Startup Weekend South Florida Sponsorship Levels (Nov 11-13, 2016)

First off, thank you for your interest in Startup Weekend South Florida – November 11-13, 2016.

Many potential sponsors may have questions about the weekend, so we’ve put together a little information below that explains Startup Weekend South Florida, a few of the potential benefits and the currently available sponsorship packages

What is Startup Weekend South Florida ?

Startup Weekend South Florida is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

What’s the benefit for the participants?

The participants come from all walks of technology, so they get to experience what needs to be completed and considered in starting up a company, something they don’t usually get in their normal 9-to-5 jobs. This experience will allow to see their role in the company process in a different light, and many of the participants are entrepreneurial themselves, so they might learn from the weekend and start their own companies.

What’s the benefit for the sponsors?

It depends on the sponsor. Some see this as a way to provide entrepreneurial students and faculty members access to great resources and an opportunity to make their big ideas a reality. Some are using Startup Weekend South Florida sponsorship to educate potential clients and technology developers on the advantages of using their services or products. Other sponsors are doing it for community outreach and to help them achieve their organizational goals. In any case, all money generated goes to the cost of supporting the event and the South Florida startup ecosystem.


Platinum Level Sponsor ($5,000)  (limited to 4 total)

  • Invitation for a guest blog post on Startup Weekend South Florida website
  • Offer a sponsor provided prize to a team or individual via raffle/vote. (eg. Scholarship, iPhone, netbook, software)
  • All benefits of the Gold Sponsorship
  • Ten tickets to the event to give to participants

Gold Level Sponsor ($2500)

  • Identified in media materials for Startup Weekend South Florida
  • Thank you & recognition on social media posts before and during the event
  • Company name/logo listed on Startup Weekend South Florida website
  • Thank you & recognition during Startup Weekend South Florida event
  • Opportunity to place sponsor provided banner stands or banners at the event
  • Hand out materials, swag, other relevant materials
  • Five tickets to the event to give to participants

Silver Level Sponsor ($1500) 

  • Company name/logo listed on Startup Weekend South Florida website
  • Thank you & recognition on social media post
  • Company name/logo displayed on a banner stand/sign at the food table
  • Hand out materials, swag, other relevant materials

Bronze Level Sponsor ($500) 

  • Small company name/logo listed on Startup Weekend South Florida website
  • Thank you & recognition on social media post
  • Hand out materials, swag, other relevant materials

Ecosystem Partner ($250) 

  • Company name/logo listed on Startup Weekend South Florida website

Sponsor An Entrepreneur ($100)

  • Open registration for one entrepreneur of your choice or we will select.
  • We will ensure that one lucky entrepreneur will get fed, meet new people, learn a ton, and hopefully create a successful startup!
  • Recognition on the Startup Weekend South Florida website
  • Recognition at the Opening Event on Friday and Closing Event on Sunday

Contributing Level Sponsor (in-kind or Price Varies By Contribution)

  • Help Support Startup Weekend South Florida with Press Coverage, Marketing, Swag, Venues, Food, Beer, Software, Discounts….. Anything that the community will benefit from!

Ready to become a Sponsor or need something really custom?

For more Information contact Jeff Brown or Alex de Carvalho Thanks for bering AWESOME!




Announcing Startup Weekend Miami

Startup Weekend Miami
November 20th, 2015
Tech Station at Florida International University Main Campus

Startup Weekend Miami 2015 is scheduled on November 20-22 at the brand new Tech Station on the main campus of Florida International University.

Some people call Startup Weekend a three day MBA in entrepreneurship. For others, it’s a life changing experience. Startup Weekend Miami is a 54-hour event designed to provide experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.

Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekend Miami will culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations to a panel of amazing judges.

Startup Weekend Miami participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and will receive valuable coaching and feedback from startup experts, investors, coaches and mentors.

The weekend is centered around action, ideation, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, seeking a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute on your vision, Startup Weekend Miami is the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

You know how crazy it is to go from idea to business model to launch a company in one weekend. At Startup Weekend you can join others in the South Florida who are crazy enough to just do that and much more.

Your ticket includes all your materials, access to coaches and mentors from many different fields, discussions with speakers who have gone through the startup process, and all meals during the weekend.

Hurry and get your tickets now as this event is sure to sell out.  Advance discount tickets are available until October 31 and discount codes are available to currently enrolled students.


Four Great Reasons to Participate in Startup Weekend Miami

  1. Meet other doers, makers, coders, and thinkers – who dream as big as you do.
  2. Get immediate feedback on your skills and your ideas – and learn where you need to grow
  3. Learn how to build smart and build lean – and tap into the network that will support you.
  4. Launch!

Buy Your Tickets Today – This is sure to sell out fast

Happy Fun Corp Sponsors Startup Weekend Diversity Miami

Startup Weekend; a weekend of embracing the insanity, excitement, and roller coaster of emotions that come with building Startups. It is a beautiful introduction to the hustle it takes to take an idea and turn it in to something more — a Startup. If you can survive a weekend, then maybe, just maybe, you can survive the years of hustling that you will encounter, the endless obstacles you will face, and reach success.


We arrive at Venture Hive, an awesome venue. In what, at first, seems like a small place, we learn it is actually quite large with many residents and incredible people involved. We start off networking and I attempt to meet as many people as I can. Then the man of the hour (or many hours), Lee Ngo, gets up and gives us the introduction. Lee is a constant joker, but when it’s time to be serious, the man is extremely serious. After getting some of the run down from Lee, he introduces Paula Celestino. Paula is one of the nicest, passionate, hard hustling, and wonderful people you will ever meet. She was responsible for much of the organization of the event and to say she did an amazing job is an understatement.


We start the event off by doing some fun activities to get our brains turning. We get together in groups and come up with some outrageous startups based on random words that we throw out. This provides us a good laugh and a small look in to what’s to come. Then next few days are a hustle. Testing the market, building a business model, revenue model, product, meeting with mentors, and constantly pitching. The pitch is everything, it can make or break your ability to clearly describe your business and in return effect your ability to acquire something such as funding.


The most beautiful thing about the entire event though, was the diversity. Each team had an array of people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender, and everything in-between. Despite the differences, everyone banded together as strong teams, and were able to help each other to their common goal of building out their vision.


Miami tech is strong and only growing stronger. With people like Paula leading the charge you know it is in good hands. HappyFunCorp was proud to Sponsor such an amazing event. We want to thank everyone involved in Startup Weekend from the organizers, speakers, mentors, volunteers, and people participating. We look forward to what’s to come and are happy to lend a helping hand every step of the way.




Adam Leonard

Southern Regional Sales Director
Building for the future

How To Conquer the Emotional Rollercoaster of Startup Weekend

After 9 Startup Weekends in three years, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life (in fact, I’ve written previously that I might be addicted to it). However, for some that the journey could be really intense at times, and not everyone makes it to the finish line feeling the same way.

Recently, I facilitated Startup Weekend Miami: Diversity Edition, where I was taught the concept of “la pasión,” which is Spanish for “people in Miami are really, REALLY emotional.” I was tasked to harness la pasión in a community that had a plethora of it, in a way that would make everyone come away from Startup Weekend Miami feeling as wonderful as I had 8 times before.

Below is a list of lessons and tips for a facilitator, organizer, or volunteer to apply that would help maintain a sense of stability to an otherwise potentially chaotic event.

1. If you’re an organizer or volunteer, your mission is to execute the event as orderly as possible

In Startup Weekend, Murphy’s Law generally applies – anything that can go wrong will go wrong. It is vital that every organizer and volunteer is informed of the weekend’s tasks and can easily communicate with one another to correct any situation that arises.

Otherwise… this will happen…

Best practice: Print up a universal task list that specifies each delegation and giving a copy to all your volunteers. That way, even if they don’t have an assignment, they can look at the list to see if someone else needs help with something.

2. If you’re the facilitator, your first priority is to take care of the lead organizer

I got your back, Paula.

Generally, lead organizers shoulder the most burden, and the stress can be overwhelming. They should be acknowledged especially for their months of hard work leading up to the big show.

E Pluribus Unum, people.

Facilitators should check in with them hourly and make sure they’re fed, hydrated, and as relaxed as you can get them. If necessary, give them a hug (more on that later).

That'll do, senorita. That'll do.
That’ll do, senorita. That’ll do.

3. Communicate to people on their level – perhaps even in their language

Startup Weekend is an educational event at its core, and the most effective way to teach is to contextualize it with abstract reasoning that they understand. Learn more about them to understand their thinking processes.

Just being honest here.
Just being honest here.

An added challenge for me: most of the attendees of Startup Weekend Miami speak Spanish as their first language. I do not – except for what I’ve learned on TV –  so when people weren’t looking, I’d review my Dora The Explorer Lessons on YouTube and bust that out randomly. You’re welcome, mi amigo/as.

4. If teams are arguing without end, facilitate a scrum

Inevitably, disagreements occur in a competition, but they become difficult to resolve when people are not talking in a respectful, orderly fashion.

This was not that far off from the truth.
This almost happened at the event. More on that later.

To resolve this, get them to stand up and talk in a circle, one at a time. Here’s a quick video to teach you how to run a proper scrum – a very popular method of coordinating large, diverse teams.

(The key lesson starts at 6:32)

I did this with one team in particular. More on that later.

5. Have a quiet space – one for volunteers, one for participants

"Let me answer that question once I'm done with this Tweet."
“Let me answer that question once I’m done with this Tweet.”

We all need to decompress, so give your people a place to rest, nap, socialize, and blow off some steam. Don’t go so far as create a distracting place such as a game session – you still want people to focus on on the main goal.

6. Throw in a dance session or two (you’ll have to start it)

I'm going to regret this once people stop listening to "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars.
I’m going to regret this once people stop listening to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars.

It was a foregone conclusion that I’d be dancing in Miami. It was just a matter of how often. I like to keep the music playing in a common area for attendees to come out, relax, and practice their salsa.

It is possible to have more rhythm than a native Argentinian, apparently.
It is possible to have more rhythm than a native Argentinian, apparently.

Dancing is a great way to stay loose and relaxed, and it’s probably less terrifying than, say, public speaking.

7. Prevent “hanger” by providing snacks and insist that everyone drink water frequently

Startup Weekend is a high-energy competition, and with brains working on overdrive, they’ll need to be replenished. I try to have a bottle of water and a protein-rich snack on my person at all times. Keep your people well-fed, and they’ll be well-tempered, too.

8. Give out hugs and high-fives whenever possible

Paula could not stop hugging me. I do not blame her.
Paula could not stop hugging me. I do not blame her.

I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek‘s recent work Leaders Eat Last, where he describes the importance of establishing physical contact to build relationships and trust among people.

At a hyper-networking event like Startup Weekend, these physical embraces lead to lasting connections that you’ll appreciate long after this experience.

9. Plan to finish your event as soon as possible…

This crowd will turn on you otherwise.
This crowd will turn on you otherwise.

Things might get delayed, so try to move as quickly. Here are a few tips I’ve learned while facilitating for NYC and Orlando:

  • Links only: Instead of letting people present and demo on their own laptops with varying file types, have them send cloud-based links to both and put them in a single document. This moves things along quickly in between Q&A sessions.
  • 4:3 presentation model: Limit presentations to 4 minutes with a loose 3 minutes for judges’ Q&A works well, too. Judges average about 45 seconds per question, so a group of 3-5 judges works well.

Why do we do this?

10. … so that everyone will go to the after-party

Yay! We did it! exha *0981231
Yay! We did it! (exhales…)

I love the idea of an after-party, but often Startup Weekends run too late, and who can really stick around to party on a Sunday night? However, if you aim to end your event around 8pm or earlier, and your event was a rousing success, you’ll have a great time.

Also, try to have ALL of your parties in Miami, regardless of your own location. Here’s why:

We got a pool!
We got a pool!
A bouncy castle for adults!
A photo booth!
A photo booth!

However, despite all of these tips, I should say that there needs to be some room for la pasión in a Startup Weekend. For example:

When a team that nearly imploded on Saturday night…

Team BreakinBread was a fun project for me. Constantly bickering in Spanish over every single detail, I was positive that they would implode and disband by Saturday night.

Serial entrepreneur and LiveAnswer CEO Adam Boalt guides a team of future entrepreneurs.
Serial entrepreneur and LiveAnswer CEO Adam Boalt guides a team of future entrepreneurs.

To fix this, I made them do a scrum. By getting them to talk in turn and truly listen to one another, they realized that they were actually a well-rounded team that agreed on one thing: they had communication problems.

What a difference a day makes!
What a difference a day makes!

Afterwards, they delivered a beautiful presentation that impressed the judges. The rest is Startup Weekend Miami history: they won first place.

Or when a team that won 2nd place got a standing ovation…

Team HandyCab
Team HandyCab

Meet Ernie.

Ernie struggles to get where he needs to be due to the lack of convenient transportation options for the disabled. His dedicated friend Juan pitched an idea:

Not too shabby! By Adam Leonard of Happy Fun Corp.
Not too shabby! Artwork by Adam Leonard of Happy Fun Corp.

An “Uber for the differently-abled,” Juan wanted Ernie to have access to the ride-sharing technologies that dominate the startup marketplace today (e.g. Uber and Lyft). They found great validation by tapping into people’s good nature – an uncommon approach for a Startup Weekend team.

Once I announced their second place win, Ernie stood up and made his way to the main stage. With every step, more and more people rose with him and applauded his victory with deafening cheers of support.

Diversity includes everyone. EVERYONE.
Diversity includes everyone. EVERYONE.

When Ernie took the microphone to say how happy he was to have made the difficult trip to attend Startup Weekend, I was indeed full of la pasión as well (i.e. TEARS OF JOY.)

Or when I could not stop smiling when I was presented with this amazing certificate


The text reads:
“A special recognition for surviving your
Let all who view this document know you survived Miami. We are diverse, speak at the same time and have a rollercoaster of emotions, but at the end of the day, we’re all family and end the night laughing with J’s (JAJAJAJA). You rock!”

Perhaps I had been a bit of a curmudgeon the whole time…

Yeah, I can be a bit.... yeah.
Yeah, I can be a bit…. yeah.

I was deeply moved by the relentless love I received towards the organizers, who should be named (in no particular order): Paula Celestino, Pia Celestino, Ryan Amsel, Gaby Castelao, and Anas Benadel.

Hey, sponsors! We love you!
Hey, SW Miami sponsors! We love you!

In short, Startup Weekend is indeed a roller coaster (it’s designed that way), but for a small minority, that can be an unpleasant experience. Emotions are meant to run high, but there are ways to keep it balanced yet still exciting.

I hope these suggestions serve as a way to hold someone’s hand to make them feel safe right before they take the deep plunge into entrepreneurship.

Good luck, and thank you, Startup Weekend Miami: Diversity Edition!

Lee Ngo is a community leader based out of Pittsburgh, PA.

10 Awesome Things I'm Going to Do While Facilitating Startup Weekend Miami Diversity

To close out UP Global’s Editions Month campaign, I’ll be hosting a diversity edition of Startup Weekend in Miami. To be held at VentureHive, one of Miami’s top startup accelerators, this event is lead by Paula Celestino, a previous Startup Weekend Tampa winner who co-founded KlosetKarma from her experience, an app that monetizes your wardrobe.

While this is not my first time in the glorious state of Florida, this is my first time in Miami, which means I’ll be full of regret if I do not accomplish the following.

1. Take a photo of myself wearing pastel colors.

miami men's fashion

I prefer to wear darker tones (black, grey, blue, etc.) – and this will not do in sunny south Florida. Fortunately Miami is one of the fashion capitals of the world, so I should be in good hands.

2. Find a proper place to “get jiggy with it.”


Yes, like to most of you, Will Smith is pretty much the cultural ambassador of Miami to the rest of the country. My goal is to find out exactly what he was talking about in that video so many years ago. Also, I now feel super old.

3. Eat the best Cuban sandwich I can find.


This is all Jon Favreau’s fault. I had my first Cuban ever… in Seattle. I can only presume that somewhere in Miami will patronize that experience … by welcoming me as their patron… perhaps serving it with some Patron?


4. Try to look somewhat sexy through salsa dancing.


Of all the items on this list, I am the most confident in accomplishing this one.

5. Jump sideways while pretending to fire two guns in air.


The ish is gonna get REAL.

6. Find some Heat merchandise for my brother-in-law.


For reasons I do not understand, my Filipino brother really likes the Miami Heat. I’ll have to get him a Wade jersey to help him through the tough times.

7. See if I look good walking around South Beach in a speedo.


Of all the items on this list, this is the one I am least confident in accomplishing.

8. Learn some Spanish. After all, this is America.


During my brief time in UP Global, I worked with an amazing bilingual team and wish I could communicate with them on their level. I only learned how to laugh. Jajaja.

9. “Seriously, Paula. We’re going dancing, right?”


I will start a dance party AT the event if I have to. Speaking of which…

10. Inspire a new community of Miamians into the startup life.

Of course, the greatest thrill of all is to pass on the experiences that I had at Startup Weekend to a new community. I am especially proud to be a part of an event that’s emphasizing diversity and openness – one of the fundamental tenets of UP Global is “radical inclusion,” where everyone should have a chance to experience what’s it like to be an entrepreneur.

Just a few weeks away. I can’t wait to get this show started!

Lee Ngo, Facilitator
Startup Weekend Miami Diversity

Lee Ngo is an UP Global community leader based in Pittsburgh, PA.