm’s Transactional & Securities and Private Equity & Venture Capital Practices. He is also a member of the firm's Life Sciences and Emerging Technologies Industry Teams.

Mr. Creely's practice focuses on counseling companies, investors, investment banking firms, and entrepreneurs in connection with public and private securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic transactions, securities law compliance and reporting, corporate governance matters, loan transactions, and company formation.

Ian Ippolito

Founder and CEO of vWorker

Ian Ippolito is the founder and CEO of vWorker and a serial entrepreneur. In 2001, Ian created, a marketplace that connects businesses to remote workers (like programmers, designers and writers). Starting from an extra bedroom in his house, he grew the company to 15 employees and $11.1 million in revenue last year. Entrepreneur magazine named vWorker one of the "100 most brilliant companies" and it is a four time consecutive winner of the Inc. 5000 "fastest growing private company in the U.S." award.. It has also been featured on CBS and FOX news, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fast-Company and many other broadcasts, publications and journals. Alexa ranks vWorker as one of the top 3,000 largest sites on the internet.

Dan McGaw

As a member of the 1st place winning team of Startup Weekend Orlando, Dan McGaw added to his lengthy history in entrepreneurship. After starting his first successful business at 14, Shattered Records and Management, Dan has since run more than seven successful businesses and is now a driving force in the Orlando Startup scene. Today, Dan contributes to business and marketing strategy at Code School, helping the online education platform to reach more than 12 million developers around the world. Aside from his day job, Dan is one of the organizers of Starter Studio, an upcoming office space for fellow entrepreneurs to collaborate and work in Orlando. His years of successes and failures make him a wealth of information on ideas that work, and shaped him into a leader in his community.


John Morrow

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, SEI Alliance

Over the past three decades, John Morrow has founded a number of technology companies. Currently he is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation Alliance at College of Business USF St. Petersburg, as well as Co-Founder of Gazelle Lab, a seed-stage fund and accelerator based in Tampa Bay, and Co-Author of Tampa Bay’s 6/20 Plan. John also serves on the boards of a number of companies and organizations.

Sara Hand

Sarasota Chapter Gulf Coast Venture Forum   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Managing Partner for S P Hand and Associates, Sara Hand specializes in creative strategies for business growth with a strong focus on implementation. With a unique combination of skills and experience from the public and private sector and across a variety of industries, and in leadership roles for several organizations

Stan Schultes

Co-founder of BarCamp Sarasota

Stan Schultes has long been passionate about building and leading community organizations that are engaging, provide practical value to their members, and are collaborative players with other community and civic groups. Recently his focus has been on regional economic development initiatives, connecting entrepreneurs with funding sources, and grass-roots education and business growth.

Stan is co-founder of BarCamp Sarasota, founder of the Sarasota .NET Developers Group, technical community liaison for the Gulf Coast Venture Forum, and partner liaison to TEDx Sarasota. He sits on the board of directors for the Suncoast Technology Forum, and organizes and participates in a number of regional business/technology collaboratives.

Stan's background is technical - having held roles as a Software Solutions Architect, Project Manager, and CTO in companies as small as 4-person startup and as large as the Fortune 200. He holds a BSE in Computer Engineering from Purdue University, is a rabid lifelong learner and he actively keeps his skills current by writing and speaking on leading edge technologies. He's also been a Microsoft MVP for 9 years running. These days, he's equally well versed at speaking business strategy and investor as he is at decoding the latest computer lingo.

Mary Key, Ph.D.

CEO Florida Forums   |  

Business consultant, speaker, author and executive coach, Dr. Mary Key heads CEO Florida Forums, an organizational effectiveness consulting firm committed to the development of CEOs and leaders. CEO FL Forums has helped clients produce “breakthrough” results and works with individuals, teams and organizations in areas such as strategic thinking and planning, hiring the right talent, leading change, leadership and team development, conflict resolution and effective execution – all leading to improving your focus and productivity. Key has worked with Fortune 500 companies, Inc. 500 winners and various government agencies. Among others, her clients have included: Nokia, Nissan, Infiniti, Baycare Health System and more. Key has helped entrepreneurs and their companies achieve exponential growth through a system of Right Focus, Right People, and Right Execution. She was part of a national team that built Inc. Magazine’s Eagles CEO program where CEOs of fast growing companies came together to focus on each other’s strategic business issues achieving remarkable results.For more information, visit:

Sean Lux

Assistant Professor in the Center for Entrepreneurship

Sean Lux is an assistant professor teaching graduate-level courses in entrepreneurship at the USF Center for Entrepreneurship. Lux currently teaches Venture Capital and Private Equity, Business Planning, Advanced Topics in Entrepreneurship, and Strategies in Technology Entrepreneurship to MS in Entrepreneurship and Applied Technology and MBA students.

Lux’s research examines how individual actors gain competitive advantage through shaping their environment as well as how governments can optimize entrepreneurial activity through policy. His work has been published in the Journal or Management, Academy of Management Conference Best Paper Proceedings, and the Handbook of Organizational Behavior.

He has a PhD in Management from Florida State University where he taught Business Strategy and Policy and Contemporary Leadership. He earned an MBA from USF and a BS in Civil Engineering from Norwich University. Lux then received his commission in the U.S. Army and served with the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, 1st Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, and 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry. He has also held numerous positions in companies ranging from high tech entrepreneurial startups to the Fortune 500 gaining experience in marketing, operations, audit, general management, and business development.

Daniel Doyle Jr.

Chief Executive Officer Dex imaging

From a start-up base of 15 employees at a single branch location in 2002, Dan Doyle Jr. has grown DEX imaging to 33 branches in a 10-year span with over 450 employees and over $100 million in annual revenue.

Doyle Jr. has developed DEX imaging from the ground-up using a slow and steady approach to growth, concentrating primarily in the Southeastern regions of the United States. He has been instrumental in conceiving and overseeing innovative business strategies, such as DEX’ Employee Profit Sharing Program which awards bonuses based on exceptional job performance, and DEX’ Community Outreach Program, which donates one third of the company’s profits to charities within the communities it serves. Since DEX’ inception, the company has donated over twenty million dollars to charities, foundations, and educational programs.

DEX imaging is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the prestigious
Diamond Premier Dealer award by Kyocera for the last 10 years consecutively, the ProTech Service award by Konica Minolta for the last 6 years consecutively, the 2011 Elite Dealer Award by OfficeDEALER Magazine, and 2012 Elite Dealer award by The Week In Imaging.

DEX has also been recognized by JD Power & Associates for four years consecutively for Best Customer Experience. Other accolades include being named Best Place to Work by
various business journals in the markets where DEX does business.

Prior to founding DEX Imaging, Doyle Jr. was the founder and managing partner of a real-estate development and holding company based in St. Petersburg, Florida, responsible for developing, building, and managing some of the most distinguished landmark properties in the Tampa Bay area.

Doyle Jr. serves on the Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation of Tampa, and is on the Board of Directors for The Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County, St. Paul’s School, and The Doyle Foundation. He is also a founder of Friends of Music, an exclusive club formed in the Tampa Bay area to help raise money for performing arts education.


Justin Davis

Madera Labs   |  

Justin has a passion for making things better. From making websites easier to use, to making the grocery shopping experience a better one, he believes that great design is the key to great experiences.

Justin believes that the customer should be where design starts, and takes a user-centered approach to designing better products and services, using research, observation and interviewing to make sure that the design really works like it should for the consumer. He has a relentless passion for finding opportunities to make experiences better, actively challenging the status quo to help companies move out of their dogmatic safety nets into innovate territories that their customers love.

Michael LaPlante

La Plante Web Development   |   LinkedIn

Michael has his BS from Full Sail University with a specialization in Web Design and Development. He brings 8 years of web development and UX/UI experience. Michael has a passion for entrepreneurship and startups and is always eager to help his peers. In addition to multiple volunteer commitments he also runs his own web development firm based in Tampa, FL.

Alfred Goldberg

Co-Founder and President of the Americas, Absolute Mobile Solutions   |   LinkedIn

Alfred co-founded Absolute Mobile Solutions in 2000 and has been an independent technology voice for mobile ever since. His passion is helping visionary companies effectively develop successful mobile strategies. Over the years, Alfred's business and IT background led to his involvement with innovative mobile technology companies and their customers in over a dozen countries.

Alfred attended the University of South Florida where he pursued a BA in Economics. Alfred has recently designed a curriculum to teach mobile design and development to students at the International Academy of Design and Technology Online (IADTO), one of the first such curriculums in the country.

Elton Rivas

Co-founder and President of One Spark   |   LinkedIn

Elton is a serial entrepreneur and launch consultant. He is the co-founder and President of CoWork Jax, One Spark, and Zero Confines.

Elton has been passionate about creating cultures of innovation for as long as he can remember. Having worked in both large and small companies, he is an enthusiast of coworking and the collaborative innovation that comes from coworking communities. He is a University of North Florida alumni, a triathlete in training, published writer, and one of the driving forces behind Jacksonville’s rapidly emerging entrepreneurial community. Elton is also active on a number of boards throughout northeast Florida and beyond, including SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) and the Jacksonville Cultural Council’s Innovation Board. He is a believer in urban renewal and downtown revitalization, and works with several private and civic organizations that are helping downtown Jacksonville experience a renaissance.

Reuben Pressman

Founder - Startup Check I'm Here   |   LinkedIn

Serial social entrepreneur, community builder, web/software design/dev, addicted to starting things, unlimited energy, compulsive problem solver, and Tampa Bay tech ecosystem lover. St. Pete Local! Graduated first in Entrepreneurship at USF St. Petersburg.

Currently the founder of Startup Check I'm Here, Creative Agency Reuben and Hunter, and much more here:

Lover of crash startup comps: Startup buspreneur, startup weekend mentor, Mayor's Hackathon team captain, and gazelle lab pitch comp winner

(ps, Nobody has any idea what they're doing)

Please, no buzzwords this weekend!

Brandon Muth

Founder of Muth Co   |   LinkedIn

Brandon Muth is a Tampa based entrepreneur, who has spent 12 years specializing in Graphic Communications, including web, print, branding, messaging and business development strategies for clients as well as his own ventures. Brandon had experience working with major companies and decided to found his own graphic communication firm, Muth Co.
He has had the opportunity of creatively collaborating with a wide variety of clients and projects, ranging from boutique hotels to government agencies to Fortune 500 companies, and most everything between. His work has been recognized by Rockport Publishers, How Magazine, Web Designer Magazine and he has also won ADDY and PRSA awards for excellence in creativity and design.
He is an avid tennis player, a hack golfer and enjoys spending time with his wife and four children.

Jeremy J. Vaughan

Partner + Chief Strategist at feature[23]   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Jeremy is big on business problem solving with technology, taking ideas to successful product launches and beyond. As a software consultant at feature[23], he helps technology-dependent companies stay focused on aligning their software projects and products with their business goals.

Very passionate about working with tech startups and helping to grow the Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem, he is also a Co-Founder of The Factory. A different take on the Florida technology incubator and accelerator

Susie Steiner
Ryan Sullivan
Kim Randall


Nov 16
  • 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 17
  • 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


Nov 18
  • 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!
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