Past event…

Event Ended


The Shreveport Bossier Startup Weekend event will be held on Oct 26-28, 2012 inside of Shreveport's coworking space Cohab at 610 Commerce Street. Cohab is situated within walking distance of the downtown area, casinos, the red river and is just across the river from the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City. The area is the heart of the creativity in Northwest Louisiana and is teeming with history and fun things to do.

If you are an entrepreneur or have an idea for a business and want to pitch it, press the 'Register' link above to get involved. Read the Startup Weekend FAQ to get answers to most of your questions.

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur? The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.


Presentation Order

by swsb

It’s almost time for team presentations to begin! Here is our order! Venueville On Par HELPFLIX BeefyPC Direnzic Technology & […]

Who you’ll meet at Startup Weekend

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Startup Weekends attendees’ backgrounds are roughly 50% technical (developers, coders, designers) and 50% business (marketing, finance, law).  Twenty nine percent […]

Startup Weekend FAQs

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“There are only seven days in the week, and someday isn’t one of them” Startup Weekend is a 54 hour […]

Jambalaya Lunch Saturday

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We’re working really hard to have GREAT food during startup weekend, one would expect no less in Louisiana. We have […]



Oct 26
  • Shuttle Departs for Moonbot Tour
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speaker Stewart Hamel
  • 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
  • Formally finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as you'd like to work with your team
  • Optional: Social Time at Stray Cats


Oct 27
  • 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!
  • Popsicle Break!
  • Speaker Linda Biernacki
  • Working Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Formally finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as you'd like to work with your team
  • Optional: Social Time at the Nobel Savage


Oct 28
  • 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
  • Optional: Post event celebration at the El Dorado. Watch the Saints take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos!

Linda Biernacki

President of Fire Tech System, Inc

In September of 1990, Linda opened her own firm, Fire Tech Systems, Inc. By 1993, the company had grown to 17 employees with sales of $1.3 million. She purchased a 5,000 square foot building west of town in 1993. In 1996, Linda remodeled her building to accommodate the growth. In 2004 the company built a new 6,500 square foot building in Ashley Ridge Business Park. In 2007 the company purchased a 5,000 square foot building next door to the home office. In 2012 the company has 64 employees and is currently licensed in six states: Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Celebrating 22 years in business Fire Tech Systems, Inc. has successfully installed such projects as: Cyber Innovation Center

Stewart Hamel

Hamel Interests

Stewart Hamel, 35 serves as Managing Principal of Hamel Interests and Private Equity, LLC, a Shreveport, LA-based private investment company with subsidiaries engaged in real estate, energy, aviation, private equity and digital marketing.

Gold Sponsors
John Grindley
Jessica Schiele
Rob Gaudet
Silver Sponsors

Ross Barrett

Venture Capital Fund Manager   |   LinkedIn

* Venture capital, M&A advisory, tax, legal, new market tax credits

John E. Atkins

Principal and Partner in Atco Investment Company LLC   |   LinkedInGoogle+

John E. Atkins serves as a Principal and Partner in Atco Investment Company LLC, a diversified asset management company located in Shreveport, Louisiana. While Mr. Atkins shares responsibility for all aspects of the Atco investment portfolio, his primary areas of focus include Oil & Gas, Timberland, and other Alternative Assets. In addition to his responsibilities at Atco, John is also a co-founder and Partner in Louisiana Timber Partners LLC, a timberland investment management organization with timberland holdings in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Lastly, John serves on the Board of Directors of three Louisiana-based companies: Argent Financial Group, a trust and investment management organization, Aeropres Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial gases

John F. George, Jr., MD

Owner and Manager, G6 Management, LLC

After several years as a geologist in the oil and gas industry, Dr. George began his medical EXPERIENCE career as a physician and co-founded LifeCare Management Service, LLC. As Medical Director, he was instrumental in the unique development of LifeCare Case Management, Ancillary Services, Direct Contracting, Quality Assurance, Physician Relations, Education and Training. As Chief Operating Officer, he developed many cost containment strategies, and during his tenure as Executive Vice President of Development was responsible for numerous hospital startups and acquisitions. With this diverse background in business development, investment management expertise, and clinical management, Dr. George has a unique combination of successful experience integrating businesses and medical management. LifeCare owned and operated 20 hospitals in 9 states and had 3000 employees who managed more than 1200 patients per day. In 2005 LifeCare Management was purchased by the Carlyle Group.

Rand Falbaum

President/CEO of Gordon, Inc.   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Falbaum has been widely recognized as an owner, manager and mentor to over 50 businesses. Since 1985, he has served as Chairman & CEO of Gordon, Inc., which has grown from a small family-owned producer of ceiling products into a nationwide industry leader in the engineering and manufacturing of components for commercial and industrial applications. Falbaum also owns and operates various industrial, commercial and multi-use real estate properties. In addition, Falbaum is a co-owner of Sound Fighter Systems (highway sound barrier manufacturer)

Matthew Cameron

Director / Interactive Solutions at CenturyLink

* Strategy
* Business Development
* Interactive Product Analysis
* User Experience Design and Research
* Email
* Online Monetization
* Social Media
* Internet
* Leadership
* Mentoring
* Mergers and Acquisition Operations
* Self Motivated
* Turning Risk to Potential
* Processing Ideas Rapidly
* Leading Others Towards Solutions not Analysis
* Action that Pilots Results

Entrepreneur Sponsors
Prize Sponsors

Josh Clayton

Attorney   |   LinkedIn

Attorney with an accounting undergraduate degree and innate skills as a business development strategist.

Highly creative in envisioning marketing concepts, executing targeted advertising and marketing tactics to quickly increase awareness, and designing game plans to quickly maximize revenue growth.

Proficient in networking to secure the right contacts and negotiating the terms for success.

At age 27, built law practice from the ground up and enjoys the creative process of assisting other entrepreneurs.

Retooled law practice to focus on entrepreneurial strategic development. Will assist new and existing companies in all aspects of starting, developing, and marketing a business.

Services include contract drafting and interpretation, negotiations, code compliance, marketing, advertising, business development, project planning & execution, and mediation.

People. Ideas. Creativity. Efficiency. Enthusiasm. Negotiating. Mediating. Planning. Analyzing.

Stuart Clason

Businessman and Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Approximately 10 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors with expertise in public/media relations, project development, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, business development, economic development, government contracting, fundraising, and governmental relations. Strong educational background in economics and liberal arts, with special emphasis in economic development, geography and research methods. Excellent leadership, organizational, research and analytical skills. Creative, resourceful and a fast learner. Exceptional networking and interpersonal skills.

Governmental Affairs, Project Development, Public/Media Relations and Advertisement, Marketing and Business Development, Customer Service, Fundraising, Tactical Support and Planning, Crisis Management, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Premier, Adobe InDesign, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Entourage, Keynotes, Pages

Angie White

Vice President, Workforce Marketing at North Louisiana Economic Partnership   |   LinkedIn

My professional goal is to keep North Louisiana growing by ensuring our employers have easy access to the talent they need. By making sure we have diversity of skills and knowledge in our regional workforce, it will make NLA a cooler place to live.

Marketing, branding, making connections, social networking, grant writing, business plan writing, public speaking

Stewart Hamel

Hamel Interests   |   LinkedIn

Stewart Hamel, 35 serves as Managing Principal of Hamel Interests and Private Equity, LLC, a Shreveport, LA-based private investment company with subsidiaries engaged in real estate, energy, aviation, private equity and digital marketing.

equity financing, growth financing, digital marketing, high performance sales teams

Sara Hebert

Marketing Director at Moonbot Studios   |   LinkedIn

Usability and Accessibilty Consultant, experienced with the Joomla! Content Mangement System, Web Standards Compliant Designer.

Particularly interested in non-profit related work, but always welcoming commercial clients as well.

Academic research interests include mourning public tragedy and social media.

Flash, Actionscript 2.0
Final Cut Pro
Social Media Research
Joomla! Content Management System
XHTML/CSS Web Standards Compliancy
PHP, Coldfusion, MySQL
AJAX, Javascript
Usability & Accessibility Consulting
Search Engine Optimization

Wendell Riley

Recruiter/Human Resources at Moonbot Studios   |   LinkedIn

Jeremy Cave

Technical Strategy Manager ISG - CenturyLink   |   LinkedIn

Kathy Wyatt

Director of the Louisiana Tech University Technology Business Development Center   |   LinkedIn

Kathy Wyatt is the Director of the Louisiana Tech University Technology Business Development Center. She works with state and local economic development agencies to support business development and growth in north Louisiana. She is a mentor for Louisiana Tech University business plan competitors and student-owned businesses. Kathy is a Kauffman Foundation certified FastTrac program facilitator and administrator. She served as the Louisiana Tech Small Business Development Center Director from March 2003 to September 2006.

Prior to joining Louisiana Tech University, Kathy was Community Development Director for the City of West Monroe, Louisiana. She worked at the Northeast Louisiana University Small Business Development Center during and immediately following her college studies. Kathy received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Northeast Louisiana University. While attending college, Kathy owned a business that provided employment for up to 5 part-time workers.

Allison Defata

Director of Agency Services, Reachlocal, Inc   |   LinkedIn

At ReachLocal, Allison works with media companies and advertising agencies in developing and implementing integrated digital media programs within their organizations. Leveraging the ReachLocal platform allows agencies to easily manage, optimize and scale various PPC and display interactive media campaigns.

Karen (Parden) Johnson

Professional Training & Coaching at FocalPoint Coaching of Louisiana   |   LinkedIn

Business coach with over 25 years in business, including 14 years as owner of CPA firm. I use the coaching techniques refined by Brian Tracy to help my clients move from "good" to "great". Our clients' businesses are more profitable, their lives are more balanced, and their families are happier because of the changes they make as a result of our coaching

One on One Mentoring
Group Coaching
Executive Retreats
Sales Training
Communication training

Bill Bigler

MBA Program Director and Associate Professor of Strategy at Louisiana State University in Shreveport   |   LinkedIn

For the last twenty five years I have been a strategy and organizational effectiveness director/principal in some of the Big 4 and founder/CEO of my own firm for five years.

Almost all my engagements have been with the CEO and his/her direct reports in the area of business unit competitive strategy formulation and execution from a total enterprise perspective. These positions have lead to many varied assignments, some as close confident of the CEO and most in the role of Improvement Czar. My goals for the next twenty years are to continue to add value for firms, either now as a practical academic or as consultant, head of improvement efforts in a firm or as board of directors member.

Business unit competitive strategy formulation, innovation, growth, proprietary approach to strategy execution (have written defintive book), executive process innovation, shareholder wealth disciplines, and increased value of the firm for sale or IPO.

Sean McDonald

Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Southern Home Builders Inc.   |   LinkedIn

Sean has had experience in all facets of market research, acquisition, project and product design, development, sales, marketing, production, customer experience, and leadership. He founded four companies to provide consulting services, residential and commercial sales, building, and manufacturing. Sean’s well-rounded history promotes his strength in strategic thinking, operations, leading and growing teams, and maximizing profits. In residential construction, the two most noted builders that he has worked with were Centex Homes and Shea Homes Trilogy where he was a General Manager over a 7000 unit start up. Sean led his teams in the management of all cash flow, cost reduction initiatives, profit commitments, and return models to the owners and investors.

Debbie Inman

Coordinator of Entrepreneurial Studies at Louisiana Tech University   |   LinkedIn

I blend my placement specialist and management skills along with my business ownership background to build great entrepreneurial experiences for Louisiana Tech University students. I believe that innovation and creativity are crucial to enhance education activities.
I love my job! I get to work with students who will be tomorrow’s leaders AND learn from them along the way. I am dedicated to helping students recognize what is “Meaningful Work” to them and believe we should all use our talents and skills in entrepreneurial ways!

Entrepreneurship and career development training, Low Elements Ropes Course Facilitator

Everardo Recendiz

Owner at ActionCOACH of Northwest Louisiana   |   LinkedIn

Manufacturing professional with succesful record in General Management.
Places great value in communication and honesty. Has hands on experience in developing business plans, investment analysis and budgeting. Believes in team synergy through clear transmission of expectations, coaching and accountability. Motto: "Maximum optimization of resources with common sense drives team commitment and results"

Fast learning, focused, team playing, results driven professional. Specializes in Industrialization (from concept to reality), General Management, Industrial Engineering, Materials and Logistics Management, Lean Manufacturing, TPM, SMED, 5S, Kamishibai, Kan Ban, Quality Management, Project Management, Financial Management, commercial negotiations and business opportunities capitalization.

Keith Simpson

Chief Information Officer at Synapse Multimedia   |   LinkedIn

Dr. Kyle Restig

Higher Education Professional

Dr. Ristig worked as an field engineer, planning engineer, supervisor of business analysis, and manager
of human resources for nearly 20 years in the oil and gas industry. During that time he earned graduate
degrees in business, counseling, and his Professional in Human Resources certification. Upon leaving
industry, Dr. Ristig took his doctorate in business and joined the graduate faculty of Centenary College,
while continuing to teach at Louisiana Tech's Barksdale program. His specialties include human
resources, organizational behavior, and supervision.

Keith Hanson

Co-Founder at Twin Engine Labs   |   LinkedIn

Keith Hanson is the co-founder of Twin Engine Labs, a design and software engineering company focused on the fast moving mobile industry.

Mobile Monetization, Ideation, Resource Management, Mobile API, and Scalable Server Architectures

Lynn Cawthorne

Owner, The Cawthorne Financial Group LLC   |   LinkedIn

Lynn has been in the investment industry for the last 11 years. Prior to his industry experience he worked as a corporate banker. Understanding that Financial Planning is the key to providing comprehensive advice to business owners, retirees and high-net worth clients, he targets his practice to the areas of Qualified and Non-Qualified retirement plans for businesses, Retirement Planning and Pension Distribution for retirees and Wealth Management and Accumulation for high-net worth clients.

Lynn is very active in local civic and community activities. He serves as Board President for Humanitas Community Development Corporation, a non-profit group which provides housing for low-income citizens in Shreveport and New Orleans, Louisiana. He's Board President of United Citizens and Neighborhoods, Inc. (UCAN), a non-profit group that provides needed services to local youth in both Shreveport and New Orleans, Louisiana. Lynn also served on the Shreveport Bond Study Committee. He currently coaches little league football and formerly served as an adjunct professor at Dillard University teaching Wealth and Risk Management.

Lynn earned a B.S. degree in Business Finance from Dillard University, MBA in Manangement from Troy University and certifications in General Banking and Corporate Lending from the American Institute of Banking. He's a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) and a member of the International Association ofm Registered Financial Consultants.

Lynn is the father of two children, Tatyana and Tylinn Cawthorne.

Rande Kessler

Director of the Small Business Development Center at LSU Shreveport

Kevin Smith

VP for Corporate/Government/Community Relations at Logic Nation   |   LinkedIn

Karen E. Wissing

Public Relations & Marketing Manager at Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center   |   LinkedIn

Andrew Gaiennie

The W.L. Gaiennie Company

Walker Coburn

CPA, Heard, McElroy, Vestal

Walker is an Audit Manager at Heard, McElroy & Vestal, working out of the firm’s Shreveport location. He received his Bachelor of Administration in Accounting and a Masters of Accountancy from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. Prior to joining HMV in June of 2009, Walker worked for KMPG in Jackson and Memphis, and as a financial reporting advisor for FedEx Corporate.

Walker is a 2010 NWLA 40 Under 40 recipient as well as past participant in the Greater Shreveport Chamber Leadership Shreveport program and the Louisiana Association of Not-for-Profit Organizations (LANO) Community Leaders Program. Walker also serves on the board of Holiday-in-Dixie and the Louisiana CPA Auditing and Accounting Conference Committee.

Dr. Christopher L. Martin

Dean of the Frost School of Business, Centenary College of Louisiana   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Dr. Martin serves as the Dean of the Frost School of Business at Centenary of Louisiana. Prior to joining Centenary, Dr. Martin was professor and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

He earned his Ph.D. from the College of Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fields of organizational behavior and human resource management. He completed his master’s work at Southern Methodist University and his undergraduate work at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Martin's writings have addressed organizational fairness, anger and disruptive workplace behavior, technologically driven change, organizational downsizing, human resource management strategy, trust, and leadership. His most recent research has combined his two dominant interests: organizational fairness and organizational change. He has focused specifically on the means by which organizations can maintain productivity and morale in the wake of layoffs and the means by which speedy re-employment can occur for those who have lost their jobs.

His research has appeared in numerous journals, including The Journal of Applied Psychology, The Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, OBHDP, and Administrative Sciences Quarterly. In addition, the managerial implications of this work have been noted by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, USA Today and Business Week. Dr. Martin is also the lead author of the new McGraw-Hill/Irwin text, HRM From A to Z.

Dr. Martin is married to Shreveport native Kathryn Kerlin Martin. They are the parents of three sons, Harrison, 6

Cynthia Norton Robertson

Business Instructor, Remington College-Shreveport Campus   |   LinkedInGoogle+


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