Global Sponsor Promo Codes- Amazon Web Services, .Co & Google Cloud

Huge thanks to our global sponsors.  Here are some promo codes to give you an extra boost through the weekend.

  • Google Cloud Platform: $500 of credit to build your web or mobile apps. 

2014 RVA Startup Weekend Prizes

This year’s winning teams are going to have to a tough decision deciding which prize they want to choose! We’ve got a great list of prize sponsors ranging from designers to brand strategists to developers and more…  lots of great talent willing to devote their time and expertise to helping the winning team.

Our judges will choose five teams to take home prizes in the following categories:Prizes!

  1. Grand Prize
  2. Best in Show
  3. Best MVP
  4. Most Likely to Scale
  5. Most Likely to Impact the Local Community

Each team will draw numbers 1-5 and that will be the order they get to pick prizes. The grand prize winner will pick first. Here are the amazing prizes we have lined up this year.


BrandVox™: Messaging Workshop (1/2 Day)
In this custom workshop, you’ll work with a messaging expert to help you craft language that will help you connect with customers, investors, and potential employees. You’ll learn simple and effective techniques for developing a stand-out brand personality that shines in today’s competitive marketplace.

GroundWork Design:
3 Hours of Digital Communication Consultation ($450 Value)
GroundWork Design is offering the winning team 3x 1 hour consultation sessions with Greg Hofbauer, Digital Strategist & Interactive Storyteller. These sessions may include a range of topics from leading your team in a brainstorming exercise to website or application information architecture consulting based on the winning team’s needs. Offer valid for up to 3 months after the 2014 RVA Startup Weekend and the first meeting must be scheduled within 30 days.
Nimble Pitch: 3-Month License of Digital Storytelling Platform ($600 Value)
NimblePitch is offering the winning team 3 months use of our award-winning web publishing system. Create highly interactive and engaging websites, minisites, product demos, and more using our cloud-based publisher. This package also includes training on how to use our platform. The NimblePitch® platform consists of three components:   Web Environment – Public/private interactive rich-media websites;  Content Editor – Manage and publish content to web environment; and Insights Dashboard – Review activity as viewers engage with web environment. Offer must be claimed within 30 days after the 2014 RVA Startup Weekend.

804RVA: Coworking Membership for your Team
Coworking at 804RVA is more than having a place to work– you get to be part of the wolf pack and join our awesome community of startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs.  Choosing this package as a prize will give you 6 months of the best days of your life for you and your team.

Threshold Counsel: Legal Package

–  Forming a business entity
–  Co-owners’ operating / shareholder agreement
–  Drafting and discussion of one or two customer or client contracts and vendor or subcontractor agreements
–  Identification of key intellectual property and strategy to clear and protect that IP

(Prize does not include filing fees, applications for protection of IP or working with investor(s) for funding transactions.)

Campfire and Co: Startup Brand Adventure

Let us guide you on the mountainous terrain of startup land!  Our discovery session will chart the course. We will supply your team with our (fun) design questionnaire. From there, we will put together a schematic presentation which explores potential directions for your brand. We will gather examples and inspiration for two potential brand personas and include preliminary logo options, typeface choices, colors and iconography to test these directions.

In our hands-on consultation we will discuss your initial reactions and design preferences. We will listen carefully to your opinions and ideas and recommend next steps.

After this session you will have a direction for your company’s identity and can choose to continue the adventure with Campfire & Co. by your side. We will put together a proposal for your specific branding needs. This will include your logo, colors & typefaces, PLUS some sturdy gear for your social media outposts, a handy Brand Guide and business cards for your team.
Lighthouse Labs: Power Networking
Lighthouse Labs offers the opportunity for select introductions to our mentor community to take your idea to the next level.  First, you will sit down with the managing director of the program and determine who can be of help to move your concept forward.  Personal introductions will follow to key founders, mentors and friends in the startup community that you can invite to your personal network of greatness!

One Duck Creative: One Minute Animated Video
A one minute motion-graphics animated video to go along with the script your team develops. The video must be for promoting the winning startup.

Emergent Social Solutions: One Hour Strategy Session

Your one hour strategy session will include:

·      An assessment of your current social media profiles

·      Social media goal setting

·      A discussion about platforms to use

·      Social media strategy development

·      Content plan development

Coshx LabsHalf Day Planning Workshop from Coshx Labs – In this workshop, we dig deep into your primary product goals, and construct prioritized user stories that align the development plan with your product goals. The results from this workshop can be used as an RFP to solicit bids, or as a project plan to build an MVP in a cost effective manner.
Big Spoon: Strategy Ideation
Your team will recieve four hours total of strategy ideation to help you organize your foundational plan moving forward. This will include a one hour initial meeting, followed by two hours’ worth of strategic planning on our end and a final hour session to present our ideas to you with a packet of recommendations.

Artup: Photo Session
ArtUp will be providing a one hour photo session to the winning team for use in their promotional materials.

CopyShoppy: “Business Name, Tagline & Available Domain!” contest
CopyShoppy’s copywriting community will compete to provide you with a powerful business name, a memorable tagline, and a catchy available domain name to match, setting the foundation for your brands growth all at once. Expect around 30 options to choose from.

Recurve: One Day BrightLine Workshop
Our one-day BrightLine Workshop is aimed at helping the participant create a rapid path to progress. We will guide the participant from goal setting and research to actionable strategy and testing. We will help the winner formulate experiments aimed at solving business challenges and provide an implementation plan and success metrics.

DesignModo: The Bricks Bundle Pack Add-on

The Bricks is a set of user interface components and elements (PSD) united by four add-ons Forms, Elements, E-commerce and Words. Beautiful and clear elements can be easily combined using groupings of similar style elements. The pack contains hundreds of web elements which can be used in a variety of projects.



Best in Show Winner

The team who wins Best in Show will win one copy of the Adobe Creative Cloud (the Complete Plan) for one year! The 2014 release of Creative Cloud includes all-new versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro.

The complete plan includes:

  • Latest Photoshop, Illustrator, and more, plus cloud features
  • ProSite portfolio website
  • Typekit desktop and web fonts
  • 20 GB of cloud storage

A look back at the 2012 Startup Weekend Blacksburg

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to attend the 2014 Startup Weekend Blacksburg.  Two year ago, the 2012 Startup Weekend Blacksburg sold out a week in prior to the event.

Here is a recap of the 2012 event:

Winning-T-ShirtNinety people attended the first ever Startup Weekend Blacksburg – held September 14-16, 2012 – with nine teams pitching on Sunday. Top honors went to team ResumeX, an application that facilitates the digital transfer of resumes between applicants and business at career fairs.

Pivotal Testing, an idea conceived by Blacksburg High School alumnus and Virginia Tech student Braden Croy, placed second in Startup Weekend Blacksburg. The application allows teachers to create tests that students can take from their cell phones or other touch screen interfaces.

Within weeks after Startup Weekend Blacksburg, Pivotal Testing was well on its way to launching. Five days after the event, the startup received some working capital by winning $1,000 through the RBTC’s “Small Bucks, Big Bang” competition. In October, it was invited by Fortify VC to pitch at Distilled Intelligence 2.0 in Washington, DC. By December, Pivotal Testing successfully piloted its application through a course at Virginia Tech where 2,500 students answered over 60,000 questions using it.

Be sure to get your tickets to the 2014 Startup Weekend Blacksburg, held October 3-5, today while tickets are still available.

T-Shirt Design Finalized for Startup Weekend Blacksburg

Now that is some pretty sweet swag!  Check out the official 2014 Startup Weekend Blacksburg t-shirt.


The artwork depicts a caricature of Kent Square, the venue for Startup Weekend Blacksburg, and was designed by Chris Coleman of the Montgomery County Public Information Office.

Be sure to get your ticket to Startup Weekend Blacksburg, Oct. 3 to 5, so you can sport one of these classy tees. All attendees receive a complimentary t-shirt.


Vanguard Ideation – Interview with the Co-founder

Andrew Curtis, co-founder of Vanguard Ideation, is a local entrepreneur and lead organizer for the FXBG Design group.

We spent some time with Andrew Curtis last week, who is the co-founder of Vanguard Ideation. Andrew is a local entrepreneur and lead organizer for FXBG Design.

When did you decide to pursue design?

I started designing in high school. I found that I loved fine art, drawing, even publisher. I liked being around creative people.

After weighing the options, I chose to go to design school at George Mason University. My sophomore year, I took my first typography class, and discovered that I could apply art to the professional realm.

 Did you always plan to start a business?

I always knew I wanted to be part of a design firm, and after doing production design with AIGA GMU, I knew that’s the atmosphere I wanted to be a part of when I graduated. However, I hadn’t always planned to start my own agency.

What was the catalyst to found Vanguard Ideation?

My mentor, Joe Corbett – previously at Lanyap Creative – encouraged Luis Cavero and I to start our own firm. We were tired of close-minded jobs in the corporate setting, and wanted to be able to work in multimedia. In October 2013 Luis became my business partner and we started Vanguard Ideation.

What is the mission of your agency? Who do you really want to help?

We strive to be holistic in our approach to design. We determine the problems, and create a sense of unity throughout the visual brand. Consistency is our goal! We want clients that care about their business, and that are ready to elevate their visual identity.

How do you want to help the startup community?

We’ve built many relationships in this community. We want to give people with great ideas the opportunity to excel and succeed with their product. We hope to bring support, investing in their mission and goals in a long-term relationship. Our relationships aren’t one-way, but an exchange of ideas.

What do you like about being a “Creative Director”?

I have the opportunity to help convey the right standards to let a product or idea grow. I love identifying the problems and giving a brand direction – bringing consistency to all platforms.

What services does Vanguard Ideation offer?

Branding, social media design/ strategy, visual design, print, web, user experience, illustration, brand development and execution

Where do you envision your agency going?

We would like to have a strong team of under ten people. We want to grow in a well-rounded way, from smaller development to bigger design projects.

How have you benefited from #SWFXG?

Building relationships with people like Adrian, founder of Sprelly, and Kathy, founder of Kickshaws Downtown Market, have been huge. We were able to build their social and design presence, bringing consistency across media. My business partner, Luis, was even able to explore and build a game:

Startup Weekend Sponsor– SimVentions


SimVentions is a privately Voted Virginia Business “Best Places to Work” for 2014, is located right here in Fredericksburg- Specializing in the establishment of innovative products and solutions centered on the Company’s key theme of Image, Create, Explore and Discover.
Founded in 2000, SimVentions supports our local economy by providing high-quality component-based solutions that revolve around these six core disciplines:
• Systems Engineering
• Software Engineering
• Modeling and Simulation (M&S)
• Security Engineering
• Professional Education (ProEd) Training
• Program Management
SimVentions is a privately held, profitable corporation which attracts and rewards top quality staff. Their purpose and vision set the pace and environment that make it a great place to work in Fredericksburg. They play an integral part in the local economy as well as the community as a whole by offering an environment of innovation and collaboration.
Company purpose is to honor, please and glorify God by focusing on relationships and inspiring creative opportunities for employees and customers. Last year they were also blessed to be recognized by the Governor’s office for their “Commitment to Hiring Veterans”.
It is an honor and blessing to have SimVentions support and sponsor Fredericksburg Startup Weekend.

RVASW – This Is What It's All About

This post was submitted by Elliot Roth.


It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and Startup Weekend is here! Are you ready for a 54-hour non-stop business-building extravaganza? Are you ready for food, beer, friends, and creating the next Facebook meets pets meets dating site? Get your hoodies and socks/sandals combos ready, this weekend is going to be one of the fastest and most rewarding weekends of your life.

Whether you have an idea, or you’re searching for a soulmate to code with, RVA Startup Weekend takes any and all who have a passion for starting stuff. This year’s RVA Startup weekend will be held in the center of Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus, one of the epicenters for good ideas (and bad drunken follies) for the city. We’ll start the weekend off with a pitch night where you have a minute to convince the audience that your idea is going to be the next big thing. Next, we’ll split up into teams based on the ideas that rise to the top, and immediately dive into building.

You’ll be given the next two days to turn your ideas into reality. Don’t worry – you’ll be given plenty of help over the weekend from fabulous mentors across the community that have been deeply involved in the startup and business scene. You’ll also have access to some of the best reference resources available on the interwebz.

At the end of the weekend, exhausted and happy, you’ll get together one final time for a pitch night in which you can win some outstanding prizes to carry your business idea forward even more.

So sign up today for an incredible experience with outstanding people. It’s going to be an amazing and unforgettable weekend!

FREE Startup Weekend Boot Camp Series

Expand your startup skills tool belt, meet incredible people, and and set yourself up for success at Startup Weekend Blacksburg 2014. In preparation for Startup Weekend Blacksburg, a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation, Startup Weekend Blacksburg is offering a FREE series of bootcamps focused on building your startup toolkit.

These events are designed to integrate you into the startup mindset and build your comfort level with entrepreneurial skills. If you’re not sure whether to attend Startup Weekend Blacksburg, this is a great opportunity to test the waters. Each topic is self-contained, so feel free to attend any or all of the bootcamps.


Rapid Android Development
Date: Wednesday, 9/24/2014
Location: TechPad, downtown Blacksburg
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Bill Rascher; Director of Software Engineering, Atomic Axis

Want to get your hands dirty developing a mobile application? This bootcamp is focused on the basics of Android development. We’ll focus how to quickly prototype and work with fast iterations to turn your idea into reality as quickly was possible. Building is a major part of Startup weekend, so this event will set you up for success.

For more information about the Rapid Android Development Bootcamp or to register, visit


The Art of Pitching
Date: Wednesday, 9/30/2014 at 6 PM
Location: Techpad, downtown Blacksburg
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Bob Summers; Chief Geek, Fitnet

How do you sell your idea in a matter of seconds? The process of pitching is an art that is best mastered with practice. Learn what makes an engaging and effective pitch, and have an opportunity to pitch for feedback.

For more information about the Art of Pitching Bootcamp or to register, visit


Crafting a Mobile Apps
Date: Wednesday, 10/1/2014 at 6 PM
Location: TechPad, downtown Blacksburg
Cost: FREE
Speaker: Alexander Obenauer; Co-founder & CEO, Mindsense

Are you passionate about what cool things people can do on their mobile devices? Learn about the process of creating a mobile application from the ground up. We’ll go through the process of ideation, refining, designing a user experience, and prototyping.

For more information about the Crafting Mobile Apps Bootcamp or to register, visit


Student Tickets $50!

Startup Weekend Blacksburg (Oct. 3 to 5) is right around the corner. Tickets are flying and won’t be around for long. If you’re a student at Virginia Tech, Radford University or New River Community College looking to attend Startup Weekend Blacksburg, be sure to take advantage of our student discount.

Use the promo code STUDENT when checking out to get your ticket for just $50.00


The ticket price includes: meals and snacks throughout the weekend, a snazzy T-shirt, free .co domain, $100 Amazon Web Services gift card, and $500 Google Cloud Platform gift card.

The winning team at Starup Weekend will access to NuSpark (including workspace and mentorship services) through the end of the year, a branding package from Venveo (including logo, business card and letterhead design), a legal consultation with the Mitchell Law Firm and a 4-month membership to TechPad coworking space following time at NuSpark.  The second and third place teams will receive a three-month membership to TechPad.

Want to attend Startup Weekend Blacksburg?  Be sure to purchase your ticket today!  Those using the student discount will need to bring and show their student ID at the door.

Will you be there?

Tweet us or Facebook us and let us know!


Want a discount code for RVA Startup Weekend?

Hey designers, developers and women in technology: We’ve got spots for RVA Startup Weekend that are waiting to be filled by you! Every team needs a great designer and a strong developer to help take a great idea and turn it into an awesome start-up. If you were Adobe-Prizeon the fence about coming to this year’s Startup Weekend here’s your incentive to come!

If you are a designer or developer who wants to participate, click here to receive 50% off your ticket.

We support women in technology and want to encourage female tech founders to participate in Startup Weekend so we’re giving away extra discounts for female attendees. If you are a lady looking to participate this year, click here for 75% off your ticket.

What does your ticket to Startup Weekend get you? Three days of networking, learning and team mentoring, Three days of amazing local meals, three days of local craft beer, and lots of fun activities (including yoga). Startup Weekend is an incredible experience. Don’t miss out.